Quotes: MENA   Enter Symbol: NewsLetter: Search: advanced

Looting a way of life for C. Africa’s lost generation  Join our daily free Newsletter

MENAFN - Arab News - 10/02/2014
No. of Ratings : 0
Add to Mixx!



(MENAFN -Arab News) BANGUI, Central African Republic: Deprived of schooling by years of inept leadership, the forsaken youths of the Central African Republic see raiding and plundering as the only career their country has to offer.There are looters among the Seleka rebels, looters among the Christian vigilantes fighting them and “freelance” looters — all vying for the meager spoils of the year-old sectarian conflict.It was already one of the world’s poorest nations before last year’s coup but now the Central African Republic is plundering itself into extinction.Jean-Gabriel Alaba, a computer scientist who lives with his family in the capital Bangui, said it should not come as a surprise that youngsters bite the hands that failed to feed them.“Central Africa has sacrificed the future of its young generation on the altar of political gamesmanship. The future of our children is getting ever darker,” he said.“What is happening now — young people committing massacres, pillaging, raping, stealing — was predictable. It’s because school never gave them anything.”In recent months, scenes of plundering by marauding armed groups or frenzied local youths have been a daily feature in the riverside capital and other cities.It was soon after the mainly Muslim Seleka rebel coalition entered Bangui and toppled then president Francois Bozize in March 2013 that rogue insurgents began looting.In February 2014, nearly a year on, foreign military contingents have moved in and ex-Seleka warlords are on the back foot, but Christian vigilantes have taken over the pillaging.In their wake, loose gaggles of local youths scavenge for unclaimed and often worthless loot, venting their rage by destroying everything they cannot take with them.For some of them, it is the closest thing to a job.“It’s outrageous, Sangaris is preventing us from looting,” an indignant looter told AFP, giving his name only as Benjamin.He was referring to the military operation France launched two months ago. The aim was to prevent its former colony from sinking even deeper into chaos but the violence has continued to escalate.The Central African Republic’s generation of looters is the product of a failing educational system.The list of so-called “blank” academic years that were not completed or declared invalid speaks for itself: 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2008, 2012 and 2013.In a country where 40 percent of the 4.6 million inhabitants are under 14, an insolvent school system in ruins has had devastating consequences.The gaps in the academic calendar mirror the endless mutinies, rebellions and coups that have stunted the development of state institutions and kept most of the country in dire poverty.The landlocked nation’s vast mineral reserves have remained largely untapped, and infrastructure is often non-existent. Only around five percent of the population has access to electricity.Even before the turn of the century, successive cash-strapped governments chronically failed to pay salaries to their civil servants, teachers included, leading to strikes that further deprived students of learning time.“Because of the ‘blank years’ of the nineties and political instability of the following decade, all our children are halfwits. They have an unfair handicap,” said Jean Zato, a Bangui carpenter.“All this needs to stop, for Christ’s sake, our children have a lot of catching up to do,” he said.On January 20, the day she was picked as interim president, Catherine Samba Panza stressed that all the fighters and looters should be considered “children” of Central Africa.She replaced Michel Djotodia, the ex-Seleka boss who had been reluctantly accepted by the international community after ousting Bozize but was eventually sidelined by his regional peers when his inability to contain the chaos became evident.The administration is still mostly paralyzed, however, and many schools have yet to reopen.“These days, if you don’t leave the country to study, you don’t stand a chance,” said Emery Danzou, a high school student who has been at loose ends for months.“But not all parents can afford that. We lot, well... we have to live with it,” he said.His friend Arlette Ndetie hopes to join the school exodus. “All my friends have gone abroad, because we just can’t take it here anymore,” she said.“I’m looking hard for a way of getting to Senegal or Benin. Leaving is the only solution.”


 


Arab News




  MENA News Headlines
 May 24 2015 - Kuwait- Min. of Amiri Diwan receives KISR delegationKuwait News Agency (KUNA)
(MENAFN - Kuwait News Agency (KUNA)) Minister of Amiri Diwan Affairs Sheikh Nasser Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah received a delegation of the Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research (KISR) including Dr. ...

 May 24 2015 - Kuwait- His Highness Crown Prince receives top officialsKuwait News Agency (KUNA)
(MENAFN - Kuwait News Agency (KUNA)) His Highness the Crown Prince Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah received on Sunday at Bayan Palace His Highness the Prime Minister Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak ...

 May 24 2015 - GCC-EU ministerial meeting held amidst critical developments - Qatari FMKuwait News Agency (KUNA)
(MENAFN - Kuwait News Agency (KUNA)) Qatari Foreign Minister Khaled Al-Attiyah said GCC-EU ministerial meeting, in Doha on Sunday, was held amidst critical regional and international developments, ...

 May 24 2015 - Kuwait- Info Min. stresses important role of FANA amid current circumstancesKuwait News Agency (KUNA)
(MENAFN - Kuwait News Agency (KUNA)) Minister of Information and Minister of State for Youth Affairs Sheikh Salman Sabah Salem Al-Humoud Al-Sabah on sunday underlined the important role of the ...

 May 24 2015 - Arab army chiefs resume meetingKuwait News Agency (KUNA)
(MENAFN - Kuwait News Agency (KUNA)) The chiefs of staff of Arab armed forces resumed their meeting here Monday under chairmanship of the Chief of Staff of Egyptian Armed Forces Lieutenant General ...

 May 24 2015 - Kuwait- His Highness Premier meets Iraq parliament speakerKuwait News Agency (KUNA)
(MENAFN - Kuwait News Agency (KUNA)) His Highness the Prime Minister Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak Al-Hamad Al-Sabah held talks Sunday at Bayan Palace, with the visiting Iraqi Speaker of the Council of ...

 May 24 2015 - EU major partner for GCC - ZayaniKuwait News Agency (KUNA)
(MENAFN - Kuwait News Agency (KUNA)) The European Union (EU) has been a key partner for the Gulf cooperation Council (GCC) since the six-member bloc was established in 1981, according to GCC ...

 May 24 2015 - Salmiya Sports Club Reign SupremeArab Times
(MENAFN - Arab Times) The Salmiya Sports Club won the Kuwait Karate Federation Junior category trophy for 2014/2015 Championships. The finals and awarding ceremony were held under the auspices of the ...

 May 24 2015 - Q8 Opens First CNG Service Station In BelgiumArab Times
(MENAFN - Arab Times) The international arm of Kuwait Petroleum, Q8, on Thursday took another big step and major milestone in strengthening and expanding its presence in Europe by opening its first ...

 May 24 2015 - Kuwait- Wataniya Telecom Dives 40 Fils NBK FlatArab Times
(MENAFN - Arab Times) Kuwait stocks headed south on Thursday to close the week on a sour note. The key index dropped 46.87 pts to 6332.27 points snapping the 2-day upswing. The banking shares were ...

more...


 






Google

 
 

Middle East North Africa - Financial Network

MENAFN News Market Data Countries Tools Section  
 

Middle East North Africa - Financial Network
Arabic MENAFN

Main News
News By Industry
News By Country

Islamic Finance News
Private Equity News

How-To Guides
Technology Section

Travel Section

Search News

Market Indices
Quotes & Charts

Global Indices
Arab Indices

Commodoties

Oil & Energy

Currencies Cross Rates
Currencies Updates
Currency Converter

USA Stocks
Arab Stocks
 

Algeria 
Bahrain 
Egypt 
Iraq
Jordan 
Kuwait 
Lebanon
Morocco 
Oman 
Palestine
Qatar 
Saudi Arabia 
Syria
Tunisia 
UAE 
Yemen

Weather
Economic Calendar
Financial Glossary


Financial Calculators

RSS Feeds [XML]

Corporate Monitor

Events

Real Estate
Submit Your Property

Arab Research
Buy a Research

Press Releases
Submit your PR

Join Newsletters


 
© 2014 menafn.com All Rights Reserved.  Terms of Service | Privacy Policy | Contact Us | Advertise | About MENAFN | Career Opportunities | Feedback | Help