Sunday, March 24, 2013

Rebel Takeover in CAR & Park's A Long Walk to Water

I've previously posted about the civil war in Congo.  Now we move to the civil war in the Central African Republic.

From today's BBC article "Central African Republic: Rebels 'take palace as Bozize flees:'"
Rebels in the Central African Republic say they have seized the presidential palace after President Francois Bozize reportedly fled the capital... The rebels joined a power-sharing government in January after talks brokered by regional leaders to end a rebellion they launched last year. But the deal quickly collapsed, with the rebels saying their demands, including the release of political prisoners, had not been met. BBC Africa editor Richard Hamilton says government soldiers have been unable to fend off the rebels because Mr Bozize fears being overthrown in a coup and is therefore wary of having a strong army. He came to power himself in a military coup in 2003.
I couldn't find any "perfect match" novels. I could hardly find any novels set in the Central African Republic. Suggestions welcome!

So instead I recommend a book set in Sudan which touches on several themes relevant to CAR, including rebels and refugees. That book is Linda Sue Park's young adult novel A Long Walk to Water:
A Long Walk to Water begins as two stories, told in alternating sections, about a girl in Sudan in 2008 and a boy in Sudan in 1985. The girl, Nya, is fetching water from a pond that is two hours’ walk from her home: she makes two trips to the pond every day. The boy, Salva, becomes one of the "lost boys" of Sudan, refugees who cover the African continent on foot as they search for their families and for a safe place to stay. Enduring every hardship from loneliness to attack by armed rebels to contact with killer lions and crocodiles, Salva is a survivor, and his story goes on to intersect with Nya’s in an astonishing and moving way.

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