But there’s a downside to DIY security. In arming itself and taking on intelligence tasks, Obo is essentially giving up on ever receiving help from Central African Republic’s impoverished government. That can only further undermine the government’s tenuous legitimacy — and could fuel wider instability in the future.
Sounds scary, they should stop before someone gets hurt. Let us go back to the beginning of the article:
Then the dreadlocked fighters from the Lord’s Resistance Army rebel group — tongo-tongo, the villagers call them — rose from their hiding places in the shadows and advanced toward the fire. Others blocked the paths leading from town. The rebels killed anyone who resisted, kidnapped 100 others and robbed everyone in sight.
…The girls would be given to LRA officers as trophies, raped and made to bear children who would represent the next generation of LRA foot soldiers.
So, how, pray-tell will the villagers arming themselves make this any worse? And how, exactly, was the government able to help to begin with? What plan would you propose to solve this problem, while strengthening the government?
Alright, you smarmy little bugger, what would you propose the village do? And what should we be doing? Demand a plan of me and offer none yourself! I would say that the village should do exactly as it is now, and that we should find a way to donate a crate of pistols to the village with a few ammo cans of the appropriate caliber. Arm the mothers and fathers with the sidearms to carry as they see fit and then see how successful a guerrilla would be in kidnapping their children. You want government legitimacy? Have the BATFE send some of its confiscated weapons over to help arm the scouts. I’d talk about improving the villages communication capabilities, but there is already a group doing just that.
But that would be illegal and the ATF exists to prevent such things! If they can send new guns to Mexico to shoot Border Patrol agents, they can send some used ones to shoot rapists in Africa.
Volunteers in an isolated community taking their valuable time to patrol for danger and communicate with their fellows. Is that threatening government legitimacy, or is that what a legitimate government should be?
(Hat tip to Uncle.)