Imagine all we could do in Africa if we were expending so many man-hours and billions in Iraq.
We apparently only fight wars of immediate self interest. If the Congo had something by which we could profit, the military would be on the way.
“Sometimes I don’t know what I am doing here,” Dr. Mukwege said despairingly. “There is no medical solution.” The paramount need, he says, is not for more humanitarian aid for Congo, but for a much more vigorous international effort to end the war itself:
That means putting pressure on neighboring Rwanda, a country so widely admired for its good governance at home that it tends to get a pass for its possible role in war crimes next door. We also need pressure on the Congolese president, Joseph Kabila, to arrest Gen. Jean Bosco Ntaganda, wanted by the International Criminal Court on war crimes charges. And, as recommended by an advocacy organization called the Enough Project, we need a U.S.-brokered effort to monitor the minerals trade from Congo so that warlords can no longer buy guns by exporting gold, tin or coltan.
Unless we see some leadership here, the fighting in Congo " fueled by profits from mineral exports " will continue indefinitely. So if we don’t act now, when will we? When the toll reaches 10 million deaths? When Jeanne is kidnapped and raped for a third time?
2. What should be done
In its latest report Congo: A Comprehensive Strategy to Disarm the FDLR, Africa Report N°151, 9 July 2009, Crisis Group made the following recommendations:
To the Government of Congo:
1. Suspend operation “Kimia II” and refrain from any further military offensive against the FDLR at this time, shifting priority to protecting the Kivu population against FDLR attacks and reprisals by establishing protected areas close to rebel-held territory and controlling major roads day and night.
2. Participate in the planning and implementation of a new FDLR disarmament strategy as described below.
3. Actively pursue normal relations with Rwanda, notably by establishing cross-border development projects within the framework of the Economic Community of the Great Lakes Countries and by jointly analysing the region’s traumatic history within the framework of the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR), so as to foster reconciliation between Congolese and Rwandans.
4. Reinforce the training given FARDC brigades and assign military mentors to Congolese units.
5. Insert civilian specialists into the joint FARDC-MONUC military planning unit and facilitate the design of civil-military cooperation projects aimed at protecting civilians and building confidence between civilians and Congolese security forces.
6. Ensure the 3,000 reinforcements authorised by UN Security Council Resolution 1853 are speedily deployed in eastern Congo.
7. Reinforce the Disarmament, Demobilisation, Repatriation, Reintegration and Resettlement (DDRRR) section with specialists in intelligence and psychological operations, as well as legal experts who can develop cases for prosecution of crimes committed during the Congo’s violent conflicts.
To the members of the international facilitation of the Nairobi communiqué (AU, EU, U.S., UN):
8. Establish a mechanism for strategic management of FDLR disarmament and demobilisation composed of military and civilian MONUC personnel, Congolese and Rwandan officials, specialists from facilitation countries, and liaison officers with Interpol, the International Criminal Court and the World Bank, to formulate a new FDLR disarmament strategy and to coordinate the activities of all international entities " military and civilian " involved in its implementation. This strategy should include:
a) intensive counter-propaganda and other sophisticated psychological operations targeting the FDLR rank and file for voluntary disarmament;
b) offers of third country relocation to those who do not wish to return to Rwanda or settle in Congo;
c) action within the scope of national laws to limit the ability of the FDLR political leadership living in countries such as France, Belgium, Germany, the U.S., Canada, Cameroon, Zambia and Kenya to operate freely, including, where such a possibility exists under their domestic law, investigation and prosecution of leadership members for complicity in war crimes and crimes against humanity committed in eastern Congo;
d) selection and training of eight battalions of the Congolese national army (the FARDC) dedicated to cordon and search operations in support of special forces operations, with offensive military actions against the FDLR not to be undertaken before this training is completed and a clear military doctrine has been established for the force; and
e) operations by Rwandan special forces focusing on neutralising the FDLR command and control structure.
To the Government of Rwanda:
9. Participate in the planning and implementation of a new FDLR disarmament strategy as described above.
10. Submit a revised list of FDLR leaders suspected of participation in the 1994 genocide.
11. Take part in technical discussions under the auspices of UN Special Envoy Obasanjo with FDLR officers not included in the list with respect to the conditions of their repatriation or relocation under international supervision.
12. Actively pursue normal relations with the DRC, notably by establishing cross-border development projects within the framework of the Economic Community of the Great Lakes Countries and by jointly analysing the region’s traumatic history within the framework of the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR), so as to foster reconciliation between Congolese and Rwandans.
Will the person knocking me down just speak up? I might even agree in part.
The World Capital of Killing
Quote:It’s easy to wonder how world leaders, journalists, religious figures and ordinary citizens looked the other way while six million Jews were killed in the Holocaust. And it’s even easier to assume that we’d do better.
But so far the brutal war here in eastern Congo has not only lasted longer than the Holocaust but also appears to have claimed more lives. A peer- reviewed study put the Congo war’s death toll at 5.4 million as of April 2007 and rising at 45,000 a month. That would leave the total today, after a dozen years, at 6.9 million.
What those numbers don’t capture is the way Congo has become the world capital of rape, torture and mutilation, in ways that sear survivors like Jeanne Mukuninwa, a beautiful, cheerful young woman of 19 who somehow musters the courage to giggle. Her parents disappeared in the fighting when she had just turned 14 " perhaps they were massacred, but their bodies never turned up " so she moved in with her uncle.
A few months later, the extremist Hutu militia invaded the home. She remembers that it was the day of her very first menstrual period " the only one she has ever had.
Terminology aside, either act on either side is something that should not be happening. The fact that the term was used in the analogy was to merely state the horribleness of what is going on in the world at this time.