Sep 9, 2010

When will it end?

By now many of us have heard about the over 200 girls and women who were mass raped in North Kivu, DRC. The blame has been placed on the FDLR (Rwandan rebels) and local Mai-Mai rebels in the area. The UN has come under fire for their inability to protect the civilians, since they have a peacekeeping base close to where these heinous acts happened.

I’ll be the first to admit that I’m foggy right now as to who is fighting whom, and what their grievances are (if any still exist at this point) because there are so many players – the Congolese army, the FDLR, CNDP, etc. However, I do know the central government of DRC has failed its people. In all the news stories and articles I’ve read in the last few weeks about these horrible events, no mention has been made of the Kabila government. Where is their accountability? What are they doing to keep the people of North Kivu safe from rebel attacks? In fact, why the hell was Joseph Kabila in Kigali celebrating Kagame’s inauguration when he has mess in his country that has no end in sight?  I won’t even get into the messy relationship between the Kabilas and Kagame right now because it makes my blood chill.

It’s not only disappointing and disheartening to see such accounts come up again and again. How much more can the people of Congo take in these conflicts? Will they have to decimate an entire population of women and children before someone realises that the current situation is untenable?

Update 10-Sept

President Joseph Kabila has suspended mining activities in areas of Eastern Congo. According to reports this is an attempt to restore order in the area and bring much needed help to the people affected by the conflicts. It's not entirely clear how this ban will enforced since a lot of mining activities are conducted by the rebel groups illegally, and is the main source of income for these groups; not forgetting some members of government are also beneficiaries (allegedly). 

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