The latest news from BBC- people are starving, and the DRC PM is going on a tour to make people feel good. Fantastic.
Stephen Kinzer at The Guardian gets it right:
“The unfathomably brutal civil war devastating the eastern Congo, which is now reaching yet another peak of savagery, is not really about Congo. It is the continuation of the civil war and genocide that shattered neighbouring Rwanda in the early 1990s.”
“Eastern Congo is one of the most resource-rich regions in the world. For more than a century, kings, presidents, gangsters, warlords, business tycoons and others have understood that control of this region brings the prospect of great wealth. That too is one of the factors fuelling this war. If there were no gold or diamonds in eastern Congo, or if companies like Microsoft and Hitachi were not so desperate for the "grey gold" known as coltan, a key component in cell phones and other electronic devices that is plentiful in this region, controlling it would not be so appealing.”
The Washington Post starts its article this way,
“On Saturday morning, Congolese rebels drove through the muddy streets of this provincial town in eastern Congo, telling war-weary residents it was time they showed appreciation for their new leaders, the National Congress for the Defense of the People. It was unclear whether the rebels were offering much choice.”
“Having seized vast new swaths of eastern Congo, rebel leader Laurent Nkunda is embarking on a new phase of his campaign to "liberate" this mineral-rich central African nation the size of Western Europe. U.N. officials, aid workers and others here say he is forcing tens of thousands of displaced people to return to their homes behind rebel lines, where a kind of indoctrination is now underway as Nkunda seeks to expand his political base.
“Massive camps that used to house thousands near here have been emptied and burned to the ground, according to U.N. officials who have described the humanitarian situation as ‘catastrophic.’”
Read on here
Peter who lived in the Congo gives his thoughts. I have to admit, the undertone at why this conflict has been allowed to continue resonates very deeply with me. What has changed since 1995? Sadly, only the violence… What’s the old adage about history repeating itself if we don’t learn the first time?
CongoGirl reflects on her lack faith in the ceasefire.
“When was the last time a family could see a growing season through to harvest without worrying about pillage and abandoning it plus their seed stores to run and hide in the forest?”
More on this later, but that cell phone you’re holding, that iPod on your desk – that’s what the DRC is about.