Friday, January 25, 2008

The Devil is in the Details

Although a peace accord was signed in the Congo, many fundamental outstanding questions remain. Neither Rwanda nor the Interahamwe participated in the conference. These two entities are critical to sustainable peace in the Congo. Until the Interahamwe (Rwandan Hutus) are able to return to Rwanda and participate in the political process in Rwanda, the Rwandan government under Paul Kagame will continue to have a pretext for either invading the Congo - as it has done twice - or support rebel movements in the Congo as it continues to do to this day.

A peace conference does not equate to justice. Although there is a cease fire and the United Nations troops will patrol a buffer zone providing the population with some reprieve, justice is still being denied not only in the east of the Congo but throughout the entire country. Impunity has reigned throughout the Congo for far too long and a national undertaking is required to bring justice to the hundreds of thousands of women raped and abused along with those families and entire villages that have been devastated by marauding rebels. In addition, the vast mineral wealth of the Congo should be used to restore the people of the Congo rather than going into the pockets of local elites and western multi-nationals.

Click here to read the peace agreement (French)!


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