Thursday, October 30, 2008

Johann Hari Says Congo War is led by Armies of Business

When we glance at the holocaust in Congo, with 5.4 million dead, the clichés of Africa reporting tumble out: this is a 'tribal conflict' in 'the Heart of Darkness'. It isn't. The United Nations investigation found it was a war led by 'armies of business' to seize the metals that make our 21st-century society zing and bling. The war in Congo is a war about you.

There are two stories about how this war began – the official story, and the true story. The official story is that after the Rwandan genocide, the Hutu mass murderers fled across the border into Congo. The Rwandan government chased after them. But it's a lie. How do we know?

Read entire article >>


Who jendayi Frazer Should See and What She Should Say

It is reported that Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Jendayi Frazer was heading to Kinshasa, Congo and would arrive today. She issued a statement on yesterday warning Nkunda's rebel group not to take Goma, capital of the North Kivu province of Congo.

We believe that Secretary Frazer's first stop in the region should be in Kigali to speak to President Paul Kagame of Rwanda. According to La Libre Belgique, rebel Leader Larent Nkunda is also in Kigali convalescing from an illness or injury. She should deliver a clear message to US Allie Rwanda that they should immediately stop supporting Nkunda in the Congo and cease once and for all the destablization of Eastern Congo. Far too many people have died and suffered as a result of Rwanda's intervention in the Congo. Moreover, she should make it clear to Kagame that its time to genuinely participate in a political process that would result in the return of the Rwandans who are now in the Congo.

The United States has considerable leverage on Rwanda and can play a decisive role in bringing this conflict to an end. There is no way that thousands of rebels should be allowed to hold millions of Congolese hostage because of the backing from Rwanda.

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Tuesday, October 28, 2008

New Policy Paper on Dire Situation in Congo

Perhaps you have heard the recent news - thousands of civilians are being forced to flee in eastern D.R. Congo as CNDP rebel troops move toward the regional capital of Goma. The Congolese military has begun to retreat and people are protesting the UN for its failure to protect them.

Furthermore, local sources allege that two battalions of Rwandan troops are fighting with General Laurent Nkunda, the leader of CNDP. Over the last several months, AFJN has reported on the escalation of violence and the role of Rwanda in the crisis. We reprimand the United States for its outright support for Paul Kagame's government in Rwanda, both in the form of military aid as well as public praise.

Last week, we released a new policy paper entitled "Two Rebel Groups, One Solution to the Crisis in Eastern DR Congo" which analyzes the FDLR and CNDP rebel movements. It projects policy options for the U.S. and ways for citizens to take action to stop the conflict.

Download a copy of the paper here, and then forward this email to spread awareness about the U.S. role in exacerbating Congo's war.

Thank you for your commitment to peace and justice in Africa!

In solidarity,

Rocco, Bahati, and Beth
African Faith and Justice Network

Monday, October 27, 2008

Rebels in Congo Continue to Wreak Havoc

The situation in eastern Congo is beyond the pale. Due to the fact that the world community and the key players in the Great Lakes region of Central Africa have not fully and comprehensively addressed the root causes of the conflict in the Congo. At the root of the conflict as the scramble for Congo's spectacular wealth.

When Rwanda and Uganda first invaded the Congo in 1996 and again in 1998, the invasions unleashed what the United Nations calls the deadliest conflict in the World since World War Two. Several peace accords later and the holding of historic elections in 2006 have not brought peace and stability to the beleaguered people of the Congo. This is in large part due to the fact that the world community has not demonstrated the will to put the necessary pressure on Paul Kagame of Rwanda to cease his support of rebel groups in the Congo. In addition, the international community's rush to install a weak government that would provide unfettered access to Congo's wealth but not the ability to mobilize a nation to properly deal with its historic challenges has compounded the problem.

The prescriptions for resolving the conflict have been clear for quite sometime now but they require the political will of the global community and they include the following:
1. An understanding that there is no military solution to the conflict. A political solution must be sought.
2. Pressure must be put on Rwanda to stop its support of Launrent Nkunda's rebel movement in the Congo. Rwanda continues to benefit from instability in the Congo.
3. A peace process that engages Rwanda, Uganda, Congo and the Rwandan Hutu rebels in the Congo
4. The creation of political space inside Rwanda that will accommodate disparaged groups in Congo
5. The creation of a system that punishes perpetrators of crimes against humanity, particularly the outrageous rapes of women and children. The climate of impunity in the Congo must be stopped now and the global community can play a constructive role in this process.

Latest News:
Thousands of protesters attacking UN in east Congo

UN: Rebels fire rockets at peacekeepers in Congo

DR Congo rebels seize army camp

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Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Congo Accuses kagame-Nkunda Collaboration

The Congolese government formally accuses Rwanda of what many people already know. Bloomberg news quotes the Congo government as saying that Rwanda is visibly supporting rebels in the Congo. Congo's foreign minister, Antipas Mbusa Nyamwisi told the United Nations Security Council that Rwanda's actions are ``in flagrant violation of all the processes in progress'' to end fighting in the region. (Read entire article>>)

The State Department has chimed in but you will hardly hear Rwanda or Kagame mentioned in any of their proclamations as Kagame is a long-time client of the U.S. who will not come in for an admonition or pressure whatsoever.

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Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Is Nkunda Hospitalized in Kigali?

La Libre belgique has raised the question as to whether rebel leader Laurent Nkunda is injured and residing in a hospital in Kigali, Rwanda. The paper reports that Nkunda may be either injured, sick or even dead. The paper reports that Nkunda may have wound up in Kigali after being refused acceptance in Uganda.

The speculation about Nkunda's travails is fueled by the fact that he has not been in touch with either the United Nations, European Union or the United States since June 9 of this year. Le Soir also cited an interview with Paul Kagame at the end of August where he states that even if Nkunda was to disappear from the scene, the problems of North Kivu would not be resolved.

Bosco Ntaganda is currently the head of the CNDP. He is wanted for commission of war crimes by the International Criminal Court. This does not bode well for peace in the region as Bosco would be less inclined to come to the peace table knowing that he has a warrant on his head.

Truth of the matter it is far beyond time that world leaders utilize their weight to bring an end to the conflict in the Congo which must come through Kigali. Bill Clinton, Tony Blair, Bill Gates, Rev. Rick Warren, Cindy McCain, Ted shultz along with the United States government, European Union and United Nations have it well within their means to work with the nations of the Great Lakes to create a framework for lasting peace.