Saturday, August 28, 2010

UN Report On War Crimes in The Congo: Will The Congolese People Finally Get Justice?

The below is a critique of Nick Kristof's blog on the issue:

Click here (PDF) to download UN Report.

The report raises several key questions:
1. Will the Congolese people finally get justice after living through 14 years of the greatest crimes committed against humanity at the dawn of the 21st century?

2. Will those corporations implicated in the illegal looting of Congo's minerals and supporting rebel groups also be called to account? President Clinton's friend Jean-Raymond Boule provided a private jet in exchange for mining concessions to one of the rebel groups that committed atrocities. (See UN Development Programme report -

3. Will the Clinton Administration be held to account for its propping up and support of regimes that perpetuated such heinous crimes? Will Madeleine Albright, Susan Rice, Bill Richardson and members of the Clinton National Security Council be called to account? NY Times reporter Howard French has written extensively on this question:

4. Will the Obama administration FINALLY implement PL 109-456 Democratic Republic of Congo Relief, Security and Democracy Promotion Act hat he sponsored as Senator?
It explicitly calls for the US to hold accountable Congo's neighbors that destabilize the Congo.

5. Will the international dimensions of the crimes committed in the Congo be finally investigated? The United States Congress can take the lead on this by calling a hearing to fully address the roots of the greatest crime committed against humanity in the 21st century.

Finally a few points of correction and clarification:
Mr. Kristof, you mention that the report describes the role of “conflict minerals” in sustaining warfare but the organization you cite has said nothing about the role of US corporations, especially mining companies' direct involvement in fueling the conflict over the past 14 years, in spite of four UN reports documenting the corporate complicity in fueling the conflict in the Congo. In fact, you have never mentioned the names of these companies either. See list of mining and other companies implicated over the past 14 years:

Some of the core elements of this report are not new. Even your paper reported on this in 1997 ( Also other institutions in the international community have been out front on these crimes committed by the Rwandan Patriotic Army. The 2008 Spanish indictment ( of 40 top officials in the Rwandan government is a case in point. President Kagame himself would have been prosecuted if he were not a head of state. The 2005 International Court of Justice (ICJ) ruling ( ) against Uganda is another case in point -- Rwanda would have undoubtedly met the same fate as Uganda if they were party to the ICJ and not outside of its jurisdiction like its key sponsor and ally, the United States.


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