time to start telling it like it is in the DRC

So the UN just accused the DRC and Rwanda of directly helping the rebels in the conflict in Eastern Congo which continues to kill, main or dislocate hundreds of thousands of people. I say it is about time. This has been the Great Lakes Region’s worst kept secret. I could have told the UN this months ago. I wonder what took them so long to see this for what it is and say so in the media. But better late than never, now that the cat is out of the bag it is time for someone to take some action.

(CAUTION: I know this is a gross simplification of the conflict, I just wanted to highlight the gist of it)

I must say that I am deeply disappointed in Paul Kagame. Why did he have to get bogged down in this mess again? Why not concentrate on getting aid money and making Rwanda the IT capital of the continent? Why get involved with the criminal Nkunda? Is the coltan that attractive?

As for Kabila, I have no regrets. This is a man who has failed to show leadership or the guts to run a country as large as the DRC. He seems to still believe in the outdated notion that if you control the capital you control the country. Kabila, wake up and smell the coffee – or whatever it is you drink when you wake up. Does Chad, Sudan and Mauritania ring a bell. These situations should inform you on what happens when you allow rebel activities within your territory. Sudan and Chad may have survived but their governments continue to face existential threats as long as the rebels are allowed to exist. So grow a pair Kabila and take the fight to Nkunda, and if you can’t own up to your weakness and negotiate for some decentralisation arrangement. Your country is too big to be as centralised as it is anyway.

I am pleased by the UN’s move. It now remains to be seen what it will do about its claim. Sanctions on both governments? Not likely. Perhaps a slap on the wrist and a threat of cessation of aid. (Don’t you just hate the bullshitting that goes on in New York?) In the meantime Congolese women and children will continue to be killed, raped and denied a normal livelihood as Kabila, Nkunda, Kagame and all the other clowns involved in this mess continue in their little dance of guns, dollars and coltan.

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