Wednesday, January 25, 2006

DR Congo: A tribute to the Guatemalans

(Freely translated from the French-language editorial of “Le Potentiel”, January 25 2005)

Peace comes with a heavy price. The one that the DRC has been chasing has proven that to be true. Indeed, the UN Mission to the Congo (MONUC) has lost 28 of its peacekeepers, since the day of its start in the coubtry. The latest eight to pay with their blood for the pacification of the DRC were citizens of Guatemala. Reaped prematurely from this earth, these peacekeepers perished during an operation intended to localize Ugandan rebels, in the Garamba National Park, in the north-eastern Orientale Province.

This event should not just be a few more death in a bloody and never-ending saga. In fact, these soldiers demise should further consolidate peace, in order to allow the upcoming general elections to take place in safe and secure conditions. In order to achieve that, responsibilities must be shared. Each party involved – or observing – the conflict will have to play its part to tow the DRC out of the quicksand it seems to be stuck in.

The first party responsible is the Congolese people, who is facing, more than ever before, a crucial choice, aimed at halting the lunacy of blabber and exclusion, in order to rebuild a prosperous country, in a new found peace.

The second party responsible is the International community. The International community is also solicited in an unprecedented way, to help the Congolese get rid of insecurity, and reestablish a lasting peace, and an environment that is conducive to truly free, democratic and transparent elections, the only avenue to solve the legitimacy crisis at the helm of the country.

A glance at the current Congolese situation, shows that the will to live up to these responsibilities is not always apparent from the International Community, often reprehensibly short-sighted, concerning the troubling security situation.The recent attacks in Rutshuru go to show that security in the country is still elusive…

Responsibility for the current situation also lies on the contiguous neighbors of the DRC, which should also help the Congo to move towards peace.

An appropriate, and non-hypocritical behavior from all parties will consolidate the peace, and will cease to cost us all the lives of young peacekeepers, who came to the bedside of an ailing DRC. It is only when all parties develop this behavior, that we will all have paid a fitting tribute to the innocent victims, and to the “unknown soldiers” of the UN peace-keeping force.

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1 comment:

Elizabeth said...

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