Wednesday, April 15, 2009

The Trouble With Congo | Foreign Affairs

So, I cannot believe I did not read this when it came out. I came across this article by Severine Autessere, on Foreign Affairs magazine:
The Trouble With Congo | Foreign Affairs

Summary -- Although the war in Congo officially ended in 2003, two million people have died since. One of the reasons is that the international community's peacekeeping efforts there have not focused on the local grievances in eastern Congo, especially those over land, that are fueling much of the broader tensions. Until they do, the nation's security and that of the wider Great Lakes region will remain uncertain.

SéVERINE AUTESSERRE is Assistant Professor of Political Science at Barnard College, Columbia University.
This is the comment I made on the article:

What Ms Autessere argues here is partially true. There are land disputes in the Congo, just like there are at the border regions of most African, European, Latin-American, Asian countries. These often lead to ethnic/tribal tensions in societies where villages, families, local customs, languages and traditions are still strong. That was true not so long ago (and in some ways still is) in Alsace-Lorraine for instance. In that case the Congo is not unique.

What is unique in the Congo, is how the greedy need by some interest groups, mostly foreign, but also domestic, for cheap access to the vast mineral resources of the Congo, have maneuvered to stir, fuel and escalate these tensions, ultimately even funneling funds to warlords using the sexual terrorism of systematic rape, to guarantee a perpetuation of the situation of lawlessness, fear and chaos that they deem good for their business.

If one really wants to solve the issues of the DRC, those interests have to be targeted first. Only then would we have a chance to bring the Congo out of chaos.

Let me know what you think.

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