Congo: Nkunda’s Terror in the Great African “World War”

Foreword 2011:

Within this narrative we’ll study the rise and fall of Laurent Nkunda, a renegade general in the Congo Wars against the backdrop of Central African history. These Congolese conflicts are in turn part of the Great Central African War or the so-called African World War, a series of parallel, overlapping, and interlocking local and regional wars. Nkunda exploited the resulting chaos to set himself up as a warlord. He carved out his own little empire among the Virunga Mountains, the African Great Lakes, and other border areas of Congo, Uganda, Rwanda, and Burundi.

At the height of his power, Nkunda came close to bringing down President Kabila of the Democratic Republic of Congo, humiliated larger United Nations military forces in the region, and was wanted by the International Criminal Court for war crimes. Some thought it possible he could unify Tutsi tribes across international borders, take over the DRC, and attempt to conquer an empire. His pride proved to be his own undoing. In a classic story evocative of Shakespeare’s plays reflecting the foibles of human nature everywhere, Laurent Nkunda was responsible for his own undoing.

This article was first written toward the end of 2008. It has been revised and republished here. What is striking and disheartening is the violence has gotten worse, multiple wars overlap in the same region as they continue to burn, the horrific violence within the Congo itself is not officially recognized as a formal war as a joke of a peace treaty remains in place. Part of the problem with the “peace” stems from a number of new groups broke away from the older groups who agreed to peace. These new factions regrouped into new formations with new names to continue the war.

Since this article first came out conditions have deteriorated. The situation is so bad and ungovernable multiple warring sides in Congo set up rape camps. All factions target each other’s women and children. The stories coming out of these rape camps stagger the mind. The Lord’s Resistance Army, supposedly on the edge of extinction, continues its march of destruction through the jungles across several Central Africa countries. President Obama recently inserted U.S. military forces to help African troops chase them down. South Sudan gained independence, but new revolts and civil wars arose within and throughout Greater Sudan.

The Global War on Terror, or the Long War, has incorporated the Somali Civil War, which has seen intervention from al-Qaeda jihadists from around the world including the U.S.A. onto the side of al-Shabaab. Troops from Rwanda and Burundi as well as Ethiopia and now Kenya have invaded Somalia. Of course the American Drone War has been expanded into Somalia, and across the Red Sea into Yemen.

The recent presidential elections in Congo leave much in doubt, genocide trials continue in Rwanda, and fighting continues in Uganda, Burundi, Rwanda, and Chad as well. Cease fires and peace treaties come ago. New warlords rise up out of the jungle literally overnight. Some quit to become politicians. Others disappear into obscurity or are killed or captured. Others carve out private fiefdoms and little empires.

Further north the Arab Spring revolts rock North Africa, post-Gaddafi Libya struggles with sporadic intertribal violence, and the Egyptian Sinai is turning into another radicalized and lawless region. West Africa struggles with increased turmoil from American CIA operations and from al-Qaeda groups including al-Qaeda in the Maghrib as well as spill over from Colonel’s Gaddafi’s defeat and murder in Libya ripples through rebellious Tuareg tribes spanning several nation-states. Nigeria descends into a mix of tribal warfare as al-Qaeda affiliates such as Boko Harem stirs up impoverished Muslims outraged at political corruption and economic discrimination by Christian tribes associated with the West.

There is still hope, however, as an increasing number of international foreign aid groups got involved in these various struggles. Some of these wield significant financial and technical resources. The United Nations and African Union troops periodically attempt to address wrongdoing and unethical behavior within their own ranks but with limited success. At least the problem is acknowledged.

Controlling the behavior of troops on the ground in remote areas with poor logistics and communications has proved more challenging than anticipated. Many of these troops are from many different ethnic groups, speak myriad languages, come from poor families, and are poorly trained in both combat skills and peacekeeping functions. When faced with the opportunity to plunder precious resources, they often succumb to temptation. The Great Recession has impacted the ability, too, of many of these NGO aid and monitoring groups as well as foreign troops to function.

As the rest of the world focus on the yo-yoing economic crisis and new rounds of escalating violence in the Middle East and South and Central Asia, their attention on Africa drops. Which is a mistake. Africa is a continent rich with people and resources and commands numerous strategic geopolitical locations. Once upon a time Africa was the birthplace of humanity. Africa may well reemerge as vital to humanity’s future.

Congo Rises amid the Great Central African World War:

The continent where humanity was born threatens to pull the rest of the world into a whirlpool of the most savage violence. The situation as of this November 2008 is complicated by large, ever changing numbers of warring factions cutting across international borders, the local desire to feed the global lust for its natural resources whether it’s coltan for cell phones and laptops or a desire to view rare gorillas, and the absence of conventional “good side versus bad.” We like to see our wars as neat and tidy contests between Good and Evil. What do we do when all sides committed horrific atrocities? What do we do when we understand why so many groups feel compelled to take up arms and engage in combat? Can the rest of us walk simply away while a continent goes down in fire and smoke and consumes itself?

It seems most although not all of the various factions have some degree of legitimate claims for their involvement, and yet all of them commit horrific atrocities, even the UN Peacekeeping forces. The media keeps the world focused on Iran, Israel-Palestine, Syria-Lebanon, Pakistan-India, North Korea, Russia, the Balkans and the Caucasus, Venezuela and Bolivia, and Bush-Obama-McCain and the global financial crisis. But it is Africa that spills the most blood, draws in the most countries, and has the greatest treasures. It’s also where no one who doesn’t live there wants to bother with anything. Africa’s a bloody mess.

In what has been called Africa’s World War, violence rippled out across Rwanda, Burundi, Uganda, Zaire then Democratic Republic (DR) of Congo, Sudan, Chad, Libya, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Angola, Republic of Congo, Central African Republic, Kenya, impacted other African and European nation-states, and drew in various international organizations and corporations. An unusually large number of rebel groups emerged in the constantly shifting chaos, many of them warring against each other as well as different nation-state governments.

As African borders resulted from European conquests and colonization, the borders do not respect the natural boundaries of geography or the cultural boundaries of its many thousands of tribes and religions. These different ethnic groups compose a high number of stateless-nations cleaved and chopped up among artificially constructed nation-states. In some ways, as Africa does not as a whole have the deep traditions of Westphalian nation-states, it may be easier for these fragmented entities to unify into a continental confederation or union of sorts. Perhaps the African Union can evolve into a federation similar to the United States of Africa.

The scale of this hidden world war is equivalent in size to Europe or East Asia. The casualties are staggering. As of late 2008, there are almost a million dead in Rwanda, over five and a half million in Congo, and more deaths in other neighboring countries. Millions of people maimed and mutilated. Untold numbers raped and sexually traumatized. Hundreds of thousands of children have been kidnapped and forced into slavery, combat, or sexual slavery. Thousands of Pygmies were killed and even eaten. Whole economies and governments destroyed. This grim war still grinds on. It is the largest hot conflict since the Second World War.

In spite of long-ago efforts by Joseph Conrad and Mark Twain in their writings Heart of Darkness and King Leopold’s Soliloquy as well as outraged reformers, Central Africa including the immense Congo basin remains an enigma to the outside world. The true horror of Conrad’s masterpiece, perhaps, is that “The horror! The horror!” never really ended. The horror continues to this day.

The Congo Free State, which preceded the Belgian Congo, was the scene of a long and horrific occupation and series of overlapping wars and rebellions that merged into one long war seemingly without end, just as today’s “African World War” does. In this most savage conflict, from about 1877 with the first European military invasions to the establishment of the Congo Free State in 1885 to its being taken over by the Kingdom of Belgium in 1908, up to an estimated ten million human beings died. This does not even include a much smaller number of non-Africans who died trying to kill and exploit Africans. In addition, the destruction of Congo’s environment led to widespread death by disease on both sides.

The Belgians, among Europe’s most gentle people, and their European and North American allies behaved with the most barbaric and grotesque savagery. The irony is that the native Africans of Congo were considered by the European invaders to be the true savages. The Belgian conquest and occupation was of a scale of cruelty that rivals the Nazis and Communists of later ages.

The violence didn’t necessarily end with the official Belgian government takeover in 1908, and was soon eclipsed by the outbreak across Europe of the First World War and its spread into the European colonial empires in Africa and the Middle East. This war doesn’t even have a formal name. Many refer to the war and corresponding genocide as simply “the Belgian Congo,” or in rarer cases, “King Leopold’s War.”

The Congo Free State was also an early example of the early Corporatocracy at work. The Congo along with all its natural resources and even its people were the private property of one man and his company, King Leopold II of Belgium and the deceptively titled Association Internationale Africaine. Professing humanitarian concerns, drawing in European support while playing their governments one against the other, King Leopold was the early epitome of proto-fascism, merging private corporations and industry with the machinery of the Congo and Belgian governments to create an absolute tyranny where the collection of basketfuls of severed human hands was regarded as a form of currency and symbol of tyranny.

Now Congo is once again in chaos. The United Nations stands by helpless once again as it’s largest military “peacekeeping” force on the planet is unable to stop the violence, protect refugees, confront armed combatants from any faction, or help maintain infrastructure. Yes, aid is arriving, thanks to shaky ceasefires and ceasefires called by Laurent Nkunda, the primary warlord of the Kivu region.

General Laurent Nkunda, the Banyamulengen or Congolese Tutsi leader of the National Congress for the Defence of the People (CNDP) who revolted against the DRC government and conquered much of eastern Congo is driving hard to capture the regional capital of Goma. From North Kivu, he left Congo in the wake of the 1994 Rwandan Genocide to fight for Tutsis there. He is a veteran of earlier campaigns in Uganda and Rwanda before returning to Congo to help overthrow the dictator Mobutu.

Nkunda rose through the ranks in the so-called First Congo War. He then fell out with President Kabila’s chaotic regime and was a major player on the Tutsi side in the so-called Second Congo War. Both Congo wars along with a number of other interrelated conflicts are part of the so-called Great African War or Africa’s World War. Earlier world wars were fought in Africa but spread there from elsewhere.

This one, however, originated in Africa and so far seems confined to that continent. Nkunda and his CNDP have been in continual warfare since 2004 against Hutu militias that moved into Congo from Rwanda and Burundi as well as against the DR Congo government. This phase of the Great African War is called the Kivu War, although the term “Third Congo War” is gaining traction.

Nkunda is a charismatic intellectual trained in psychology prior to his emersion in the ways of soldiers. He once worked as a schoolteacher, became an ordained Christian minister, and claimed to be Seventh-day Adventist pastor. His agenda seems to be a mix of anti-Hutu Tutsi nationalism, Evangelical Pentecostal Christianity (he sometimes identifies as a “Rebel for Christ”), a desire to protect Tutsi people from recurring Hutu massacres, and political ambition. The wars in Central Africa are compounded by the ugly fact all sides commit atrocities. The Tutsis once had worldwide sympathy for their cause, but now those under Nkunda are accused of war crimes and human rights abuses.

Laurent Nkunda himself was accused of leading the massacre of 160 people in Kisangani, the capital city of Tshopo Province in northeastern Congo, in May 2002 and beating UN investigators sent to confirm those charges. He also is accused of mass executions and other atrocities in Bukavu. This prompted Mary Robinson, the UN Human Rights Commissioner, to demand that Laurent Nkunda be arrested for war crimes. Of course, in this lawless realm he was not.

His rebellion expanded further across the region in 2004. The International Criminal Court indicted General Laurent Nkunda for war crimes back in 2005. He remains under investigation even though Refugees International and Amnesty International have accused him and his army of murder, rape, looting, and kidnapping children to serve as child soldiers.

Nkunda, however, either denies these charges or implies mistakes were made in the past and the future should be the focus. He not only claims to be a conservationist but also helps protect the rare mountain gorillas. Even so, in a case that outraged the world and struck the locals with grief, seven gorillas were killed in Virunga National Park from a family of twelve great apes in 2007.

Their human killers remain unknown, but Nkunda used it an excuse to expand his protectorate there. Perhaps more importantly from a political standpoint, Nkunda claims to be the grand protector of Congolese Tutsis. The DRC government broke with its former pro-Tutsi allies Rwanda, Burundi, and Uganda.

Furthermore, the DRC continues to target Congolese Tutsis, known as the Banyamulenge, of which, remember, Nkunda identifies with as his people of origin. Hutu militias roaming in from Rwanda and Burundi kill and maim the Congolese Tutsis as Tutsis slaughtered Hutus in earlier conflagrations. DRC officials continue to ignore the plight of Banyamulengen people and their cries for assistance and protection.

The latest upheaval is spreading quickly out of control. Nkunda’s forces drove the remaining DRC government rangers out of Virunga National Park on the Congo-Rwanda border and stormed toward Goma. DR Congo troops scattered, pillaging and raping in their retreat, surrounded by hundreds of thousands of panicked and exhausted refugees. Nkunda’s troops, despite their Draconian and criminal approach, appear well disciplined and orderly by comparison. His Protestant strictness seems almost welcomed by the war-weary populace. Despite his international status as a war criminal, many among the local populace seem to value his charismatic if eccentric presence.

General Nkunda’s ambitions are far-reaching, however. Unlike the Afghan Taliban, this austere soldier has no desire to return to some Medieval past. His sights are on Kinshasa, the capital of the Democratic Republic of Congo. He insists on serious negotiations to bring about meaningful change not just in Kivu, but also to all of Congo, maybe throughout all of Central Africa. If not, he may well consolidate his conquest of Eastern Congo and drive on Kinshasa to overthrow the weak and ineffective regime of President Joseph Kabila. Nkunda’s stunning offensive last month (October 2008) forced Kabila’s regime to the negotiating table over in Kenya. His troops shoved aside DRC troops and overran thousands of UN forces on their push to take Goma.

As he consolidates his power in the jungled mountains of the eastern DRC, he ignores calls for his arrest, denies Rwandan military assistance, and acts with a calm, self-assured confidence. After all, he is a student of human behavior and has been engaged in almost constant practice of the arts of war and leadership since the Rwandan Genocide compelled him to action 14 years ago. Will the UN have the courage to arrest Laurent Nkunda and try him for war crimes?

Proposed Solutions:

The immediate solution is for the United States and the European Union to work in concert and send air, land, and riverine combat forces into Congo to secure territory, secure air and river ports, protect refugees, allow the unimpeded flow of food and medical supplies and other much needed aid, and establish secure communications.

These forces can be independent of the NATO command and can work in coordination with MONUC (United Nations Mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo). What this region needs, however, are not more peacekeepers but an international intervention from beyond the region to defeat rebel armies, tribal militias, ethnic gangs, regional warlords, national militaries, and cross international boundaries to pursue the constantly crisscrossing armies and arrest suspected war criminals.

If humanity truly wants to resolve these seemingly intractable conflicts, more has to be done than pious speeches over the media and a parade of lightly armed blue helmets. This war roots are in ethnic and tribal conflicts exacerbated to an extreme degree by thoughtless European colonial empires that drew arbitrary lines helter skelter across maps of “the Dark Continent” without any respect to geography and ethnicity.

Current Neo-Liberal globalization practices with a focus on Free Trade and economic exploitation by the Western Corporatocracy of its resources have to be reversed. Such catastrophic approaches need to be replaced by economic policies that are sustainable and encourage local entrepreneurship. These must be based upon fair trade and be environmentally friendly and socially responsible.

Get off the high horse of national sovereignty, realize that nation-states are co-dependent and not independent, that we strive toward interdependence and integration, that the concept of national sovereignty is as obsolete as the Divine Right of Kings. A series of UN-AU brokered conferences can redraw the boundaries of this area. Each major ethnic group or coalition can have their own homeland as a nation-state within the United Nations and the African Union. There can be one Tutsi state and one Hutu state that encompass parts of today’s Rwanda, Burundi, and Congo. Perhaps the people of North and South Kivu provinces can have their own states while the Lenda and Hema in the Ituri region have their own states. This approach can be applied to most if not all of the nation-states of post-colonial Africa. Action, too, must be taken to protect the Pygmy tribes as well.

At the same time it has to be clear that anyone has the right to live where they want within reason, that one’s ethnicity, tribe, religion, or nationality are not grounds for exclusion from a new ethnic homeland as micro-state. The media focus is on Hutu killers of Tutsis, especially as the Hutus seemed to have slaughtered the most people including large numbers of Tutsis. It must be remembered, however, Tutsis also killed Hutus in vicious massacres. Nevertheless, Hutu and other militias have to be disarmed and disbanded, by violent force if necessary. The world has an interest in socio-political and economic stability in this region, the heart of Africa. Powerful and heavily armed combat forces must be introduced to squash all combatants while economic rebuilding begins.

Troops will have to come from somewhere and have the clear authority to go into battle against any resistance. If not UN and the AU, then the superpowers from North America and Europe, perhaps with Russian and especially China, will have to step up and work together. This, to be clear, cannot and must be a singular American mission. Americans are not in the mood for any more foreign wars and nation building, especially while engaged against al-Qaeda and dealing with the Great Recession.

Much has to be done in the way of building infrastructure, not just physical ones such as roads, bridges, water and sewage systems, hospitals, communication systems, and electrical power plants but the infrastructure of a progressive, responsible civil society including courts, health clinics, police, fire departments, and worker protection. Medical personnel including therapists and counselors are needed to address not just epidemics but the deep traumas of mutilation, rape, child combat, and torture. Again, this has to be a concerted international response, preferably led by the AU with UN support.

At the same time, professional Congolese police and military forces need to be trained and held accountable. It may take years to build up these forces. These Congolese forces have to protect all the people of Congo, including the Banyamulenge Tutsis and the Pygmies, not just those living in the capital of Kinshasa. Poorly trained troops who pillage, rape, and slaughter their own citizens as well as refugees from other nations while running away from real combat merely drive their own people into rebellion and destroy their own country. And the rest of the world cleans up their mess because the rest of the world didn’t want to do the work required in the first place.

The demand for justice, especially to address war crimes such as massacres and mass rapes, has to be addressed as well as balanced with truth, reconciliation and forgiveness. It will take time, it will take attention, and it will take troops, lawyers, engineers, doctors, nurses, and construction workers. It will take money. And if not addressed the bloodshed and chaos of this area will pull in yet more countries as a black hole in space consumes stars and planets.

The war may well spread across the whole of Africa, merging with other conflicts and jumping to Europe, the Middle East, and South Asia. Or while we are distracted elsewhere some warlord will emerge from the fury like some African Tamerlane and bent on conquest sweep halfway across the planet before he is stopped.

Postscript:

As this was being written, Nkunda’s forces overreached in their rampages across Eastern Congo. During battles in late October 2008, Nkunda’s CNDP army defeated the DRC national army and conquered several towns including Kiwanja and Rutshuru. The UN’s MONUC forces were at these towns to protect humanitarian centers and expected cooperation from the local DRC army. DRC forces, however, were so openly hostile to the UN peacekeepers as to fire upon them and agitate the locals against MONUC.

In addition, Mai Mai militias including the Coalition of Congolese Patriotic Resistance (PARECO) and the Jeremy Group, both who supported the DRC nationals against Nkunda, also engaged in atrocities against the local Congolese people they were supposed to be protecting and fighting for. Nkunda’s forces also fought troops from the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR).

The FDLR were Rwandan Hutus who participated in or supported the 1994 Rwandan genocide of Tutsis and moderate Hutus. Once the Tutsis overthrew the Hutus after the 1994 genocide in a civil war that actually began back in 1990, the Hutus fled across the border into the DRC. There in the jungles of Eastern Congo the Hutus formed the FDLR and turned into a marauding rebellion against both Joseph Kabila’s DRC regime and the Rwandan Tutsi regime of President Paul Kagame.

Meanwhile the Lord’s Resistance Army, Ugandan rebels famous as atrocious gangs of heinous war criminals were being pursued across several African countries by Ugandan and then Rwandan troops into the Democratic Republic of Congo. In Congo the DRC and Rwandan troops teamed up and drove the LRA off but scattered them deeper into remote jungles.

These multiple warring factions and changing alliances demonstrate the difficulty of determining whose fighting whom when and where and for how long before switching sides. The Rwandan now-Tutsis-dominated army, once allies with the Congolese Banyamulengen including warlord Laurent Nkunda’s reengage army, chose to shore up its new alliance with the DRC and turn on the CNDP.

Meanwhile, Nkunda’s CNDP uprooted the inhabitants of Kiwanja and Rutshuru as they pushed south through the Virungas toward Goma. Tens of thousands and then hundreds of thousands of people were uprooted and fled as refugees. Civilians were slaughtered here and there, culminating in massacres and mass rapes in early November. Almost 150 people were killed in Kiwanja on November 4-5, 2008. Reports came in of unverified numbers of many people killed, raped, tortured and mutilated in scattered in small, random batches.

The Mai Mai militias from PARECO and the Jeremy Group also engaged in their own massacres of Congolese civilians even though they were allies of the DRC fighting against Nkunda. The Rwandan Hutu FDLR also committed atrocities and warred against Nkunda as well as the Rwandan Tutsi Army. There were reports some FDLR forces even joined with Mai Mai groups and aided by a few DRC units against both Nkunda’s army and the DRC local civilians. Both sides committed more atrocities on fluid and dynamic battlefields.

Fast forward into January 2009. Nkunda’s rapid expansion collapsed. Militarily he had defeated an assortment of different enemies and overran large swaths of Eastern Congo. His personal behavior was said to have become increasingly erratic and antagonizing, however, and several of his top officers defected to DRC forces. Bosco Ntaganda, nicknamed “the Terminator,” once one of Nkunda’s top lieutenants, rose to the top to become chief of those rebel commanders defecting to the DRC.

They alleged Nkunda was stealing funds from his own officers and became increasingly arrogant and difficult to work with. Although the International Criminal Court also wanted Ntaganda for war atrocities, the DRC agreed to protect him from extradition and instead rewarded him by allowing him and his circle to integrate into the DRC military. The Rwandan Government had also grown weary of Laurent Nkunda’s fickleness and desired stability of government in the border regions.

Allegations of fickleness aside, “Terminator” Ntaganda and “Rebel for Christ” Nkunda were said to have fallen out over Ntaganda’s recent massacre of Congolese civilians for which Nkunda got blamed. Ntaganda was wanted for his kidnapping and use of child soldiers in the past, while Nkunda claims to have demobilized thousands of child soldiers as he consolidated his power in the Kivu provinces.

Ugandan troops began to move south after battling with the LRA. Rwandan and DRC troops and their militias began to squeeze the CNDP while also fighting the FDLR. Deprived of his top commanders and their units, Nkunda retreated north back to Bunagana, a small town without electricity on the Ugandan border. Bunagana was supposedly Nkunda’s stronghold. Before even the Ugandans could arrive, DRC and Rwandan forces closed in and took Bunagana.

Laurent Nkunda turned around and fled back south. His followers were increasingly dispirited. Then he led his forces across the Congolese border into Rwanda. It isn’t clear why he fled into Rwanda. Perhaps it was to appeal to the Rwandan Tutsi president, Paul Kagame, who despite public denials once supported Nkunda and the idea of a Greater Tutsi confederacy of sorts. Perhaps it was to rally local Rwandan Tutsis to his cause, or to extract revenge. At any rate, many of Nkunda’s remaining Congolese Tutsi troops refused to keep fighting in such a manner. They clearly did not want to turn into another Ugandan Lord’s Resistance Army roaming across Central Africa following a despotic madman like the LRA commander Joseph Kony.

After brief fighting General Laurent Nkunda, with only about 2000 loyal followers left, was captured and taken prisoner on January 22, 2009. Over 250,000 refugees were still on the move, thousands of Rwanda troops were back in Congo, the LRA was in the Congo chased by Ugandan troops, and the DRC was bogged down fighting numerous rebel groups. MONUC failed in its mission and was publicly raked over the coals with little improvement as a result. President Paul Kagame’s Tutsi-led government of Rwanda took credit for shoring up stability along the borders, and President Joseph Kabila had gotten rid of his most dangerous rival for power. Upon Nkunda’s arrest, Kagame poured 4,000 more troops into the provinces of Eastern Congo to help Kabila hammer the Rwandan Hutu FDLR militias.

Overlapping wars still burn across the countries of Central Africa. As of Bosco Ntaganda remains free in the DRC, while Laurent Nkunda remains in protective custody in Western Rwanda. In March of 2010 the Rwandan Supreme Court declared a Rwandan military court could only hold Nkunda’s case, as it was the Rwandan army captured him. The DRC seems content to let Nkunda stay in Rwanda, and both refuse to hand him over to the International Criminal Court based in Europe.

The situation remains fluid and uncertain even today, especially as the DRC undergoes emotionally charged and volatile Presidential elections. Joseph Kabila won amid riots and violence and amid charges of fraud. This December 2011, the Supreme Court of the DRC, however, upheld Kabila as the rightful winner, triggering more violence. In the remote and vast Eastern Congo, it doesn’t seem to matter who’s in charge as apocalyptic guerrilla warfare grinds on. Conditions are so bad the eastern provinces of the Democratic Republic of Congo are now known as the “rape capital of the world.”

 

William Dudley Bass
5 November 2008
Revised and reposted 16 December 2011
Seattle, Washington

Sources:

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Postscript Sources:

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Mwanamilongo, Saleh. “Congo Elections 2011: Joseph Kabila Victory Upheld by Supreme Court,” The Huffington Post World. <http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/12/16/congo-elections-2011_n_1154774.html>.

“Rwanda arrests Congo rebel leader,” BBC News. <http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/7846339.stm>.

NOTE: This article was first published as “Congo Rises: The Great Central African ‘World War’ Returns,” on one my early blogs, At the Brink with William Dudley Bass on 5 November 2008 at, http://atthebrinkwithwilliamdudleybass.blogspot.com/2008/11/congo-rises-great-central-african-world.html. It was revised and reposted here this December 2011. Thank you.

Copyright © 2008, 2011, 2016 by William Dudley Bass. All Rights Reserved until we Humans establish Wise Stewardship of and for our Earth and Solarian Commons. Thank you.

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