Monday, November 17, 2008

We Should All Be Paying More Attention to What's Going on in the Congo

I've been aware of the mess in the "Democratic" Republic of the Congo for a while, but confess that I haven't bothered to learn more or do anything about it. But this recent article in Slate shook me up a bit. It explains the severity of the situation, its relationship to the 1994 Rwandan genocide, how it could have been prevented, and what we can still do.

If you are unfamiliar with the Congolese crisis, here's a start:

There are now more than 1 million displaced people scattered throughout the province. In the last 10 years of fighting, more than 5 million people have died in the Congolese conflict—mostly civilians who haven't had access to enough food or health care because of the fighting. And let's be clear: That's 5 million and counting.

And this is why we should all feel a little guilty:

Over the years, many world leaders have made the trip to Rwanda to stand before the gravesites of genocide victims and apologize for their inaction in 1994. But if the worth of an apology is measured not in words but in actions, most of these apologies have been rubbish. True repentance for Rwanda has always meant ending the Congolese conflict.


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