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Old 11-14-2006, 12:51 PM   #1
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Central Africa is Hell on Earth

If the UN doesn't step it up in Central Africa, and quick - then there is precious little hope for the region. This is a horrible story.

I am sick to my stomach and struggling to hold back rage...


Worse Than Rape
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Old 11-14-2006, 01:11 PM   #2
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It's truly discusting and horribly sad. The only way for this to ever be fixed is education, the majority of Americans have no clue as to what's happening. We won't get anything done through the UN with Bolton in there, sad but true.
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Old 11-14-2006, 01:16 PM   #3
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No words.

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Old 11-14-2006, 01:27 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally posted by BonoVoxSupastar
It's truly discusting and horribly sad. The only way for this to ever be fixed is education, the majority of Americans have no clue as to what's happening. We won't get anything done through the UN with Bolton in there, sad but true.
I agree. I feel like these women have no "champions" over here. Nobody to protest for them. Nobody to talk on "Meet the Press" for them.
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Old 11-14-2006, 01:31 PM   #5
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By the time somebody does stand up for them I'm afraid it will be too late.
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Old 11-14-2006, 01:36 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally posted by BonoVoxSupastar
It's truly discusting and horribly sad. The only way for this to ever be fixed is education, the majority of Americans have no clue as to what's happening. We won't get anything done through the UN with Bolton in there, sad but true.
We would get things done period with the Bolton in there or not. The UN is a farce that should be dismantled because it is such a big failure. I wonder if they will pull another Rawanda?
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Old 11-14-2006, 01:40 PM   #7
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Yes the UN is filled with curruption but it has accomplished many things. But my point is that as an American, a supposed more civilized nation we should be setting some kind of an example and placing Bolton in there is a mistake of huge proportions!!!
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Old 11-14-2006, 01:54 PM   #8
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Yeah...there simply aren't any words adequate to address this kind of sadism, and it's utterly unfathomable that it's become so widespread.

I actually just finished teaching a unit on DR Congo in my Comparative Government class, and several students made comments to the effect that they found it difficult to think constructively about what they were reading because they were so shocked by the brutality of the atrocities involved. Four million people have died in the fighting so far--it is the most deadly conflict in the world since WWII.

Here is the website for the UN's mission there. They just extended their mandate (which is currently disarmament-focused) once again, to February 2007. Currently there are just under 18,500 UN personnel there, roughly 16,600 of them troops. This is well below the numbers Kofi Annan has repeatedly sought--the last several times he asked the Security Council for more, they were only able to russle up about half of what he wanted. India, Pakistan and Bangladesh have been the heroes in this drive so far, contributing more than half of the total personnel. The US has not contributed any troops to the effort. About a hundred UN personnel have died in the fighting thus far.

As with many other African conflicts, the modern roots of this one can be traced to colonial policies (themselves backed by deplorably brutal violence) which bred ethnic tension by favoring some groups over others for land rights and political representation, followed by criminally opportunistic Cold War meddling which furthered already-endemic corruption and violence. Spillover from the Rwandan genocide is a more recent, and also very potent, contributor--not only has the presence of more than a million refugees (many of them militants) logistically complicated matters, but on top of that the Tutsi-Hutu divide driving that abysmal conflict has "transfered" itself to exisiting divides between Congolese groups like the Lendu and Hema, who identify with one side or another in the Rwandan conflict. More than half the militia fighters are child soldiers (18 and under). Graft and corruption associated with the coltan, gold and diamond mining industries in the area further fuels the fire by funding weapons procurement.

One would like to think that the relative lack of connection between the situation in DR Congo and other major international conflicts would make it a magnet for international cooperation and collaboration to address the horrific consequences but, unfortunately, thus far that hasn't happened.

There's a whole world of dark psychological issues concerning how and why women and girls so often become the prime targets of attempts to "symbolically" dominate and humiliate the various parties to the conflict in situations like this to be discussed, too. But that can't be effectively addressed beyond what people like the medics described in the article are already doing until more progress is made in ending the conflict itself. But this is a paradigmatically diffuse and battlefront-less conflict, and ending it will take years more no matter what we do--which, at present, is nowhere near enough.

Thanks for bringing this to everyone's attention, AEON.
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Old 11-14-2006, 02:14 PM   #9
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wow.

I have a friend who grew up in Africa because her parents are doctors there and her dad specializes in fistulas. That's really the only reason I knew about them before this article.
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Old 11-14-2006, 02:52 PM   #10
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Egads, this is dreadful.
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Old 11-14-2006, 02:58 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally posted by yolland

Currently there are just under 18,500 UN personnel there, roughly 16,600 of them troops. This is well below the numbers Kofi Annan has repeatedly sought--the last several times he asked the Security Council for more, they were only able to russle up about half of what he wanted. India, Pakistan and Bangladesh have been the heroes in this drive so far, contributing more than half of the total personnel. The US has not contributed any troops to the effort. About a hundred UN personnel have died in the fighting thus far.

The US definitely needs to be more involved. So does Europe. As fellow human beings we simply cannot allow this sort of atrocity to go on.

These poor women probably have done everything in their power to avoid this conflict and protect their children. Please pray for them...
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Old 11-14-2006, 03:04 PM   #12
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Some people just don't care as much because it's happening to women- that's harsh but I believe it is true. And it's happening to African women.

And there are no alleged WMD's in the Congo as far as I know
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Old 11-14-2006, 03:07 PM   #13
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I couldn't read much of the article.

Something must be done.
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Old 11-14-2006, 03:08 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally posted by MrsSpringsteen
Some people just don't care as much because it's happening to women- that's harsh but I believe it is true. And it's happening to African women.

And there are no alleged WMD's in the Congo as far as I know
Nor oil.
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Old 11-14-2006, 04:20 PM   #15
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I don't know what to say.
My first reaction is all who commit such horrible crimes should be shot on sight - and they probably should be...but by WHO???
The UN is as useless an organization as there ever was - the US military industrial complex doesn't give a shit (unfortunately, because if they did they could really be the HEROES). I just don't know. Makes you wonder though - what led to this??? Is anyone responsible or is this just another manifestation of evil as was Rwanda??? Or was Rwanda a "manifestation of evil" or something else. I just don't know. Horrible shit.
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