"Africa is, indeed, coming into fashion." - Horace Walpole (1774)


congo watch: this was predictable

Well, it's August, which can only mean one thing: time for another confrontation between the military and one or more of the various rebel forces in North Kivu. (Keep in mind that sometimes some of the "rebels" fight alongside the government against a common enemy. It's awsome like that.) Nkunda's ready to fight, and the government has shipped 6 planeloads of ammo and weapons into the Goma airport.

This is completely depressing and totally predictable. Until the underlying issues of land rights and citizenship are resolved, and until the Congolese government can secure its own territory (meaning that the economic incentives to keep the territory destabilized are removed), no peace deal is going to last for long. It's shockingly simple to spell out the problems, and incredibly complicated to solve them.

Meanwhile, the human toll of this conflict continues to build. According to contacts who've recently been in Goma, there are currently 900,000 internally displaced persons in North Kivu alone, and thousands upon thousands of women and girls continue to be brutally raped by soldiers from all sides, who commit their crimes with total impunity.

Check out this video on Heal Africa, where women and girls who suffer traumatic fistulae as a result of rape are treated. It's a great segment that gives you a really clear idea of exactly what's going on there - in English.

The film was shown at the Global Forum on MSM and HIV in Mexico City, where Lyn Lusi spoke during Sunday's opening session. It is criminal that no international foundation will provide anti-retrovirals for adults in Goma. And if we fail to raise our voices on behalf of those who suffer so much from this conflict, we are complicit.


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