while we were out...
Everything's gotten worse in the eastern Congo:
- Fighting broke out this week between Nkunda's CNDP rebels and the Mai-Mai, which are pro-government militias.
- Civilians are being attacked.
- The situation is so serious that UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon came to Nairobi for diplomatic talks. Nkunda was not invited, so you know those won't amount to much.
- Nkunda says he'll keep fighting.
- Angolan troops are fighting around Goma for the Congolese government . That is Not Good, as it's an echo of the 1998-2003 international war fought in the country. It could draw in the Rwandans.
- Not that the Rwandans aren't VERY involved already. Contacts in Goma report that the CNDP troops are using heavy weaponry that appears to have been used in Darfur (meaning it's probably desert camoflauged). Rwanda has been a major participant in the African Union peacekeeping operations in Darfur.
- The answer to the immediate problem is more and better peacekeepers. The answer to the long-term problem is to settle, once and for all, the questions about who gets to be a Congolese citizen and who gets the land. India, for its part, is helping with the immediate problem by sending in the Gurkhas. They'll replace another Indian battalion, because the mandate is only for 17,000 peacekeepers. That needs to change. Now.