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


congo watch

So much for the "successful" rout of the FDLR by Rwandan and Congolese troops last month. An estimated 30,000 people had to flee their homes after attacks by the Hutu extremist militia. As the BBC delicately puts it, UNHCR "says the militia has been retaliating against the civilian population" for the February raids.

Quelle surprise. The monthlong, "joint" Rwandan-Congolese operation was so obviously incapable of completely routing out the FDLR that this isn't particularly shocking. The long list of human rights abuses committed during and in the aftermath of this operation makes its utility questionable at best. But, hey, let's give credit where credit is due: it appears that much of the fighting has shifted north to North Kivu's Lubero territory. This means that the FDLR is terrorizing a whole new population- or at least one that had been semi-stable for bit (and I use the term "stable" in its loosest sense) - in addition to still making things miserable for the people of Masisi and Walikale territories to the south and southwest. Way to go, guys.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

well you're absolutely right about the fdlr being au retour. although, i have to say that it doesn't seem that THAT many atrocities were committed during the actual campaign. perhaps because people were watching, who knows.

Saturday, March 21, 2009 1:35:00 PM

Blogger texasinafrica said...

Maybe. But Human Rights Watch would beg to differ: http://www.hrw.org/en/news/2009/02/13/dr-congo-rwandan-rebels-slaughter-over-100-civilians

It's all relative in the DRC, but there's no question in my mind that the actions prompted atrocities, particularly on the part of the FDLR. There are also accusations about Rwandan forces raping women.

Sunday, March 22, 2009 4:03:00 PM


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