more congo misery
There's a lot going on in Congo this week, none of it good:
- Today the Congolese parliament voted to give amnesty to rebels in the eastern D.R. Congo. This is one of those impossible dilemmas. Amnesty is a condition for getting many rebel groups to stop fighting and may be the only way to move forward. But it's horribly problematic in that amnesty means that victims of their war crimes and crimes against humanity will be denied justice, which has a tendency to not work out so well. It's telling that many of the votes against the bill came from legislators from the eastern Congo. This law won't play well in Masisi. Legitimating the total impunity that exists there already is a real problem. So is figuring out how to reconstruct the security sector.
- Derek Catsam has an interesting argument that amnesty may be the "least worst" option given the situation.
- Nkunda's still sitting in house arrest somewhere in Rwanda, but the Rwandans and Congolese may be moving towards an agreement to transfer him to a third country for trial. Let's see: they need a semi-neutral state that won't ship Nkunda to The Hague at first opportunity. My money's on the Central African Republic.
- Taking a page from their new friends in Kigali, the Congolese government shut down one of Radio France International's frequencies in Kinshasa.
- And, last but not least, mother nature's wrath against the Congolese continues. The volcanic observatory in Goma predicts a major eruption in the next two months. These scientists are never wrong. If they say it's going to blow, it's going to blow. Luckily, the more likely candidate for serious destruction by lava is Mt. Nyamulagira, which sits further from urban centers than Mt. Nyiragongo, which sits about 20 kilometers from Goma and currently has low levels of lava built up in its crater. Still, they'll both erupt, and the villagers around Nyamulagira will likely lose their homes and livelihoods. And then there's the whole methane problem...