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Defining Good Rebels vs. Bad Rebels in Congo

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UN Crimes of Sexual Violence  

Congo prefers to reinforce the failed UN mission, even though severe allegations of sexual violence against Congolese girls have once again been leveled at MONUSCO forces, this time by Dr. Victoria Fontan, head of the Department of Peace and Conflict Studies at the University for Peace in Costa Rica.   

Prof. Fontan came upon an impressive new beach resort called Hotel Uvira. "Built only four months ago, Hotel Uvira was an immediate success among UN peacekeepers. Its Congolese owner was amazed at the speed at which reservations came. After a few days, the grim reality dawned on him. The resort of his dreams had become a prostitution hot spot. But not for just any kind of prostitution. This one involves teenage girls. And the most reliable guests are the Russian pilots of the UN fleet.

These are the same pilots who fired on a group of villagers in a banana grove, click here, killing at least one woman in July.  

Good Rebels vs. Bad Rebels  

Have critical thinkers ever noticed how "rebel" groups, which can also be termed "people's rebellions," are dubbed "good" or bad" by the media and governments, and that those labels often change?  

Was George Washington a "rebel" or a freedom fighter? Was Crazy Horse a freedom fighter for indigenous rights or a "savage outlaw," as defined by the United States government? 

Sitting Bull: Good or Bad? by Native American Taoist

Consider Sitting Bull's assassination and the subsequent massacre by US government forces at Wounded Knee when the United States 7th Cavalry opened fire and killed defenseless men, women, and children. It is similar to what the UN is doing with their attack helicopters strafing women in banana groves. In recent American history the Native Americans were "bad" and the US cavalry "good." What about the Libyan rebels? Then there is Braveheart, now considered a hero, but once considered a bloodthirsty rebel? History bestows the mantle of "good" and "bad," as perceptions and "acceptable" ideologies change--ideologies like the Goma Peace Accord that the Congolese foreign minister wants to eliminate. 

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Here is an eyewitness account from Oglala Lakota Chief American Horse, who watched the slaughter at Wounded Knee. He was considered "bad" at that time because he was Native.  

There was a woman with an infant in her arms who was killed as she almost touched the flag of truce...A mother was shot down with her infant; the child not knowing that its mother was dead was still nursing...The women as they were fleeing with their babies were killed together, shot right through...and after most all of them had been killed a cry was made that all those who were not killed or wounded should come forth and they would be safe. Little boys...came out of their places of refuge, and as soon as they came in sight a number of soldiers surrounded them and butchered them there.  

Now, white people consider it "good," "cool," and politically advantageous to have Native American heritage.Consider  Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren in Massachusetts. She ticked off the Cherokee  when she claimed Cherokee ancestry.

Aljazeera recently posted a video that shows the results of the M23 takeover of the town of Rutshuru. What is evident is an implementation of the Goma Peace Accord. Life does not look unpleasant under the "bad" M23. "The M23 rebel army, which seized control of areas along the border with Rwanda, is now establishing its own administration, complete with ministers, committees and local councils,"  Aljazeera says. 

Why would Congo want to stamp out this "ideology" of provincial control over provincial affairs? Could it be that instability promotes warlords, smuggling, payoffs and corruption that benefit the powerful in Kinshasa? 

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Why not eliminate the FDLR genocidaires?

Having been in eastern Congo three years ago and having experienced life under FARDC and the CNDP, what I am seeing in this video is familiar and preferable to the threats of drunken FARDC soldiers, extortion, scares from mercenary rebel groups along the backroads, and aggressive sexual innuendo. This writer has seen both sides of the conflict and spent two days in "detention" in a Goma under FARDC and the Secret Police. Count me in with Sitting Bull and the M23 rebels. I'd like to be on the right side of history on this one.

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Georgianne Nienaber is an investigative environmental and political writer. She lives in rural northern Minnesota, New Orleans and South Florida. Her articles have appeared in The Society of Professional Journalists' Online Quill (more...)

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