Where was the condemnation from Nuland when MONUSCO (UN in Congo) issued a separate press release revealing that 264 civilians, including 83 children, were arbitrarily executed by armed groups in Masisi between April and September 2012?
"Many victims were hacked to death with machetes while others were burnt alive in their homes. The opposing Nyatura group was found to be responsible for other human rights violations, including killings, sometimes carried out in collaboration with the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR).
Where was the outrage from Nuland one year ago when seven people were killed on December 19, 2011 in the town of Bukumbirwa in Walikale territory? Village leaders told Radio Okapi the murders were committed by rebels of the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR) in retaliation against the death of Colonel Sadiki, an FDLR officer murdered by a Congolese militia last November.
Where was Nuland when the leaders of Walikale called for help when the FDLR put 49 citizens on an assassination list? The list included cultural leaders, chiefs, local government officials, businessmen and women, and political leaders. Leaders said that when the people of Walikale asked for help from the Kabila government in Kinshasa, "Congolese forces (FARDC) arrive and engage in violent and inhumane treatment of the people of Walikale."
The issue of the FDLR remnants of the 1994 genocide has never been fully addressed by anyone except Rwanda and the M23.
Human Rights Watch and State Department complaints about the welfare of children are weasel words when HRW has also ignored these recent atrocities.
There is "something rotten in Denmark," and the stench can be traced to a small but significant item posted in Stars and Stripes last July.
Instead of directing help to Walikale or Masisi, considering that both communities were besieged by corrupt and murderous FARDC and FDLR forces, the US-trained elite Congolese 391st battalion was positioned to fight the M23. "The U.S. spent roughly $15 million to build the battalion, which the DRC later decided to use in operations against the Lord's Resistance Army," the post said. So, instead of fighting proven atrocities against women, children, the old and the infirm, no expense was spared in a failed attempt to stop the M23.
And who is responsible for the drumbeat of rumors? The international media consistently repeats rumors and innuendos in a seemingly coordinated a campaign to discredit M23.
The most damaging is the continuing accusation by most media, including AlJazeera, that wanted war criminal Bosco Ntaganda is directing the M23 ground assaults. It has become a mantra, so effective, that a false narrative is morphing into truth.
In several emails to leaders of M23, whom I met in 2008-09 while interviewing then CNDP leader Laurent Nkunda, the question of Ntaganda has been raised. The pummeling narrative about Ntaganda caused considerable doubt in me. In every instance, men whom I had looked in the eye in 2009, denied any involvement with Ntaganda. Finally, in exasperation, an M23 spokesman sent me this:
I told you we are not with BOSCO NTAGANDA. That is what I am telling you. It is my word and the friend of you who is informing you about us. I think you can believe what your heat (heart) seems to show you is right to do... as friend I swear we are not with Bosco and I don't know how we can be connected to this guy. I tried to explain to you but I think that you still have some doubt, anywhere (sic), we will still fight for that and try to give you the right information.
Sometimes you have to take a stand, and I believe my contact. I have no reason to believe an inattentive State Department or a discredited human rights organization.
What is the US interest in siding with the corrupt regime in Kinshasa? Look no further than oil in Virunga and US and United Kingdom mining concessions in eastern Congo.
I saw how villagers lived in CNDP controlled territory in 2009 and it was a complete contrast to what I read in the media. Sometimes you just have to believe your own eyes.
I am an American first, but I am disheartened and disappointed at the response of the United States.