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.
In 2009, I received a request from an aide to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. It read, "You seem to know a lot of people on the ground (in eastern Congo)," and went on to ask for suggestions of organizations that Clinton's office could contact. I spent a week organizing contacts to Congolese human rights organizations, midwives, community leaders in the IDP camps, church groups, and others who would offer an accurate narrative. Clinton chose instead a photo-op with President Joseph Kabila and a dog and pony show at Heal Africa.
Still, upon her return, Clinton issued a hopeful press release where she indicated she went to Goma to send a clear message, "The United States condemns these attacks (crimes against humanity) and all those who commit them and abet them."
Clinton was speaking of the Mugunga Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) Camp.
Since the beginning of 2012, the conflict has uprooted close to 650,000 people in North and South Kivu provinces, according to UNHCR. More than 40,000 people have fled to Uganda and 15,000 to Rwanda since April.
More than 1.7 million people are IDPs, of whom some 72,000 live in spontaneous camps.
For now, the US State Department is full of sound and fury and it signifies nothing resembling reality in eastern Congo.
The displaced are still there, still waiting. Waiting for a government to offer the rule of law independent of puppet strings that extend outside of Africa.
The Congolese Revolutionary Army at least offers hope, and you can see that hope in the video clips that are flowing out of Goma.