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Over Five Million Dead in Congo? Fifteen Hundred People Daily?

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Conze's behavior epitomizes white supremacy masked by "humanitarianism" and "peacekeeping" in Africa. The "peacekeeping" operations of MONUC, like the "humanitarian" or misery industry, are merely well-cloaked disguises for more predatory capitalism with the added insidiousness of a supposed and self-righteous "higher moral purpose" that allows the exploiters in the West to celebrate our "goodness" and our "humanity" and to claim that our hands are clean and, of course, that we care. But this is big business and nothing else.

To question such things are themselves written off as complete heresy, and that is why MONUC does not take any notice of such writings as this one: good journalists produce tripe for Harper's, they don't point the finger at modern day conquistadors and attach blame to the names of U.N. officials, corporate executives, or high society philanthropists and diamond tycoons. 

MONUC officials say nothing of substance about mining in Congo, which proceeds in parallel with the bloodletting, arms trading and extortion. For example, Anvil Mining has been involved in massacres in DRC. Anvil directors include former U.S. Ambassador Kenneth Brown, who served at U.S. embassies in Brussels, Kinshasa, Congo-Brazzaville and South Africa. Brown was Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Africa (1987-1989) under George Schultz and George H.W. Bush and then Director of Central African Affairs (1980-1981). Meanwhile, the former top internal intelligence and security chief of the United Nations Observer's Mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo (MONUC) has been worked for Anvil mining in Katanga since 2006.

With top MONUC security officials taking high paying jobs with companies involved in the atrocities, one begins to see the nature of an organized, armed, free-for-all for Congo's resources.  

This journalist reported in July 2007 that MONUC officials were accepting kickbacks from warlord Jean-Pierre Bemba, and there is evidence of MONUC collusion with other individuals capitalizing on war and plunder in Congo.

In December 2007, it was reported that a special task force for the United Nations "uncovered a pervasive pattern of corruption and mismanagement involving hundreds of millions of dollars in contracts for fuel, food, construction and other materials used by U.N. peacekeeping operations."

But this is the tip of the iceberg and the United Nations actions are weak and, often enough, meaningless. Finally, the MONUC mission in Congo institutionalizes the inequality and suffering endured by Congolese people by maintaining double standards about labor and employment packages provided to MONUC employees who live in the host country: In August 2007 a major "stop work" strike was undertaken by Congolese nationals in the MONUC system due to the entrenched and continued injustices served on Congolese people working for the mission, in comparison with the more comprehensive employment packages provided to expatriate foreigners. The strike was almost entirely unreported by the MONUC public information offices. The international press-in keeping with their role as gatekeepers of suffering in Congo-investigated nothing and, in the end, they only parroted the official line.

Unmanned Aerospace Vehicles 

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The United Nations and European Union Forces (EUFOR) involved in Congo are there to secure corporate resources and insure profits through military domination. Yet the cover story is hammered into the Western "news" consuming consciousness as a "humanitarian" or a "peacekeeping" mission.  Advanced technologies like Israel Aircraft Industries/Belgian Hunter UAVs (Unmanned Aerospace Vehicles) intelligence platforms are now used by Belgian defense forces in flying operations over Congo.

Two UAVs have crashed in Kinshasa, killing one Congolese person and wounding 10 others, and the Israeli-Belgian fleet has deployed three more UAVs. Belgian Defense command indicates that the UAVs are to "collect information on road traffic and crowd activities."

But the statement is a euphemism for maintaining the status quo of suffering, starvation, torture and dispossession in Congo, while further enhancing foreign military domination and expansion.  

Three cheers for the rogue Congolese soldier with the battered Kalashnikov AK-47 whose single shot at one of the EUFOR's robotic UAVs flying overhead (at 1200 feet) penetrated the wing joint, pierced a structural weak point and caused the wing to crumble and the UAV to crash. Of course, the poor man has disappeared into the dungeons of hell in Kinshasa, and he will go down in history as a criminal, rather than a hero whose expression of frustration and misery manifested in shooting down a $10 million dollar Israeli weapon with a pop gun.  The Belgian military described the man as a "lone gunmen with a known criminal record."

But the hubris of this statement defies articulation when we remember the known criminal records of the white men involved in devastating Congo, then Zaire, and now Congo, since the arrival of Henry Morton Stanley and his blood-rubber and hand-chopping-off enterprises in the 1870's. 

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Where is the international rescue committee? 

As of January 2008 there are consistent reports of starvation in Kinshasa, and reports of arbitrary arrest and illegal detention of men, women and children at security facilities, including underground torture centers, and this is certainly true all over the country. As of December 2007, those arrested as a "security threat" and held incommunicado in these Kinshasa dungeons include: Mimi Mboyo (19) and child (jailed >18 months); Angele (17) and child (jailed >24 months); Mianda Kadogo (19) and child (jailed >11 months); Nicolette Mukungu (20) and child (jailed >20 months); Bokungu (21); Olga (20) and child (jailed >13 months); Edjoka (29). The main security facilities in Kinshasa are Camp Tshiatshi, the Central Prison at Makala, Camp Kokolo, and the underground dungeon known as "corridor of death."

[1] See: keith harmon snow, "Darfurism, Uganda, and U.S. War in Africa," November 11, 2007.

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keith harmon snow is an independent journalist, war correspondent and photographer. He has also worked as a genocide investigator and consultant to the United Nations and other international bodies. He has won three Project Censored awards for his (more...)

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Over Five Million Dead in Congo? Fifteen Hundred People Daily?




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I know of Freeport McMoRan because I spent two yea... by reasonableperson on Thursday, Jan 31, 2008 at 2:12:40 PM
Thank you Keith Harman Snow for this marvellous re... by Keith Mothersson on Friday, Feb 1, 2008 at 5:08:18 AM
Great Article!Thanks, Keith, for enlightening us.... by Mac McKinney on Friday, Feb 1, 2008 at 12:16:49 PM