Amid ongoing violence in Democratic Republic of Congo's Nord Kivu province, Human Rights Watch (HRW) issued a one hundred page report denouncing "horrific" crimes perpetrated there against civilians.
"Efforts to resolve the conflict have not yet brought relief for the local population," HRW's senior Congo researcher Anneke Van Woudenberg said in a statement.
Eastern DRC has been awash in blood for over twenty years, and home to exploitation for over one hundred years. August 2007 was the benchmark for a new round of clashes between militias and the regular Congolese army (FARDC), which itself has not been exempt from charges of brutality.
Once an Ituri Village (keith harmon snow)
Supporters of dissident ex-general Laurent Nkunda are fighting government forces, local Mai Mai militias, and Rwandan Hutu rebels responsible in part for the 1994 Rwandan genocide.
If that were not enough, the United States and other multi-national interests are using mercenary militias, cloaked in the guise of “gorilla conservation” to maintain a presence in eastern DRC. We have said it many times and will say it again: American tax dollars are supporting these clandestine “conservation” efforts to destabilize the region. The true “endangered species” is the people of Nord Kivu Province.
DRC is also the repository of the world’s purest minerals, some of which are crucial to the US Defense Department’s strategic initiative.
The UN High Commissioner for Refugees reported over one hundred thousand people have been driven from their homes and land, with over 8,000 fleeing into neighboring Uganda.
Map of DRC from MONUC
Heavy fighting in recent days uprooted thousands of local residents, with many fleeing to neighboring Uganda,
MONUC, the UN peacekeeping mission in DRC, has not escaped criticism, with HRW accusing the troops of being “slow to respond.”
Having visited with MONUC earlier this year, this writer can remind critical readers that MONUC was established as a peacekeeping force, and is not there to establish a new front in the war.
Make no mistake about it, the war in Congo is being waged by multi-national interests which are engaged in a systematic, organized attempt to strip DRC bare of its people and resources.