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Why Don’t We Care About Congo’s Dead?: With Over 6 Million Killed, The Carnage Rivals the Jewish Holocaust

Screen capture from YouTube video.
Screen capture from YouTube video.
By Sonali Kolhatkar
Is it true that atrocities in Africa garner little international attention because the victims are black?

The recent kidnapping of hundreds of Nigerian girls has generated empathy and outrage worldwide, undermining such a claim. The international shame and guilt over Rwanda’s genocide, despite coming too late, also proves that global concern for African lives is not negligible. Indeed the news media often cover stories like the hunt for Joseph Kony and his exploitation of child soldiers in Uganda, the killings in Darfur, Sudan, or the armed attack on a mall in Nairobi, Kenya.

But what happens when millions of Africans die in a conflict in which some of the world’s most desired natural resources are at stake? Very little, it turns out. The massacres that have taken place in the Democratic Republic of the Congo have surpassed genocidal proportions but rarely spur the outrage they deserve in the media or public.
Since 1996, 6 million Congolese have been killed in a series of invasions and violent conflicts often instigated by armies and militias from neighboring countries such as Rwanda and Uganda, which are both U.S. allies. The battles have centered on access to Congo’s vast mineral deposits. According to an advertisement lauding Congo’s riches on The Washington Post’s website, “In terms of its untapped mineral wealth, the DRC is one of the richest countries in the world. Its soil is reputed to contain every mineral listed on the periodic table and these minerals are found in concentrations high enough to make metal analysts weep.”

Maurice Carney, the co-founder and executive director of Friends of the Congo, in an interview on Uprising, told me, “Congo has been at the center of the unfolding of the drama ... as it relates to the geostrategic pursuit to control the riches of the African continent.” He thinks the media fail to adequately cover Congo’s conflict because “if you look at Darfur, the bogeymen were the Arabs, the Muslims and the Chinese. In Congo, the bogeyman is the West. From the assassination of Patrice Lumumba, to the imposition of Mobutu on the Congolese people, to the backing of the invasion of the Congo by Rwanda and Uganda, the West is complicit.” In fact, Carney said, “The United States has been on the wrong side of history [in the Congo] from day one.”

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1 comment:

Andreas Schlüter said...

The answer to the question why the West doesn´t care ist clear: Rwanda has somehow be declared "Africa´s Israel"! So, if Kagames RPF & M 23 thugs murder the Congolese for Western use of Coltan, "it´s ok!" http://wipokuli.wordpress.com/2014/04/20/rwanda-half-of-the-truth-is-a-whole-lie-twenty-years-of-brazen-desinformation/
Andreas Schlüter
Sociologist
Berlin, Germany

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