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According to reports on NPR and from the New York Times and others, the M23 rebels, who are widely thought to be backed by Rwanda and Uganda, have entered Goma, in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo.  There was apparently no opposition, as government troops simply melted away:

A journalist traveling with the insurgents and residents said the rebels had marched down Goma’s main avenue without firing a shot as government forces melted away. Earlier, heavy shelling and gunfire had swirled around the airport and outer neighborhoods of the city before the insurgents, members of what is known as the March 23 Movement, or M23, took over.

The hapless United Nations "peacekeepers" were apparently confused by how the rebels managed to achieve this:

The United Nations expressed bewilderment and frustration at the rebel attack.

“They were able to bypass all of the positions we had,” said Hiroute Guebre-Selassie, who leads the United Nations peacekeeping office in North Kivu Province, where Goma is situated. “We are not facing a conventional force.”

Ms. Guebre-Selassie said that while United Nations soldiers had prepared for certain attacks, rebels were filtering “beyond sight” through a national park and “coming from other sides.”

The war that has been going on in the eastern DR Congo for years now has been called a "Third World War" because of the vast death toll and destruction it has engendered -- an estimated five million deaths.  The eastern DR Congo has also been described as the rape capital of the world, because the military combatants on all sides have resorted to frequent rapes of the local women.

If you believe in prayer, please pray for the people of the eastern DR Congo, as they face this new chapter in their tragic history.

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Comment Preferences

  •  This needs more attention (7+ / 0-)

    I get fed up with the endless obsession with Israel and the Palestinians, when this vastly more lethal conflict goes virtually unreported.

    That being said, neither I nor anyone else really know what the solution is.

    •  I am not fed up with the situation in Israel (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      radarlady, marsanges, wader

      and Palestine, but I want to see it resolved.

      This does have the probability of being vastly more lethal, as you say, so I rec'd your comment for this reason. What I base this on is other, similar militance in this region, where the body count will often rise to thousands and thousands per day.

      Also, I would like it to get the same attention that all nations in violent conflict deserve, as a basic preservation of equal human dignity.

  •  My sincere thank you for writing this (9+ / 0-)

    with a handy tip and rec.

    This is a story that has been brewing for a long time and which has the capability of becoming something quite devastating for the Congolese, and also potentially for the Rwandans (due to blamed complicity, a shared border, and a difficult past with perhaps the most brutal but most ignored genocide the world has ever experienced -- about 1 million were killed in a matter of weeks, mainly through decapitation, violent rape, and machete-torture). Debates about Ugandas role also rage.

    I read about it this morning, and my heart literally sank.

    Our eyes are turned to the horrific violence in Syria and in Israel, but Americans have a tendency to write Africa off as "hopeless" and "too violent to ever handle." These are myths. There can be a stable Africa but process will be slow. And it is one which does require the world's full attention, no matter how fatigued we are by the endless wars. Africa's rich history, vibrant people and culture, and terrifying poverty tell the story of why Imperial conquest leads to decimation.

    I see your diary participating in your call to a prayer for them by just letting people know. But we need to do more. We need to start viewing Africa as able. It is. And until it -- and we -- abandon the fiction that it will always struggle under the yoke of this violence, it will continue.

    As writer Ngugi wa Thiong'O, whose politics I sometimes do and sometimes don't agree with, once said, we need to start by decolonizing our minds, both African and Western. There's power in that idea. And promise.

    My love goes out to the Congolese today.

  •  What i do understand (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    How is the people in  Africa ,with it vast mineral  resourses  that are plundered by  others countries ,to  finance these wars in Africa

  •  We (The US) (3+ / 0-)

    Have to get Africa "Right".   Or China will.  

    •  bit late for that I think. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mahakali overdrive

      China is already there.

      And we are too, for that matter, but not in the healthiest of ways. Whenever I read about a new anti-gay law being proposed or passed in sub-Saharan Africa, its genesis is almost always with a handful of American conservative evangelical groups. And those same politicians passing those laws say they're doing so to stop Western influence!

      pseudoscience can kill

      by terrypinder on Tue Nov 20, 2012 at 10:19:51 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Effective Peace Keeping (0+ / 0-)
    In Goma, a British journalist said United Nations jeeps and armored personnel carriers had driven past rebel troops “like they ignored each other.”
    I guess that's pretty peaceful...
  •  I appreciate the news update, but (0+ / 0-)

    what is going on there? As someone subject to information starvation from the MM I don't know who is fighting whom in the Congo. Who is behind the rebels, and what do they want? Who is in charge of the Congo. What is the role of corporate influence? Is China involved in any way? Can anyone provide some background or context, or links?

    Science is a way of thinking much more than it is a body of knowledge. -Carl Sagan

    by howardfromUSA on Tue Nov 20, 2012 at 12:16:27 PM PST

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