Posted November 6, 2013
by Jerry Alatalo
The long-suffering people of the Congo have been given some relief in the past few weeks thanks to military actions taken by the United Nations to halt the crimes of so-called M23 rebels in that country.
First, let me say that before the last few days I had no idea how horrific events in the Congo were. It can safely be said that, as an estimated 6,000,000 Congolese men, women, and children have been killed from 1996-2013, the situation in the Congo is an African holocaust. I have no explanation for there being no focus by mainstream news organizations on what has been occurring in the Congo. One can only guess. My guess is that absence of reporting on the Congo has something to do with the country’s tremendous natural resource wealth.
Let me ask you the reader. Were you aware that a literal holocaust has been occurring in the Congo? If not, why not? This is a very significant question which leads one to wonder if the events in the Congo from 1990 until today in 2013 have been censored by the mainstream media. Speaking for myself, I am astonished that I have not heard about how horrific the situation in that country has been, and that the unimaginable suffering of the people of the Congo is not in the minds of every man and woman on Earth.
How is it that the recent events regarding a possible escalation of war in Syria was front page, headline grabbing news for weeks, with hour upon hour upon hour of reports and commentaries, yet the Congo, where the world sees a literal genocide occurring, receives no mention? Surely there are managers and editors at these news outlets who have been aware of the horrific situation in the Congo. Just minutes ago the CBS Evening News headlined their program with the results of Virginia and New Jersey governor elections. Here is the issue and what has me so confounded. I do not recall a single mainstream report on the Congo – ever.
Pardon me for remaining on this media issue of choosing, deciding what is important to report. Let me say that the situation in Syria is tragic as well, and deserves journalistic attention. I am trying to wrap my mind around the lack of media attention and reporting on the Congo. My first thought is that there are men and women who are sitting on the boards of directors of both corporations that are involved in business surrounding the tremendous natural resource wealth of the Congo and mainstream media corporations.
My second possible explanation for media avoidance of reporting on the Congo-Rwanda-Uganda state of affairs is that there are potential consequences for media corporations if they tell the truth about Central Africa. Consequences like loss of advertisement revenue from corporations doing business in that region of Africa. Consequences like negative publicity for both corporations and the US government’s history in the wealthy, resource-rich region, leading to complications which have to do with criminal responsibility and prosecution.
United Nations correct to intervene militarily in the Congo.
If ever there were a correct application of the United Nations’ principle of “right to protect” (R2P), the Congo situation met the requirements. R2P has been somewhat controversial because there is debate about when the concept matches conditions in a region or country. My view is that there should be a push for a world military force overseen by the UN to carry out actions regarding situations which are severe enough to trigger R2P. I imagine every UN member state ceding their nation’s military operations to a planetary military force, or police force, if you will, comprised of men and women from every nation..
If and when all UN member states agree to such a planetary military arrangement, the United States would become able to reduce it’s defense spending significantly. If one can imagine a world police agency, this is my suggestion. The UN’s actions in the Congo recently, which halted the rebel group M23, is an example of the actions such a world police force would carry out.
A legal entity mirroring the Nuremberg Trials should be convened to prosecute those responsible for the African holocaust in Central Africa.
Given the death statistics of the ongoing war in Central Africa, one can conclude that the events there rise to the level of being perhaps the largest mass murder in human history. After the Second World War those responsible for the holocaust were tried in Nuremburg, Germany for crimes against humanity and genocide.
The Congolese people, who have suffered the loss of over 6,000,000 mothers, fathers, sisters, and brothers – after those who have been responsible are prosecuted and receive appropriate punishment – can try to begin living normal lives.
- Why peace promise won’t end Congo’s troubles (cnn.com)
- You: Congo’s defeated M23 rebels vow to disband and disarm (latimes.com)
- Congo’s M23 rebels call off revolt (theguardian.com)
- New mood in DR Congo as M23 concedes (bbc.co.uk)
- Switzerland launches probe into refiner Argor for alleged Congo gold laundering (mining.com)