Shhhh There’s A War in Congo: The Deadly Silence

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Shhhh There’s A War in Congo: The Deadly Silence
by Satori Ananda
@satori06
 
Politics can be overwhelming. The average American isn’t all that familiar with the globe , our geographical education generally consists of a time line of events up to Rome followed by the necessary players in English to American history as the average geography knowledge of students. Most of us only knowing what’s going on around the world in relation to what the media machine is providing content for and in the context predetermined according to the current agenda. When foreign names of world leaders and political players are spoken it’s almost like an invisible fence is created in our minds that provide some sort of false security delusion that ” Americans” aren’t really a part of what is going on … over there.
Wherever “there” may be.
We remain oblivious to the chaos, the conflict or loss of life our oblivion costs.
The Silent Agenda
In Congo, the cost has been in excess of 5 million people. The number is almost beyond our comprehension and thousands more lives will have been added by the end of November. More people have died in Congo than Iraq, Afghanistan, and Darfur combined. Picture for a moment riding the 3 and a half hour distance from Austin,TX through the Dallas Fort Worth metroplex and every person suddenly gone. Every single person. Every child, every grandmother. Every uncle. Every friend. Now picture the world ignoring that loss. You can’t. Because it wouldn’t happen. 
 So why has the media largely ignored what is happening in Congo today? Why have we not heard about the destruction and devastation, even now as new conflicts intensify? The reasons aren’t as complicated as the politics make it seem. In fact, a report 2010 INSS Research Paper titled “Sustainability of Strategic Minerals makes it abundantly clear over and over again: strategic minerals for military use and other US interests will be protected even at the price of African life. Ethnic violence or tribalism are often blamed and utilized to cover the actions of foreign governments. Ethnicity and tribalism while important to the history of the conflicts are only secondary in cause. Exploitation by external parties with interests only in the benefit of obtaining and controlling the resources made available by a war inflicted landscape, a fearful population and overall exhausted and weary people. The media’s concentration on ethnicity and tribalism diminishes the politics and complexity of African societies and creates an intentional misdirection of policy maker’s and more importantly the people’s attention to the real conflict issues.
 
 Violence Today
 
Recent violence is consuming the Democratic Republic of Congo‘s North and North Eastern area and people are being displaced as you read this. Goma, a city with over 1 million people was overtaken by M23 Rebels( A militia group funded and supported militarily by Rwanda per the United Nation Security Council report). Thousands more people, just like you and I have been estimated to have fled their homes in the last couple of days. Neighboring Rwanda has denied the facts implicating them in recruiting, funding and supporting rebel groups currently fighting in the region. The United States Government openly supports Paul Kagame‘s administration.For instance according to his campaign website, the Rwandan President was honored by the Clinton Global Initiative, the United States Fund for Unicef and Florida State University, and his oldest son has been a student at the United States Westpoint Military Academy. Rebel groups that include forced participation by children exist despite the presence of more than 17,000 United Nations Soldiers. The International Crimes Court has opened several warrants on the now defected Congolese General Bosco Ntaganda. His role has been complicated in the conflicts but has been identified by the international community as a human rights violator, responsible for war crimes and the use of child soldiers in previous rebellions. During the 1994 over throw of the Hutu led Rwandan government, Ntanganda’s fought as a solider in the Rwandan Patriotic Army. Ntaganda is currently leading rebels along with other rebel and foreign armed groups operating in the eastern Congo region. The rebel groups profit from the illegal mining and taxation of the residents.
 
Rape continues to be a method of systematic ensuring of power and authority in the war torn areas. Rape as a weapon of war. Families are forced to flee, leaving behind already meager lives sometimes walking miles looking for shelter and food. The search for peace and a life free of fear fading as year after year passes with the international community continuing it’s silence. 
 
The Violence, The Silence & The Trade
 
The 2009 Illegal Exploitation of Natural Resources and other Forms of The Democratic Republic of the Congo states that the illegal traffic of Congolese minerals makes their way into Rwanda from these violent rebel groups. Rwanda has an interest in keeping the violence going because of profit. Western based mining companies and metal brokers are indirectly financing the war by purchasing these conflict resources once they are available in Rwanda. 
 
Trade between the United States and Rwanda is up. In 2010, two way goods trade was $149 million, up from $51 million in 2010. The large increase in trade was Rwanda’s purchase of Boeing aircraft and electronics.
 
US Policy Toward Post Election Democratic Republic of the Congo called  into question the long-term stability of a country that is critical to U.S. interests, which includes the continued flow of strategic minerals. The main minerals mined by Congolese armed groups are tungsten, cobalt, gold, cassiterite from which tin is produced, and tantalum that comes from coltan. Cobalt is a hard, lustrous metal essential to current military manufactures. The world’s largest and purest cobalt reserves are in the Katanga Copper Belt which runs from southeastern D.R. Congo into northern Zambia. Let me state this again… COBALT IS A METAL ESSENTIAL TO CURRENT MILITARY MANUFACTURES and this national security interest is the key factor in all  U.S. foreign policy and military intervention in East/Central Africa, especially Rwanda and neighboring D.R. Congo since 1980.
The reason for the silence should have became a lot clearer. The United States has openly stated it has less than half the stockpiled cobalt it would need in wartime. And even worse to the Pentagon planners, the cobalt on hand isn’t pure enough for the manufacture of jet engines for military use.
In an effort to simplify the truth of the silence, the reason we the people are being kept in the dark, I have left out the many names of  major military players, cities and known names of rebel groups currently involved in the fighting. Their names aren’t important, in fact since 1980 many of those names have changed, but the agenda remains the same.
Break the silence by demanding the current United States administration implement the bill President Barack Obama sponsored as Senator, a bill that was co-sponsored by Senator Hillary Clinton, called the Democratic Republic of the Congo Relief, Security and Democracy Promotion Act, Public Law 109-456. 

Although the bill was signed into law by President Bush in 2006, very little has been done to implement the law. There is a key provision in Section 105 of that law that if implemented could play a constructive role in addressing the current instability and conflict in the east of Congo, which has displaced over 100,000 Congolese since March.

Section 105 says “The Secretary of State is authorized to withhold assistance made available under the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 (22 U.S.C. 2151 et seq.), other than humanitarian, peacekeeping, and counter terrorism assistance, for a foreign country if the Secretary determines that the government of the foreign country is taking actions to destabilize the Democratic Republic of the Congo.”

 
Countries like Rwanda.
 
Hip Hop Artists Pharoahe Monch, Jean Grae, Sadat X, Lord Jamar, Homeboy Sandmand & more Break The Silence about Congo:
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