Saturday, February 15, 2014

The Complicated Congo

Mention the Democratic Republic of Congo to people and they think of Goma, M23, North and South Kivu and the capital Kinshasa. Mention Katanga province in the south and many people have no idea. The Mayi Mayi Kata Katanga rebels,say they are fighting to break away from the DRC and govern themselves. At the heart of the battle are huge mineral reserves of copper and cobalt. Ultimately all government officials - and whoever is backing the armed movement - want power and control of the wealth.

Caught in the middle are the civilians who are mostly poor villagers. When rebels and soldiers fight their homes get burnt down, women and girls are raped, children are abducted. It can be a living hell for someone caught up in the fighting. People say they feel they have been forgotten by their government and the international community. But bad roads and ongoing violence makes it sometimes hard for aid workers to reach people in remote areas. They are also not getting enough media attention or political will.

The main focus in the DRC in some circles seems to be M23 rebels in the east. The capital of Katanga province Lubumbashi, was attacked by rebels late last year. The story was hardly reported by the international media.

From here 

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