I interviewed political scientist (and former aid worker) Severine Autesserre about her new book The Trouble with the Congo for How We Got Here #53. She’s done some really interesting work on violence in Congo and the failures of peacebuilding there.
Posted in Africa, DRC, Gender-Based Violence, Genocide, History, How We Got Here, human rights, War Crimes
Tagged conflict resolution, Congo, Democratic Republic of Congo, DRC, Genocide, Kabila, Kagame, Mobutu, MONUC, MONUSCO, peacebuilding, peacekeeping, RPF, Rwanda, Severine Autesserre, The Trouble with the Congo, U.N. Peacekeeping, violence
More Congo coverage–this time the “resource curse.” Advocates were pleased with Clinton’s rhetoric now they want action on “conflict minerals.”
Today’s story on PRI’s The World.
Here’s the piece I did for today’s show:
More reporting on the rape issue this time by the excellent Stephanie McCrummen of the Washington Post.
The UN Security Council held a debate on women and peace and security today at which UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon called for an independent commission of inquiry into the use of rape as a weapon of war in Chad, the DRC and Sudan. Just over a year ago the UN Security Council passed a resolution enshrining rape as a weapon of war as a threat to peace and security–the idea was to take the issue more seriously given the epidemic rates of sexual violence in conflict zones around the world. The resolution, 1820, mandated the UNSG to write a report laying out proposals for action to help prevent sexual violence and punish perpetrators. That report is now out and it includes the proposal for a commission of inquiry that would investigate crimes of sexual violence, identify those responsible and report back on what’s being done to ensure accountability. The report also raises the possibility of a new high level position on sexual violence at the U.N., an idea U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Susan Rice endorsed in her remarks today.
Posted in Gender-Based Violence, human rights, International Criminal Court, United Nations, War Crimes, Women
Tagged Chad, DRC, Resolution 1820, sexual violence, Sudan, Susan Rice, United Nations
There’s a new episode of my history podcast up at The World’s website. Check it out: Moscow in 1993, revisiting the Taliban, finding out who Curtis LeMay was.
Lots on my mind–more apparent drone attacks still have me thinking about how bombing works/doesn’t work. I took out a whole pile of library books on the history of bombing which I look forward to perusing. Yesterday’s Jeffrey Gettleman NYT/IHT piece on male rape victims in Congo jolted me back to that topic too. Adam Hochschild has an overview of the Congo situation in the latest issue of The New York Review of Books which I found really helpful. It’s not getting better. I’ve got lots of news to catch up on from two weeks-plus vacation including this CNN report from last week on nursing in Malawi by Christine Gorman.
Posted in Air Power, Bombing, DRC, drones, Gender-Based Violence, global health, History, How We Got Here
Tagged Adam Hochschild, Bombing, Christine Gorman, Congo, DRC, drones, How We Got Here, Jeffrey Gettleman, Malawi, Nursing
Lydia Polgreen in the NYT today on rebel leader Laurent Nkunda.
And for great info on the broader picture in the DRC check out this Human Rights Watch backgrounder and especially the recent and substantial and sobering HRW report: “We Will Crush You.”
I never thought I’d be blogging so much about Eastern Congo but the recent violence there has brought renewed attention to the conflict and especially to the war against women waged by armed groups on all sides. Today on The World, Lisa Mullins interviewed a UK-based nurse called Leah Chishugi who is originally from Goma in the DRC. Chishugi went back recently to interview women there about the sexual violence they’ve endured. The Guardian has a profile and video she shot while she was there.
The Nation is also on the story–Ann Jones has an excellent piece this week about the Kamanyola Women’s Collective. Kamanyola is a town in South Kivu Province, near the Rwandan border.With the help of the International Rescue Committee the women there banded together to help rape victims in their community and created a remarkable organization that gives women a voice where often they have none. I visited the same women a year ago and did this radio piece about their work. (Scroll down to see a few photos too.) The Nation piece has more detail though and you can tell Ann Jones spent real time there. Mine was only a fleeting visit.
Mia Farrow has just returned from Goma and environs as well. Here’s some audio of her from yesterday. She tried to describe the situation: “I don’t like to call it war. The people there will call it the war. To me it’s an insanity that goes way beyond war. In the absense of all order and all systems you have a complete rampage of armed groups tearing apart the civilian population and you have an atmosphere of complete impunity.”
And a couple more links of the day:
Herman Cohen on what a common market could do for Congo and Rwanda in the NYT.
Les Roberts on death-by-fear in Eastern Congo at Making Sense of Darfur. (This post was prompted by Hugo Slim’s new book Killing Civilians: Methods, Madness, and Morality in War. It sounds like a must-read for this death-and-destruction reporter. Sigh.)
Eve Ensler and Stephen Lewis on the indifference to the war on women in Congo at The Huffington Post.
The NYT’s Lydia Polgreen on what happened in Kiwanja last month.
Human Rights Watch issues a report on Kiwanja and calls on the EU to send the much-discussed “bridging force.”
And the Enough Project weighs in as well.