Humanitarian catastrophe in Congo despite cease-fire


Despite a cease-fire called yesterday between government troops and Congo’s main rebel group, the Red Cross and news reports indicate humanitarian conditions in eastern Congo may still be worsening.

In an editorial in The Guardian, the paper points out that the 17,000-strong UN force in Congo has the mandate to use lethal force if necessary to protect civilian lives, but has patently failed to do this. In a further editorial in The Financial Times, the paper says that Great Britain and the United States together have influence in Central Africa, to prevent Rwanda crossing Congo’s border and to force it to restrain the rebels there.

As negotiations between rebel and government troops continue in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), a guest editorial in HIRAM7 REVIEW written by Congolese journalist Fidel Bafilemba Bienda in September 2007 looked at the social, economic, and security impediments to achieving stability and proposes steps the world community can take to help the situation.

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