In 1994 a small country in central Africa overnight turned on its self. The population was decimated. Described as being the most efficient killings since the atomic bombs, in 100 days an entire race of people was brought to its knees and very nearly completely removed from existence. This country was Rwanda and no accurate numbers have ever been placed on the amount of people who died in this obscene violence. The culture shattered was that of the Tutsis, they were enticed in the village churches where they were then slaughtered, machete rape and rifle were the weapons of choice, the world stood by, families turned on one another because there mothers father’s uncle was a Tutsi, and an unimaginable horror was the result.
Once again this area of central Africa has erupted in rebel violence, the group known as M23 (named after a peace agreement signed on march 23rd 2010) have upped arms in a political action against the Congolese government for not honouring its agreement to integrate the defence congress into the army. They also wish for action to be taken against a group accused of perpetrating the violence that ripped the country of Rwanda in two over a decade ago. Known as the FDLR or federal department for the liberation of Rwanda. I must add the group M23 are defected soldiers of the Congolese army, they are well trained, well equipped and appear to be disciplined. Rwanda is also suspected of helping supply the group since the original defection in April.
The democratic republic of the Congo has been scarred, torn and tortured by war in recent years, scene of some the most inhumane mass killings in living memory. 2008 yards from an overworked and overwhelmed United Nations compound, 150 members of a town called Kiwanja were murdered, ripped out their homes and riddled with bullets. I believe the word barbaric is used too often however this is the only way to truly describe these disgraceful acts, the group accused of the killings was one ironically under the name of CNDP, (the national congress for the defence of the people), defending the people is not something they did well. However this group now operates under a new name… M23.
The violence in Africa is complicated, long lived and appears to have no boundaries, it continues with the drop of a hat and any forced peace is short-lived and extremely delicate. Any man has the potential for a militia leader and bountiful rewards lie in Africa’s vast natural resources. It is also a continent tarred by its own brush, the countries violence free suffer from the countries engulfed in flames, bringing potential for huge profits in tourism and development for the continent crashing down. For example: Kenya is a country famed for its safaris drawing people from all over the world to its plains to see arguably the best wildlife in the world, however with one swift action from a militia in neighbouring Somalia; taking hostages to meet their own aims, the tourism temporarily vanished, and once again the historically violent Somalia was front page news and country awash with conflict. Overnight, tourism replaced by terrorism.