Reportedly the United Nations will send 3,000 more troops in to the region, to join an existing 17,000 troops in a group called Monuc.
Similar to many hot spots in the world, the United Nations sends in troops, gives them little ability to actually defend or fire weapons, the troops are sitting ducks. Sorry to be so blunt but this isn't the solution. Where exactly are the thousands of African nation troops that should be protecting these civilians and forcing both sides to cease fire? Where exactly does Rwanda stand, are they encouraging this recent violence to foment problems in their neighbor's country.
The following is a longer than normal exerpt from PBS, well written, to give a background on the Rwandan and DR Congo problems, the tribal tensions, and the players in what could become the world's next major emergency.
|In the Central African nation of Democratic Republic of Congo, a conflict largely financed by mining the metals that make video games and cell phones has driven hundreds of thousands from their homes and spread death and destruction in what the United Nations is calling one of the most dangerous crises on Earth.|
Rebel leader General Laurent Nkunda and his army invaded eastern DR Congo (another neighboring country is called the Republic of Congo) in late August, overrunning towns and taking up positions near the city of Goma.
Cause of the conflictThe fighting in the Congo is tied to the 1994 genocide in neighboring Rwanda, where members of one ethnic group, the Hutu, killed hundreds of thousands of members of the Tutsis, another group.
President Joseph Kabila refuses to meet with Nkunda, and his government considers the rebel leader a criminal.
The DR Congo’s government considers Nkunda a criminal.
The United Nations is concerned that other southern African countries, which support the DR Congo, will enter the mix. Leaders from the Southern African Development Community said Nov. 9 that they were willing to send peacekeeping troops to the region if necessary, and there are reports that soldiers from neighboring Angola are already in DR Congo.
The United Nations also has 17,000 peacekeepers in DR Congo, its largest troop commitment in the world, but the country is too large to protect, Mvemba Dizolele told the NewsHour.
The situation is similar to the civil wars in the region during the 1990s, when several African states backed different warlords fighting for control in the wake of the Rwandan genocide, according to the BBC.
Important natural resources
The rebel army funds itself by mining and selling coltan, a mineral needed to make computers, cell phones and video games.
Eastern DR Congo in particular has 80 percent of the world’s supply of coltan, which is needed to make video games, cell phones and computers.
“(DR Congo) is a poor country on the surface, but underground it's one of the richest countries in the world. Congo today holds largest deposits of copper, coltan, gold, diamond, and so on and so forth,” Dizolele said.
Militias control the areas with coltan and then sell it in Rwanda and Uganda to buy equipment for their soldiers.
Upwards of four million people have died in the region since 1998, mostly due to hunger and disease as a result of the chaos, the New York Times reported.