Published on by HAGANIRIMFURA


4 November, 2008 Global Research 2001-03
UN Expert Reports O nce again, the suffering of African people caught up in a war that makes little sense to non-Africans has made the front pages in western media, as more than a million people have been displaced in the past week by renewed fighting in the Eastern Congo.[2] For most Americans who don’t pay much attention to the details of African history and politics, the humanitarian disaster in the Congo has exploded into public consciousness, as if the 25-year war to control Central Africa began only yesterday. The “ Congo story” Behind the Headlines But, in fact, the human rights disaster that the people of the world are watching on our TV screens is just the most recent human tragedy in a 25 year struggle for economic and political dominance in Central Africa that has been raging since the decline and eventual collapse of the Soviet influence in Africa in the 1980’s and early 1990’s. A sad fact of the 20th Century is that, even after the end of formal “colonialism” in the mid-20th Century, ruling African elites in virtually every African nation have looked to one or more powerful “sponsors” in the developed world to gain or retain power. And, to grab the personal wealth that goes with political/military power in Africa. In Africa, “government” is a well-accepted avenue for trained and educated African elites to get ahead economically, without having to immigrate to more developed nations outside of Africa .

Few major private multi-national economic entities are based in Africa , and “para-statal” government monopolies or government-approved contracting with private foreign sources of capital from the developed world are the main sources of economic development in many African countries. The result is that political and military power is inevitably entwined with economic benefit for those who manage to achieve state-power whether by the ballot, or by force.[3] In addition, direct support from industrialized nations in the form of “aid” must be funneled through governmental agencies. And, even today, “donor income” from the industrialized world makes up a large portion of the budgets of nearly every African nation.[4] And, after the end of support from the Soviet Bloc in about 1990, local leaders were forced to choose between Anglo-American aid and investment or from former colonial masters that comprise the EU countries, at least until China began developing economic relations with African nations within the past few years.[5] “Blood Diamonds,” Leonardo DeCaprio’s recent film, makes the point that every lengthy war in Africa is possible only with support from foreign governments or private interests (or both) ..which necessarily have designs on African resources in return.

And, so it is with the 25-year war for control of the riches of Central Africa, of which the humanitarian disaster in the Congo is the most recent example. The recent British/French “diplomatic initiative” to discuss yet another ceasefire with Congo’s President Kabila and Rwanda’s Paul Kagame, makes absolutely clear who the real protagonists are in this most recent eruption of the war in the Congo.[6] It is now generally understood that the Congo “rebels” are closely-enough connected to Kagame’s Rwanda that it is more important to negotiate with him than with Gen. Laurent Nkunda, the titular leader of the Congolese-tutsi “rebel” army. But, the connections between the suffering in the Congo and either Rwanda or Uganda are rarely discussed in mainstream media, least in the English-speaking world. And, to the extent we are informed about the reasons for the Congo War at all, we are told that Gen. Nkunda is at war “to protect the tutsi minority.” That the continued fighting as something to do with the 1994 “ Rwanda genocide.” And, that “hutu genocidaires” have to be rooted out of the Eastern Congo to protect both Congolese “tutsis” and the territory of Rwanda, itself. However, it has been more than 14 years since Kagame seized complete power in Rwanda, which means that anyone under 30 could not have been directly involved in the 1994 events in Rwanda that Kagame’s government calls the “Genocide”. Today’s teenage combatants were either children or not yet born, when civilians-killed-civilians in Rwanda in 1994. At most, Gen Nkunda is fighting the “children of the genocidaires” and the scope of the fighting as reached far beyond the limited areas near the Rwandan border where anti-government Rwandan-refugees (both tutsi and hutu) are actually located. And, even without considering the wars in Uganda and Rwanda that lasted from 1981 to 1994, at least, there can be no dispute that the Congo war has been raging since 1996 which means that the war is not only inter-generational but must be funded from outside Africa in a “Blood Diamonds”-like scenario and it is.
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