It’s time for the United States to examine how its own foreign policy promotes genocide, and take the actions necessary to curb it.
With support from Moscow, Washington, and the former imperial capitals no longer assured, armed groups in Africa now compete for riches in diamond mines, gold pits, oil wells, and rare earth deposits.
Given the roots of the ongoing conflict in North Kivu, military victory amounts to exchanging one group of exploiters for another.
Although most of the developed world has long been unburdened with knowledge of the violence in the DRC, the slaughter is intricately linked to electronic components carried by millions of people in the United States and Europe.
When the Independent National Electoral Commission (CENI) of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) confirmed Joseph Kabila as winner of the presidential election of 28 November 2011, the West proved reluctant to accept the election results. But scarcely a year later, the West is intent to turn the page on the matter and return to “business as usual” with Kabila’s reformed government—but at what cost?
Despite the efforts of the United Nations’ largest active peacekeeping force, several peace agreements among the belligerents, and a temporary six-month ban on mining earlier this year, conflict in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) persists after nearly 15 years. It has been—and continues to be—a destructive conflict. More than 5.4 million perished in the region between 1998 and 2003, and an estimated 45,000 continue to die monthly due to malnutrition, disease, and violence.
“You have the right to receive all the assistance [you need],” UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon told displaced people in early March at Kibati I camp, located north of the provincial capital, Goma, in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). “I will do my best to give you assistance,” he added. These powerful words were supposed […]
In early February, The New York Times released information detailing the involvement of the U.S. military in the bungled Ugandan mission to oust the rebel Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) from northeastern DR Congo. Seventeen military advisors from AFRICOM worked closely with the Ugandan People’s Defense Forces (UPDF) to plan the attack, which the United States further subsidized through the donation of satellite phones and $1 million worth of fuel. Although the United States has been training the Ugandan military for years, this is the first time it has directly assisted in carrying out an operation.
Editor’s note: The Africa Policy Outlook is an annual publication released jointly by Africa Action and Foreign Policy In Focus that highlights the key themes and trends in U.S. Africa policy. See the appendix below for a general schedule of African elections planned for 2009.
The Bush Administration’s fixation on security and the “war on terror” is already escalating the militarization of U.S. policy in Africa in 2008. In his last year in office, President George W. Bush will no doubt duplicitously continue to promote economic policies that exacerbate inequalities while seeking to salvage his legacy as a compassionate conservative with rhetorical support for addressing human rights challenges including conflict in Sudan and continued promotion of his unilateral HIV/AIDS initiative. The third prong of U.S.-Africa policy in 2008 will be the continued and relentless pursuit of African resources, especially oil, with clear implications for U.S. military and economic policy.