Saturday, March 27, 2010

The disaster in the Democratic Republic of Congo continues unabated, and, as expected, the UN is moving to withdraw the controversial MONUC peacekeeping force.  The short version of the story is that Congolese President Joseph Kabila is flexing his muscles, "requesting" the UN to leave.  MONUC has long received mixed reviews, but the past year has been particularly difficult.  Allegations of assisting brutal warlords and a general inability to affect change in the restive eastern provinces have plagued the UN, and the end appears nigh.


Contributing to the regional instability is the continued presence of the Lord's Resistance Army, which has migrated from it's birthplace in Uganda across the DRC, Central African Republic, and Sudan.  Kudos to the New York Times for having an excellent reporter, Jeffrey Gettleman, there to cover the area (read his great piece on Somalia from 2009).  Unfortunately he misses part of the story about the LRA. 

A throwaway line at the end posits that the LRA may be active in Darfur, but he leaves it there.  In fact, the LRA has been in Darfur, benefiting from the protection of Sudanese President al-Bashir.

 

The LRA continues to run free, peace is elusive in the DRC, and aid in Somalia is often stolen by warlords.  Yet MONUC is planning to withdraw and the US offers only token aid to the Ugandan military.  It's a sad indictment of international priorities.

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