Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Six insights on Congo

Martin Shaw summarizes Gérard Prunier:
* the Rwandan genocide was a decisive moment in modern African history;

* most of the states that became involved did so because of limited, local interests;

* the partial nature of most states' interests, combined with their restricted mobilising capacities..., explain why this was not really "Africa's great war", but rather a messy, episodic conflict across but some areas of the vast DRC;

* the Hutu Power forces in Rwanda in 1994 were unique in organising a large-scale, nationwide campaign of genocide. But genocidal violence (massacres, rape, expulsions) has remained intermittent throughout the conflicts in the DRC in the subsequent decade and a half, and been employed by many of the parties;

* the Rwandan...government of Paul Kagame was unique in having a sustained interest in continuing the Congo wars, and determined to use the west's guilt at failing to stop the 1994 genocide to produce impunity for itself;

* many western governments and NGOs were (most of the time) duly blinded by their guilt to acknowledge the hardship Rwanda's campaign was inflicting on the DR Congo's population, or to raise their voices against it.
Complex conflicts across northeastern Africa, centred on Sudan "still cast a long shadow that reaches into the DRC."

No comments: