Rwanda and DRC Conflicts
There are still some key points to understand in regards to developing a worldview prototype. Holiday travel interrupted my postings. I am back to discuss the conflict situation in East Central Africa.
Of the innumerable groups of rebels in the DRC, including the other neighboring countries, three groups are of interest. You cannot ignore the presence of the UN peacekeeper, which were unable to control the situation in Goma. The FDLR are the Interhamwe (responsible for the genocide), the Congo Army, and the M23. The M23 is one reformation of the ethnic Tutsi groups in Congo. I hesitate to use ethnicity as an identity, because the DRC conflicts go far beyond tribal interest. The major issues in DRC are the parochial worldviews of individuals seeking to preserve power and wealth. The fact that each faction has self-interest is not unique to DRC. The UN forces are composed of non-African personal with their own variety of interests. You must also include the neighboring countries that have responsibility for the civil unrest. Most of these countries such as Anglo and Burundi are rarely in the news.
In essence, the entire DRC with its dysfunctional government, inadequate infrastructure, illegal mining interests, Kleptocratic officials, and purposeful actions by the politicians keep this unrest as the status quo, because it is the culture of the leaders of DRC. More so, it continues to distract the world from individual opportunities to gain riches and maintain power.
Those who have power and wealth objectives ensure that disorder continues. They blame other countries and interest as a means of distracting the world from the core issues and reasons for the ongoing conflicts. While, none of the actors in the region remains blameless, you must be careful to watch when a country, institution, politician, or government begins to lay blame on other outsiders. It is impossible to fix the situation in DRC, until the leadership of DRC accepts the situation as an internal problem. Throughout my career, I find that when blame goes outside, it is time to look inside.
Why is the UN peacekeeping force unable to maintain peace in the region? Yet, it is essential that the UN exists as a medium for international dialogue and resource for neutralizing conflicts. Why does the DRC continue to protect the people who are responsible for the Rwandan genocide? When you do not pay your army a living wage, how do you expect them to protect the civilian population? When you maintain infrastructure constraints, how can you expect any reasonable communication across so broad country? If Rwanda, works on protecting their country from incursions, how can you blame Rwanda for the troubles of the DRC.
Focusing on the violence, greed, and power distracts from the politics. Congo 6 centuries ago was a large kingdom with effective governance structures. Congo is a victim of 400 years of political disintegration. I recommend Jason K. Stearns book “Dancing in the Glory of Monsters: The collapse of the Congo and the Great War of Africa”. It is an accurate description of the situation and is the best explanation of the elements that create this atmosphere. Stearns has a balanced view and is the best insight into the DRC.
I have many close Congolese friends. In every case, the people are looking for peace and justice. It is impossible to gain this while their world remains insecure and each day is anxious with the fact that at any moment, violence will erupt. There are about 74 million Congolese with 44% of the population under the age of 15. With access via the Internet, education, travel, and open communications, I am convinced that the people will ultimately make the change. In the meantime, the world needs to see the situation for what it is and not place collective blame on the citizens of DRC.