Congo: Bloody Victim Of Proxy Wars

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The UPC calls upon the International Criminal Court to swiftly investigate the genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity being committed in the DRC especially by foreign sponsored forces, and arrest and try the perpetrators in the International Criminal Court before it is too late, to stop a region wide blood bath.

[Global News: Commentary]

 

The recent flare-up of fighting in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has raised serious concerns about security in the Great Lakes Region.

It will be recalled that the DRC or what was at one time called Congo and later Zaire, has been a bloody killing field right from the colonial days when millions were massacred under the exploits of King Leopold of Belgium. As soon as Congo attained independence, international powers in search of control of Congo's vast mineral resources and strategic location in the cold war geopolitics, intervened in Congo.

The resulting conflict, in which mercenary forces were active, bled Congo. Among the hundreds of thousands of victims of this proxy war was the Prime Minister, Patrice Lumumba and the United Nations Secretary General, Dag Hammarskjold. The neighbors of Congo including Uganda and other East African countries participated in this war mostly by supporting the nationalist forces. The nationalist forces lost out to the merchants of war.

The victors in this cold war kept General Mobutu Sese Seko Kuku Ngbendu Wazabanga in power presiding over a dysfunctional state till 1997 when they sponsored Rwanda and Uganda to invade Congo and remove Mobutu, who was no longer capable of serving their imperial designs by force of arms.

We all now know how the second proxy war in Congo sucked in not only Rwanda, Burundi but also Angola, Zimbabwe, South Africa and several other nations. Millions were massacred by the invading armies and their rebel fronts and the economy of the country despoiled. The aggressors from Uganda and Rwanda even fought a bloody war over the loot and control of Congo.

The Kisangani wars claimed hundreds of UPDF soldiers whose bodies were never brought home for burial. Later, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) condemned Uganda to pay billions of dollars to the DRC as damages for looting and plundering Congo's wealth. Generations of Ugandans, including those yet to be born will shoulder this burden when the real beneficiaries of the loot and plunder with their great grandchildren live in splendor.

The origin of the most recent fighting, its sponsors and real beneficiaries need to be thoroughly investigated, exposed and brought to book by the international community before the entire region bursts in flames on account of the egocentric greed and blood thirst of a few people.

The Uganda Peoples Congress believes on credible grounds that General Laurent Nkunda is a proxy for two leaders in the region who are determined to establish a satellite state in Eastern DRC which would serve their ethnic and private commercial interest alongside those of their international sponsors.

The UPC calls upon the international community to thoroughly investigate this serious crisis which constitutes a threat to world peace generally and the Great Lakes Region in particular. The investigations should urgently cover the following reports, namely that:-

(a) The bulk of Laurent Nkunda's troops were recently trained in a neighboring country.
(b) The Laurent Nkunda forces are using sophisticated and expensive military hardware including tanks, anti aircraft missiles, heavy artillery all supplied by a neighboring country.
(c) The foreign troops fighting alongside Nkunda's forces have exported the type of torture methods and other human rights violation and abuses that they have perfected in the great lakes region since the early 1980's.

The UPC calls upon the International Criminal Court to swiftly investigate the genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity being committed in the DRC especially by foreign sponsored forces, and arrest and try the perpetrators in the International Criminal Court before it is too late, to stop a region wide blood bath.

The UPC finally calls upon the people of Uganda to monitor the development unfolding in the DRC and take all necessary actions to hold to account all Ugandan leaders that may have a hand in this insidious evil.


Miria Obote is leader of the Uganda People's Congress, an opposition party in Uganda

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