Blood Profits: Demonstrators Say G20 Ignore Congo Genocide

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[Global: G20 Economic Summit]

NORMAN MIWAMBO Reports From The G20 Summit In London, April 3----Eclipsed by major organized protests over issues such as environmental pollution, were smaller but no less vocal groups who wanted the G20 leaders to address tragedies such as the genocide in Congo.

The signs held by these protestors read, "Up-hold Human rights in Ethiopia," "USA, Sorry No State of Terror in Ethiopia," and "Congo’s Ignored Genocide; 8.5 Million Dead." Many of the demonstrators denounced Uganda's Yoweri Museveni, blaming him for the genocide in Congo, while others criticized Ethiopia's Meles Zenawi for atrocities in his country and in Somalia.

There were running scuffles with police here and there, but overall, the 4,700 police officers deployed contained the situation. There were an estimated 6,000 demonstrators on the streets Wednesday.

Matone Kimbangu, 36, a Congolese national travelled to London to "show my dissent at the system." Kimbangu accused the major powers of hypocrisy, saying they only acted against genocide when it suited their interests. Kimbangu contrasted the concerted effort against Sudan’s president Omar Hassan al-Bashir, as opposed to the international community turning a blind eye to even a wider genocide in Congo by militias supported by Uganda and Rwanda.

In 2005, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) found Uganda liable for war crimes and looting in Congo’s Ituri region; in December 2005, the United Nations issued a report stating that Rwanda had financed and equipped Laurent Nkunda, a Congolese warlord responsible for massacres in eastern Congo.

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According to a front page June 8, 2006 story in The Wall Street Journal, the International Criminal Court (ICC) has also launched an investigation and some analysts believe that as with the case with Sudan’s al-Bashir, Uganda’s political and military leadership could also face indictments.

Congolese nationals throughout Europe converged on London this week to make their voices heard, with some holding signs stating "Don’t Ignore Congo Genocide."

"For centuries, we have been living in Congo with over 475 ethnic groups and we had never had this kind of fighting, but the West caused us those problems," Kimbangu said, claiming that ethnic animosity has been increased since the U.S. and U.K. ignored the atrocities by Nkunda’s army which comprised of Tutsis from Congo and Rwanda.

"If it was Belgium, Switzerland, Portugal, Sweden or any other European country," where the atrocities were being committed, Kimbangu said, "the superpowers would have intervened to stop such killings. With Colton, tin, Gold, diamond and other minerals in place, our lives have no value."

"Don’t use the credit crunch," as an excuse to destabilize DR Congo’s peace. We got a right to life as Well. More that seven million dead’ several millions of orphans, widow and disables," Kimbangu added.

Demonstrators came from other parts of Africa, including from Ethiopia’s contested region of ethnic Somalis. Ogadenia.

"Peace and stability in the region is needed, but the world leaders look on and sponsor the African dictators," said, Anwar Khalif , 40.

"We live in a dark world. That is why you see there is media blackout and we are under Ethiopian siege. The West continues sponsorship of repressive regimes in Africa, which make them equally responsible for the brutality meted to innocent civilians," Anwar said.

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