Congo: New War Crimes, Made Daily

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Democratic Republic of the Congo (formerly Zaire)

March 25, 2006: The June elections may not work, not because of corruption, or inability to vote, but because of a lack of candidates. As of yesterday, only a hundred people had paid the $250 fee to run for one of the 500 parliament seats. The deadline for applying has been extended for ten days.

March 24, 2006: The fighting in the eastern Congo has caused more than the usual disruption, and closed roads more frequently (because of shooting and the presence of angry men with guns). This is kept food from reaching refugee camps, or towns that are still functioning. The result has been an increase in deaths from starvation and disease.

March 18, 2006: The first Congolese warlord, Thomas Lubanga, has been extradited to the Netherlands to stand trial for war crimes. He was arrested a year ago, for crimes committed in the late 1990s, and up until a few years ago. There are still people like Lubanga out there, but they still have their private armies, and have successfully resisted arrest.

March 16, 2006: A Congolese general, Widi Mbuilu Divioka, was accused of corruption after twenty of his soldiers starved to death. This happened because the general had taken the trucks meant to move military supplies to military bases in the south, and used the vehicles to operate a commercial trucking operation. The soldiers were left to fend for themselves, and many simply starved. UN aid workers found out about it, and got after the government to do something about it.

 

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