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The Ignored War January 8, 2008

Posted by tkcollier in Geopolitics, In The News.
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the Congoy is six years into a brutal conflict, in which up to 4.7 million people have died–the highest number of fatalities in any conflict since World War II. Or that six countries–Rwanda, Burundi, Uganda, Zimbabwe, Angola and Namibia–have been fighting proxy wars in the DRC, and helping to plunder the country’s tremendous mineral wealth to fill their coffers.

The commerce in these “blood” minerals, such as coltan, used in cell phones and laptops, cobalt, copper, gold, diamonds and uranium (Congolese uranium was used in the atomic bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki), drives the conflict. The brutality of the militias–the sexual slavery, transmission of HIV/AIDS through rape, cannibalism, slaughter and starvation, forced recruitment of child soldiers–has routinely been employed to secure access to mining sites or insure a supply of captive labor.

Today’s conflict profiteers are not the first to sponsor a campaign to ransack, rape, pillage and plunder in the Congo. A century ago, Belgium’s King Leopold II amassed a fabulous fortune this way. During the monarch’s genocidal reign of terror, when villagers couldn’t meet his impossibly high quotas harvesting rubber or mining ore, their hands were amputated and women were taken as slaves. By the time he was finished, an estimated 10 million Congolese, half the population, were dead. Thanks to Randy Marks -warning the article is graphic.

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