UN must get its act together in the Congo

IT IS disappointing that some commentators view the dispatch of a small, UN-backed military force to the town of Bunia as a sufficient response to the horrors currently plaguing the Ituri region of the Congo.

As Anneke Van Woudenberg of Human Rights Watch has pointed out, "Bunia is just a tiny part of Ituri.

We hear of massacres taking place outside Bunia that the French will be utterly unable to stop.

"If the force is going to protect Ituri's civilians, it will have to interpret its mandate very courageously. But it doesn't look like this will be allowed."

Ms Van Woudenberg is right about the limited aims of this UN-backed mission.

Infuriatingly, while the massacres continue across the Ituri province, we are expected to believe that the UN is seriously engaged and will ultimately secure the peace.

It is not doing so, and it will not do so, unless the international community shows a much deeper interest in what is occurring.

Over 3.5 million people have died in the Congo since 1998 as a result of war.

The ongoing conflict must become a matter of immediate international concern, or we may well see a repeat of the Rwandan genocide of 1994.

Dr Fintan Lane,


Cork Anti-War Campaign,

2B, Miller's Court,


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