The Rwandan Hutu militia called the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR) attacked and burned dozens of villages and towns in Masisi and Lubero territories (North Kivu) as well as in Kalehe territory (South Kivu) in recent weeks, committing numerous deliberate killings, rapes, and acts of looting. Blaming government military operations, the FDLR deliberately targeted civilians, used them as human shields, and accused civilians of having betrayed them. According to witnesses and victims interviewed by Human Rights Watch, the FDLR have been implicated in the killings of at least 154 civilians since January 23.In the meantime, the Congolese leadership has decided to go ahead with a $9 billion Chinese mining and infrastructure program, which will bring much-needed roads, railways, schools and hospitals to the country. In return, the Chinese are acquiring billions of dollars worth of copper and cobalt reserves needed to feed the country's export-driven economy. It would appear that China hasn't entirely abandoned its 'non-interference' principle just yet.
Thursday, April 9, 2009
Human Rights Watch has released new data on the atrocities being committed in the Congo. According to the report, at least 90 women have been raped and 180 villagers killed by Rwandan rebels in the past two months alone. Upwards of 250, 000 people have fled the country: