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WORLD
January 21, 2013 | By Robyn Dixon, Los Angeles Times
GOMA, Congo - It's an ungainly beast of a machine: a wooden bicycle with handlebars like great bull's horns, two runtish wooden wheels, a chunky frame like a squashed triangle and no pedals. There's no seat either, just a kneepad fixed to the frame, made from a spongy Chinese flip-flop. The Congolese chikudu looks like it rolled right off the pages of a child's drawing book and onto the rutted roads of eastern Democratic Republic of Congo. Uzima Bahati, 18, was a child himself when he became a chikudu operator.
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WORLD
January 1, 2013 | By Emily Alpert
In a bid to quell violence in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the United Nations Security Council imposed an arms embargo late Monday on two armed groups accused of rape and mass killings. The decision came just before Rwanda, which has been accused of backing the rebels, temporarily joined the powerful council. The country has fervently denied involvement in the Congo crisis, but U.N. experts and human rights groups say its fingerprints are evident in the recent bloodshed.
OPINION
December 23, 2012 | By Ida Sawyer
KINSHASA, Democratic Republic of Congo - On Nov. 19, armed men from a rebel group called the M23 were looking for a prominent civil society leader in a village outside Goma, a provincial capital in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo. He'd been in hiding for several weeks after receiving text messages threatening him for his public denunciations of M23 abuses. When the rebels didn't find him, they shot his colleague, killing him. The next day, the M23 - fighters who had integrated into the Congolese army in 2009 but mutinied earlier this year - took control of Goma.
WORLD
December 23, 2012 | By Emily Alpert
From a Honduras tycoon to the Benghazi attacks, here are five stories you shouldn't miss from this past week in global news: Panel faults security failures in Benghazi attacks In Honduras, a controversial tycoon responds to critics In Israel, Labor Party chief's shift to the right causes dissent U.S. under pressure over Rwanda involvement in Congo fighting Philippine Congress OKs bill to offer birth control to poor...
WORLD
December 22, 2012 | By Robyn Dixon, Los Angeles Times
GOMA, Congo - These days, the U.N. force deployed to protect the city's population from rampant militias is not particularly popular. Residents complain that the peacekeepers last month should have prevented Rwanda-backed M23 rebels from taking over the largest city in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo. Some even assert that their country would be better off without the international force, known as MONUSCO, which at $1.4 billion a year is the U.N.'s most expensive peacekeeping mission, and the most controversial.
WORLD
December 20, 2012 | By Robyn Dixon, Los Angeles Times
GOMA, Congo - It was not the bullet lodged in the officer's gut, or the botched operation he'd had in a field hospital, that made the case so difficult for doctors in a Goma hospital. It was trying to save the life of a Rwandan officer injured in the recent Congolese battle for the eastern city when Rwanda's government insisted it wasn't involved in the Goma fighting. Doctors were convinced the officer would die if he wasn't sent home to Rwanda, where he could get better medical care.
ENTERTAINMENT
December 19, 2012 | By John Horn
He's best known as an actor and a filmmaker, but Ben Affleck has a special interest in the Democratic Republic of Congo, and on Wednesday the “Argo” director testified before the House Armed Services Committee about what Affleck termed “the deadliest conflict since World War II.” The founder of the Eastern Congo Initiative , an advocacy and grant-making organization committed to peaceful solutions in the war-torn African nation, Affleck...
WORLD
December 18, 2012 | By Emily Alpert
A rebel leader accused of leading a brutal attack on a Congolese village nearly a decade ago was acquitted Tuesday by the International Criminal Court, which said prosecutors failed to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Mathieu Ngudjolo was responsible for the mass rapes and murders that devastated the town. The decision was widely seen as a setback for war crimes prosecutors who already face steep obstacles in persuading witnesses to come forward and testify. It is the second verdict ever handed down by the court, which earlier convicted former warlord Thomas Lubanga of using child soldiers in the same Congolese conflict.
OPINION
December 15, 2012
Re "Congo rebels thrive on fear and chaos," Dec. 11 The article about the situation in Congo reveals the alarming truth about Rwanda's exploitation of eastern Congo's natural resources and the unspeakable sexual violence being committed against Congo's women. The Times was right to focus on the weak, corrupt and wholly ineffective Congolese government and on neighboring Rwanda and Uganda as the primary perpetrators in eastern Congo. What is not mentioned is the contributing role that the United States has played in the region.
OPINION
December 15, 2012
Re "Gunman at Oregon mall kills 2 victims, then himself," Dec. 12 Does the National Rifle Assn. want us to believe this deranged man, who was using a holiday-packed mall as his shooting range, deserved 2nd Amendment protection? It's time the outrageously powerful NRA understood what our Founding Fathers had in mind regarding the meaning of a "well regulated militia. " Jerold Drucker Camarillo ALSO: Letters: Cheering on All Saints Church Letters: U.S.-funded violence in Congo Letters: When should government get involved?
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