December 23, 2012 |
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...
December 23, 2012 |
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.
December 22, 2012 |
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.
December 20, 2012 |
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.
December 19, 2012 |
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...
December 18, 2012 |
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.
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?
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.
December 11, 2012 |
Los Angeles Times RUTSHURU, Democratic Republic of Congo - The rebels materialized out of the moist, heavy air, startling the woman as she tended her crops in the lush volcanic hills near the Rwandan border. They wanted a bag of salt. No salt, and they'd kill her. "You just do what they say," said Solange, a widow struggling to support a family in the midst of war. To people like her who live in eastern Congo's North Kivu province, the M23 fighters who have taken control of their region are bandits, not rebels.
December 2, 2012 |
GOMA, Congo - The rebels' truck rounded the corner at breakneck speed and skidded onto the wrong side of a pitted bush road, with several dozen fighters swaying on the back. Two weeks after seizing the eastern Congolese city of Goma, the M23 rebels were withdrawing Saturday, leaving behind an uneasy city. They snaked along the road north, riding in looted government cars, trucks piled high with mattresses and a minibus stolen from the state television and radio agency. One M23 spokesman stood by his fancy SUV, which had broken down in the road, trying to make a call.