October 23, 2010
For more than a decade, rebel soldiers from Rwanda have committed atrocities in the neighboring Democratic Republic of Congo with almost complete impunity. They kidnap children, murder men and are conducting a strategic campaign of raping and torturing women. In August, the United Nations confirmed that members of the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda, or FDLR, and another militia were responsible for hundreds of rapes in the Walekali region ? and rape is a tepid word for the brutal attacks.
September 26, 2010 |
Most vertebrate animal species have some sort of poxvirus capable of causing severe illness. These ancient pathogens have evolved within and among vertebrates since the dawn of life. In one of public health's greatest triumphs, our own orthopox virus — smallpox, or Variola — was eradicated by 1980. Because chickenpox isn't a true poxvirus, humans don't have a poxvirus of their own anymore. Now, however, some researchers are concerned that another orthopox virus, monkeypox, may be adapting to fill the void.
September 9, 2010 |
U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Wednesday pressed Rwanda to keep its forces serving on peacekeeping missions despite its anger over a draft report accusing the African nation's troops of atrocities and possible genocide in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The government of Rwandan President Paul Kagame has threatened to pull 3,500 troops from U.N. operations in the Darfur region of Sudan because of its outrage over the world body's draft report, which was leaked recently to the French newspaper Le Monde.
July 26, 2010
Embedded in the financial reform President Obama signed into law last week was a truly historic regulatory provision — one that doesn't pertain to Wall Street but to the Democratic Republic of Congo. In an effort to choke off funding for the armed thugs and rebel militias that have killed more than 5 million people and turned Congo into the rape capital of the world, the new law will require thousands of U.S. companies to disclose whether their products contain minerals from rebel-controlled mines.
July 23, 2010 |
Imagine a movie about genocide that's, well, sort of uplifting. That was the goal of two former University of Pennsylvania classmates who set out to make a documentary marrying their Jewish heritage with their modern-day social activism. The result is "The Last Survivor," a film that chronicles how four people — survivors of the Holocaust, Rwanda, Darfur or Congo — rebound from atrocities and find new meaning in their lives. After debuting in the U.S. this year, the film had its international premiere at the Jerusalem Film Festival this month.
April 5, 2010
Just before Christmas, the Lord's Resistance Army, a rebel group with roots in Uganda, perpetrated a massacre in the Makombo area of the Democratic Republic of Congo. Over four days, the rebels hacked and clubbed to death more than 320 unarmed civilians and kidnapped 250 others, including dozens of children. Survivors and escapees interviewed by Human Rights Watch said that the rebels left a 40-mile trail of mutilated bodies, some still tied to trees. The world learned only recently of the attack.
February 5, 2010
Solar and the Owens Re "L.A. takes shine to another Owens Valley product: sun," Feb. 2 Periodically, the hidebound Los Angeles Department of Water and Power shakes off its inertia and undertakes a project worthy of its size and of the times. Not coincidentally, Interim DWP Chief S. David Freeman seems to ride into town just in time with his ability to think big and to understand the long-term benefits of renewable energy. I encourage the residents of Owens Valley and Los Angeles to move with all deliberate speed on this project.
January 29, 2010
The United Nations peacekeeping mission in Congo is close to losing all credibility. On its 10-year watch, millions of Congolese have been killed or displaced, raped or forced to toil in mines for precious minerals. The U.N. troops, known as MONUC, certainly are not to blame for those atrocities or for the country's civil strife -- rebels from neighboring Rwanda are mostly at fault. But Congolese soldiers fighting the Democratic Liberation Forces of Rwanda, or FDLR, also have been accused of persecuting civilians, and they, unlike the rebels, have had the logistical support of troops provided by the U.N. Sent to the Democratic Republic of Congo at the end of the 1990s, the peacekeepers provide fuel and food, medical aid, transportation and firepower to help government troops retake areas controlled by the FDLR.
December 15, 2009
The deadliest conflict since World War II, in which 5.4 million people have died and 200,000 women have been raped, rages far from Iraq and Afghanistan. It is in the Democratic Republic of Congo, where murderous militias are battling for control of valuable minerals such as tin, tantalum, tungsten and gold, which are essential to the worldwide production of consumer electronics. Congolese, in other words, are dying in extraordinary numbers for our cellphones and video games, digital cameras and laptop computers.
November 9, 2009 |
Security forces in the Democratic Republic of Congo have arrested about 100 armed men blamed for killing dozens of policemen in an attack in the country's isolated north last month, the government said Sunday. Villagers had killed 47 policemen sent to quell clashes over fishing rights between two villages in Equateur province, according to the U.N. peacekeeping mission in Congo. The government disputed the death toll given by the United Nations but vowed last week to stem what it called the start of a new uprising.