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Dr Congo: War Crimes By M23 Rebels And The Congolese Army

2213 words - 9 pages

The Democratic Republic of the Congo, or as it has been called by the U.N as “the rape capital of the world” has been having problems since almost 1994. The armed group, M23, has committed dozens of war crimes including rape, citizen executions, and forced recruitment of children. Women, and girls have been left with burned flesh, broken bones, and even missing limbs. Even some perpetrators have even shot and stabbed these women in the vagina with shards of glass, rifles, and other objects. The violence in the DRC is unspeakable, many of the survivors have received devastating damage to their reproductive organs. Men have been held at gun point and forced to rape their own wives, mothers, ...view middle of the document...

Statements from the rebels say that they had originally rebelled against the army and government because the Congolese government had not kept the promises that they had made to the integrated solders on March 23. The movement is called M23 in reference to a 23 March 2009 peace deal, which the CNDP (National Congress for the Defense of People) signed with the Congolese government, in the treaty the Congolese agreed that they would integrate the rebel fighters into the army and treat them the same as all the other soldiers. The integrated soldiers say that, “They were mistreated after being integrated into the army, were not paid enough and that the military lacked vital resources, with soldiers were going hungry.” (BBC Congo Profile, Herrmann). But others say that the actual reason they rebelled was because some comments made by the Congolese President Joseph Kabila in January, 2012. Who, at the time, was under pressure from the ICC (International Criminal Court), said the Congolese authorities would put Gen Ntaganda on trial. Gen Ntaganda who was also known as “The Terminator”, was one of the top-ranking officer who had been a member of a former militia called the CNDP. And now under the pressure, Gen Bosco Ntaganda now faces war crimes charges at the International Criminal Court (BBC M23 Rebels, Hermann). After the M23 peace treaty between the rebels and the Congolese, the government did not follow through with their promises to the rebels. The president falling to pressure like prosecuting Gen Ntaganda is one of the many weaknesses in the Congolese government. The weaknesses in the Congolese government have let perpetrators get away with more atrocities since then, like escaping to neighboring countries, not being charged, and having a weak army that is unable to help civilians who are being attacked.
Having the Congolese government in a weakened state makes helping civilians from attacking rebels impossible. One reporter in the Congo says, “The rebels have been unstoppable, steamrolling through one town after another, seizing this provincial capital, and eviscerating a dysfunctional Congolese Army whose drunken soldiers stumble around with rocket-propelled grenades and whose chief of staff was suspended for selling crates of ammunition to elephant poachers.” (BBC Congo Profile, Hermann). The army is in such a weakened state that it is ineffective and useless when civilians are being assaulted by violent rebels. Last year the Congolese army went and executed members of a politician’s private militia and even civilians (BBC Congo Profile, Herman). The instability has been caused by many contributing factors. One being that the Congolese president has fallen too the pressure that has been put on him by neighboring countries, and has failed to get its army in order. Another problem is, “The Congo’s chronic instability is rooted in very local tensions over land, power and identity, especially along the Rwandan and Ugandan borders.” (BBC M23...

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