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Policy Paper

1493 words - 6 pages

Issue: The failure of the Congolese judicial system to adequately prosecute and hold accountable those who committed genocide, extreme and barbaric human rights violations. Human trafficking, rape, torture, arbitrary detention of innocent civilians and mass killings are just some of the atrocities that have been and are continuing to be committed by the soldiers the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and other militants rebels (HRG.org, p.1). It is time for the government of the DRC to put an end to these human rights violations that have been allowed to take place for two decades during the two wars (1997 and 2003) and currently occurring, albeit it to a lesser degree. ...view middle of the document...

The Congo is a region with vast natural resource such as rubber trees, copper, tin, gold, silver, cobalt, zinc, and tungsten. This region’s many natural resources is one of the major contributors that has attracted so many different countries to vie for control of the land. There have been human rights violations occurring within the Congo from as early as 1483, when the Europeans began to traffic slaves out of this region (CQ Global Researcher, p. 168). The human rights abuses continued until 1908 at which time the Belgium government purchased the Congo from King Leopold for $30 million dollars (CQ Global Researcher, p. 170. From 1908 until the people of the Democratic Republic of the Congo sought independence from Belgium in 1960 the human rights abuses had subsided. However, in 1965 Lt. General Joseph Mobutu took control of the Congo in a military coup (CQ Global Researcher, p. 169). By 1971 Mobutu return the Congo to a country of kleptocary, using government forces to gain wealth and power anyway he could. While Mobutu and his agents were adding to their own personal wealth, the ethnic tensions between the Hutu and Tutsi were growing. Mobutu used the building ethnic tensions between these two groups to maintain his own power by playing the groups against each other. The tensions between Hutu and Tutsi escalated eventually leading to violent outbreaks between the two groups which led to thousands of people being killed (CQ Global Researcher, p. 172). Therefore, is not surprising that in 1994 when there was an ethnic genocide in Rwanda, that it spilled over into the Congo. By 1997 the First Congo War began, which was backed by the Rwanda and Uganda. Peace was short lived in the power vacuumed that was formed when Mobutu was forced out of power. During the Second Congo War which began in 1998 and lasted until 2003, the extent of the genocide within the borders of the Congo was staggering. It is estimated that over 5 million people died during the Second Congo War (1998 – 2003) (CQ Global Researcher, p.169). But genocide was not the only form of human rights abuses that took place during this violent time in Congo’s history. Some of the other human rights abuses that occurred during this war were the use of children as soldiers, using rape as a tool of war and forced illegal mining. The war finally ended in 2003 and the Congo was attempting to rebuild itself as a nation. A new constitution was put in place by 2005 and a new president was elected in 2006. There was great hope that the human right abuses would end with the end of the wars. That was not to be the case, by 2009 new rebel groups and militias continued to terrorize the citizens of eastern Congo. As one can see the Congo has had a long history of brutality against the citizens but there are signs the government is now trying to end the abuses.
One must ask oneself why the violence continues within the borders of the Congo. During the First and Second Congo Wars were...

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