When the death toll reached 1,000 in the latest Israel-Palestine exchange, it made frontpage international headlines. Now that 900 people have been killed in the Congoas a result of a botched military operation backed by the United States, most of the world’s press is eerily silent.
The US-supported Ugandan troops were meant to kill the leader of a violent Christian rebellion, the Lord’s Resistance Army, notorious for recruiting children to its ranks and killing civilians. Ugandan troops’ failure to protect nearby villages, which were ransacked by the LRA following the failed military operation, is viewed by the United States as Uganda’s mistake, not theirs. American military officials have effectively washed their hands and called it a day’s work. (Readers need not conclude, however, that President Obama has done wrong by his African brothers yet. American support for the operation was cleared by the previous administration.)
US-funded Ugandan troops carrying out operations inside the Congo demonstrates American favouritism in a region that continues to disrespect the Congo‘s territorial integrity. The UN has peacekeeping troops stationed throughout the warring region, where the Congo, Sudan, and Uganda converge, but their mandate is limited. The NGO People of the DR Congo have asked world leaders why no diplomatic effort has been made to address recent violence.
Africa is on the path filled with violent obstacles to modernization. Just how the continent can progress was a question addressed by New York University economics professor William Easterly when he visited Big Think.