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November 5, 2007 at 08:55:39
UN Probes Congo Slaughter: What about Possible US Involvement in the Invasion of Zaire?
by Georgianne Nienaber Page 1 of 2 page(s)
This woman died and world press took no notice-- Copyright keith harmon snow
The UN mission to the Democratic Republic of Congo (MONUC) reported today that the United Nations is going to send a sixteen-person team to map human rights abuses in DRC. Never say never, but the effort is belated considering that eleven years ago 200,000 refugees vanished off the face of the earth. Current reports still use the figure of four million dead in what has become known as Africa’s world War. Others put the figure at closer to ten million dead. With those kinds of numbers, it is impossible to comprehend the levels of atrocities. One thousand die every day in Kivu Province and the death of even one Congolese has become statistically meaningless. God help us if we have become so numb as to ignore even one death.
The High Commission for Human Rights plans to conduct a three-month investigation. The commission is responding to public pressure, trying to do something, but how can this investigation be meaningful, given the scope of the landscape in DRC, the lack of infrastructure and the inability to physically reach most villages?
The official mission is to “map the most serious violations of human rights and international humanitarian law committed within the territory of the DRC between March 1993 and June 2003.”
The worst killing is believed to have occurred in 1997 when Laurent Kabila ousted Congolese President Mobutu from power. The motive was revenge for the 1994 Rwandan genocide.
HOW CULPABLE IS THE UNITED STATES?
According to eyewitnesses who have since come forward in conversations with OPED NEWS and keith harmon snow, there is strong evidence that the United States was actively involved in the invasion of what was then Zaire, operating from secret bases in Uganda. These eyewitnesses have told us that their motivation comes from the fact that they realize that they might have been part of an unwitting support system to the slaughter of millions of innocent Congolese.
If the testimony is accurate, it appears that the United States planned an invasion of Zaire from Northern Uganda and Rwanda, beginning in 1996.
Eyewitnesses reported to OPED NEWS and keith harmon snow (www.allthingspass.com) that barracks at Masindi and the airstrip at Gulu in northern Uganda served as the staging grounds for the invasion.
In an under-reported story, the fallout included the forced relocation of hundreds of thousands of Ugandan Acholis into concentration camps in the fall of 1996, “often by bombing and burning villages and murdering, beating, raping and threatening those who would not comply,” according to reportage compiled by keith harmon snow.
According to testimony from the eyewitnesses, on Oct 26, 1996 the top Ugandan brass behind the invasion of Zaire met at the village of Paraa, in the Murchison falls National Park, near Lake Albert, in the Gulu District of Uganda.
The main road from Karuma to the border town of Pakwach was closed. This road apparently served as a primary transport route for Ugandan and non-Ugandan military—including black U.S. Special Forces—who invaded Zaire, according to the eyewitnesses who have come forward. The testimony is very specific.
From November 21-23 Boeing C-130 military aircraft passed over the border region every 30 minutes, 24 hours a day, heading both north and south. The C-130’s apparently landed at Gulu airstrip—closed by the Ugandan government for a two-week period—and offloaded military equipment which was then moved by roads to the border. Some C-130’s were observed on a course believed to take them to Goma, Zaire.
An armored 4x4 Humvee, heavily rigged with sophisticated communications equipment inside and out was observed carrying two black U.S. Special Forces who were wearing Ugandan uniforms.
In addition, the eyewitnesses encountered two busloads of black U.S. Special Forces at a checkpoint. They were wearing civilian clothes, carried duffel bags, and showed U.S. passports. They claimed they were “doctors” heading to the tiny Gulu hospital. Two busloads of black doctors from the US!
The US support of the invasion of Zaire and possible US complicity in the deaths of millions of Congolese is an additional issue that the UN special commission should investigate and it is hoped that they will do so. However, three months is barely enough time to mobilize a thorough investigation, let alone complete the assimilation of testimony and the exposure of Special Ops cover-ups.
In DRC, several massacres have been reported again and again. The continuing violence is fallout from the destabilization of DRC following the events of 1996.
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Georgianne Nienaber has been an investigative environmental writer for more than thirty years and wrote a column for the Rwandan New Times. She lives in rural northern Minnesota. Recent articles have appeared in India's TerraGreen, COA News, The Journal of the International Primate Protection League, Africa Front, The United Nations Publication, A Civil Society Observer, AllAfrica.com, and Zimbabwe's The Daily Mirror. Her fiction exposé of insurance fraud in the horse industry, Horse Sense, was re-released in early 2006. Gorilla Dreams: The Legacy of Dian Fossey was also released in 2006. She recently worked on the Coleen Rowley for Congress campaign, doing press and campaign events and just returned from Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. She was in DRC as a MONUC-accredited journalist. Nienaber got acquainted with the music biz at Chicago's WLS radio after college and before Africa grabbed her attention. Her first interview was with Grace Slick who reminisced about her days as a card punch operator before Jefferson Airplane took her away.
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Great Advocacy and Investigative Reporting
Thanks for this incredible piece. As a native of Kisangani, I vividly remember the horrifying accounts of family members about the massacres of Hutus at Tingi-Tingi, a township about 7 or 10 km from Kisangani, on the west bank of the Congo River. Some horrific deaths also happened live on CNN, as it were, when Ambassador Bill Richardson was in Kisangani. Rwandan commandos had simply crammed Hutu children, women, and men in train compartments without any breathing room from the city of Ubundu to Kisangani, where they had to board planes for their repatriation to Rwanda. And when they opened those train compartments in Kisangani, there were just dead bodies upon dead bodies... Laurent Kabila's so-called revolutionary troops consisted in fact mainly of Rwandan special forces troops (and others as you so rightfully inform us) that systematically massacred Hutu refugees they encountered---in Kisangani and Mbandaka (the provincial capital of Equateur Province in Central DRC on the Congo River), as you so accurately point out. At the time of these massacres, I attempted to raise some outrage in Boston where I was then living, but I found out quickly that it wasn't a popular subject. After the genocide in Rwanda, Americans had very little sympathy for Hutu refugees...
by alexengwete (7 articles, 2 comments) on Monday, November 5, 2007 at 11:11:07 AM
Congo news blind spot
This article details what is probably the worst current human rights disaster. The disaster also carries the unfortunate title of the most ingored news in the world. The US and large corporations are neck deep in this tragedy. This article belongs on the front page of the big papers across the country. This reporter lights a candle in our largest moral caveren. WHERE IS THE FREE WORLD PRESS?
by HillKemp (1 articles, 4 comments) on Monday, November 5, 2007 at 6:46:42 PM
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