A Plea And A Cry For Ending The 6 Million Congolese Deaths

October 2008


History taught us that the holocaust carried out against the Jews by Adolf Hitler extinguished the life of about 6 million Jews in World War II. It made all of the Western countries mobilize and work hard to make sure that such a situation would never again happen on the European soil, though the Yugoslavia conflict did in fact occur. It was a situation that brought a lot of consciousness to most of the Westerners and the rest of the world—one that make them want to do their best to make sure that the Jews would never have to experience that situation again, no matter where they are.

The Rwandan genocide of 1994 took the lives of innocent people about 800.000 in a very short amount of time. I do clearly stipulate the inclusivity without excluding or labeling – Tutsi or Hutu – since all that were killed, are and were Rwandan. The story which was revealed was very alarming, as it was very obvious that the Security Council and the UN in general, failed to prevent the genocide from occurring. It subsequently declared that it will not again allow such a situation to occur, particularly the US, under the Bill Clinton administration.

The estimated people killed in Sudan during the Darfur crisis was 200,000 by 2006. This situation led the Bush administration to openly declare that there was a real genocide happening in the Darfur region, which the UN had accepted and tried to send some of its troops alongside the African Union.

Since 1998 to 2008, the death toll of Eastern Congolese has reached 6 million, particularly women being raped, and having their vagina stabbed. The number of deaths has reached the equivalent of the Jewish holocaust, 7 times that of the Rwandan genocide, and 30 times the death toll in the Darfur situation. But the Congolese situation has been taken lightly by the UN and rest of international community since the 17.000 UN peacekeepers are, to some extent, being overwhelmed by the situation.

Genocide is mostly defined as it relates to the mass murder of a particular targeted group of people. In the first example, it was the Jewish community, the second the Tutsi and Hutu moderate, and in the third case, the Darfur black people. My cry and my plea are to expand the understanding of the term by looking at the roots of the word. I split the word into two: Geno which would equal to GENE and -cide which equals to KILLING etymologically. In other words, I do look at this term in a way that whenever the KILLING of millions of GENES as HUMAN BEINGS is occurring, it should be taken and looked upon as a serious genocide, whether it is happening in a group like the Jews, the Tutsi, and Darfurian, or to a group of people from a particular country like the Eastern Congolese.

As the title reflects what I am trying to present: it is a profound cry coming from a progressive heart-feeling and serious historical reflection about the situation in Eastern Congo. I just finished my Master Degree in International Studies Peace, Conflict and Development. I do recognize that negotiation remains the most important tool for resolving most of the conflicts in the world. TACKLING THE ROOT CAUSES of any conflict and REALLY UNDERSTANDING THE REASONS BEHIND THE ACTIONS OF THE BELLIGERENTS, are the keys to well integrated ending to most of conflicts and the future prevention of conflict. Otherwise, if some of the people who are involved in the conflict feel left out after a breaking of any agreement, a “Peace-Spoiler Syndrome” may occur.

The situation in the Eastern Congo started with the MASS EXODUS of Rwandan fleeing from the genocide mixed with the perpetrators. It escalated into war in 1996 when Kabila the Father came with Rwandan and Ugandan soldiers accompanied him to cease power from the dictator Mobutu who ruled the country recklessly from 1965 to 1997. Kabila the Father took power from 1997 to 2001, at which time he was assassinated and was replaced by his son. The latter is the first democratically elected president of the DRCongo. He got elected in 2006 after a period of transitional government that included all the former rebels’ leaders – a result of Inter-Congolese dialogue - , though a fringe of some Tutsi rebels refused to integrated the army.

The situation keeps going on with renegade Tutsi soldier general Nkunda – sustained by Rwanda - who is allegedly stipulating that he is protecting the Tutsi population of Eastern Congo who are still threatened by the presence of the former Rwandan militia Interhamwe and FDLR, a group of Rwandan Hutu Refugees dispersed throughout the forests of the Eastern Congo. At the same time, these Hutu would also like to have an Inter-Rwandan dialogue, which would lead to some agreement among all Rwandan. The Rwandan government does not want to hear such a suggestion because it says that there is no way to sit around the table with the perpetrators of the genocide. Meanwhile, the 6 million people killed in Congo seemed to be overlooked because the genocide of the Tutsi is still fresh in the mind of the big powers of the world. The Congolese soldiers are just recently being formed as a whole and are still very weak—unable to defend those of the Eastern part. At times, there has also been some mismanagement within the system that gives opportunity to FDLR and NKUNDA to continue.

My plea, Sir/Madam, is to please consider my cry to what is happening as a real genocide. Just imagine if it was one of your sisters being raped, stabbed in the vagina, and if you were seeing some of your countrymen being slaughtered and killed and nothing is being said or done about it. I pray that you would take the initiative to do something through your government-- to encourage the International community to ensure that those HUTU spread in the forest of Eastern Congo can come out of the country and the TUTSI will cease taking advantage of that particular situation, continuing to push Eastern Congo into further chaos.