15 January, 2013 — News Beacon Ireland
The report of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) published by a Washington think tank Tuesday repeated the sensational claim previously reported by news media all over the world that a former Soviet nuclear weapons scientist had helped Iran construct a detonation system that could be used for a nuclear weapon.
The wars that have wracked the Democratic Republic of the Congo since 1996, killing well over 5 million people (International Rescue Committee, 1/08) in what may be the deadliest conflict since World War II, are officially over. A peace agreement was signed in 2002, and general elections were held in 2006.
But conflict and the humanitarian crisis continue. The most recent survey (IRC, 1/08) estimated that 45,000 people are dying each month from conflict-related causes (primarily hunger and disease), nearly the same shocking rate as during the war itself. And with the recent flare-up of violence in Congo’s volatile east, things don’t seem to be getting any better.
To put the death rate in perspective, at the peak of the Darfur crisis, the conflict-related death rate there was less than a third of the Congo’s, and by 2005 it had dropped to less than 4,000 per month (CRED, 5/26/05). The United Nations has estimated some 300,000 may have died in total as a result of the years of conflict in Darfur (CRED, 4/24/08, SSRC.org, 3/25/09); the same number die from the Congo conflict every six and a half months.
4 November, 2008 Global Research
2001-03 UN Expert Reports
Once again, the suffering of African people caught up in a war that makes little sense to non-Africans has made the front pages in western media, as more than a million people have been displaced in the past week by renewed fighting in the Eastern Congo. For most Americans who don’t pay much attention to the details of African history and politics, the humanitarian disaster in the Congo has exploded into public consciousness, as if the 25-year war to control Central Africa began only yesterday.
The “ Congo story” Behind the Headlines
But, in fact, the human rights disaster that the people of the world are watching on our TV screens is just the most recent human tragedy in a 25 year struggle for economic and political dominance in Central Africa that has been raging since the decline and eventual collapse of the Soviet influence in Africa in the 1980’s and early 1990’s. A sad fact of the 20th Century is that, even after the end of formal “colonialism” in the mid-20th Century, ruling African elites in virtually every African nation have looked to one or more powerful “sponsors” in the developed world to gain or retain power. And, to grab the personal wealth that goes with political/military power in Africa.