Democracy Now! (8/3/18)
The Democratic Republic of Congo is facing one of the worst humanitarian crises in the world as a wave of extreme violence sweeps the country. Some 2 million Congolese fled their homes last year, nearly 7 million Congolese are now internally displaced, and another 500,000 have fled to other parts of Africa. According to the United Nations, 13 million Congolese are in urgent need of humanitarian aid.
The international media has largely ignored what’s happening, but this week Vice News published a shocking investigation into a recent case of ethnic cleansing. Hundreds of machete-wielding militiamen swept through areas in Congo near the Ugandan border, attacking around 120 communities. Hundreds were killed, thousands of homes were destroyed, and some 350,000 people were displaced. The violence came after the U.S. abruptly cut support for peacekeeping efforts in the Congo and elsewhere last year as part of President Trump’s “America First” policies.
We speak with Vice News contributor and author Nick Turse. His article is titled “A Slaughter in Silence: How a brutal ethnic cleansing campaign in DRC was made worse by Trump’s ‘America First’ policies and the world’s neglect.”
- VICE News: “A Slaughter in Silence” by Nick Turse — BUNIA, Democratic Republic of Congo — It’s the evening before Easter when I meet them outside the Mudzi Maria Health Center. The sky is shifting from ochre to lavender and a choir’s voices soar from the nearby Catholic cathedral. For roughly the next half hour, the faithful offer up the triple chant of “Alleluia, a-llelu-ya, a-leh-heh-luuu-uuu-yah” — ancient argot for “Praise the Lord.” Across from me sit three generations of women. Jesinne Dhewedza is the oldest, and like many in the region from her generation, she has no idea how old she actually is. Dhewedza doesn’t — maybe can’t — say what the men with machetes who fell upon her village late one night did to her, but her wizened hands tell part of the story. Two weeks ago, she had 10 fingers. Now she has six. … Read the Rest