Walmart Dodges African “Blood Minerals” Rule

blood diamonds

t must have seemed like a good idea at the time, when Senators Chris Dodd and Barney Frank drew up the landmark regulatory bill that bears their names. One of its lesser-known provisions required U.S. companies to list the inclusion of any “conflict minerals,” mined in or near the violence-plagued Democratic Republic of the Congo, [...]

Why the Democratic Republic of Congo Is a Failed State

drc woman

Georgianne Nienaber: Throughout DRC’s history, the ruling elites have antagonized ethnic groups by supporting regional strong men who plunder resources — sowing confusion, fear and insecurity in the process. No sense of statehood could possibly arise out of an exploitive system that continues to this day.

A Question of Power, Not Sex

bishop eddie

Thomas A. Foster: The conversations about homophobia in the black church or about Bishop Long’s hypocrisy confuse the issue at hand. This is not the story of a closeted gay man who simply needed sexual release. Sexual abuse – in all its forms – is about power, not sex.

“Ruined,” But Not Forever?

Tom Maridosian and Cherise Boothe in Ruined. Photo by Chris Bennion,

Dick Price: “Ruined,” tells the improbably uplifting story of a tawdry haven from an unimaginably cruel world where soldiers and the rebels they fight routinely rape, mutilate, and murder women for sport.

Congo: More Intimidation as Blood Flows Faster than Oil Spilled into the Gulf of Mexico

congo-1

Georgianne Nienaber: The United States has strategic and mining interests in DRC and until the American people wake up and demand that our government do something to actually promote human rights in the Great Lakes Region, we can expect more of the same and press release after press release from Human Rights organizations will swarm foreign news desks like so many hyenas after the kill.

Help Provide Missing Haiti Coverage

Haiti-Georgianne

Dick Price: Next week, Georgianne Nienaber departs on a 12-day investigative research trip to Haiti where she will look to fill in gaps in the mainstream media’s news coverage while also providing emergency medical assistance to rural Haitians. As she works with Haitian human rights organizations to develop story ideas, she also invites LA Progressive readers to contribute their thoughts on where else she might look.

Congolese Groups Demand Ouster of Abusive Army Commander

Georgiianne Nienaber: The four-page formal complaint describes a compendium of horrific abuses – including massacres of civilians, summary executions, rape, mutilations of women, the dumping of bodies into latrines, and the recruitment of children – all committed by troops under Zimurinda’s command from 2007 to the present.

Congo Descending into Third Circle of Hell

Georgianne Nienaber: What’s the rape and torture and burning alive of many thousands of women and children got to do with anything? What has JUSTICE got to do with anything, for God’s sake? Kabila wants “peace,” after all. A stray bullet might mar the finish on one of his bikes.

Data Bombshell Crushes Congolese Death Reports

Displaced Persons Camp on outskirts of Goma

Georgianne Nienaber: A bunker-busting academic data bomb has just been dropped on the long-suffering Congolese people after the release of a report by the Human Security Report Project at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, Canada. The mainstream press fanned the resulting firestorm of academic debate on methodology by misquoting and misinterpreting death toll numbers in headlines that have now virally spread throughout cyberspace. The resulting confusion has dealt another body blow to humanitarian efforts in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Congolese Women and Girls Suffering the Insufferable

congoles rape victim

Emily Spence and Brian McAfee: Heavily armed militias are trying to increase the very same kinds of turmoil that charitable groups are striving to remedy. They are doing so in order to gain control of four main minerals: tin, tantalum, tungsten, and gold that garner an estimated $180 million in revenues each year.

Congo: New Year, New Ops, Same Questions, Same Fears

Kivus Democratic Republic of Congo

Georgianne Nienaber: The notoriously failed Kimia II operation in eastern Congo has ended today, December 31. Soundly and forcefully criticized by Human Rights groups for the devastation it wrought on civilian populations, it will be replaced sometime in January with a new mission, dubbed OperationAmani Leo, sources say.

Could a Hillary Clinton Avatar Save Congo?

Congo Camp Conditions

Georgianne Nienaber: Surprisingly, to some, the bad guys list also includes scientists, conservationists, non-governmental organizations, doctors, lawyers, public relations professionals and just about anyone who stands to make a buck off of the suffering. As one local Congolese activist told me, “rape is big business in Congo these days.”

Lalibre Reports: Is It Too Late for Eastern Congo?

Image: Luofu Burial Copyright ©HRW

Since the spectacular failure of Operation Umoja Wetu in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Congolese forces (FARDC) have formed a new military campaign with MONUC forces. Dubbed Kimia II, the new operation appears headed for the same fate. After the detention of rebel Congolese Tutsi General Laurent Nkunda by Rwandan forces (RDF) in [...]

West Gives Rwandan Rebels, Congolese Soldiers Free Pass on Gang Rape and Murder

Image: IDP camp near Goma, DRC © 2009 Nienaber

Georgianne: what is happening in our mountains is indescribable and the world is watching without a word. Our soldiers are trying to deal with the situation but they have no food, no means for that. As I am writing to you right now Colonel Makenga is trying to organize his troops to stop the FDLR [...]

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