Thursday, November 13, 2008

Global Reactions

The renewed outbreak of war in the Congo has elicited predictable responses. The US State Department last month issued a bland statement of concern.

The New York Times practically sleep wrote this editorial demanding that the world not forget the lessons of Rwanda: "The international community failed to stop Rwanda’s genocide and promised not to let it happen again. Has the world forgotten so quickly?" Which would be more plangent if the NYT had actually covered the tragedy in the DRC in any but the most minimal fashion over the past decade. The editorial called for beefing up MONUC.

Speaking from Abuja, Nigerian president Umaru Yar'Adua said that he was "very confident" that the AU's ongoing mediation in the crisis would produce an enduring solution. He rejected any non-African solution to the problem. Just named as chief negotiator for the AU is Olusegun Obasanjo, the former Nigerian president whose eight-year rule of that country is widely regarded as a disappointment. It is hard to imagine any diplomat bringing peace to the Congo under the auspices of the AU, but particularly hard to imagine Obasanjo doing it.

SADC promised to send military assistance to the DRC, but has so far only sent observers.

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