This article discusses a promising development in the international community's response to the conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo. I figured it was particularly relevant to our discussion tomorrow on gendered war crimes--as the article notes, the DRC has experienced massive incidence of sexual violence.
Slightly off topic, but the relative lack of international attention to the conflict in the Congo confounds me. A year ago, I read an Op-Ed piece in the NY Times that called the conflict and the continuing violence "The Invisible War," which speculated that the public hears so little about the crimes in the DRC because they are too profound, too widespread. I often hear this argument about the intractable civil wars in Africa--that outsiders can neither understand nor assist in the restoration of peace--but how does this theory grapple with the contradictory evidence of the similarly complicated, but media-covered, Darfur? In 2006, the Times gave Darfur nearly four times the coverage it gave the Congo, despite the fact that Congolese were dying from war-related causes at ten times the rate of individuals in Darfur. This statistic is reflected in other American media outlets. According to the Tyndall Report, an organization that monitors television news broadcasts on ABC, NBC, and CBS, in the past year there have been 16 major news reports on Rwanda and only one on Congo. So, what gives?