Will The UN Ignore Whats Happening in The Congo..??

#1
Not too long ago, I finished reading a book called ‘Shake Hands With The Devil’ which was written by a Canadian Officer named General Dallaire. He was the UN Commander during the Rwandan genocide in 1994.

It’s a fascinating, if highly disturbing read. General Dallaire describes at length the shameful way in which the west (and by that he means the UN) abandoned the Rwandans during the genocide of 1994 in which 1 million (best estimate) innocents were butchered to death – mainly by the machete – in not much more than 10 weeks

General Dallaire left Rwanda a broken and shattered man by what he saw there and as a result of the shameful and cowardly way the west turned a knowing yet blind eye to the atrocities. The UN reduced its troop deployment in Rwanda to a few hundred men prior to, and during, the genocide yet at the same time it was doing everything in its power to stop the carnage in Bosnia by committing as many troops as it could (US, UK and French); the same nations (amongst many others) that turned their collective backs on the wholesale slaughter in Rwanda.

Now, the Congolese Tutsis suspect the mainly Hutu Congolese Army of not only harbouring the perpetrators of the genocide (who fled to The Congo after the Tutsi RPF rebel army routed them), but are actively supporting them to resume their activities. Unsurprisingly, the Tutsis are not prepared to be butchered in their thousands again and appear to be mobilising their forces.

So – will the UN act this time or disgracefully turn away again….?
 
#2
Alot of the UN countries are currently in a credit crisis, question should be can the UN afford operations there?
 
#3
SandysOpinion said:
Alot of the UN countries are currently in a credit crisis, question should be can the UN afford operations there?
Well we can't afford operations in afgan and iraq at the moment so why not!
 
#4
SandysOpinion said:
Alot of the UN countries are currently in a credit crisis, question should be can the UN afford operations there?
There was no credit crisis in 1994 - and no moral courage either. Just cowardly politicians who abandoned a nation to genocide.
 
#5
Santa_Sunday said:
SandysOpinion said:
Alot of the UN countries are currently in a credit crisis, question should be can the UN afford operations there?
There was no credit crisis in 1994 - and no moral courage either. Just cowardly politicians who abandoned a nation to genocide.
I understand your point and agree, something should have been done then and something should be done now. Do I think something will be done? No
 
#6
SWINDLER said:
SandysOpinion said:
Alot of the UN countries are currently in a credit crisis, question should be can the UN afford operations there?
Well we can't afford operations in afgan and iraq at the moment so why not!
You do realise this is about the UN don't you....?? The blokes with the blue berets....??

What’s that got to do with Iraq or Afghanistan...?

2 totally separate issues mate.
 
#8
SandysOpinion said:
Santa_Sunday said:
SandysOpinion said:
Alot of the UN countries are currently in a credit crisis, question should be can the UN afford operations there?
There was no credit crisis in 1994 - and no moral courage either. Just cowardly politicians who abandoned a nation to genocide.
I understand your point and agree, something should have been done then and something should be done now. Do I think something will be done? No
Correct.
 
#9
WalterWarry said:
No oil I'm afraid.
Eastern Congo has some of the wealthiest untapped mineral deposits in Africa.

How much of that is oil…?? I don’t know – but there is money to be made by someone if they so wished and so I’m not sure the old ‘no oil’ line stands up to scrutiny.
 
#10
I doubt anything will get done, and even if it does it will be after weeks of political wrangling. The thing that gets me about the UN is they always propose to do the right thing, but then the motion gets canned by countries who are not dissimilar to the perpetrators. The UN has too many members, or too many small/not very pleasant countries have too big a say, which ever way you want to look at it.

The reason something was done about Hitler was he was on our doorstop, Africa is easily forgotten even though the atrocities (1mil hacked to death in 10 weeks) make Hitler look like an amateur.
 
#11
Pacifist_Jihadist said:
I doubt anything will get done, and even if it does it will be after weeks of political wrangling. The thing that gets me about the UN is they always propose to do the right thing, but then the motion gets canned by countries who are not dissimilar to the perpetrators. The UN has too many members, or too many small/not very pleasant countries have too big a say, which ever way you want to look at it.

The reason something was done about Hitler was he was on our doorstop, Africa is easily forgotten even though the atrocities (1mil hacked to death in 10 weeks) make Hitler look like an amateur.
At the time of the genocide in 1994, many African nations took 'turns' in having a seat on the UN council. It just so happened that in 1994 the Rwandans had a seat. The Rwandan member was a committed Hutu and supported the Hutu backed RGF forces and, by default, the Interahamwe (a kind of back to grass routes, less sophisticated, INLA). Unsurprisingly, he attempted to block any UN intervention plan and just about single-handedly succeeded – and the rest of the council were happy to let him as it took the decision put of their hands.

Incredible...
 
#12
Santa_Sunday said:
Not too long ago, I finished reading a book called ‘Shake Hands With The Devil’ which was written by a Canadian Officer named General Dallaire. He was the UN Commander during the Rwandan genocide in 1994.

It’s a fascinating, if highly disturbing read. General Dallaire describes at length the shameful way in which the west (and by that he means the UN) abandoned the Rwandans during the genocide of 1994 in which 1 million (best estimate) innocents were butchered to death – mainly by the machete – in not much more than 10 weeks

General Dallaire left Rwanda a broken and shattered man by what he saw there and as a result of the shameful and cowardly way the west turned a knowing yet blind eye to the atrocities. The UN reduced its troop deployment in Rwanda to a few hundred men prior to, and during, the genocide yet at the same time it was doing everything in its power to stop the carnage in Bosnia by committing as many troops as it could (US, UK and French); the same nations (amongst many others) that turned their collective backs on the wholesale slaughter in Rwanda.

Now, the Congolese Tutsis suspect the mainly Hutu Congolese Army of not only harbouring the perpetrators of the genocide (who fled to The Congo after the Tutsi RPF rebel army routed them), but are actively supporting them to resume their activities. Unsurprisingly, the Tutsis are not prepared to be butchered in their thousands again and appear to be mobilising their forces.

So – will the UN act this time or disgracefully turn away again….?
Top Book!
Africa is one of the places we fear to tread for fear of being called imperialists/racists. Look at Zim right now.
Its bad and Pak/Indian Blue Berets getting skinned alive by crazies aint too far away.
The UN is an Arrse.
Peace Enforce and then Peace Keep.
The will has to be there first by many to move, FFS we are more worried about bigging up Brand/Ross to keep the heat off of the economy to even cast an eye sideways at wonderful Africa.
 
#14
IMO the UN is an expensive and corrupt talking shop and whilst its ideals are sound, with some notable exceptions, its various agencies are an indication of the profligacy and waste that Brussels is becoming.
.... and yes I fear it will be too little too late as usual.
 
#15
This has been brewing up since 2004 and just to be clear the UN is doing something:

Current strength (31 August 2008)

18,389 total uniformed personnel, including 16,668 troops, 670 military observers, 1,051 police; 937 international civilian personnel, 2,120 local civilian staff and 535 United Nations Volunteers

Contributors of military personnel Algeria, Bangladesh, Belgium, Benin, Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Burkina Faso, Canada, China, Czech Republic, Denmark, Egypt, France, Ghana, Guatemala, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Jordan, Kenya, Malawi, Malaysia, Mali, Morocco, Mozambique, Nepal, Niger, Nigeria, Pakistan, Paraguay, Peru, Poland, Romania, Russian Federation, Senegal, Serbia, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sweden, Switzerland, Tunisia, Ukraine, United Kingdom, Uruguay, Yemen and Zambia

Contributors of police personnel Argentina, Bangladesh, Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Côte d'Ivoire, France, Guinea, India, Jordan, Madagascar, Mali, Niger, Romania, Russian Federation, Senegal, Sweden, Togo, Turkey, Ukraine and Yemen

Fatalities

82 military personnel
9 military observers
2 UN police
11 international civilian
23 local civilian

127 total


Approved budget :
1 July 2008 - 30 June 2009: $1,242.73 million

http://www.un.org/Depts/dpko/missions/monuc/facts.html

The question is what can it do now to enforce the existing mandate given that the Congolese military has legged it leaving 800 MONUC troops in Goma to face off to Laurent Nkunda

"We will respect MONUC. We cannot engage them, but if they shoot at us, they are soldiers, we will have to defend ourselves," he said.

"MONUC cannot refuse me to go to Goma. They are incapable of securing the people of Goma so how can they refuse me to "


The answer to that is not entirely obvious
 
#16
Blogg,

That's fair enough - impressive figures.

The problem is (as always) it has to be a Chapter 7 UN mission (peace-enforcement) as opposed to a Chapter 6 mission (peace-keeping). And therein lays the problem.

5000 enforcers can do so much more than 20000 peace-keepers.

I'm no expert, that's a given. But unless the bad men with guns think that if they shoot, they may get shot back at, you’re pissing in the wind - no matter how many troops you deploy.

Toothless tigers spring to mind.
 
#17
I think you are wrong when you say the "West and by that he means the UN".

The rich countries were just not interested. Hence nobody was ever going to be bothered. The West (as in the richest members of the UN) adandond the Rwandans to their fate just as much as anyone else. Remember the UN operates at the lowest common denominator. People can demand all they like from the UN, but if no one is willing to supply the correct troops, in terms of numbers, type, equipment, training etc, then that is not the UN's fault. The Belgians evacuated their troops as soon as they took casualties, the French in Operation Torquise were never interested in the Rwandans, just the foreginers (mostly westerners).

That does not absolve the UN from getting it badly wrong though. At least the UNSG publicly admitted the UN got it wrong. Meanwhile the West, along with everyone else, just ducked for cover as if their lack of will to supply an even remotely adequate force had nothing to do with the end result.

The UN also acts as the world's whipping boy. If a problem is too hard then current practice is for the world (mainly the West) to drop it onto the lap of the UN. They then fail to support the task given and then blame the UN when it all goes tits up. It is easy for countries to blame the UN for not stopping the wars it did not start etc, while sat on your hands and refusing to get involved themselves.

However, at the end of the day the Rwanda genocide happend because of one over riding factor. It was Africa and no one gave a stuff.
 
#18
Inf/MP said:
I think you are wrong when you say the "West and by that he means the UN".

The rich countries were just not interested. Hence nobody was ever going to be bothered. The West (as in the richest members of the UN) adandond the Rwandans to their fate just as much as anyone else. Remember the UN operates at the lowest common denominator. People can demand all they like from the UN, but if no one is willing to supply the correct troops, in terms of numbers, type, equipment, training etc, then that is not the UN's fault. The Belgians evacuated their troops as soon as they took casualties, the French in Operation Torquise were never interested in the Rwandans, just the foreginers (mostly westerners).

That does not absolve the UN from getting it badly wrong though. At least the UNSG publicly admitted the UN got it wrong. Meanwhile the West, along with everyone else, just ducked for cover as if their lack of will to supply an even remotely adequate force had nothing to do with the end result.

The UN also acts as the world's whipping boy. If a problem is too hard then current practice is for the world (mainly the West) to drop it onto the lap of the UN. They then fail to support the task given and then blame the UN when it all goes tits up. It is easy for countries to blame the UN for not stopping the wars it did not start etc, while sat on your hands and refusing to get involved themselves.

However, at the end of the day the Rwanda genocide happend because of one over riding factor. It was Africa and no one gave a stuff.
Can I make one point clear....?

I did point out that by saying saying 'The West' the General meant the UN and 'de facto' anyone in a position to help. He describes his Tunisian soldiers as brave, disciplined and courageous…. Best leave his opinion of the Bangladeshi troops for another time.

The ‘West’ in this context does not just mean us and the spams.....

I hope that has cleared that up a little

BTW - I'm not here for a fight. I’ve got my opinions and you have yours.
 
#19
Fergal Keane wrote a book on the subject which IIRC was serialised on Radio 4. The book is called Season of Blood: Rwandan Journey and is a damned good if very disturbing read.

However he made a comment on Radion 4 with which I heartily disagreed. He stated that a couple of battalions of British Paratroopers could have stopped the slaughter. However he is a journalist and I would loved to have asked him how he would report on said Paras trying to stop the butchery.

WE all know how to do it i.e. overwheming force and firepower but the politicos and journos would have a field day at the expense of the troops. Every thieving tribal leader from the Sahara downwards would be calling us Imperialists, racists etc.

And we are slightly busy elsewhere.
 
#20
Mr_Deputy said:
Inf/MP said:
I think you are wrong when you say the "West and by that he means the UN".



However, at the end of the day the Rwanda genocide happend because of one over riding factor. It was Africa and no one gave a stuff.
Hardly 100% the fault of the west. We don't blame Africa for World War One for example.
Not 100% fault of the West I agree. But as the richest members of the UN they have the greatest ability to actually do something - sometimes, not all the time. The West did not start the war, but then nor did the UN.

Do not understand your mention of the Great War. UN did not exist then.

I work for the UN. I know it is very far from perfect. To be honest I think some of its greatest critics and those wanting reform are inside the organisation. Those of us who work within it see first hand the internal problems. However, we also see the complete hipocracy of the member states and the huge difference between their words and their actions.

However, the member states may have a different view on matters.
 

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