Congo: Rapes, Rumors and Refugees

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: Democratic Republic of the Congo (formerly Zaire)

August 5, 2007: The UN and the government are trying to halt the growth of newspapers and radio stations in the east that are putting out a lot of anti-Tutsi material. The Tutsi are a well organized minority in the east, that have migrated to the area only in the last century, and are thus seen as interlopers by many of those who have been there far longer.

August 4, 2007: Congo is demanding compensation for theft by Ugandan military forces that entered the Congo between 1996 through 2001. The Ugandan forces (located in Ituri province) "plundered" Congolese natural resources, removing diamonds, gold, and valuable minerals. Ugandans also are accused of participating in atrocities. The Ugandan troops withdrew from the Congo in 2003.) In 2005, the International Court of Justice found Uganda guilty of plunder and violating Congo's sovereign territory. Congo wants ten billion dollars in compensation. The court ruled that Uganda should "make reparation" for injuries, but did not mention a specific amount of money. Uganda says that figure must be "discussed." Arbitration is a possibility, but recently a Ugandan government spokesman said that Uganda is taking the position that no payment should be made.

July 30, 2007: The UN reported that there has been there has been a massive number of rapes in Congo over the last decade. The Congolese Army, the National Police, and other security organizations failed to stop the violence.

July 29, 2007: The UN believes that the Congo has 1.1 million internal refugees "internally displaced people). 400,000 Congolese have left the country.

 

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