What’s the deadliest conflict since World War II?
More than 5 million people have died in the past decade, yet it goes virtually unnoticed and unreported in the United States. [...] In other words, a loss of life on the scale of Sept. 11 occurring every two days, in a country whose population is one-sixth our own. … A particularly horrifying aspect of the conflict is the mass sexual violence being used as a weapon of war.
And guess who got the ball rolling:
After supporting the allies in World War II, Congo gained independence and elected Patrice Lumumba, a progressive Pan-Africanist, as prime minister in 1960. He was assassinated soon after in a plot involving the CIA. The U.S. installed and supported Mobutu Sese Seko, who ruled tyrannically for more than 30 years, plundering the nation. Since his death, Congo has seen war, from 1996 to 2002, provoked by invasions by neighboring Rwanda and Uganda, and ongoing conflict since then. [...]
And guess why, and who took over from there:
The Congo has tremendous natural resources: 30 percent of the world’s cobalt, 10 percent of the world’s copper, 80 percent of the world’s reserves of coltan. You have to look at the corporate influence on everything that takes place in the Congo.”
[Blamed for] fueling the violence are Cleveland-based OM Group, the world’s leading producer of cobalt-based specialty chemicals and a leading supplier of nickel-based specialty chemicals, as well as Boston-based chemical giant Cabot Corp. Cabot produces coltan, also known as tantalum, a hard-to-extract but critical component of electronic circuitry, which is used in all cell phones and other consumer electronics. The massive demand for coltan is credited with fueling the Second Congo War of 1998-2002. A former CEO of Cabot is none other than the Bush administration’s current secretary of energy, Samuel Bodman. [...]
The United Nations has issued several reports that are highly critical of illegal corporate exploitation of the Congo’s minerals.[...] “Eighty percent of the population live on 30 cents a day or less, with billions of dollars going out the back door and into the pockets of mining companies.”
An important question for us in the U.S. is: How could close to 6 million people die from war and related disease in one country in less than a decade and go virtually unnoticed?
Do read the entire post by Amy Goodman at DRC: The Invisible War.
Tags: CIA, Lumumba, Mobuto+Sese+Seko, corporatocracy, corporations+Africa, plunder+Africa, coltan, tantalum, Amy+Goodman, corporate+exploitation, UN+Africa, Monte AsburyPowered by ScribeFire