Britain and France call for urgent action on Congo

Britain and France today called for urgent international action to prevent a humanitarian disaster in the war-torn Democratic Republic of Congo.

In a joint statement to mark the end of their two-day visit to the region, David Miliband, the Foreign Secretary, and his French counterpart Bernard Kouchner said there was “no excuse for turning away”.

Gordon Brown, meanwhile, expressed concern that the Congo could be lurching towards a repeat of the 1994 genocide in neighbouring Rwanda in which up to a million people were killed. “I am very concerned by the situation in the Congo,” he told reporters during his tour of the Gulf states. “Thousands have been displaced. We must not allow Congo to become another Rwanda.”

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Posted in * International News & Commentary, Africa, Republic of Congo

5 comments on “Britain and France call for urgent action on Congo

  1. Terry Tee says:

    I agree that something ought to be done, but I fear that the situation is typical of some of the knottiest problems of our age. What I mean is that it is difficult to see where we have any leverage in the situation. We have here (a) a rebel army, from the Tutsi tribe, with substantial support from the Tutsi-led government of Rwanda; (b) the Congolese National Army, demoralised, hardly paid, living off the land by robbing those it should protect, poorly-equipped; (c) the remnants of the Hutu Interahamwe who were responsible for the genocide in Rwanda and who fled deep into the Congo rain forest. Shake together and add to the mix tempting natural resources (cobalt; copper; diamonds; tropical hardwood) and step back … actually, in all seriousness, where and how do the UK and the US have any influence in this mess, where can we bring pressure to bear? I can only think of refusing to buy the said natural resources, which would only lower their price for the Chinese. As with another very different problem of our times, the persecution of the Christians of Iraq, it is difficult to see where we bring pressure to bear, or how we can intervene positively. I say that in sadness, not in any kind of isolationism.

  2. Helen says:

    #1, Terri Tee:
    I agree with you. I would only add that here, as in so many other places in the world, the “Balm in Gilead” is the only balm – going in and preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ. He is the only true peacemaker.

  3. BlueOntario says:

    I find it tragically ironic that UN Day was just a week ago.

  4. dwstroudmd+ says:

    Clearly the FRENCH should take the lead so as not to expect the USA to do anything incorrectly. But I do have trouble remembering when the last time the French ever did any such thing. And the ABC has already maligned any USA exit strategy, so perhaps the Brits could do that voodoo which they do so well here?


  5. Byzantine says:

    Ironic, given all the agitation for so long to get Britain and France [i]out[/i] of Africa.