The High Price of Dependency
It was with a very angry heart that I had to watch as Brian Ross of the ABCNEws corp. report on UN. Sex Crimes in the Congo:
The range of sexual abuse includes reported rapes of young Congolese girls by U.N. troops, an Internet pedophile ring run from Congo by Didier Bourguet, a senior U.N. official from France, a colonel from South Africa accused of molesting his teenage male translators, and estimates of hundreds of underage girls having babies fathered by U.N. soldiers who have been able to simply leave their children and their crimes behind.
Ravaged by decades of civil war, and one of the poorest countries in the world, Congo has relied on the United Nations for both military protection and humanitarian aid.
"The U.N. is there for their protection, so when the protectors become violators, this is particularly egregious," said Anneke Van Woudenberg, a senior researcher with Human Rights Watch who investigated the allegations on behalf of her organization. "This is particularly bad."
Meanwhile just north-east of there the NY times reminds us of the genocide and ethnic "cleansing" going on in the Sudan, in a report entitled: Darfur's Babies of Rape on Trail fro Birth. In this report they discuss the babies of the systemic rape of women by the Janghaweed Militias.
All in all it is simply a sad day for Africa, where innocent civilians, women and children become the victims of government agents, both domestic and foreign. Where the men have not the will or abilty to defend thier women from the predations of those who would be their protectors and those who would be thier killers.
My question is when will enough be enough? When will we stop selling out ourselves? When will we become emboldened by the ideal of "freedom or death?"
I'm not saying that the people who committed these acts are absolved by our own vulnerability, I am saying that it does not make sense that after everything Africans have been through, we still allow ourselves to be helpless spectators in the world around us.
This needs to stop and no UN peacekeeping force, no AU ( African Union) force is going to stop this. We have got to get to the point where we just will not accept living under so called leadership that does nothing but enrich itself. How did Mobutu live so long when he had servants in his house who could have "removed" him from power? Where is the self-respect?? Where is the outrage at what we allow our own to do for us?
Every time I see or read articles and newscasts about Rwanda and Congo and Sudan, everyone blames Europe and America ( and China), Tey get blamed for providing weapons, For not providing food or medicine or whatever else, But I don't see anyone seriously discussing why We are doing these things to ourselves? It is unfashionable to "blame the victim." I understand that ideology but clearly doing the same thing over and over again is NOT solving a damn thing. The same old wait for the UN to step in or wait for this or that Donor?
A recent article in The Black Commentator discussed how when Belgium pulled out of what is now the DRC they left all of 4 doctors. When Mobutu left I understand he left the banks with a couple hundred thousand dollar equivalent in currency. WE can defintitly fault belgium (and the US) for starting the problem in Africa, but since then Africa has sent many many professionals, especially in the medical field, to Europe and America. Many of those came for the better economic opportunities. Can I fault those indiviiduals? No. But if they are here or in Europe then they are not in Africa. In many instances the doctors and nurses were trained in State supported schools and thus the investments in that human capital is gone. Clearly then those who could be serve the medical needs of Africans are best serving the needs of Europeans. Do they care about Africans? Is there no will to sacrifice for the future of the country? Is it going to continue to be the case that Doctors without Borders and WHO will be the suppliers of medical services rather than locals? Is this acceptible to us?
Nation building is not a get rich quick scheme. It doesn't happen over night and it's not free. Franz Fanon, Amilcar Cabral and Kwame Nkrumah among others warned us what would happen once black faces got into the high places. I was truely hoping that they would eventually be proven wrong. It seems I was overly optimistic.