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Massacring DR Congo's future
by Thanos Kalamidas
2006-11-28 10:43:26
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There’s nothing that saddens me more than the news of a civil war, whether it begins or continues. There was a civil war in Greece that lasted nearly five years; memories and passions still last generations later. So why would it be any different in the Democratic Republic of Congo, when things are so fresh in peoples’ minds?

Reading the news I saw that dissident soldiers in the DR Congo have attacked army positions in the east of the country close to the Rwanda borders. But what is the legal army? Who is legal in the middle of a civil war? It doesn’t matter how much the international community is trying to stop it? Both sides think that they have the right to do what they are doing and gradually they lose control of what’s right and what’s wrong. Killing neighbor is not wrong any more, killing brother is not wrong, the face of the brother has become the face of the enemy.

This is what I was thinking reading the news. Fifty years after the civil war in Greece two brothers met and it took them a while before they started their old disagreements again. I live in Finland, and the civil war happened nearly a century ago here, still I have heard somebody saying, ‘They killed my grandfather, and I will never forgive them.’ What he will never forgive is not the crime of one human killing the other, but killing his grandfather. It is personal.

That’s what is left from a civil war, nobody wins. Some do, but this is temporary. How can you feel the winner when you have killed a brother to achieve this victory? How can you feel a winner when the loser is inside your very own house? And how can you tell all these thing to somebody who is in the middle of a civil war just like all these people in DR Congo?

The UN seems optimistic but sometimes I’m not sure if everybody realizes how long it will take for things to become calm in this country, even if the war stops…yesterday. In this war, like in any other war, kids are involved and not only as victims between the innocent, but as little warriors as well. In the case of Congo, children soldiers have been used from both sides openly. These boys and girls – yes girls, it seems that war is one of the very few places where men and women are equal – aged around 15, are going to build tomorrow’s Congo. But with what memories? Murder and rape have been their every day pictures.

Usually these civil wars last a few decades and are the result of the ego of some very few generals who rebelled. They have all the good excuses but ended up in a hunt to glorify this very same ego and they gradually become exactly the same as what they opposed for so long.

I might sound too radical, but the picture of these children fighting a war they cannot understand, often killing their own families without even knowing or remembering and then asking these very same children to build a better world is at least a crime against humanity and those responsible for these wars should be on trial for genocide.

I know it sounds too much but why not? These people didn’t only kill and massacre a whole nation but they did the same with future generations as well. They did the same with the future of a continent since all these rebels escape to neighbor countries asking for a new field. Sometimes the same people fight all around as mercenaries just because they don’t know any other life.

Let’s hope that the whole thing in DR Congo will finish soon, but let’s also hope that the responsible for this will be punished from both sides because both sides are responsible for massacring their future.

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