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In This Issue
Perspectives
ECI in the News
ECI Partners in the News
Conflict and Child Soldiers
Gender-based Violence
Elections
Economic Development
Peace and Reconciliation
Health
Other News from the DRC

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Foreign Policy: The Road to Hell Is Paved with Viral Videos
David Reiff
3/14/12

When and how so many Americans, young people in particular, were convinced, or convinced themselves, that awareness offers the key to righting wrongs wherever in the world they may be is hard to pinpoint. Read More... 

 

The New York Times Op/Ed: Peace Must Not Be the Victim of International Justice
Ian Paisley
3/16/12
An African proverb states, "Peace is costly but it is worth the expense." This week the International Criminal Court delivered its first guilty verdict in its nearly 10-year existence, with the conviction of the warlord Thomas Lubanga for the coercion of children as soldiers in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The court to date has spent around $1 billion. Justice has been done, but there is no peace in that country. Read More...

Washington Post Editorial: The meaning of "˜Kony 2012"

3/15/12 

THE PRODUCERS of an Internet video about the African warlord Joseph Kony have already proven one of their main points. Social media, the film's narrator proclaims at the outset, are "changing the way the world works. The game has new rules." Read More...  

 

Congo-Siasa: Guest post: From Campaigning to Action on Joseph Kony and the LRA  

Ida Sawyer  

3/15/12 

In the past week, a 30-minute video about Joseph Kony and his rebel group, the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA), has received more than 90 million internet hits. Viewers of the video now know, if they didn't before, that he is a wanted man with much blood on his hands. For years Human Rights Watch has investigated the LRA's horrors, from Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo to the Central African Republic (CAR) and South Sudan. We have visited remote massacre sites and listened to hundreds of victims and survivors who want their stories heard. Read More... 

ECI in the News

Yahoo News: George Clooney Arrested at Sudanese Embassy
3/16/12
...Actor Ben Affleck launched his own organization the East Congo Initiative, focused on supporting and funding local humanitarian groups in Eastern Congo. He too has testified before Congress and met with leaders in Washington, even traveling to the Democratic Republic of Congo with Cindy McCain, the wife of Senator John McCain. His friend Matt Damon has started an organization focused on access to clean water in the developing world. Actor Don Cheadle has also fought for human rights and against genocide with the Enough Project. Read More...
ECI Partners in the News

3/16/12

The doubting Thomases of 2005, who barraged Lugaaya with questions of whether Uganda needed Dance Week, were perhaps part of this year's elated audience. Back then, they sat quietly and unmoved, as they watched the dance performances. They neither cheered nor clapped. Some of the dances that stirred the audience into a frenzy included Keiga Dancers' contemporary dance and Yole Africa's performance from DR Congo. Read More...   

Conflict and Child Soldiers

The Guardian: Life in Congo: 'Many people have been killed. No one is ever punished' 

Simon Tisdall

3/16/12

It is almost dusk and shadows darken the long dirt road that runs between Beni, in Congo's North Kivu province, and the border town of Kasindi, on the Ugandan frontier. Women doing the daily wash in a nearby stream pile their garments into baskets. Standing among banana trees outside a mud hut not far from the road, a small, naked child watches silently as a Land Cruiser rattles by. Read More...  

 

The Guardian: Kony 2012 puts child soldiers back under the spotlight  

David Smith

3/16/12

The video on the Lord Resistance Army and the international criminal court's guilty verdict on a Congolese warlord have put the issue of child soldiers back on the global agenda. Read More... 

 
Huffington Post: North Kivu's False Peace
Michael Deibert
3/14/12

At first glance today, things in the Democratic Republic of Congo's eastern North Kivu province seem far calmer than in years past. Read More... 

 

UNHCR: Forcibly displaced in South Kivu face a struggle to survive
3/14/12
Claudine* and her husband Pierre* fled their village in eastern Congo in early January and found shelter with thousands of others in Bunyakiri commune. But now the couple, like other internally displaced people (IDP) in South Kivu province's Kalehe territory, face a new challenge - the struggle to survive. Read More...
Gender-based Violence

US Department of State: New Initiative Responds to Gender-Based Violence as Part of Global HIV Response
3/14/12

On March 14 at the White House, Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women's Issues Melanne Verveer and U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator Ambassador Eric Goosby announced a joint initiative to provide $4.65 million in small grants to grassroots organizations to address gender-based violence (GBV) issues. Read More... 

 

US Department of State: Charting a New Course for Women in the Pursuit of Civilian Security
Maria Otero
3/9/12

We have already begun a new initiative on women, peace, and security in Africa, focused on building local capacity in countries affected by conflict. Its first round of grants will train women activists and journalists in Kenya in early-warning systems for violence, support a new trauma center for rape survivors in Sudan, help women in the Central African Republic access legal and economic services, and improve collection of medical evidence for prosecution of gender-based violence and strengthen the medical-legal professional networks in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Read More...   

Elections

Congo-Siasa: The Congo: A Revolution Deferred
Jason Stearns
3/9/12
In the run-up to last November's presidential elections in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Cassandras were easy to find on the streets of Kinshasa. "Ça va péter," a parliamentarian told me, "It's going to blow up." It wasn't hard to see why. Both the incumbent Joseph Kabila and his main opponent Etienne Tshisekedi toasted their victories before the polls even took place. It was clear neither was going to accept defeat. Read More...
Economic Development

Ghana Business News: IMF to hold conference on managing Africa's natural resources
3/13/12
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) will be organizing a conference on how countries in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) can manage their natural resources to boost their economies.

Read More... 

Peace and Reconciliation

The Guardian: Congo villagers take protection into their own hands
Simon Tisdall
3/16/12

Preyed upon by the security forces and exploited or ignored by corrupt government officials, the people of rural eastern Congo are increasingly resorting to self-help. They are forming local protection committees, dedicated to asserting citizens' rights.

Read More...

AlertNet: Aid Worker Diaries - Lack of infrastructure beleaguers aid work in the Congo
Martin Karimi
3/16/12

The rising hills and the dipping valleys of the DRC are picturesque from the little cabin. Its nose slices through the low clouds with ease, although the turbulence increases with each. Read More...  

 

Radio Netherlands: After Lubanga: a continued need for justice   

Melanie Gouby

3/15/12

In Bunia, the capital of Ituri in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, Thomas Lubanga's ICC trial verdict of guilt still worked to divide peoples' opinions. The locals are, however,  united by a lack of enthusiasm for the court proceedings. Read More...    

 

The White House: Statement by National Security Council Spokesman Tommy Vietor on the International Criminal Court Conviction of Congolese warlord Thomas Lubanga Dyilo in Child Soldiers Case
3/14/12

The United States welcomes the conviction by the International Criminal Court of Congolese warlord Thomas Lubanga Dyilo for war crimes relating to enlisting and conscripting children under the age of 15 and causing them to participate actively in hostilities in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).  Read More... 

 
MONUSCO: Progress in the fight to end impunity in the Democratic Republic of the Congo
3/14/12
The United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO) welcomes today's decision by the International Criminal Court (ICC) in the trial of Thomas Lubanga Dyilo, found guilty of enlisting and conscripting child soldiers in the East of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) between 2002 and 2003. The verdict is the first ever issued by the ICC since its establishment in 2002. Read More...

UN News Center: UN, governments to meet on regional strategy against Lord Resistance Army
3/14/12
United Nations and government officials from central Africa will meet in Uganda next week to finalize a comprehensive regional strategy on combating the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA), the rebel group that gained notoriety for its atrocities in Uganda, but which has in recent years extended its violence to neighbouring countries.
Read More...

Politico: Anti-Joseph Kony resolution introduced in House
Patrick Gavin
3/13/12

Thanks, in part, to the viral sensation video "Kony 12" created by Invisible Children, Inc., Ugandan war criminal Joseph Kony is back in the news. The 30-minute video, the contents and spirit of which has been subject to debate, aims to draw awareness to Kony's offenses and has been watched nearly 100 million times on either YouTube or Vimeo. Read More... 

 

Wall Street Journal: Congo 'Impeding' Rebel Hunt
Nicholas Bariyo
3/13/12
The Ugandan government said Tuesday that the Democratic Republic of Congo is frustrating U.S.-backed Ugandan troops in the hunt for rebels, in the latest deterioration of relations between the neighboring states. Read More...

AP: Top Rwandan rebel leader surrenders in Congo
3/13/12
A top Rwandan rebel leader who has been fighting in neighboring eastern Congo has surrendered amid a U.N.-backed military offensive in the violence-wracked region, a Congolese military official said Tuesday. Read More...
Health

Engender Health Blog: True Heroes of the Congo
3/15/12
When Dr. Christophe Kimona treated a young mother for her fistula recently, he repaired more than just her body-she said he restored her spirit. Read More...

SciDev.net: Central Africa: Great Lakes Ministers to Revive Agricultural Research Centre
Honore Kabongo
3/15/12
Agricultural ministers of the Great Lakes countries - Burundi, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and Rwanda - have agreed to revive the Institute of Agricultural and Zootechnical Research (IRAZ) to better tackle a range of plant and animal diseases. Read More... 
Other News from the DRC

Reuters: Exclusive: Congo under scrutiny over Hezbollah business links
Dino Mahtani
3/16/12
Democratic Republic of Congo has awarded lucrative forestry concessions to a company controlled by a Lebanese businessman who also runs a firm subject to sanctions by the United States as a front for Hezbollah. Read More...

AFP: Bloodhounds deployed to fight elephant poaching in DR Congo
3/13/12
The Democratic Republic of Congo's famed Virunga National Park has deployed bloodhounds to track down elephant poachers, a park official said Monday.  Read More...