"Eastern DRC: What Should the International Community be doing?"

Karl Miller 26 Mar 2008 v2.0 www.arcwebsite.org

"War decides does not decide who is right it decides who is left."

Anon Chinese proverb

I have just attended a rather disappointed meeting at the LSE on "Eastern DRC: What Should the International Community be doing?"

The illustrious speakers were Clair Short, General Olusegun Obasanjo, James Putzer and David Leonard.

Most of the audience were LSE students as the meeting was changed from a public meeting to one for students and invited guests due to a small demonstration by Nigerians (against the presence of the General, who the hold responsible for tens of thousands of deaths of people wanting a share of the oil wealth in Nigeria ) and Congolese (because no Congolese was on the panel).

Below are some brief notes I took during the meeting . For a more accurate account see the podcast on the LSE website www.lse.ac.uk (Podcasts and Transcripts Podcasts and transcripts of many recent LSE public lectures are now online. To listen to podcasts or download transcripts please visit the LSE Public Lectures and Events Podcasts Channel)

At the end of my notes I wrote "All wrong - Don't need armies to perpetuate violence. No more arms to the DRC. Need civilian peace force. Women are the key. The responsibility to protect the women and the children."

Clair Short

Outlined the history of the conflicts in the DRC (see Background to the conflicts in the DRC below). By 2008 the war in the DRC had killed 5.4 million people.

She stressed the terrifying incompetence of international institutions in dealing with the conflicts n the DRC. The UK was useful in the DRC because it had no history or self interest.

The Permanent 5 states of the Security Council (P5) supply money for peacekeeping but weaker armies supply troops for peacekeeping. P5 lack of concern or supplying the required forces. The peacekeeping force needs a strengthened mandate. Also need P5 troops.

Rape and violence against women and children is a fact of such conflicts. Most of deaths in the DRC were of civilians from side effects of the military conflict such as dysentery.

NGO commentary concentrating on finding villains does not help in resolving the conflict.

The underlying problem is that the international community is ineffective in creating order. If can't create order then no development; more rape; looting and pillaging.

 

General Olusegun Obasanjo - UN Special Representatiove for the Great Lakes Region and African Union representative.

Aim is establishment of order and strengthening institutions. His mandate is to bring about comprehensive peace. Since becoming the envoy in November 2008 he has met with all the regions governmental leaders and brokered a joint agreement between the governments of the DRC and Rwanda important achievement.

There are problems with different countries training small parts of the army. Need an international team to train all the army. The army is not paid and is expected to live off the land. The 5,000 rebels integrated into DRC army were not paid or fed. De-mobbed rebel troops not given resources for civilian life (e.g. farming tools) and often returned home to find their lands taken over by others.

DRC is not a failed state but has very weak institutions of state. The economy and infrastructure issues are most important.

The DRC is ten times the size of Nigeria, yet has 1/3 of Nigeria's population and over 450 tribes.

International Community's role is to make available sufficient resources. About $0.5bn was spent on the election in the DRC. The African Union made resources available according to its capacity; mostly troops.

James Putzer.

The important agreement between the DRC and Rwandan governments was forced by the offensive of the CNDC that cause the humanitarian disaster. There is need for joint responsibility of both the DRC and Rwandan for peace and security. Need peace for development.

Three Big worries:

1. Principle problem is the failure of the DRC to have a viable army. DRC army (FARDC ) one of the worst perpetuators of violence and war crimes; and have colluded with FDLR rebels; one of the main reasons for the instability.

2. 1 person 1 vote democracy won't solve the problems in the DRC. In some areas the local people are outnumbered by Rwandans. There are no viable (programmatic , issue based, multi-ethnic) political parties.

3. No serious plan for development for the DRC. Development plans cannot be based on mineral extraction. Development plans must look at agriculture; animal husbandry and ways of providing a livelihood for the locals.

David Leonard

Elections point the way out of the DRC's problems. They weed out those groups with claims to political power. But also need local elections.

Ineffectiveness of the 17,000 strong UN peacekeeping force costing $0.5 per year. They do no fighting. Their main role seems to be reporting those who have done something wrong; to name and shame . They are not a deterrence. Perhaps the fault lies with their mandate.

DRC government does not collect revenues. All the country's valuable resource being exploited by local foreign concerns with little benefit to the state.

The unpaid army a very dangerous army to the local population.

Congolese blame Rwandan Tutsis and Hutis for troubles. Although the Congolese refer to the Rwandan's as problem the co-operation of the DRC and Rwanda is needed to resolve the conflict.

 

 

Background to the conflicts in the DRC

(I did not write down Clair Short's outline of the history of the conflicts in the DRC, so I looked it up).

From wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Democratic_Republic_of_the_Congo. [4]

Starting from the flight of the Hutu Interahamwe who committed the genocide in Rwanda to camps in the DRC. The used the Hutu refugees camps in eastern Zaire as a basis for incursion against Rwanda. These Hutu militia forces soon allied with the Zairian armed forces (FAZ) to launch a campaign against Congolese ethnic Tutsis in eastern Zaire.

This escalated into the First Congo war which involved the overthrow of Mobutu by Laurent-Desire Kabila through a coalition ( the Alliance des Forces Démocratiques pour la Libération du Congo-Zaïre AFDL) of Tutsis ; various opposition groups with the support of several countries, including Rwanda and Uganda.

The Movement for the Liberation of Congo (MLC), led by the warlord Jean-Pierre Bemba attacked in 1998, backed by Rwandan and Ugandan troops. Angola, Zimbabwe and Namibia became involved militarily on the side of the government. Kabila was assassinated in 2001 and was succeeded by his son Joseph who upon taking office called for multilateral peace talks to end the war. In February 2001 a peace deal was brokered between Kabila, Rwanda and Uganda lead to the apparent withdrawal of foreign troops. UN peacekeepers, MONUC , arrived in April 2001. The conflict was reignited in January 2002 by ethnic clashes in the northeast and both Uganda and Rwanda then halted their withdrawal and sent in more troops. Talks between Kabila and the rebel leaders led to the signing of a peace accord in which Kabila would share power with former rebels. By June 2003 all foreign armies except those of Rwanda had pulled out of Congo. Much of the conflict was focused on gaining control of substantial natural resources in the country, including diamonds copper, zinc and coltan.

DR Congo had a transitional government until the election was over. A constitution was approved by voters and on July 30, 2006 the Congo held its first multi-party elections since independence in 1960. After this Joseph Kabila took 45% of the votes and his opponent Jean-Pierre Bemba took 20%. That was the origin of a fight between the two parts from August 20-22, 2006 in the streets of the capital, Kinshasa. Sixteen people died before police and UN mission MONUC took control of the city. A new election was held on October 29, 2006, which Kabila won with 70% of the vote. Bemba has made multiple public statements saying the election has "irregularities," despite the fact that every neutral observer has praised the elections. On December 6, 2006 the Transitional Government came to an end as Joseph Kabila was sworn in as President.

The fragility of the state has allowed continued conflict and human rights abuses. In the ongoing Kivu conflict Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR) continues to threaten the Rwandan border and the Banyamulenge and where Rwanda supports RCD-Goma rebels against Kinshasa; a rebel offensive at the end of October 2008 caused a refugee crisis. In Ituri Province, where MONUC has proved unable to contain the numerous militia and groups driving the Ituri conflict. In the northeast, Joseph Kony's LRA moved from their original bases in Uganda, where they have fought a 20-year rebellion, and South Sudan to DR Congo in 2005 and have set up camps in the Garamba National Park. In northern Katanga the Mai-Mai created by Laurent Kabila slipped out of the control of Kinshasa. The war is the world's deadliest conflict since World War II killing 5.4 million people.

Today at the dawn of 2009, people in the Congo are still dying at a rate of an estimated 45,000 per month and already 2,700,000 people have died since 2004. This death toll is due to widespread disease and famine; reports indicate that almost half of the individuals killed are children under the age of 5. The aftermath of the war has truly gutted the country. This death rate has been prevalent since efforts at rebuilding the nation began in 2004.

 

As General Obasanjo's comparison between Nigeria and the DRC did not mean much to me I compared the DRC with the UK.

 

DRC is a very large, poor country

Table 1: Comparison between the UK and the DRC

Sources: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Democratic_Republic_of_the_Congo

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_kingdom

Year Country Rank Index Out of
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_Development_Index
The Human Development Index (HDI) is an index used to rank countries by level of "human development", which usually also implies to determine whether a country is a
developed developing, or underdeveloped country

The HDI combines normalized measures of life expectancy literacy, educational attainment and GDP per capita for countries worldwide. It is claimed as a standard means of measuring human development—a concept that, according to the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), refers to the process of widening the options of persons, giving them greater opportunities for education, health care, income, employment, etc. The basic use of HDI is to measure a country's development.

2006 UK 21 0.942 179
2006 DRC 177 0.361 179
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Satisfaction_with_Life_Index
The Satisfaction with Life Index was created by Adrian G. White, an Analytic Social Psychologist at the
University of Leicester using data from a metastudy. It is an attempt to show life satisfaction (subjective life satisfaction ) in different nations. In this calculation, subjective well being correlates most strongly with health (.7), wealth (.6), and access to basic education (.6).
2006 UK 41 236.67 178
2006 DRC 176 110 178
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Happy_Planet_Index
The Happy Planet Index (HPI) is an
index of human well-being and environmental impact, introduced by the New Economics Foundation (NEF), in July 2006. The index is designed to challenge well-established indices of countries’ development, such as Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and the Human Development Index (HDI), which are seen as not taking sustainability into account. In particular, GDP is seen as inappropriate, as the ultimate aim of most people is not to be rich, but to be happy and healthy. Further, the notion of sustainable development requires that we have a measure of the environmental costs of pursuing those goals.
2006 UK 108 40.29 178
2006 DRC 175 20.69 178
         

Table 2: Indicies Comparison between the UK and the DRC

The DRC is ten times the size of the UK, yet has about the same population. The UK population enjoy over 100 times more per capita GDP. Not surprisingly the UK is far better off than the DRC in terms of Human Development, Satisfaction with life and Happiness. Indeed the DRC is always in the bottom 3.

So the DRC is a very large and poor country. It not only has minerals (such as the Coltan in your mobile phones and other electronics) that are valuable to the rest of the world; but also tropical rain forests that are essential to the climate of the Earth and wildlife that is important for the eco-diversity of life on our planet. However; from films such as Lumo [10] ; " The Greatest Silence: Rape in the DRC " [11] and various TV documentaries (mostly on Nature) I see not only beautiful flora and fauna but also some beautiful souls; fully deserving of the more of the opportunities, rights and benefits enjoyed by most people in the modern world.

There are lots of inaccessible places for rebel groups to hide. Rebel groups form like urban gangs in the USA and other cities around the world. Reasons include: disaffection, the need for an identity; lack of decent work, exclusion from a share of the wealth and resources of the country, want money while young; wanting to reap what they don't sow, they think they can get away with criminal activity, and using weapons to exert power and terrorise unarmed civilians.

 

Is that all the International Community is doing?

I found it difficult to argue against or disagree with what the panel said. After all they are the experts. Yet it did not seem enough for a country in which violent conflicts have resulted in the deaths of over 5 million people (about half the population of London ) in the last 10 years. No doubt the actions proposed by the panel will eventually work. But that is likely to take another 10 years; and probably not be before the deaths of millions more.

Where were the references to a coherent programme linking projects of various programmes by parts of the UN, such as the peacebuilding commission; human security; world food programme; FAO, UNDP, UNEP, UNICEF, UNIFEM, WHO etc.?

Instead I heard of mainly diplomatic efforts by a special envoy aiming to establish of order and strengthen DRC institutions. The success of General Obasanjo diplomatic activities were encouraging. However; cynically put another way ; the important agreement between the DRC and Rwandan governments was because we saw the suffering of the people on our TVs. This is in contrast to the Second Congo wars where little was shown on our TVs. I was pleased to hear he is involving neighbouring states. At the Annual Conference (organised by Westminster UNA ) for the International Day of UN Peacekeepers celebration in London a few years ago, a professor from Bradford University stated that his analysis suggests that the neighbouring states have the responsibility for securing peace ; because they are most adversely affected by the conflict.

It seems like processes and strategies required to bring about lasting peace like the need for resources articulated by Caroline Guinard (2) in 2002 have largely been ignored. There was little or no mention of involving the various factions in peace talks, negotiations, confidence building, cease-fire agreements and disarmament, pragmatism and consensus, involving and empowering women via 1325, Education, Disarmament for Development, Reconciliation or implementation of the most urgent provisions decided by the peace process. Where is the map of the conditions and path to sustainable peace as detailed in Searching for Peace - The Road to TRANSCEND. [8]

 

What are the African leaders doing? Some mention of the improvements in Africa governance would have been welcomed; especially those examples that could be readily applied in the DRC. Also suggestions for other long standing important issues. For example; Conspiracy theorists may say that since "reports indicate that almost half of the individuals killed [in the DRC] are children under the age of 5" the conflicts in Africa are being used as a form of population control. Perhaps when initiatives like those taken by China and other countries, that have significantly reduced their birth rates, are implemented in high birth rate areas of Africa the conflict will reduce.

Terrifying incompetence of international institutions in the DRC.

Some of the most shameful episodes in UN history have involved the DRC. These include:

1. Its collusion in the overthrow of Lumumba soon after independence; because he had innocently (upon the advice of his European advisors) offended the Belgian king. See White King, Red Rubber, Black Death. [5]. This ushered in the reign of Mobutu who destroyed the country and cause the people great suffering. [6]

2. Its failure to act decisively to prevent the genocide in Rwanda where the Hutus massacred almost 1 million Tutsi. See A People Betrayed and other books by Linda Melvern. [7] The genocide was the largest since the second world war. Based on racism it was against one of the fundamental values of the UN. Unlike Germany and Japan after the second world war, the perpetuators of the genocide; the Hutu Interahamwe; were not disarmed; but left cause the havoc they have done since in the DRC.

3. Its failure to prevent or end quickly the Second Congo War (also called Africa's First World war). Where several states invaded a sovereign state; going against the UN Charter. "By 2008 the Second Congo War and its aftermath had killed 5.4 million people "[4]

The International community has the Responsibility to protect the women & children of the DRC

I noted the emphasis that the DRC is not a failed state but has very weak institutions of state. This I interpret as legal jargon to mean the UN's responsibility to protect should not come into effect.

The International community has the Responsibility to protect the women & children of the DRC according to 1820 and the general population according to international law. The mandate of the Peacekeeping force should be focused on this responsibility. The peacekeeping force should indict, apprehend and bring to justice transgressors of 1820 and commanders who allow their fighters to use violence against women and children or commit crimes against humanity. Specially trained snatch squads from the P5 states or a coalition of neighbouring states could assist in this respect.

Rape and violence against women and children is a fact of such conflicts. But that does not mean there is nothing the International community can do about it. The aspirations and commitment expressed by the SC in 1820 needs to be implemented on the ground; starting from small beginnings and increasing until all parties in the conflict are in fear of committing such acts because they know they will be brought to justice quickly.

None of the many solutions and actions of the Ministerial-level Debate on Women, Peace and Security. 19 June 2008 [1] www.un.org/News/Press/docs/2008/sc9364.doc.htm were presented at meeting. Not "the cession by all parties to armed conflict of all acts of sexual violence against civilians"; nor "the ending of impunity for such acts"; nor the "exclusion of sexual violence crimes from amnesty provisions". From reading the transcripts I believe that the ministers were sincere, and not just politicking. I am at a loss as to why their requests, affirmations, urgings and demands have not been addressed in the DRC where "rape and other forms of sexual violence [that] can constitute war crimes, crimes against humanity" [1] are being committed on a large scale today. Has their obligations under resolutions such as 1820 and 1325 been communicated to the commanders of all parties and boys in the bush in the conflicts in the DRC? Films like Lumo [10] and " The Greatest Silence: Rape in the DRC " [11] give impression rape is one of rewards offered by both sides to persuade their combatants to fight.

This reminds me of one of my previous outpourings:

" His-story will focus on the recent Iraq war. But Human-story will remember the" [5.2 million dead in the DRC in the last 10 years.] "It will remember those who fate has put in positions of power and leadership, who instead of helping the African peoples have overseen and even facilitated the mass carnage. Some bury their heads in the sand, some dismiss it as not their problem, some spout near empty rhetoric, some throw their hands up in exasperation, some exploit the situation to amass wealth, some focus on other more politically advantageous issues. While the blood of the African Peoples run and run and the cries of their sufferings go unheeded by some impotent and or intransigent leaders. The UN is indeed in crisis over Africa. A crisis of leadership, morality and integrity."

Out of the love and respect for the women and children in their lives I wish the Obama administration would appoint an envoy for women's and Children's security, that prosecutes 1820 in conflict areas; especially in the DRC. Similar to the Special Envoys they have appointed to Afghanistan and Pakistan; the Middle East; the Gulf and South West India; Korea and Climate Change it would signal a major priority of US foreign policy and encourage the support and efforts of others. Ok it may not be seen as in the US's National interests ; but wouldn't such a values based stand be in the interest of the American people; enhance the dignity of the human condition and of great value to the progress of humanity.

 

More arms in the DRC will mean more deaths.

Historically the least successfully aspect of the UN have been those based around the First Committee, dealing with peace and security.

A General can only think like a soldier. General Obasanjo attributes most problems to a weak army. The emphasis is on the institutions and forces that have been causing the deaths in the DRC over the last few years. There was no talk of by-passing them or emasculating them, such as developing the role of women as per 1325.

 

Calls for strengthening the DRC army also implies an increase in arms to the DRC. IANSA (www.iansa,org) has documented that most of the illicit arms in circulation come from the security forces. More arms in the DRC will mean more deaths. That is the role, purpose, effect and reason de etre of arms; killing people. (Doctor the patient is losing limbs due to the cold; what should we do? Ok lets apply more ice.). The emphasis should be on stopping the supply of arms as the UN has long recognised that a readily available supply of weapons only prolongs a conflict. But then there is no profit in that for the P5. Especially as some members of the P5 have been supplying arms to both sides in the conflict in the DRC. (3)

To improve the effectiveness of embargoes, Mr. Annan recommends the Council consider "coercive measures" against States that "deliberately violate" the sanctions and consider giving greater attention to blocking the flow of ammunition to areas of conflict. Other studies have shown that while weapons may still get to warring par ties, when ammunition can be blocked, the conflicts slacken. "Progress…depends almost entirely on the political will and technical capacity [of States]," he wrote. "

From Go Between 101 December 2003 - January 2004

The meeting made me recall watching a film about terror the small Lords Resistance Army (LRA) in Uganda. "The government of Uganda claims the LRA has only 500 or 1,000 soldiers in total, but other sources estimate that there could be as many as 3,000 soldiers, along with about 1,500 women and children." [12] It made me realise that the International Community cares little about the lives and conditions of the African Peoples. A small well trained force could have brought the LRA to justice in a matter of months. Yet they are allowed to remain active; even committing the Christmas massacres in the DRC on 25–27 December 2008.

"Media reports indicated that more than 400 people were killed, many of them hacked into pieces, decapitated, or burned alive in their homes. Several people reportedly had their lips cut off as a "warning not to speak ill of the rebels", and two three-year-old girls suffered serious neck injuries when rebels tried to twist their heads off. More than 20,000 people were reported to have been displaced by the attacks, and at least 20 children were abducted by the LRA." [12] Source Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LRA

I note that it took the death of the UNITA leader to bring an end bloody civil war in Angola. I am not advocating the killing of the leaders in violent conflicts. I am advocating using forces such as snatch squad to separate them from their followers when they are charged with crimes against Humanity such as rape.

As for the Hutus, there is no point in attributing the sins of their fathers to the new generation. However the fathers must be punished for their sins. The DRC is large enough to make an area available to them. There are problems associated with that; especially with respect to the present or traditional inhabitants and some cases where that has been implemented in the past. I wonder if greater devolution of power would help. Like Germany and Japan after the second world war they should be prohibited from having an army or owning weapons. Indeed disarmament of all rebel groups in the DRC should be a priority. Their possession of arms will continue to cause carnage and terrorise civilians; even if it is only at the levels of urban gangs in possession of illicit arms in many cities around the world.

David Leonard's statement The unpaid army a very dangerous army to the local population. How true. Not only the army but whole governments as well.

"When order breaks down in a country, poor people usually suffer first and most. All too often, violence against civilians emanates from forces under government control. During the 20th century governments killed 170 million people; far more than died in wars between countries."[13]
I think sometimes armies forget their purpose in society and do not provide sufficient benefits for the resources they consume. In developed countries this may take the form of wanting prohibitively expensive high tech sophisticated weapons; or ensuring profits for the military industrial complex. In many countries it is just a job; a way of eating and caring for their families. In many poor countries the resources diverted to the army could be of greater benefit to the society if used for development. The image I have is that of an army, practising at being soldiers, by marching up and down in the sun most days while the fields are left fallow; crops are not planted, resulting in the army using their guns to ensure they get the lions share of what little food is made available through the backbreaking toil of the farmers.

Unemployed, disaffected youth can be menace to the local population. We need motivation for the youths not to engage in violent conflicts but instead in peacefully co-operation. Similar motivation to good governance is required for leaders and public officials. These need to be viable and credible alternatives within the local context. Not focused around money; but on a change of mindset. I was a bit disappointed by the emphasis placed on more money for the DRC. Sure the DRC, like most of sub-Saharan Africa; needs a Marshal plan. The impression I got is that a lot of money is spent on the DRC; such as $0.5bn on the election, and $0.5bn per year on the peacekeeping force. But little of that money is touched by it's inhabitants or remains in the country. Resources does not only mean money. There are human; physical, knowledge and emotional support resources as well.

Only top down approaches; What about engaging the population directly?

The panel's analysis seems concerned with systematic and institutional failures. There was no mention of the human failures. Who are the people responsible for the failures? Human greed is at work. The greed of the powerful; both at home and abroad; is part of the cause of the suffering of the people. Who are the people making a killing by breaking sanctions and supplying weapons to the combatants? Who are the people ripping off the DRC's mineral wealth? Whilst I agree that the effective systems are more important than individuals; I am also aware that systems can fail when not implemented by good, conscientious, diligent people. Like most countries the DRC should have " structured a system to be run by devils, where they could do no harm"[17 James Madison] as "Experience [has] shown that, even under the best forms [of government], those entrusted with power have, in time and by slow operations, perverted it into tyranny." –Thomas Jefferson, 1779 [17]

I am concerned by the emphasis on top down approaches. From as long ago as the year 2000 I was told that economists have concluded that the trickle down effect does not work. If it does not work for money then its not going to work for peace and development. (I wish I had not thought of this analogy. The prospect of the top down greed and stupidity that caused the credit crunch and current recession being applied in the development or peace spheres is frightening; especially if there are the equivalent of a "Morgan Mafia," [14] in operation). People in the poorest countries (like the DRC) may end up paying the highest during this global financial.

World Bank forecasts indicate declines in economic activity and jobs could result in more than 50 million people being added to those living on less that $2 a day. Hard-won gains in poverty alleviation, health, education and food security are being reversed.

…..

Ignoring the needs of the developing world is grossly unfair and short-sighted. As revenues plummet, governments will struggle to maintain basic services like healthcare and education. The risk of social unrest and political instability is growing. If action is not taken, the consequences will be disastrous for those affected and more costly in the long term.

Kofi Annan The Guardian, Monday 16 March 2009

"This crisis has huge negative consequences in the UK – clearly rising unemployment – people are much less well off but in developing countries but in poor countries particularly in Africa , this

crisis means people will die and that a very different consequence then anywhere else in the world. We’re already getting lots of evidence of children who are seeing increased levels of malnutrition poor families who are having to sell their modest livestock, pull their children out of school because they can no longer afford the school fees or they need their children at home to help with work and those consequences are far more severe" Nemat (Minouche) Shafik [16]

In conjunction with the top down approaches, I think we also need Practitioner or individual people twinning for implementing the MDG's or improving the lives (and life spans) of the people in the Eastern DRC and sub-Saharan Africa.. This would involve establishing links between the individuals in the DRC who do the work with those is other countries. Not at the town hall level, but school headmaster to school headmaster; sewage manager to sewage manger, doctor to doctor etc. We need to implement more avenues through which the people of the DRC can develop the knowledge and skills to effectively manager their own affairs. Engaging the population directly. Help them to help themselves. Providing them with the systems, knowledge, skills, infrastructure and tools to be able to earn a living and satisfy their basic needs while contributing to the functioning of their society. When will the rules in African countries include provisions that have been so successful in Asia's development; such as 50% local ownership of investments, and local staff shadowing (pairing with) foreign workers. Come on, one should not need more than three factories built by outside concerns before one is able to build similar quality factories.

Development in the DRC rests on achieving human security

I agree with James Putzer on a serious development plan for the DRC. But my cynicism says that the economic development plans will be based on mineral extraction because that is where the profit is for the powerful. Indeed; like most of the recent conflicts in Africa, the conflict in the DRC are resource wars. See Democratic Republic of Congo, according to an investigative report. <http://www.gamepolitics.com/2008/07/11/report-rare-metal-fueled-african-quotplaystation-warquot>

Securing the supply of cheap resources by powerful outside interests using local proxies; paid for using weapons and the blood of the local population. Cheap resources are required for the classical economic model of raw materials feeding into the factory that produces profitable finished goods. It is about time that more is paid for of these resources; especially considering the negative effects the low prices are having on the people and environments from where they are acquired. This will not necessarily result in negative effects for the rest of the world; as examples such as the end of slavery; improvements in wages and working conditions for industrial workers; and the move towards sustainable development and agriculture have shown.

Mineral extraction in the DRC must comply with essential initiative such as the global compact ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Global_Compact and http://www.unglobalcompact.org/ ), Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/EITI ), Promoting Revenue Transparency Project ( http://www.transparency.org especially http://www.transparency.org/policy_research/surveys_indices/promoting_revenue_transparency) United Nations Convention against Corruption ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_Nations_Convention_against_Corruption and <http://www.unodc.org/unodc/en/treaties/CAC/index.html> )

I was pleased that the topic of the corruption of the Africans was not raised during the meeting. It was at LSE a few years ago that I learnt from the economist Professor Briton that half the corruption in the world involves the arms trade. The lack of transparency; profit motives of the suppliers, and desire for the power to kill, of some locals, contribute to a rich breeding ground for corruption.

Of course I agree with the speakers that peace and order are perquisites to development. However I also think a policy of disarmament for development accelerates development (as for Japan and Germany). I have long been an advocator of disarmament for development. I am a supporter of the IPB Programme On Sustainable Disarmament For Sustainable Development ( http://www.ipb.org/web/seccion.php?tipus=Programmes-Disarmament-Development ) and tried to promote implementation of the recommendations of the UN report A 59 119 relationship between disarmament and development Report of the Group of Governmental Experts on the relationship between disarmament and development.

Paragraph 59 states "The Secretary-General has cautioned that "Nothing is more inimical to progrowth, anti-poverty objectives than armed conflict."23 Thus, an obvious way to minimize the development-related costs and consequences of armed conflict and military expenditure is to invest in conflict prevention. By preventing conflict, not only are fewer resources utilized for armaments, but economic and social development can advance as stability and confidence are maintained."

I remember Sir Richard Jolly in one of his presentations entitled DISARMAMENT AND DEVELOPMENT — AN OVERVIEW (based on his presentation to the Group of Governmental Experts on Disarmament and Development at the United Nations on 9 March 2004.) informing us that 5 out of 10 Nobel Peace Prize winning Economists are passionately in favour of Disarmament. Heck; even the World bank recognised its importance in Security, Poverty Reduction & Sustainable Development - Challenges for the New Millennium (September 1999). One could argue that the founders of the UN expressed Disarmament for Development in Article 26 of the UN Charter. Indeed most states of the UN have supported this over the years. [15]

I am also of the view that the effective implementation of the Universal Declaration of Human rights (see articles 3, 22, 23, 24, 25 and 26 ) is an essential step towards achieving development. Extending this to include all the ten or so UN political, economic and social rights instruments (conventions) will guarantee development.

Development in the DRC should be based upon the new paradigm of Human Security; " lasting peace hinges on a life free from fear, want and exclusion" See box Building Peace – A challenge that rests on achieving human security. Do the maths. 70% victims are non-combatants civilians; mostly women and children. " This death toll is due to widespread disease and famine; reports indicate that almost half of the individuals killed are children under the age of 5." So make this a top priority.

 

Building Peace – A challenge that rests on achieving human security

From Human Security at the UN - Newsletter - Issue 2 Winter 2008 available at http://ochaonline.un.org/humansecurity

From Côte d’Ivoire to Afghanistan, and even in initial success stories such as Timor-Leste, it is increasingly recognized that in order to build sustainable and lasting peace, comprehensive and integrated responses that go far beyond brokering ceasefires and establish the groundwork for achieving human security are needed. By focusing on bringing the rewards of peace to people and communities, and by emphasizing that a lasting peace hinges on a life free from fear, want and exclusion, human security can help recast efforts towards concrete interventions that address the needs of people on the ground.

Adopting a human security approach

Despite daunting challenges, post-conflict situations provide significant opportunities to promote change - opportunities that address the root causes of conflicts, heal fragmentation and erase inequalities, and strengthen state-society relations. But post-conflict situations can also create new uncertainties and deepen alienation. In this critical and fragile period, people’s rights to political, economic and social freedoms must be reasserted if stability is to return to a country.

Moreover to be truly home-grown and sustainable, an integrated human security framework should be developed in full partnership with national and local authorities and should bring together humanitarian, developmental and security concerns and policies. Based on the following five clusters, this framework should incorporate the human security issues and needs identified in each of these clusters and emphasize their cross-cutting dimensions:

Ensuring public safety.

Meeting immediate humanitarian needs.

Launching rehabilitation and reconstruction.

Emphasizing reconciliation and coexistence.

Promoting governance and empowerment.

First, in the aftermath of conflicts when national authorities are seldom in a position to ensure public safety, the protection of civilians must be among the first priorities of peacebuilding. To this end, efforts to disarm, demobilize and reintegrate former combatants and to remove small arms, light weapons and landmines are critical steps in reestablishing public safety. Similarly, effective national security institutions that uphold the rule of law, value transparency, and respect human rights are further pillars in strengthening public safety and advancing human security.

Second, efforts must be integrated, demand-driven and inclusive so that all humanitarian needs are met. Too often international assistance is compartimentalized for different categories of people. As a result, some needs may be overlooked and some groups may receive little attention.

Third, rather than respond along humanitarian and developmental lines, efforts should be jointly initiated and should focus on providing key services, rebuilding infrastructures, reintegrating the displaced, establishing social safety nets and promoting stable macroeconomic frameworks. Launching rehabilitation and reconstruction as soon as possible is a major incentive for peace.

Fourth, because conflicts erode trust, the need to support reconciliation and coexistence cannot be ignored. From a human security perspective, a bottom-up community based approach involving as many people as possible is essential to complement top-down justice and reconciliation processes that together help avert renewed violence based on identity politics and manipulation.

Fifth, good governance at all levels is the most important factor in promoting the cause of peace and development. A top priority therefore should be to establish institutions that promote inclusive, fair and equitable rules that can advance the progress of justice and ensure better opportunities for upward social mobility.

Implemented under a unified and integrated framework, the success of peacebuilding strategies rests on the ability to deliver the dividends of peace to people and communities in a manner that is participatory, transparent and fair. Such a coherent approach can help both international and local stakeholders recast social, economic and political structures in favor of inclusive and peaceful coexistence, and sow into the fabric of society society the potential for peace, security and long-term development.

 

 

 

 

Actions the International Community should consider doing.

Some actions that should be considered to speed up obtaining peace and reducing the carnage and suffering in the DRC include (in no particular order):

Oh well; I have blown off steam now. Although it was a disappointing meeting lets hope enough positives come out of it that speeds up the achievement of peace, security; long-term development and significant improvements in the lives and conditions of the people of the DRC and Sub-Saharan Africa.

 

References:

1 www.un.org/News/Press/docs/2008/sc9364.doc.htm Security Council demands Immediate and Complete halt to acts of sexual violence against civilians in conflict zones, unanimously adopting resolution 1820 (2008). Ministerial-level Debate on Women, Peace and Security. 19 June 2008

2 From War to Peace by Caroline Guinard Pub Nonviolence International 2002. ISBN 92-950006-02-X

3 In Prime minister’s Question time Wednesday 6 Feb 2002

"Mr. Alex Salmond (Banff and Buchan) asked: Is the Prime Minister aware that on the day of the Twin Towers disaster, there took place in this city an arms trade fair sponsored by the Ministry of Defence? Among the customers at that fair for state-of-the-art weaponry were both sides in the civil war in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Would it not be a useful start to the Prime Minister's mission to Africa if he announced that henceforth this country will not sell arms to both sides in African civil wars?"

Part of The Prime Minister (Tony Blair's) reply was: "Our arms sales to Africa run at about 1 per cent. of total arms sales, so it is important to put that in context. There are also, incidentally, jobs and industry in this country to consider. Of course it is important to take care who we sell arms to, and we do." Parliament - UK web site: www.parliament.uk/

4 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Democratic_Republic_of_the_Congo
Main articles: First Congo War </wiki/First_Congo_War>, Second Congo War </wiki/Second_Congo_War>, and Kivu Conflict </wiki/Kivu_Conflict>

5 Film: White King, Red Rubber, Black Death. Director Peter Bate 2003.

6 The Africans by David Lamb. Pub Methuen 1985 ISBN 0 413 54940 2

7 A People Betrayed - The role of the west in Rwanda's genocide. By Linda Melvern. Pub Zed books 2000. ISBM 1-85649-831-X

8 Searching for Peace - The Road to TRANSCEND by Johan Galtung, Carl G Jacobsen and Kai Frithjof Brand-Jacobsen. Pub Pluto Press 2002 ISBN 0 7453 1928 9

9 The UN is in Crisis over Africa. Karl Miller 9 Sep 03 on www.arcwebsite.org

10 Film: Lumo By Nelson Walker III and Loius Ableman 2006

11 Film: The Greatest Silence: Rape in the DRC by Lisa F Jackson 2007

12 Source Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LRA

13 From UNDP Human Development Report 2002

14 The Big Takeover: Bailout or Coup d'Etat?

Matt Taibbi on Wall Street's power grab. Rolling Stone 2 Apr 2009

15 From Article 26 to an institutional link between disarmament and development by By Fidel Asante

Overwhelming majority of UN member states support the reallocation of military spending. By Fidel Asante

16 TRANSCRIPT OF A RECORDED DOCUMENTARY on BBC RADIO 4 - CURRENT AFFAIRS – ANALYSIS - Financial Tsunami. Presenter: Ngaire Woods - Producer: Chris Bowlby - Editor: Nicola Meyrick Broadcast Date: 19.03.09 2030-2100 , Repeat Date: 22.03.092130-2200, Duration: 27’31

Taking part in order of appearance:

Nemat (Minouche) Shafik Permanent Secretary of the Department for International Development

Trevor Manuel Finance Minister, South Africa

Amar Bhattacharya Economist

Dr Matthew Martin founder of Development Finance International

Donald Kaberuka head of the African Development Bank

Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala Managing-Director of the World Bank

Dr Gobind Nankani Development economist, President of the Global Development Network

Deborah Brautigam scholar, American University, Washington DC

17 Recrossing the Rubicon <http://www.tenthamendmentcenter.com/2009/03/24/recrossing-the-rubicon/> by Brad Berner