The DR Congo is again in the news for the wrong reasons. The fighting has displaced hundreds of thousands and the provincial town of Goma is full to the brim with thousands seeking shelter, food and security– just the right kind of combination to the world media eager to deliver gory images to the hungry living rooms of those lucky and safe enough to be having one.
Last week, before the international news networks could find suitable images to bombard us with, the worry was with the fact that the rebels had captured the headquarters of the Virunga National Park, home to the rare Gorillas.
The World was so preoccupied with the fate of the primates, that the people who had been displaced in the earlier fighting, away from the cameras, were not newsworthy.
Nor were the people responsible for the whole mess in the first place, FDLR and other militia who were given a free rein among the population.
Had the international community really wanted to put an end to the plight of the eastern DRC population, it would have done so, by putting pressure on the DRC government and MONUC to implement the DDRR program (Disarmament, Demobilisation, Repatriation, Rehabilitation and Reintegration) of FDLR.
It is only the mass exodus of people fleeing the fighting, with their earthly belongings on their backs that suddenly pushes the world to act (or does it?).
The series of endless Capital-hopping “talks” and “consultations” will not solve the problems if the agreements reached remain dead letters.
Otherwise it is like the doctor who doesn’t prescribe the right medicine to the patient simply because he gets a kick out of the agonizing cries from the ward.
The world should stop acting like the arsonist who rushes to put out the fires with another matchbox at the ready; even fire fighters have their limits.