There is a war in Africa, we don’t really pay much attention but there is one. And the conflict has taken a slight turn for the worse.
For those who are unaware, since the 15th of December there has been an escalation of violence in Southern Sudan rekindling the aftermath of the Darfur Conflict with coup d’etat and massacres. Fighting has broken out and the counter attack by Southern Sudan forces against the rebels began a few days ago.
So far at least a thousand people have died but this is expected to escalate. Southern Sudan is a flashpoint and there are fears that genocide could take place here.
But the DRC’s incident was more disturbing.
Armed young men attacked the airport and the state TV broadcaster (Radio Television Nationale Congolaise) yesterday causing the deaths of 103 people at the behest of The Prophet of the Eternal. Gideon who is more commonly remembered as Paul Joseph Mukungubila, ran and lost against the Incumbent President Kabila and has since restyled himself into a man of god.
The prophet’s exhortations to violence are caged in euphemism and his claims that these are an act of uncontrolled rage but the fact that his followers were concerted enough to be armed and attack two separate state institutions is evident of a centralised plan.
What makes it clear is the destabilisation of two different African countries has sent alarm bells. The DRC’s conflict may be small fry compared to the Southern Sudan but it’s a taste of things that have happened in the past. The Southern Sudan’s story is another story of Rebels vs State with people caught in the middle.
I wish those who are leaving to help there a safe journey even though we don’t share the same ethos. I wish religion never reaches the heady powers which allow you to send armies of martyrs to kill and die for your cause. And I wish that we can make some lasting changes to conflict zones such as the Sudan region and make it safer and encourage genuine progress rather than fights over who gets to wear the big hat. The people who pay the price are the Sudanese and Congolese who live in these places who become collateral damage in people’s just wars.
This fighting has resulted in some people I work with going home or going to Sudan or the DRC as they have worked there or speak the languages. So best of luck to them! It’s going to be hard working without them but they are going to do some real good for some people who really need it.
Medicin Sans Frontier is operational in the region but is having difficulty moving personnel and materiel due to the war.