For months I have been pleading that the Congo become one of the international community's priority issues. In many ways, the first world countries have surrendered their moral imperative to the African Union. The African Union simply does not have the resources to stop the blood shed, rape and violence. In addition, at least six African nations have taken the side of different factions in the Congo. The United Nations peacekeepers can barely protect themselves let alone the people of the Congo.
The death toll is well over five million in less than a decade and rapidly approaching six million now that the last cease-fire appears to be disappearing. In some of the Eastern provinces of the Congo, over 75% of the women have been raped, tortured and mutilated. Just this week alone, we have seen 250,000 new refugees flee toward Goma as the rebels have abandoned the cease-fire and are beginning to make a push toward that strategic city.
I challenge anyone to find a place currently in the world that is more tragic, devastated, horrifying and deteriorating. The horrors of this war become more unimaginable each day. Now even the largest National Park in the Eastern Congo has fallen into rebel hands. Is there no end to this tragedy? Every American, every caring individual, every blogger should be giving voice to the people who are suffering in the Congo. We are now approaching the number of people dead that died in the Holocaust in about the same number of years.
According to the BBC in a interview with General Laurent Nkunda who is head of the rebel forces, he intends to take over the Congo. He will push from the East across one of the world's largest nations until he wins. In all honesty, General Nkunda should be taken to the Hague and trial for war crimes against humanity. This man is responsible for some of the most horrifying battlefield crimes in recent history. Entire villages have been looted, burned and their residents killed. Women have been raped and forced into sexual slavery for Nkunda's soldiers. Millions are turning into refugees as they flee from one place to another. Disease and starvation are rampant because Nkunda will not allow serious aid into the region.
We must speak up, demand action and give the suffering people of the Congo a voice. Literally tens of thousands of lives depend on our involvement.