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Orwellian Update on the Rwandan invasion of Congo

Congo refugees in July, fleeing fighting in the east
Congo refugees in July, fleeing fighting in the east

The situation around the military conflict in DR Congo is changing (and deteriorating) rapidly following the takeover of the eastern provincial capital city of Goma by rebels known mostly as the M23 earlier this week.

I wanted to provide an update on the news – beginning with this most Orwellian statement yet from the Rwandan government:

Rwanda Calls for International Support to End Rebellion

Wow. You have to hand it to Rwandan President Paul Kagame and his colleagues for audacity.

It should be clear to everyone by now that Rwanda is actually running this Congo rebellion. So what better way to confuse things than to stand up and call for an end to the hostilities that you are conducting? It’s straight out of George Orwell’s novel 1984 and capitalizes on the media’s tradition of always reporting the counter-point position — even when all the evidence is to the contrary.

Anyway, Rwanda’s official denials may not be not fooling anybody, but they also don’t appear to be spurring the international community to take a stand and prevent this from expanding into a much bigger conflagration. This is a region quite familiar with massive death and destruction — with the 1994 genocide in Rwanda (and neighboring Burundi, we shouldn’t forget) and Congo as the battleground, until 2003, for what some have called Africa’s World War.

Where we’re at with the Rwandan-backed military insurgency in DR Congo:

Rebels have said they intend to take over all of Congo

The rebel army is on the move toward Kinshasa after defeating counter-attack

Tens of thousands are fleeing as health, safety concerns grow

Some background:

The Guardian Who are these rebels and what does this conflict portend?

The BBC  Q&A on the M23


About Author

Tom Paulson

Tom Paulson is founder and lead journalist at Humanosphere. Prior to operating this online news site, he reported on science,  medicine, health policy, aid and development for the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. Contact him at tom[at] or follow him on Twitter @tompaulson.