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Archive for April 29th, 2009

If you were in charge, what would you do if you came across a dude who is known to have run camps that kidnapped kids, then trained them to be soldiers? Not just one camp, but seven of them. Keep in mind that this would be in Africa, the guy’s nickname is “the Terminator”, and he is on the UN war crimes list as a wanted man.

According to the BBC, what the UN has done is given him a job.

An indicted war criminal is playing a leading role in the UN mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo, according to documents seen by the BBC.

A Congolese army paper suggests ex-rebel leader Gen Bosco Ntaganda has a major part in the command chain, says a BBC correspondent in the country.

The UN-Congolese force is fighting Hutu rebels in the eastern DR Congo.

Well, that’ll teach him.

On the off chance that you’re not familiar with the plight of children taken for soldiering in the DRC, this report from Amnesty International gives a taste. Here’s just a tiny bit of the intro:

Seven years of almost continuous war in the Democratic Republic of Congo ( DRC) have led to the death of over three million people since 1998 alone, most of them civilian men, women and children. Tens of thousands of women have been raped. Countless acts of torture have been reported. Fleeing the conflict, hundreds of thousands of civilians have been driven from their home into neighbouring countries or other parts of the DRC. Many have died from malnutrition and lack of access to humanitarian assistance. Up to two million people have been internally displaced, including 400,000 children displaced from their homes. This is not a war in which civilians have been the unfortunate victims of ‘collateral damage’, but one in which they have been unremittingly and remorselessly targeted. Death and intense suffering have become the daily fabric of Congolese lives. The conflict has also been marked by the widespread use of children as combatants by all parties. The DRC is currently one of the countries of the world with the largest number of child soldiers.

Read the full report if you have the heart.

The UN is denying that the Terminator is on the payroll … they would, wouldn’t they? … but apparently Human Rights Watch isn’t buying it

“We are very worried by this information and it seems to us that the United Nations is acting like an ostrich with its head in the sand,” Anneke Van Woudenberg, the group’s senior researcher on DR Congo, told the BBC.

“It’s time now this is addressed head on. Rather than denying or ignoring the role being played by Bosco Ntaganda, the UN should be actively seeking his arrest and transferring him to The Hague.”

Well, yeah, although ostrich is not what comes to my mind. I doubt very much that this is a case of not knowing, or even of pretending not to know, but rather out-and-out lying when facts are brought from the gloom of shady dealing into the bright light of a world paying attention.

Where the PR machine spins this one is anybody’s guess, but I am hoping the story doesn’t die on the BBC vine, especially when the UN’s public defense so far comes down to a UN spokesman’s sorry comeback:

“Bosco Ntaganda’s name does not appear on that document, so we have from our Congolese counterparts an assurance that he is not part of the command.”

Well, then … job over, hey, Buddy?

If the United Nations designed dildos, they would all be one inch long, as thick as a toothpick, made from Silly Putty and would just lay there, but they would be a pretty baby blue … and would cost $1 million each.

And, yeah, that’s a statement on expensive impotence.

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