Painting by Cheri Samba

Lokuta eyaka na ascenseur, kasi vérité eyei na escalier mpe ekomi. Lies come up in the elevator; the truth takes the stairs but gets here eventually. - Koffi Olomide

Ésthetique eboma vélo. Aesthetics will kill a bicycle. - Felix Wazekwa

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Kimia II - Is it worth it?

The Congo Advocacy Coalition (84 local and international NGOs) published a statement yesterday, calling the humanitarian cost of the Kimia II operations unacceptable.

The coalition has information concerning 1,140 killings by the various armed groups involved in Kimia II, over 7,000 women raped, 6,00o houses burned down and 900,000+ people displaced. (The figure for killings, slightly higher than the one in the statement, was provided to me by Human Rights Watch).

Interestingly, the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) has obtained satellite imagery of Busurungi - a remote village on the border between Masisi/Walikale/Kalehe territories - where the FDLR and FARDC have committed some of their worst crimes. According to their analysis of pre-Kimia II and post-Kimia II pictures, 80% of the structures in the area, or 1,494 huts, were destroyed. Pretty shocking pictures, I have posted one before (black and white) and after (color) sequence to the right, but I highly recommend checking out the others . As in Darfur, this kind of imaging is a great tool to estimate the impact of such offensives.

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