Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Congo and the status quo

I will not be able to understand what has gone on, what is going on, or what may happen in Congo by the time I leave Tanzania - possibly ever. Right now, the majority of refugees we work with here are Congolese, having fled generalized violence in southeastern Congo. Trying to understand the situation seems almost impossible, as the various group perpetrating the rampant violence change their group names, alliances, tactics, and locations seemingly daily.

Across Lake Tanganyika in Tanzania, the people are trying desperately to avoid the fate of all of its neighbors, including Congo, Rwanda, Burundi, even Mozambique - and most recently Kenya - each having experienced political and/or ethnic violence to some degree or another over the last 20 years. Preserving the status quo seems to be a fact of life here, something that Tanzanians are desperately trying to maintain for fear that change would only bring horrible consequences. 

When I was in Dar es Salaam, a young Tanzanian seminarian told me that if the ruling party has to go into some people's houses at night and kill some people, in order to sustain its grip on power here, that is better than many people being killed in many houses throughout Tanzania. 

At least the country is at peace?

One recent article on Congo, http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/31/opinion/31kristof.html FYI, it is quite graphic, like every article related to Congo it seems...

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