Johann Hari – How we fuel Africa’s bloodiest war

The deadliest war since Adolf Hitler marched across Europe is starting again – and you are almost certainly carrying a blood-soaked chunk of the slaughter in your pocket. When we glance at the holocaust in Congo, with 5.4 million dead, the clichés of Africa reporting tumble out: this is a “tribal conflict” in “the Heart of Darkness”. It isn’t. The United Nations investigation found it was a war led by “armies of business” to seize the metals that make our 21st-century society zing and bling. The war in Congo is a war about you.

This article should be compulsory reading for anyone who comes out with some remark about Africans being incapable of running their own affairs. I read a book about Lumumba a few years ago and it saddened me deeply. To read this is even sadder. The Congo is a case study in Western greed ruining a country. It makes me ashamed.

Meanwhile British newspapers are full of gossip and celebrity nonsense. Jonathan Ross, Russell Brand… WHO CARES?  The stuff that Hari writes about is really important, but you hardly hear about it. If you ever see anything about Africa, it’s usually about Robert Mugabe in Zimbabwe. I’m no Mugabe supporter, but why are his crimes more newsworthy than the killing of 5.4 million people in the Congo? Could it be because white people are among the victims?

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