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Shame On The Associated Press In Congo

5 August 2011 5 August 2011 No Comment Print This Post Print This Post

Shame on the Associated Press for this report, reproduced word for word by news outlets all over the world. This is the nearly identical report that the AP has been regurgitating about the Democratic Republic of the Congo for years. They probably pulled it out of a computer file and changed the date, and perhaps the location of the refugee camp:

“Uganda: More than 100 refugees flee Congo violence

By: The Associated Press | The Associated Press | 07/25/11 5:03 AM

Police say more than 100 people have fled into Uganda after a military operation in volatile eastern Congo.

Kisoro district commander Rauben Wansiima says 119 people have been counted in the border region on Monday. He says Congolese and Rwandan troops are participating in a joint operation to rout rebels from eastern Congo.

He says 70 of the refugees are children and that those who have fled will be taken to designated camps.

Eastern Congo has long been wracked by violence from a myriad of rebel groups, including some that are based in neighboring Rwanda and Uganda.”

(San Francisco Examiner one of many outlets: http://www.sfexaminer.com/news/2011/07/uganda-more-100-refugees-flee-congo-violence#ixzz1TE5kE638)

They could at least note, after so many years of empirical experience, that nothing creates refugees like the Rwandan and Congolese armies hunting down “rebels” in eastern Congo, and that most of the well over 6 million dead in eastern Congo, since 1998 alone, were refugees who died of hardship–hunger, exposure, or easily treatable but untreated disease.

They could at least identify these “rebels” and identify the government they are presumably trying to overthrow. Rebels are, by definition, insurgent against authority or a government in power.

And, they could at least include a byline.

Are these “rebels” attempting to overthrow the Congolese government or the Rwandan government? Or, are the Rwandan and Congolese governments now branches of the same U.S.-backed administration or collaboration? Is anyone at the Associated Press paying any real attention to Congo? I don’t think so, because if they were, they would realize, and at least mention the opposing viewpoint, so often said to be the hallmark of journalistic objectivity—in this case, the opposing viewpoint of many Congolese scholars and advocates, who see the collaboration of the Rwandan and Congolese government to hunt down “rebels,” with the consequence of uprooting more Congolese people, as a campaign to depopulate eastern Congo’s Kivu Provinces and thus make way for Rwandan colonization, with the ultimate goal of redrawing Rwanda’s borders to include the Kivus.

And what about the catastrophic, well documented consequences of Rwanda’s neverending quest to “rout rebels from eastern Congo” detailed in the 2010 UN Mapping Report on Human Rights Abuses in the Democratic Republic of Congo, which include genocidal civilian massacres and mass sexual atrocities committed by the Rwandan army itself? Isn’t it on the far extremes of journalistic irresponsibility for the AP to report yet another attempt to “rout rebels from eastern Congo” without even mentioning that report?

One of the stock images of Congolese refugees, on their way to. . . Uganda, South Sudan, the C.A.R. or an internally displaced persons (IDP) camp in Congo itself? Congo has the largest IDP population in the world.













By Ann Garrison


San Francisco writer Ann Garrison writes for the San Francisco Bay ViewGlobal ResearchColored OpinionsBlack Star News, the Newsline EA (East Africa) and her own blog, Ann Garrison, and produces forAfrobeatRadio on WBAI-NYC, Weekend Newson KPFA and her own YouTube Channel, AnnieGetYourGang. She can be reached at ann@afrobeatradio.com.


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