Monday, February 1, 2010

Orphaned, Raped and Ignored

Think about this. When earthquake strikes, everyone is quick to pour in money and manpower to help those affected. But oppression and suppression of human rights can go on for centuries and even millenia, and still go totally unnoticed. Even when people from the inside are finding ways to cry out for help from the free world. Why do those who talk so much about human rights simply turn a blind eye towards political and religious suppression of human rights in the name of political correctness?

Orphaned, Raped and Ignored
Published: January 30, 2010

Sometimes I wish eastern Congo could suffer an earthquake or a tsunami, so that it might finally get the attention it needs. The barbaric civil war being waged here is the most lethal conflict since World War II and has claimed at least 30 times as many lives as the Haiti earthquake.

Yet no humanitarian crisis generates so little attention per million corpses, or such a pathetic international response.

That’s why I’m here in the lovely, lush and threatening hills west of Lake Kivu, where militias rape, mutilate and kill civilians with a savagery that is almost incomprehensible. I’m talking to a 9-year-old girl, Chance Tombola, an orphan whose eyes are luminous with fear.

For Chance, the war arrived one evening last May when armed soldiers from an extremist Hutu militia — remnants of those who committed the Rwandan genocide — burst into her home. They killed her parents in front of her. Chance ran away, but the soldiers seized her two sisters, ages 6 and 12, and carried them away into the forest, presumably to be turned into “wives” of soldiers. No one has seen Chance’s sisters since.

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