Saturday, January 08, 2005

Saying "Peace, Peace" When There is No Peace

In Kinshasa in 2004, I made it a point to ask a man who would know about UN impact on Congo trying to rebuild an infrastructure.

He explained to me that there is a problem, that it is not in the interest of UN workers in DRC to make things better for Congo. Because, he said, the UN people have jobs here, they live off what they they do, and if Congo gets better and doesn't need them any more they will all be out of a job.

So it is very much in the "peace keepers" interest to stay and they are not inclined to help Congo become independent of a UN occupying force. They do basically nothing significant toward improving Congo's infrastructure which is the greatest need for moving out of poverty toward stability.

Well, I hadn't ever thought about it like that, although I have always gotten a queasy feeling thinking about long-term UN involvement in any nation.

But now, with the uproar over UN abuses regularly detailed on

Captain's Quarters
in this and more recent posts, is there hope of changes in peace-keeping occupations that will be turned to the benefit of the occupied nation?

Before heading over to Congo last year I read somewhere on the web (sorry, haven't been able to turn it up) that many now think DRCongo may be the poorest nation on earth. To put this in perspective, let's recognize that Congo is, by natural resources, possibly the richest nation on earth.

You have to work really hard to mess that up, and somehow I don't think it is the Congolese keeping Congo down so much as the ones with the authority, money and guns.


Blogger Bailey said...

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January 8, 2005 at 8:26 PM  
Blogger M+ said...

The very essence of any government program is "self-perpetaution". Government programs do not attempt to 'solve' problems, only manage them. It's a sad fact of life.

January 9, 2005 at 2:40 PM  
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