And so it's deja vu all over again; the bitter internecine tribal feuds, the hand-wringing and delays on the part of the international community, the neighboring countries all too eager to get involved in return for their share of mineral wealth, and the suffering of the residents of the region, particularly the women and girls, who have been sexually assaulted by all comers including UN troops. The crisis highlights the impotence of international law in controlling, accounting for, and preventing such atrocities; the law is simply overwhelmed by the short-term self-interest of all of the power players involved. (map credit)
How can we put an end to the vicious cycles of violence that have plagued the Eastern Congo for nearly fifteen years? Can we possibly put this Humpty back together again? In an ideal world, we would seek a solution both more local and more global than those we've seen thus far (posted about here and here and discussed in IntLawGrrl Elena Baylis' excellent article here); more local in that it would be rooted in relevant moral authority and speak to all sides in the conflict and more global in that it would recognize the culpability of all players -- including other nations -- in creating and perpetuating the violence in the Eastern Congo. But all the king's horses and all the king's men have a long way to go before we can even begin to think about post-conflict justice for Goma.