Big Africa SHTF Thread

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What do you think of conflict in Africa?

It doesn't affect me. I couldn't care less.
110
15%
I do business with Africa, so any instability in the region concerns me.
8
1%
I have friends in Africa (missionairies; aid workers; residents) and I worry about their safety.
60
8%
I live in Africa (state country and opinion).
5
1%
Events in Africa are important as examples of the shit hitting the fan, and I can learn a lot from them.
312
42%
It's a humanitarian crisis and I am concerned about about civilian suffering.
206
28%
Other opinion (please state).
34
5%
 
Total votes: 735

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Big Africa SHTF Thread

Post by dogbane » Wed Oct 29, 2008 12:48 pm

I was going to exerpt this article for the good parts, but there's so much important background in the article, here it is in its entirety:
Regional war fear as 50,000 homeless in Congo in two days

Congolese government forces are fleeing the eastern capital of Goma as Rwandan-backed rebels press towards the town, threatening a lethal confrontation with United Nations peacekeepers and the prospect of all out regional war.

Western aid workers in Goma, with a population of 600,000, described scenes of mayhem in the streets as columns of government tanks and military vehicles streamed out of the city and panicking civilians fled for cover, fearing an imminent rebel onslaught.

“There is absolute panic,” Karl Steinacker, an official with the UN refugee agency told The Times by telephone this afternoon. “As of ten minutes ago, the war has arrived in the streets. There are columns of army running away. They are basically abandoning the city.”

The flight of government forces leaves an already overstretched UN peacekeeping forces the only bulwark between Goma and forces loyal to the ethnic Tutsi guerrilla leader, General Laurent Nkunda.

UN commanders today appealed to the Security Council for reinforcements to their 17,000 strong peacekeeping force in eastern Congo to try and prevent a return to all out war.

“We are going to act against any effort to take over a city or any major population centre by force,” Alan Doss, the UN secretary general’s special representative to Congo said from Kinshasa.

The fighting, which has escalated dramatically in the last two days, is by far the most serious since the UN brokered ceasefire in 2003 and threatens to drag Uganda, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo into a new all-out regional war.

The six-year so-called Great War of Africa killed an estimated 3.8 million people, making it the world’s worst armed conflict since the Second World War. Since 2003, however, a further 1.4 million have died from violence, famine and disease in the war’s aftermath.

Eastern Congo owes its lethal volatility to a potent mix of lucrative natural resources and unresolved ethnic tensions from the aftermath of the 1994 Rwandan genocide. The rebels bearing down on Goma are led by the renegade General Nkunda, a charismatic evangelical Christian who styles himself as the saviour of Congo’s Tutsi minority.

General Nkunda claims to be fighting to prevent a second genocide of the Tutsi people, invoking Hutu militias, a hardcore of whom dwell deep in the eastern Congolese forest where they fled from Rwanda after the genocide.

His efforts, however, have only drawn those militias deeper into the fight as ill-equipped and motivated government commanders have turned to them for assistance in the fight against the rebels. Exploiting Tutsi fears has helped him expand his sphere of influence and with it, control over more of the lucrative mineral trade.

But the current fighting has turned into a nightmare for aid efforts in an area already deemed the worst humanitarian crisis in the world today. After UN attack helicopters repelled General Nkunda’s forces near Kibumba, the rebels turned north, seizing the town of Rutshuru, north of Goma and near the border with Uganda.

Government commanders said that the rebels' dramatic advance had been aided by Rwandan tanks pounding their position from hilltop vantage points just over the border– a charge Rwanda firmly denies.

An attempt to rescue 50 foreign aid workers trapped in Rutshuru had to abandoned when the UN convoy sent to extract them was itself attacked by rebels. The UN have also come under attack by civilian mobs furious at the failure to protect them.

More than 250,000 people have been made homeless since the latest bout of fighting erupted in August; 50,000 of them within the last two days alone. The UN refugee agency reported around 30,000 “exhausted and traumatised” new arrivals reaching Kibati camp just outside Goma yesterday after walking with their few possessions for several days.

But as of this afternoon, aid workers were unable even to reach the camp, and reports were reaching Goma that its inhabitants had begun to flee back into the bush amid news that the city itself could be taken within hours.

The rebels said today that they were within “two to three days” of capturing Goma, despite the peacekeepers efforts to halt them.

Goma yesterday was awash with rumours that rebels had already entered the city, although heavy fighting was still several miles outside the city. UN peacekeepers were nowhere to be seen on the streets. Commanders said they were regrouping north of Goma preparing to fight for the city.
footage:
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/t ... itrate=300" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Despite the emphasis in the headline, this is the only real mention of regional war:
The fighting, which has escalated dramatically in the last two days, is by far the most serious since the UN brokered ceasefire in 2003 and threatens to drag Uganda, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo into a new all-out regional war.
This map shows the potential national players:
Image

Rwanda, Uganda, and Burundi are obvious players, while Tanzania and Zambia host huge refugee populations from Congo. I'm not sure what Role Sudan would play, because Khartoum doesn't control the area bordering Congo, I believe.

Disturbingly, I heard on NPR a few minutes ago that there are reports of UN forces fighting each other!

[Re: poll. You can choose up to three, and revotes are allowed.]
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Re: The Shit is Hitting the Fan in Eastern Congo

Post by phil_in_cs » Wed Oct 29, 2008 1:19 pm

dogbane wrote:Disturbingly, I heard on NPR a few minutes ago that there are reports of UN forces fighting each other!
The UN Peace Keepers in Africa are a travesty. The amounts of sexual exploitation of women and children, looting, random violence, etc are incredible, and rarely reported in the US press. The BBC does a pretty good job with that, not that anyone in NY seems to pay attention.

Wiki says 5.4 million have died in Congo since 1998 from effects of the war. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Second_Congo_War" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false; But since that's the part of Africa without oil, gold, diamonds, or chocolate, no one outside the area is much willing to spend the blood needed to reign in the killers.
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Re: The Shit is Hitting the Fan in Eastern Congo

Post by bonanacrom » Wed Oct 29, 2008 1:30 pm

Has there ever been a time on the continent that some one hasn't been fighting a war ?
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Re: The Shit is Hitting the Fan in Eastern Congo

Post by dogbane » Wed Oct 29, 2008 1:31 pm

phil_in_cs wrote:But since that's the part of Africa without oil, gold, diamonds, or chocolate, no one outside the area is much willing to spend the blood needed to reign in the killers.
I keep seeing references to "resource rich" Eastern Congo, but all I have tracked down so far is timber and cassiterite, the main ore in tin. Here is an interesting article on how different armed groups control various mines, and how opponents cooperate in control of mines. The article mentions that many government troops are sympathetic to the rebels, and supply them with arms and uniforms.

ed. sp.
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Re: The Shit is Hitting the Fan in Eastern Congo

Post by bonanacrom » Wed Oct 29, 2008 1:36 pm

I thought it interesting that the government and the military where the first to evacuate the city. Did they even inform the populous that there was ab evacuation or did they figure the people would notice them running and get the idea ?
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Re: The Shit is Hitting the Fan in Eastern Congo

Post by phil_in_cs » Wed Oct 29, 2008 1:42 pm

bonanacrom wrote:I thought it interesting that the government and the military where the first to evacuate the city. Did they even inform the populous that there was ab evacuation or did they figure the people would notice them running and get the idea ?
That had accurate intel and GTFO before TSHTF. They left the population to fend for themselves.
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Re: The Shit is Hitting the Fan in Eastern Congo

Post by Deschain » Wed Oct 29, 2008 2:33 pm

I was reading Ghosts of Medak Pocket , which is about Canadians in the Balkans. I knew a fair few peacekeepers as well, and the story was generally the same: the UN is a multinational force. The Commonwealth and the US do their jobs, and do them well. The French, not so much. Other countries, like Poland, try hard on a thin, thin budget. Accordingly, a fair few countries send their troops because the UN pays (comparitively) well. Those forces often make additional income by selling supplies (ammunition, gasoline, etc) and will not fight. They flee at the first sign of trouble, and unfortunately do more harm than good.

In addition to the ludicrous ROE that the UN places on troops, they must contend with internal issues. Of course UN forces are going to be fighting one another, or perceived to. I heard rumours from the Balkans, all of them unpleasant, regarding the UN. This is going to get much, much worse before it gets better.

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Re: The Shit is Hitting the Fan in Eastern Congo

Post by phil_in_cs » Wed Oct 29, 2008 2:44 pm

Deschain wrote: The Commonwealth and the US do their jobs, and do them well. The French, not so much. Other countries, like Poland, try hard on a thin, thin budget. Accordingly, a fair few countries send their troops because the UN pays (comparitively) well. Those forces often make additional income by selling supplies (ammunition, gasoline, etc) and will not fight. They flee at the first sign of trouble, and unfortunately do more harm than good.
Like this?
BBC wrote:News of the UN's engagement came as it was confirmed the military commander of the UN mission in DRC - Spain's Lt Gen Vicente Diaz de Villegas y Herreria - had resigned for "personal reasons" after just seven weeks in the job.
Uh, they are shooting, so uh, I need to go. See ya.
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/7692932.stm" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
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Re: The Shit is Hitting the Fan in Eastern Congo

Post by Deschain » Wed Oct 29, 2008 2:56 pm

Exactly like that! In the Balkans, it wasn't uncommon for Canadians to take fire from AKs fed by ammunition sold by certain countries to locals. I've heard stories about having slaves, all kinds of things. Then again, I knew a few guys who were brain-broken from seeing atrocities and being expressly forbidden to intervene by their higher-ups.

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Re: The Shit is Hitting the Fan in Eastern Congo

Post by ironraven » Wed Oct 29, 2008 7:07 pm

What people usually forget is that the map of Africa was made by European nobles sitting around a table sipping brandy. It has no bearing on tribal alliances. Sub-Saharan Africa is just a great big Yugoslavia waiting to happen.
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Re: The Shit is Hitting the Fan in Eastern Congo

Post by TheGunslinger » Wed Oct 29, 2008 9:09 pm

except without the 'waiting' part, so much. It's kinda already happening!
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Re: The Shit is Hitting the Fan in Eastern Congo

Post by TC » Thu Oct 30, 2008 4:19 am

I don't know what to say about this. We've seen it before and we'll see it again.

We all know Africa has had some serious issues throughout it's history:

-Resource rich resulting in greedy foreigners coming in to take those resources (including the people themselves)
-Lack of education in pretty much every way which makes it easy for foreign educated dictators to spring up and next to impossible to get rid of, at least until one of their Army buddies gets bored and blows their brains out so that they can take over
-Inability to farm the land they have and the resulting famines
-HIV/AIDS and drug abuse

The list goes on, but when you consider that most developed nations struggle to solve one of those problems, imagine how hard it is for an entire continent to manage to do so, especially while they are busy being exploited/exploiting each other. The UN isn't going to do shit, but that seems to be its MO in Africa. At least when you had the RUF tearing around Sierra Leone, the UK eventually said "Right, enough of this" and sent our soldiers in to crush them. No one seems to want to do that anymore, but if you ask me we should.

Look at Zimbabwe, the MDC should be in power, but Mugabe can't be gotten rid of. Now their is a supposed coalition, but Mugabe is still doing what he likes and giving all the important positions to ZANU-PF members. We should have finished him off long ago. Maybe that won't sit well with some people here, but for the people over there, things can't get much worse. They elected a party they didn't get in the end and if they voted 'the wrong way' then they were beaten half to death if not worse, like say the Mayor of Harare who had his family kidnapped, taken to a forest, tortured and executed, all because he dared to support the MDC.

There is an elected party ready and waiting to govern the country. Maybe they will become corrupt too eventually, but for now they need to be in charge. It's not like there would be a scramble for power if we took out Mugabe, ZANU-PF and the heads of the Zimbabwean military. If we, the UK, had the man power left, then we could go in, kick arse, supervise the MDC being installed into government and then leave.
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Re: The Shit is Hitting the Fan in Eastern Congo

Post by Cybrludite » Thu Oct 30, 2008 7:25 am

Africa wins again. :(
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Re: The Shit is Hitting the Fan in Eastern Congo

Post by andygates » Thu Oct 30, 2008 9:56 am

TC wrote:If we, the UK, had the man power left, then we could go in, kick arse, supervise the MDC being installed into government and then leave.
Just like that, eh? :roll:

The West has a weird blindness with Africa, we blur it all together - it would be like blurring the Balkans and Georgians and saying "Europe's such a dead-end war zone." The Eastern Congo scrap is a nasty mess, but it's a local mess. It's the hangover of the Tutsi/Hutu scrap that was never fully resolved during and after the Rwanda genocide.
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Re: The Shit is Hitting the Fan in Eastern Congo

Post by phil_in_cs » Thu Oct 30, 2008 10:12 am

andygates wrote:
TC wrote:If we, the UK, had the man power left, then we could go in, kick arse, supervise the MDC being installed into government and then leave.
Just like that, eh? :roll:

The West has a weird blindness with Africa, we blur it all together - it would be like blurring the Balkans and Georgians and saying "Europe's such a dead-end war zone." The Eastern Congo scrap is a nasty mess, but it's a local mess. It's the hangover of the Tutsi/Hutu scrap that was never fully resolved during and after the Rwanda genocide.
The Wiki item I linked about lists 13 separate belligerents in this war, not counting the UN forces. You can bet more outside parties would show up if a western power got involved.
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Re: The Shit is Hitting the Fan in Eastern Congo

Post by Ad'lan » Thu Oct 30, 2008 10:22 am

ironraven wrote:What people usually forget is that the map of Africa was made by European nobles sitting around a table sipping brandy. It has no bearing on tribal alliances. Sub-Saharan Africa is just a great big Yugoslavia waiting to happen.
And thats a simplistic view, imperialism caused a lot of problems, and quashed some really promising civillisations.

But there were wars and inter tribal conflicts before as well. They just didn't have AK's and RPG's to fight with.


The debate on Imperialism probably isn't for this thread, and wether or not us former colonialists should intervene without being asked is definately too political.
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Re: The Shit is Hitting the Fan in Eastern Congo

Post by Jamie » Thu Oct 30, 2008 10:50 am

I think that the Congolese fan is encrusted from decades of shit having hit it essentially continuously...

My parents worked and lived in various African countries during the 1960s, and are saddened by their feeling that almost everything has gotten worse in the 40 years since they lived there...maybe they broke Africa...

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Re: The Shit is Hitting the Fan in Eastern Congo

Post by Molon Labe » Thu Oct 30, 2008 10:53 am

TC wrote:I don't know what to say about this. We've seen it before and we'll see it again.

If we, the UK, had the man power left, then we could go in, kick arse, supervise the MDC being installed into government and then leave.
Haven't you been keeping up with current events :lol: ? That's what we had planned for a certain M.E. country before beauracracy and poor judgement got in the way. Maybe the UK should sit around the table maps awhile longer, before jumping into a big steaming pile she didn't forsee.

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Re: The Shit is Hitting the Fan in Eastern Congo

Post by dogbane » Thu Oct 30, 2008 10:56 am

nfa wrote:I think that the Congolese fan is encrusted from decades of shit having hit it essentially continuously...
Over a dozen decades.
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Re: The Shit is Hitting the Fan in Eastern Congo

Post by mrdbeau » Thu Oct 30, 2008 11:58 am

I'm not sure why some people have the attitude of "ah well, they've been fighting each other forever, and it's probably not going to stop anytime soon" when it comes to Middle Eastern countries (factions of Islam), the Balkan areas, and other places where there are large schisms along cultural, ethnic, religious, whatever lines in relatively small geographic areas, but then have the attitude that Africa should be running like a well-oiled machine.

Africa is very much like America before Europeans started settling it. The American Indians over here were pretty much constantly engaged in wars and territorial disputes and seemed to really have fun killing each other. The only reason that stopped is because Europeans moved over here and they had a common enemy to fight. Plus there weren't nearly as many of them left after the smallpox and various diseases wiped out most of them.

Africa is pretty much in the same boat. There are a metric shit ton of various tribes, ethnicities, and cultural groups that all think they need to rule over their little piece of land. Is that any surprise when it is estimated that there are over 2,000 languages spoken in Africa? :shock: How many African countries even have a real economy to speak of? Maybe a handful, South Africa, Egypt, and a few others in North Africa and scattered about.

We can send all the billions of dollars a year we want to over there, or all the excess food in the world, or all the AIDs medication we can make, or do any other numbers of things, and nothing will significantly change.
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Re: The Shit is Hitting the Fan in Eastern Congo

Post by DropZedFred » Thu Oct 30, 2008 12:26 pm

http://ipsnews.net/news.asp?idnews=42109" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Only 1/2 of the people in the country have access to clean water. When they say "resources", water is one of the biggest issues. It will only get worse.

Image
Red is "Physical Scarcity" (Dangerous)
Orange is "Economic Scarcity" for water (bad)
While this is less severe than the Northern regions, these people have much less infrastructure and reliable Government controls, so in reality, it is far worse than the map shows. There is some water, the people don't have access to it.
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Re: The Shit is Hitting the Fan in Eastern Congo

Post by KayGee » Thu Oct 30, 2008 12:40 pm

Molon Labe wrote:
TC wrote:I don't know what to say about this. We've seen it before and we'll see it again.

If we, the UK, had the man power left, then we could go in, kick arse, supervise the MDC being installed into government and then leave.
Haven't you been keeping up with current events :lol: ? That's what we had planned for a certain M.E. country before beauracracy and poor judgement got in the way. Maybe the UK should sit around the table maps awhile longer, before jumping into a big steaming pile she didn't forsee.

'Just saying
It worked in Sierra Leone.

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Re: The Shit is Hitting the Fan in Eastern Congo

Post by Molon Labe » Thu Oct 30, 2008 12:53 pm

KayGee wrote:
Molon Labe wrote:
TC wrote:I don't know what to say about this. We've seen it before and we'll see it again.

If we, the UK, had the man power left, then we could go in, kick arse, supervise the MDC being installed into government and then leave.
Haven't you been keeping up with current events :lol: ? That's what we had planned for a certain M.E. country before beauracracy and poor judgement got in the way. Maybe the UK should sit around the table maps awhile longer, before jumping into a big steaming pile she didn't forsee.

'Just saying
It worked in Sierra Leone.
Hmmm... Yeah, I can give ya that one 8)
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Re: The Shit is Hitting the Fan in Eastern Congo

Post by TC » Thu Oct 30, 2008 2:15 pm

Molon Labe wrote:
KayGee wrote:
Molon Labe wrote:
TC wrote:I don't know what to say about this. We've seen it before and we'll see it again.

If we, the UK, had the man power left, then we could go in, kick arse, supervise the MDC being installed into government and then leave.
Haven't you been keeping up with current events :lol: ? That's what we had planned for a certain M.E. country before beauracracy and poor judgement got in the way. Maybe the UK should sit around the table maps awhile longer, before jumping into a big steaming pile she didn't forsee.

'Just saying
It worked in Sierra Leone.
Hmmm... Yeah, I can give ya that one 8)
TC wrote:At least when you had the RUF tearing around Sierra Leone, the UK eventually said "Right, enough of this" and sent our soldiers in to crush them. No one seems to want to do that anymore, but if you ask me we should.
I did actually mention that one. Also, there are times that merit direct intervention and times that don't. Just because we are currently in an unwise intervention doesn't mean that all of them are wrong. Besides, we have a history with Zimbabwe since it is a former Commonwealth nation, so it isn't totally inappropriate for us to get involved, especially since it is quite clear where the moral balance lies in Zimbabwe.
andygates wrote:
TC wrote:If we, the UK, had the man power left, then we could go in, kick arse, supervise the MDC being installed into government and then leave.
Just like that, eh? :roll:
Sorry, I just didn't quite feel like writing up a full paper on how to execute a regime change, which incidentally correlates with the actual results of the elections they held. Besides, like I said above, it worked pretty well in Sierra Leone. Not perfectly, granted, but a lot better than it would have been. Same can be said of Zimbabwe, I don't think anyone doubts who is wrong there and who is suffering as a result.

Oh, and there was a contingency plan in the UK for sending in a British Special Ops team to assassinate the biggest arse holes, which would certainly have avoided us being in the situation we are in now, where Mugabe says that he will play ball and then still does nothing. We've gotten absolutely nowhere so far with diplomacy.
KentsOkay wrote: I immediately thought about calling 911, but once we got to the T stop and got her out of her jeans, things seemed to be going a lot better.
TC's Defence of the Realm Target Download

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