The Rwandan genocide of 1994 killed 800,000 people, most of them ethnic Tutsi, in the space of three months and triggered two successive civil wars in neighbouring Congo. Although these more or less ended in 2003, the genocide’s fallout can still incite violence and rouse armies. This month the UN Security Council authorised a military attack by a 3,000-strong multinational intervention force against a militia in eastern Congo that was formed two decades ago by Rwandan genocidaires who fled to the region’s remote forests after losing power.
Moise Katumbi has two of the biggest jobs in the Democratic Republic of Congo. He is the governor of Katanga, a mineral-rich province of 5.6m people roughly the size of Spain. He is chairman of TP Mazembe, one of the best-run football clubs in sub-Saharan Africa, a role that has made him very popular. And now many expect the wealthy and charismatic 50-year-old to seek an even bigger title: president.
Russia and the United States, trapped in costly confrontations over Syria and Ukraine, may need to agree to a sort of “grand climb-down” that allows the two powers to get out of unsustainable positions as painlessly as possible.
Australians can take considerable satisfaction from the strong assertion of our international strategic and security interests during our two-year term as a temporary member of the UN Security Council, which ended with the close of 2014.