According to the Guardian (and many others), U.N. and Congolese forces have arrested a Mai-Mai rebel commander known as Lt. Col. Mayele for his involvement in the rape of 305 people over a period of 4 days in 13 villages in a mineral-rich area of eastern Congo. According to reports, Mayele was handed over by the commander of the rebels “… so that he can be investigated by the international criminal court for his actions against the local population,” according to a Mai-Mai spokesman.
It ought to be a heartening that an arrest was made for this–one arrest is better than none and none is the standard for this sort of atrocity throughout the world. But it’s hard, for me at least, not to think that Mayele was given over by his comrades not because of their overpowering sense of justice but he had become a liability, and maybe a liability for reasons unrelated to the rapes. It’s even hard for me to avoid speculation that he had nothing whatever to do with the rapes, that the rapes were actually condoned, but that he had angered this particular warlord by cheating at dominoes or playing the music too loud.
I have become so cynical I don’t even recognize myself. and come-to once in a while with a thought like “What the hell am I thinking?” So maybe we have become that cynical, but if so we really need to find something to believe in.
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