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I wish I could see a way forward for Congo, but reports from a country as big as all of western Europe are getting grimmer by the day. Mass graves are being uncovered, massacres are reported in the east of the country, and an inadequate UN peacekeeping force is caged in its own compound for safety.

As Simon Tisdall writes in The Guardian, the US has no appetite to get involved in Africa at the moment, and Europe’s record of engagement is mixed at best.

“What Congo demonstrates for all to see is that some crises, and some suffering populations, are more equal than others. Afghanistan was briefly the 2002 league leader in terms of western hand-ringing, but has been easily eclipsed by Baghdad. Likewise, the victims of famine in southern Africa and Ethiopia.

“Even compassion, it appears, is subject to an international pecking order presided over and directed by the richest and most powerful states. After all the humanitarian disasters of the 1990s, and notwithstanding the British and French interventions in Sierra Leone and Ivory Coast, it seems there is no changing that entirely arbitrary, brute reality.”

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