Since Monday, May 9th, the news from the Great Lakes region has been scarlet. Ituri province in the Democratic Republic of the Congo reported another massacre that killed 40 civilians.
Local residents blamed the crime on the Congo Development Cooperative, Codeco, a militia active in the Region wreaked havoc at some point. The attack targeted artisanal gold miners, suggesting an economic motive for the crime.
Local authorities feared the death toll could be higher as up to 100 people were missing after the attack.
p>< p>A day later, 14 civilians and one soldier were killed when the same codeco attacked a camp for displaced people in the same region. In order to spread terror in the hearts of the survivors, the attackers killed their victims by beheading.
The Congolese armed forces, FARDC, fought a battle for control of the mining areas between two armed groups, Zaire, for the deaths of Civilians responsible and codeco.
Then on Wednesday in South Sudan’s Yei district, near the border with Uganda, two Ugandans and a Tanzanian were killed when they were caught in an ambush staged by suspected rebels working against the government in Juba.
In South Sudan, the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) reported that more than 700 civilians in the country were victims of sexual abuse in the first quarter of this year. It really makes no difference to victims that Unmiss sees a decrease in the overall trend in violence against civilians in the country, as cases of conflict-related sexual violence more than doubled over the period.
All of these events speak to the tragedy of fatigue caused by low-intensity conflict. Because it takes place over a long period of time, such violence is easily normalized among the people who should be responsible for preventing it from happening. Over time, it is gradually accepted as characteristic of a particular region or people, easily overshadowed by new hotspots.
This is what is happening in the conflicts in Africa. From Somalia to the Central African Republic, you now have an area embroiled in conflict.
Although many commentators may be confused or even angered that the West sees the conflict in Ukraine as a more pressing concern that simple truth is that it is as it should be. Europe and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) are responding to a crisis in their orbit. The best lesson African leaders can learn from this is to prevent and contain serious conflicts in their own backyard.
Instead of whining, Africa and its respective economic and political sub-regions should get down to business of building collectives security and responsiveness development to share the burden of policing in their territories. Places like the Democratic Republic of the Congo and South Sudan are probably too big for their fractured states to manage.
Current interventions are often too little, too late, and tend to incite more chaos.
But collective action to stem the flow of illegal arms, funds and minerals can severely hamper the ability of armed groups to organize and rain terror on unarmed civilians.