Alison Des Forges’ death gives Congo rebels breathing room

Alison Des Forges, senior adviser for Human Rights Watch’s Africa Division for nearly twenty years, was most recently working on a report on the killings in eastern Congo, according to this CNN article.

This video from the New York Times gives more information about what’s going on in Congo.  What I found both disturbing and interesting was that the UN peacekeepers did nothing about it.

From the UN Peacekeeper site:

“The term “peacekeeping” is not found in the United Nations Charter and defies simple definition. Dag Hammarskjöld, the second UN Secretary-General, referred to it as belonging to “Chapter Six and a Half” of the Charter, placing it between traditional methods of resolving disputes peacefully, such as negotiation and mediation under Chapter VI, and more forceful action as authorized under Chapter VII.”

It was past the time for mediation, so…where were they?  What did they do? They ran away.
The NYTimes video says they were caught off-guard; what I want to know is how.  The soldiers had been there already, and the killings have been going on long enough for Alison to have been working on a report.

Pity she died when she was working on something so important.

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