Top of the Morning: New Mass Killings Reported in DRC; Food Scam in India took in Billions

Top stories from DAWNS Digest. 
New Mass Killings Reported in DRC

The United Nations warned of new reports of mass and systematic killings of possibly hundreds of people in part of eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo in the month of August. “Some of the attacks have been carried out by the armed group known as Raïa Mutomboki and others by the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (known by the French acronym FDLR), at times in coalition with the armed group known as Nyatura. This has resulted in serious human rights violations, including civilian massacres and the destruction and looting of homes and property, as well as the mass displacement of thousands of civilians. ‘Allegations of hundreds of killings are still being verified,’ the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay, said. ‘However, the preliminary findings suggest that a significant number of people – most of them women and children – were slaughtered. The sheer viciousness of these murders is beyond comprehension. In some cases, the attacks against civilians may constitute crimes against humanity.’ The attacks on villages by Raïa Mutomboki and FDLR occur in the context of an increase in security vacuums exacerbated by desertions from the Congolese Army (known by the French acronym FARDC) in April, the subsequent creation of the M23, and the redeployment of FARDC units to contain it, MONUSCO and UNHCR said in a joint news release. They added that many armed groups have also taken advantage of this situation to expand their own area of influence, often carrying out brutal attacks against civilians in the process. ‘Proclaiming to protect local populations against the predominantly Hutu FDLR, the Raïa Mutomboki are targeting civilians of Hutu ethnicity whom they consider to be foreigners and allies of the FDLR,’ MONUSCO and UNHCR noted. ‘In turn, the FDLR retaliate against civilian populations they believe to be associated with the Raïa Mutomboki.’” (UN News Center

Indian Food Scam Deprived People in Need

As much as $14.5 billion in food was stolen over the past decade in Uttar Pradesh estimates Bloomberg news. “India has run the world’s largest public food distribution system for the poor since the failure of two successive monsoons led to the creation of the Food Corporation of India in 1965. The government last year spent a record $13 billion buying and storing commodities such as wheat and rice, and expects that figure to grow this year. Yet 21 percent of all adults and almost half of India’s children under 5 years old are still malnourished. About 900 million Indians already eat less than government-recommended minimums. As local food prices climbed more than 70 percent over the past five years, dependence on subsidies has grown.” (Bloomberg