What they need is democracy

The problem, as will be apparent to all right-thinking individuals, was obviously the lack of pygmy suffrage:

Marauding rebels are massacring and eating pygmies in the dense forests of north-east Congo, according to UN officials who are investigating allegations of cannibalism in Ituri province, where fighting between several rebel groups has displaced about 150,000 people in the past month. [January 2003 – VD]

Many of the displaced tell of rebel fighters capturing and butchering pygmies, Manoddje Mounoubai, spokesman for the UN ceasefire monitoring mission in Congo, said yesterday. The UN had sent six officials to investigate the accusation as well as other human rights abuses, he said.

Other UN officials in the capital, Kinshasa, and the eastern city of Goma said that widespread cannibalism had already been established. ‘Ituri is completely out of control and cannibalism is just the latest atrocity taking place,’ said one, who asked not to be named until the investigators deliver their report. ‘Perhaps this will finally alert the world to what’s going on.’

On a recent assignment in eastern Congo the Guardian correspondent saw many Mayi-Mayi fighters wearing parts of the bodies of their Rwandan enemies, in the belief that this would make them invincible. ‘We are hearing reports of untold horrors in Ituri,’ said Wyger Wentholt, of Médecins sans Frontières.

While the Congolese probably wouldn’t vote Hamas into power, this tends to add an ominous undertone to the analogy of democracy being two wolves and a sheep deciding on what’s for dinner.

Of course, considering the proclivity for barbecuing Africans shown by UN troops themselves in the past, one has to wonder if looking to the United Nations for help is the wisest course of action.