Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Africa Bellamy told the House subcommittee on Africa that elections in Sierra Leone mark a major milestone in that country's road to peace. We're skeptical, but will accept the secretary's word. What we found interesting about his May 16 presentation was that he said the US "secured smart, targeted international sanctions on the government of Charles Taylor of Liberia, which raised the cost to that government of supporting the RUF (Sierra Leoneon rebels)." He said these sanctions, combined with military pressure from Guinea, pressured the RUF to disarm and demobilize.
If that is true, one wonders why similar tactics have not been employed in the DR Congo; i.e., smart, targeted international sanctions against the Congolese rebels, their Rwandan and Ugandan backers, and Rwandan and Ugandan rebels camping out in the Congo. He also talked of bringing to justice those who have committed atrocities in Sierra Leone. The same needs to be done in eastern Congo, where the atrocities committed by Congolese rebels and their Ugandan and Rwandan allies are documented to have been massive.
Sierra Leone is just a little place. The Congo is a big place, merits more attention, and more of this kind of toughness.