To paraphrase jandsm, “beyond the periphery of world news,” in “events hidden in the back of newspapers” — behind reams of paper and millions of trees ill-spent on a murderous fertilizer salesman — there is this, and it is of course a top story in The Guardian:

Armed militia groups in the Democratic Republic of the Congo kidnapped hundreds of rival tribe members, tortured, mutilated, raped and decapitated their victims, and even boiled alive and ate two girls in front of their mother.

The humanitarian crisis in north-east Congo’s embattled and lawless district of Ituri has replaced Sudan’s Darfur region as the worst in the world, UN humanitarian chief Jan Egeland said yesterday, launching the report on abuses allegedly committed by the Forces of Patriotic Resistance in Ituri (FRPI). He said the fighting is killing thousands every month. …

Those of us who’ve followed the crisis in DR Congo knew this was worse than Sudan, as bad as that is. What will it take to get the world’s — or more specifically, Bush’s — attention? In the case of Sudan:

The United States and other members of the UN Security Council remained deadlocked over how war crimes committed in Sudan should be punished, continuing a standoff that has delayed the deployment of 10,000 UN peacekeeping troops to the troubled country. … (Boston Globe)

And, the House Appropriations Committee approved an amendment by Jesse Jackson, Jr. to restore another $150 million in emergency food aid for Sudan that appropriators also had cut.

More from The Guardian:

“Those responsible for atrocities will be brought to justice,” Major General Patrick Cammaert, the Dutch Navy commander of UN forces in Congo, said. He said the UN mission in Congo (Monuc) was working to cut off weapons supplies to armed militias, which apparently entered the country from neighbouring Uganda across Lake Albert.

Monuc is resolved to “proceed with actions against the armed groups . …”

The head of Monuc, William Swing, is due to fly to New York along with Gen Cammaert, and will brief the UN security council on the DRC situation on Wednesday March 23. The next day, he is scheduled to address the US congress and hold talks with several US officials.

What became of the mother who watched her two little girls boiled and eaten?

The woman herself was gang-raped by the rebels and mutilated. Ms Alfani survived to tell her horror story, but she died in hospital on Sunday, nearly two years after the attack, of Aids contracted during her torture, the UN report said.

She gave her account in February, but the UN waited to publish it until after her death, for fear she would become a target for reprisal.

These are just snippets of a story larger than any of us can imagine.

Please share what YOU know. And I hope we will also discuss how WE HERE can help make something happen in DR Congo, and in Sudan.

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