UN Warns Millions May Starve to Death in Congo

DRC mapBy Chuma Kisu

According to international reports, over two million children in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) are at risk of starvation if they do not receive the aid they need, the United Nations (UN) has warned.

The comments come in advance of a meeting between Mark Lowcock, the UN humanitarian chief, and potential donors willing to commit aid money to help the country in its dire situation.

“We have a great responsibility in the DRC… Now is the time to stay the course,” Jens Laerke, UN spokesman, said during a briefing in Geneva.

According to European news services, inter-ethnic violence and protests against President Joseph Kabila are the main reasons for the turmoil in the Central African country. These sources neglect to report that European colonialism fueled the flame for these ethnic conflicts and issues.

Last weekend, at least 79 people were killed when fighting broke out between Hema herders and the Lendu farmers in the northern Ituri province. Ethnic strife between the Hema and Lendu dates back to the 1970s.

The communities were embroiled in a violent, armed conflict between 1998 and 2003, in which tens of thousands were killed.

In recent years, the two groups have maintained a low-level conflict, only with occasional flare-ups.

Because of the conflict, farmers have been unable to plant crops for several years, leading to high rates of malnourishment.

Other provinces have also seen violence, particularly Kasai and Tanganyika, where hundreds of thousands of people are at risk.

In Tanganyika and the nearby area of Haut Katanga, more than 12,000 reports of human rights violations were recorded in 2017, according to the UN. Ethnic violence between the Bantu and Twa ethnic groups has intensified since mid-2016.

The International Rescue Committee said more than 400 villages were destroyed between July 2016 and March 2017 as a result of the fracas. The DRC has also seen an increase in protests against President Joseph Kabila, who has led the country since 2001.

Gov. Greitens Accused of Lying, Violating Missouri Election Law

By MCNS Staff

Embattled Missouri Governor Eric Greitens.

Embattled Missouri Governor Eric Greitens.

Missouri’s embattled governor is catching hell.

According to local sources, a former chairman of the Missouri Democratic Party said Wednesday that he has filed a complaint alleging that Gov. Eric Greitens violated Missouri law by lying in a campaign financial report.

Filed by Roy Temple, the complaint comes from a consent order Greitens signed with the Missouri Ethics Commission last April. The order admitted that his campaign did not report that the campaign received a donor list from The Mission Continues, a veterans’ charity Greitens founded in 2007 but left in 2014.

Reports indicate that in his complaint, Temple wrote that Greitens “misled” the MEC and “purposefully” filed a false campaign report. To “purposefully” violate Missouri’s campaign finance law is a Class A misdemeanor, which carries a maximum penalty of one year in prison.

For more on accusations against Gov. Greitens in violation of state election law, click here.

New Report Links Structural Racism at State Level to Police Shootings

By Free Radicalindex

The Journal of the National Medical Association recently published a study showing that police shootings can be linked to the level of racism in an individual state.

The Boston University scholars who conducted the research created a structural racism index that measured residential segregation, economic status, employment and incarceration rates. One of the study’s authors, Michael Siegel, noted “The more racially segregated the neighborhoods in a state, the more striking the ratio of black to white police shootings of unarmed victims.”

Wisconsin, a Midwestern state, had the highest segregation index, followed by Minnesota, New Jersey, Illinois, and Connecticut. In Milwaukee, Wisconsin’s largest city, half of all Black men between the ages of 30 and 40 have been imprisoned at least one time in their lives. The city’s 53206 zip code, which is 95 percent African-American, has the highest incarceration rate in the country.

The implications of this research argue for more holistic approaches to criminal justice reform. Rather than targeting bad apples in police departments, or even law enforcement altogether, more ambitious societal fixes are required to stop the unjustified killing of unarmed people of color.

OK County to Pay $6 Million for Killing of Eric Harris

By MCNS Staff

Eric Harris

Eric Harris

Tulsa County Oklahoma officials settled a civil rights lawsuit this past Friday by agreeing to pay $6 million to the estate of Eric Courtney Harris, an unarmed 44-year old black man who was shot and killed in 2015 by a wealthy 73-year old white man who was allowed to accompany county officials on a sting operation.

Tulsa County officers invited 73-year-old Reserve Deputy Robert Bates to accompany them on a gun sting operation that was organized to arrest Harris. Harris was chased down and subdued by officers before Bates, a wealthy insurance executive shot Harris in the armpit.

Bates claimed that he mistook his gun for his Taser and was sentenced to four years in prison for second-degree manslaughter. However, Bates was imprisoned for 497 days and released in 2016.

Bates’ fishing partner, Tulsa County Sherriff Stanley Glanz deputized Bates as a reserve officer. Bates donated vehicles and equipment to the Sherriff’s Department and donated money to Glanz’s political campaigns. He also served as campaign manager when Glanz’s ran for Sherrif in 2012. However, Glanz eventually resigned from office after he was charged with misdemeanor crimes in another later investigation.

The Harris family lawsuit charged Bates, Glanz, and four other officers for excessive force and civil rights violations. The civil suit alleged that Glanz “turned a blind eye to these dangers … to allow his friend and financial benefactor to ‘play cop’ in the streets of Tulsa County.” Additionally, it charges that Bates was improperly trained.

After Eric Harris was killed, an internal investigation also located records that showed Bates’ training records were falsified and that the County also pressured investigators to deem the use of force “justifiable.”

The court award is to be paid out over three years for a total award of $6.6 million, according to the Tulsa World.