Africa’s Deadliest Conflict deals with the complex intersection of the legacy of post-colonial historya humanitarian crisis of epic proportionsand changing norms of international intervention associated with the idea of human security and the responsibility to protect (R2P). It attempts to explain why, despite a softening of norms related to the sanctity of state sovereignty, the international community dealt so ineffectively with a brutal conflict in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, which between 1997 and 2011 claimed an estimated 5.5 million. In particular, the book focuses on the role of mass media in creating a will to intervene, a role considered by many to be the key to prodding a reluctant international community to action.
Included in the book are a primer on Congolese history, a review of United Nations peacekeeping missions in the Congo, and a detailed examination of both US television news and New York Times coverage of the Congo from 1997 through 2008. Separate conclusions are offered with respect to peacekeeping in the Age of R2P and on the role of mass media in both promoting and inhibiting robust international responses to large-scale humanitarian crises.
About the Author
Walter C. Soderlund is a professor emeritus in the Department of Political Science at the University of Windsor. His books include Africa’s Deadliest Conflict, The Independence of South Sudan, and The Responsibility to Protect in Darfur.
E. Donald Briggs is a professor emeritus in the Department of Political Science at the University of Windsor, where he taught full-time for nearly forty years.
Tom Pierre Najem researches in the areas of international relations and comparative politics, with a regional specialization in the Middle East. He has lived and worked in the Middle East and North Africa and has held academic posts in Morocco and England.
Blake C. Roberts is the interim academic advisor of the University of Windsor’s Digital-Journalism program and a sessional instructor and research associate in the Department of Political Science at the University of Windsor.
Table of Contents
List of Tables and Maps vii
The Authors xi
1 The Congo: Understanding the Conflict 1
2 The UN Response: From ONUC to MONUSCO 19
3 Mass Media, Public Awareness, and Television News Coverage of the Congo 41
4 New York Times Framing of the Second Congo War 65
5 New York Times Framing of the Third Congo War 91
6 Media Coverage of the Congo Wars: An Overall Assessment 121
7 Peacekeeping in the Age of R2P 141
Conclusion: The Impact of Mass Media on "The Will to Intervene" 159
Postscript: An Update on Events 165
Appendix: Descriptive Language 171