Oona King

Tuesday, 18 April 2006 11:23

After genocide, before peace

Genocide in Rwanda had been under way for 48 hours when 36-year-old Monique was told by a friend she would be killed. Monique fled, but her 12-year-old niece, Geraldine, was raped that night, and took years to die. "Aids is the second genocide," says Monique, who lost 27 members of her close family in 1994. That doesn't include her grandfather, who was murdered in 1963; her aunt, raped and murdered in 1973; and her father, attacked and interrogated in 1990, who later died from a heart attack. Monique's family provides a gruesome snapshot of 30 years of cyclical bloodshed that paved the way for genocide.

Published in Africa

Early next week a French-led contingent of multinational troops will pull out of the Congo town of Bunia after barely three months of peacekeeping. Thankfully, some high-level diplomacy at the United Nations by the secretary general, Kofi Annan, has secured a replacement force to serve a further year in an attempt to end the regional conflict which since 1998 has claimed more than 3.3 million lives.

Published in Africa
Monday, 27 February 2012 09:53

Adopting abroad

Earlier this year I stood in the dusty doorway of an African orphanage in the Congo, rage consuming me as I watched two babies moan in pain. They were covered in flies and filth, misery etched on their faces. Their eyes were sealed with mucus. Tiny stick arms hung limply over distended stomachs.

For these children, there was no chance of adoption, let alone a new home with celebrity millionaires. Less than 100 yards away was the room they would move to within the next fortnight. The mortuary.

Published in Adoption
Monday, 10 December 2001 10:21

The Great Lakes, Adjournement Debate

Motion made, and Question proposed, That the sitting be now adjourned.—[Mr. McNulty.]

Ms Oona King (Bethnal Green and Bow): The issues relating to the region around the Great Lakes are incredibly important. A humanitarian catastrophe continues to unfold there, as it has for at least the past ten years. In that region, it is difficult to draw the line between the end of one conflict and the beginning of another. To put the debate into perspective, I shall explain some recent background. It is impossible to understand the conflict without considering the region as a whole.

The present conflict in the Great Lakes began in the eastern part of the Democratic Republic of the Congo and dates back to 1998, since when 2.5 million people have died in it. That figure is staggering, but the fact that we rarely hear anything said about it is even more staggering. I am thus especially grateful to those hon. Members who have given their time and made the effort to be here this morning.

Published in Speeches
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