Tag: Congolese President Joseph Kabila
The Democratic Republic of the Congo is the heart of Black Africa. Millions of Congolese have been murdered, massacred, enslaved, robbed of their resources and driven from their homes since the Berlin Conference gave the “Congo Free State” to Belgium’s King Leopold II as his personal property in 1885. I spoke to Jean-Claude Maswana about the latest waves of aggression under current Congolese President Joseph Kabila.
On Nov. 18, Rwandan President Paul Kagame inducted seven thieves without borders and one medical doctor into his “National Order of Outstanding Friendship,” presenting them with medals for “exemplary service” to the nation, meaning himself and his ruling party, the Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF). Kagame is a modern day exemplar of French King Louis XIV’s theory of government: “L’état, c’est moi” (“I am the state”).
As Burundian voters went to the polls on Tuesday, the U.S. State Department warned that “elections held under the current conditions in Burundi will not be credible and will further discredit the government.” It also said it planned to suspend partnerships that it hasn’t already suspended with “anyone promoting instability in Burundi through violence.” Will those “promoting instability through violence” include the renegade Burundian military officers who staged a failed coup attempt in May, then fled to Rwanda and declared war on Burundi? Will it include Rwandan military and political support for a rebel force?
A widely feared and anticipated military attack by U.N. and Congolese troops on the FDLR has not materialized, despite U.N. Special Envoy Russ Feingold’s repeated urgings. Instead, this week, the people of the Democratic Republic of Congo rose up in the streets to demand that their Parliament not pass legislation allowing Congolese President Joseph Kabila to extend his stay in office beyond constitutional term limits. KPFA’s Ann Garrison has the story.
Potentially catastrophic military operations, authorized by the U.N. Security Council, may lie ahead soon for the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The U.N. Security Council has urged the Congolese army to join U.N. combat troops from South Africa, Tanzania and Malawi in hunting down the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda, a Rwandan refugee militia commonly known as the FDLR.
In a blatant violation of the Congolese Constitution and of the rules and regulations governing the DRC health care system, Congolese President Joseph Kabila ordered the seizing of the bank account of Panzi Hospital in Bukavu, the hospital founded and run by Dr. Denis Mukwege. Joseph Kabila is persecuting Panzi and Dr. Mukwege in a way that no legitimate president of the citizens of a country should.
This week’s mining and business headlines reported that Israeli billionaire Dan Gertler turned a nearly 30,000 percent profit by buying the Democratic Republic of the Congo’s oil rights in waters off its Atlantic Coast in 2006, then selling the same rights back to them six years later. KPFA’s Ann Garrison spoke to anti-corruption and resource theft watchdog Global Witness and filed this report.
Friends of the Congo’s Executive Director Maurice Carney told KPFA that the U.N. Combat Intervention Brigade is really just the U.S., U.K., and other Western powers’ excuse for continuing to support African dictators – Rwanda’s Paul Kagame, Uganda’s Yoweri Museveni and Congo’s Joseph Kabila. All three, he says, collaborate with foreign interests to drain Congo of its vast resource wealth.
Two hundred Congolese immigrants, especially activists opposed to the Kabila regime, were, they said, “hounded out of their shops and homes by scores of South African police, then summarily arrested on ludicrous, trumped up charges of ‘public violence.’”
If the International Criminal Court and ICC Chief Prosecutor Luis Moreno Ocampo were committed to international justice, they would issue an arrest warrant for sitting Congolese President Joseph Kabila. But the Western powers that control the ICC have been expected to do whatever it takes to keep Kabila in power.
The rationale for the U.S. intervention in Libya is to protect vulnerable civilians from mass slaughter by the Libyan regime. Why has the U.S. has pursued a military path to “protect” civilians in Libya, when there is a far greater humanitarian crisis unfolding in the heart of Africa, in the Congo. President Obama has the diplomatic tools at his disposal to help alleviate the human suffering in the Congo but has not used them. Watch the videos and sign the petition.
Human rights activists around the world have called for international justice and an end to impunity in the wake of the “U.N. Mapping Report on Human Rights Abuse in the Democratic Republic of Congo.” But many don't expect justice from an international criminal tribunal.