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On New Year’s Eve, the people of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) went to the polls to choose their next president, parliament and provincial governments. I spoke to Maurice Carney, executive director of Washington, D.C.-based Friends of the Congo, about the results.
One of the most devastating U.S. interventions was the overthrow of the democratically elected leader of the Congo, Prime Minister Patrice Emery Lumumba, in 1960. That overthrow has been devastating for the Congolese people, because not only did the U.S. overthrow and assassinate the democratically elected leader, but they also imposed a dictatorship on the Congolese people for over three decades, and it has crushed and destroyed the country and the people.
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.
The First Congo War began in 1996, the second in 1998. The second war drew in all nine countries bordering the DRC, left millions dead, displaced millions more, and ignited conflicts that continue in the country’s mineral rich east, despite the peace treaty signed in 2003. Competition for Congolese resources can’t be stopped, but the massacre of Congolese people can and must, says Dr. Jean Didier Losango.
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.
Late last week, the Security Council approved the creation of what it called its first-ever “offensive” combat force, with a mandate to carry out targeted operations to “neutralize and disarm” the notorious March 23 or M23 militia, as well as other Congolese rebels and foreign armed groups in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo. Until now, U.N. peacekeeping forces’ only explicit mandate has been the protection of civilians.
An AP newswire posted to outlets all over the world said that the Democratic Republic of the Congo has sent 500 troops to join a Uganda-led military effort to hunt down Joseph Kony, the fugitive head of the Lord’s Resistance Army, or LRA rebel group, bringing the number of African soldiers deployed against the LRA up to 3,350, assisted by U.S. Special Forces.
The United States says it’s ready to send surveillance drones to the Democratic Republic of Congo to help the United Nations peacekeeping mission in the African state despite the government of Rwanda’s objections from its new rotating seat on the U.N. Security Council. The U.S. also supports the plan to use drones to increase surveillance capacity in other African countries.
The Obama administration was on the defensive about the U.S. relationship with Rwanda and its U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice at the Dec. 11, 2012, U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing on the conflict in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo. Two days after the hearing, Rice withdrew her name from consideration to become secretary of state. In President Obama’s statement on Susan Rice, issued the same day, he praised her work but did not mention Rwanda, Uganda or Congo.
Rwandan political prisoner Victoire Ingabire is spending her second Christmas in Rwanda’s maximum security prison. Her ongoing trial, on charges of terrorism and genocide ideology, has implications not only for Rwanda, but also for the entire Great Lakes Region of Africa – most of all, for the Democratic Republic of Congo.
The Democratic Republic of the Congo is in political crisis. The Independent National Electoral Commission announced that incumbent President Joseph Kabila is the winner, with 49 percent of the vote. But his leading challenger, Étienne Tshisekedi, rejected the results and declared that he now considers himself the nation’s president.
The Democratic Republic of the Congo is in political crisis. After an unfair, fraudulent and violent election, the National Electoral Commission, stacked with supporters of incumbent President Joseph Kabila, has announced Kabila is the winner. Leading challenger Étienne Tshisekedi has declared himself the winner.
Congolese youth are not going to give up. They’re fighting day and night, educating their peers, their communities and mobilizing throughout the country to bring about change, whether it comes today or tomorrow. They’re clear that they have to be organized to protect their interests, and no one, no one, can protect their interests like they can.
On Tuesday the House Foreign Relations Committee held a hearing on the Democratic Republic of Congo, the most lethal conflict in the world since World War II, killing over 6 million. No one from the Congo or anywhere in Africa was called to testify.
A nationwide coalition of U.S. activists is calling on President Barack Obama to intensify pressure on the government of newly re-elected Rwandan President Paul Kagame. They want Obama to immediately terminate all military assistance and freeze the $240 million scheduled for Kagame's undemocratic regime.
President Obama said, in his 2009 speech in Accra, Ghana, that America should support strong institutions and not strong men. But Obama has expanded AFRICOM, the U.S. Africa Command, and now he remains silent as Rwanda’s strongman, President Paul Kagame, prepares a sham presidential election to retain his brutal grip on power.
2008 marked the 100-year anniversary of the removal of the Congo from King Leopold II of Belgium as his own personal property. Global outrage at the King's brutal rule resulted in his losing the Congo treasure trove on Nov. 15, 1908.
http://video.google.com/googleplayer.swf?docid=969437361973225264&hl=en&fs=true On Nov. 11, KPFK radio host Dedon Kamathi interviewed Kambale Musavuli from the Congo, who is the coordinator of the global student movement Breaking...
I know no honest, informed Congo watchers who doubt that Gen. Laurent Nkunda and his ruthless militia are tools of the U.S. and its African proxy, Rwanda, in the imperial resource war now raging in Eastern Congo.