Beni Territory is a vivid example of the phrase, “Everybody wants a piece of Congo.” Beni Territory is rich in oil, timber, gold, diamonds, wolfram, coltan and cassiterite. Now the people of Beni are being massacred for their land and its riches. KPFA’s Ann Garrison filed this report after speaking to a Congolese human rights defender and author of “Congolese Genocides from Leopold II to Paul Kagame,” Boniface Musavuli.
This letter, signed by Diaspora Congolese women in the U.S., U.K., Belgium, France and South Africa, was delivered to Ambassador Carson on March 20. We are writing to you with regard to the current U.S. policy position on “Lasting Solution to Instability” in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), which you presented on Feb. 11, 2013, at the Brookings Institution in Washington, D.C.
Why are the international community and U.N. not calling out irregularities in the elections in the Democratic Republic of the Congo? Why are they pretending to ignore this election in the world’s most resource rich nation, with the world’s lowest standard of living and the highest death toll due to armed conflict since World War II?
The liberation of Congo requires that people in countries that profit from Congo’s wealth stand in solidarity with those who rightfully own it. As Lumumba once famously said, “Free and liberated people from every corner of the world will always be found at the side of the Congolese.”
As global awareness grows around the Congo and the silence is finally being broken on the current and historic exploitation of Black people in the heart of Africa, a myriad of Western based “prescriptions” are being proffered. Most of these prescriptions are devoid of social, political, economic and historical context and are marked by remarkable omissions. The conflict mineral approach or efforts emanating from the United States and Europe are no exception to this symptomatic approach which serves more to perpetuate the root causes of Congo’s challenges than to resolve them.
One is hard pressed to find media accounts of what the Congolese people want or how they believe that the United States could best play a constructive role in ending the suffering in the Congo. Considering that the United States has played a significant historical role in the stifling of the democratic aspirations of the Congolese people and the backing of the 1996 and 1998 invasions of the Congo by its allies, Rwanda and Uganda, which unleashed what the United Nations say is the deadliest conflict in the world since World War II, it is important to hear directly from the Congolese people regarding U.S. engagement in the Congo.
We now know where a lot of coltan and cassiterite stolen from Congo go, in the end. They go to Ghana and other parts of Africa as toxic electronic waste, often disguised as charity: European and North American "contributions" of worn-out, broken, no longer fashionable tech garbage.
The Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) is the green heart of Africa. The country has the second largest rainforest in the world. It is resource rich but plagued with humanitarian crises resulting from the plundering of the DRC's mineral resources are severe.