The most revolutionary aspect of the film “Black Panther” is the mere fact that it showcases the beauty, history, relevance and capability of being simply Black and proud. I relate this strongly with the stigma many Black Americans have towards Africa, mainly visible in the lack of interest in visiting the vast continent of 54 countries. Moreover, the plague of insecurity that rests in Black people with their appearance and desire to look more European.
Genocost, a U.K.-based Congolese advocacy group, commemorated Congo Genocide this week on Aug. 2. Aug. 2 is the day that U.S. allies Rwanda and Uganda invaded the Democratic Republic of the Congo, starting the Second Congo War in 1998. Though a peace treaty was signed in 2003, the violence, displacement and mass killing continue. Genocost asks that nations formally recognize Aug. 2 as Congo Genocide Commemoration Day. I spoke to Genocost spokesperson Sylvester Mido.
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.
“Beasts of No Nation” is a Netflix film that crudely exposes the face of the wars in Africa and the false poverty that has been created by U.S. and other Western imperialist governments spearheading a corporate plan to rob the richest continent on earth of its natural resources. I would not have been thrilled if I’d had to pay to watch the disturbing drama. For free, it’s still disturbing, but well written otherwise and beautifully shot as well.
One possible explanation that makes the notion of “Inclusive Capitalism” so au courant could be that a critical mass of people are now “on to” the robber barons and the governments purchased by them; these “democratic” governments specialize in representing the robber barons and not the people who “elect” them. Could it be that there are finally enough among the masses of people who are acutely aware and so refuse to fall for the old divide and conquer trick?
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.
Former Georgia Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney, who last week completed a peace mission to Syria along with former U.S. Attorney General Ramsey Clark and others, delivered the following address to the IBON Conference on Democracy, Self-Determination and Liberation of Peoples. The conference was held Sept. 23 at the European Parliament in Brussels, Belgium.
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.
“Former political prisoner Dhoruba Bin Wahad recently penned an excellent essay breaking down what’s going on in Mali, Congo and the Middle East. He also challenged the type of stances many of us have taken with respect to these regions that are embroiled in conflict. To support his essay, we interviewed him so he can expand upon his analysis. In true form, Dhoruba pulled no punches. Peep what he has to say.”
Dodd-Frank and its proponents penalize the people of eastern Congo but do little to curtail the militias and their backers. Congress should confront the real causes of the conflict, which are failed leadership and corruption in Congo’s capital, Kinshasa, and predatory policies of Rwanda and Uganda, which destabilize eastern Congo while benefiting from the mineral trade.
Do you have a smart phone? A laptop? Then you play a role in the violence that occurs in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Cell phones, laptops and other electronics don’t work very well without the mineral, coltan. In the Democratic Republic of Congo, poor farmers are gathered by armed gangs and enslaved to dig coltan out of the ground.
We with our cell phones are directly fueling the most heinous violence the world has seen in 65 years and subsidizing what one activist, Kambale Musavuli, has referred to as the wholesale rape of land and people. As the beneficiaries of this violence, each of us can and must stand in solidarity with the Congolese people.
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.”
“Avatar,” the highest-grossing film of all time, may be more real and current than the average person knows. The battle of Pandora is taking place right now in the Congo! The central question in the Congo, as in “Avatar,” is who is going to control the resources and for whose benefit? Congolese youth have initiated a worldwide mobilization campaign in partnership with young people around the world.
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 hundred years ago, a global outrage surrounding the death of an estimated 10 million Congolese resulted in the end of King Leopold II of Belgium’s rule in the Congo. Ordinary people around the world from all walks of life stood at the side of the Congolese and demanded the end of the first recorded Congolese holocaust. A century later, the world finds itself facing the same issue, where the Congolese people are subjected to unimaginable suffering.
Kambale Musavuli, national spokesperson and student coordinator for Friends of the Congo, in this interview by POCC Minister of Information JR, challenges the people of the U.S. and President Obama to stop the resource wars in the Congo that have killed 6 million people, half of them children, for minerals like the coltan that powers our cell phones and almost everything electronic.
Now while all these militias, rebel groups and armies have been causing horrific wars at great cost to human lives in central Africa, so-called developed countries have been enjoying a lifestyle that is sustained in large part by the resources that come from Africa. The DRC supplies the world's diamonds, coltan, tantalite, oil and so forth.
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.
Cobalt is essential to our military industries’ ability to manufacture the modern weapons of war. So, the Congo War, a.k.a. the African holocaust, is a war for the sake of war itself.
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