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The Congolese people were determined to rid themselves of Joseph Kabila’s regime on Dec. 30, 2018, the date of the presidential, legislative and provincial elections in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). For two years, the people had made tremendous sacrifices in life and freedom in a deadly battle against President Kabila, who was bent on remaining in power by any means necessary.
Most UN Security Council (UNSC) meetings are so stuffy that they’re hard to watch without wishing someone would open a window, turn on the ventilator or take the august ambassadors off life support. Norman Finkelstein couldn’t have been more apt than when he called Secretary General Ban Ki-moon a “comatose puppet of the United States.” I went through an entire pot of strong coffee just listening to last week’s three-hour UNSC meeting about the Dec. 30 election in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). The ambassadors spoke in code, without naming key players and perpetrators.
Syria has long dominated international headlines while the big powers discuss the possibility of dividing it into smaller, more homogeneous states along ethnic or religious lines. The Democratic Republic of Congo is rarely if ever at the top of the Western headlines, but heads of state and so-called experts have long made similar proposals to carve out new, smaller, more homogeneous nations in Congo’s resource-rich eastern provinces. I spoke with Congolese scholar and activist Boniface Musavuli about the plans.
“A Brilliant Genocide” tells the story of the Acholi Genocide that President Yoweri Museveni and his army committed against the Acholi people during their 20-year war and occupation of the Acholi homeland in northern Uganda, from 1986 to 2006. Museveni waged that war in the name of fighting Kony and claimed to be protecting the Acholi, not destroying them. RT will air “A Brilliant Genocide” on Oct. 1.
As Joseph Kabila enters the final year of his presidency, the pressure will increase on him to respect the Constitution and step down in December 2016. Congolese are united in the defense of the Constitution and the protection of the nascent democratic advances that have occurred during the post-war period of the country. If elections are in fact held in 2016, it will be due to the vigilance and pressure coming from the sons and daughters of the Congo.
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.
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.
The Congolese woman in eastern Congo – the rape capital of the world – has gotten tired of being gang-raped, of being mutilated, of having 3-to-5-foot wooden sticks shoved through her genitals after being gang-raped, then being killed or buried alive. So she has taken up a weapon now in order to defend her baby, her own body, her humanity, her village, her community and her country, the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
Congolese people are seeking peace and justice. Trying Bosco Ntaganda at the ICC may lead to some measure of justice for the crimes perpetrated at his behest; however, it appears that his backers in Rwanda may very well be let off the hook yet again and allowed to continue their military aggression against the DRC.
Joseph Kabila was in Kampala Nov. 20 meeting with Rwanda’s Gen. Paul Kagame and Uganda’s Gen. Yoweri Museveni as the Congo city of Goma fell. Why would Kabila be in Uganda when the UN in a report by a group of experts found that M23, the army that seized Goma, was created, trained, financed and is sustained and commanded by Rwandan and Ugandan officers?
It’s time for dialogue between Rwandan and Congolese people of like mind to finally end the 16-year war between our two armies and their various ancillary or surrogate militias. The vast majority of both of our people need democracy, political space, economic opportunity and a common share in their countries’ resource wealth.
Congolese people have seen an estimated 6 million of their citizens perish in an unjust war. They have witnessed how the perpetrators of these crimes still roam the streets of their country or are given humanitarian awards and accolades. We hope that all justice seekers around the world will join us in working to deliver justice to the Congolese people.
Amoeblog invited author, journalist, broadcaster and activist JR Valrey, aka the People’s Minister of Information, to be a guest contributor. The Oakland-based Valrey, who was interviewed and profiled on the Amoeblog last month, is known for his work on KPFA radio, the San Francisco Bay View newspaper, and his book “Block Reportin’.” The book will soon be available for sale in Amoeba Hollywood’s book section.
Knowing of the vast reservoir of strength of the Congolese people, more important than its mineral wealth, one can expect a uniquely Congolese solution to finally securing a government that is accountable to its own citizens. With 70 million people, half under the age of 18 and half women, the future of the Congo is in the hands of the Congolese.
Congo’s Nov. 28 presidential and legislative elections were fraught with tremendous irregularities and widespread charges of fraud. The opposition categorically rejected the results as fraudulent. Nonetheless, Joseph Kabila was sworn into office on Tuesday, Dec. 20.
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?
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.
Instead of the racist story about Hutus killing Tusis with machetes in 100 days of genocide, the truth is that the U.S., British and Israeli military and their Ugandan and Rwandan proxy forces are responsible for genocide against both Tutsis and Hutus in Rwanda, Congo and Burundi.
When opportunity presented itself in the form of widespread warfare in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Zimbabwean military leaders were quick to provide troops in exchange for permission to establish Zimbabwean corporations to exploit Congolese raw materials.
Blacked out by a media smokescreen are the corporate executives, government officials and expatriate personnel of Western enterprises whose success amidst chaos implicates them in the deracination and death of millions of Black people.
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