THE HEART OF THE MATTER
by Raphael Bahebwa Kabambire
and PD Lawton
The Democratic Republic of Congo is the heart of the African continent.It has reserves of every known mineral and feeds the world with resources such as coltan without which there would be no computers, no cell phones, no digital era. Yet, in this land of irony, the Congolese are one of the poorest nations on earth.
Congo`s neighbours say : You are a dead nation, cursed with resources.But it is not the people of the Congo, scattered in their millions across the globe, who are dead. It is the world around them. It is the international community that has developed amnesia and chosen to ignore a silent genocide and the greatest land theft of the century.
Since King Leopold`s creation of the Congo Free State in 1885, this country has been run as a commercial venture for private gain. The extractive industries belonging to the European oligarchy and centered in the City of London, have conducted business with total disregard to state and nation. The DRC continues to be the looting ground of the global elite. It is the looting ground and the chopping board of a handful of mega corporations whose legacy to a country that is 4x larger than France,has been a near total lack of infrastructure, manufacturing sector and lack of potable water and electricity to the majority of the population.
That legacy includes a systematic reign of terror, unique in its barbarity. Since 1996, in excess of 8 million citizens have been butchered to death by foreign backed militias trained in the psychological warfare of rape and torture.Following on from the Washington inspired coup of Paul Kagame in Rwanda, the DRC was invaded by Rwandan and Ugandan forces. It has been a politically occupied state ever since that serves the interests of the Hima-Tutsi elite who in turn serve the interests of their City of London corporate masters. This alliance constitutes the Empire in central Africa. It is a lucrative deal for them.
There are mining corporations in the Eastern Congo who have funded, equipped and trained militias such as M23 whose only purpose has been to terrorize the population of Kivu into exile, and to continue the destabilization of the country at large. Destabilization benefits such corporations as they can conduct business illegally while the country is in chaos and without representative, accountable government. This technigue of political manipulation is based on a divide and rule strategy. It has been the modis operandii of neo-colonial control in Africa since the post indepence era. It is a warfare strategy that was devised by a British general, Frank Kitson and was first used to effect in Kenya during the liberation struggle. The manual for this strategy is a book called `Gangs and Counter Gangs` by Frank Kitson.
un-named people, victims of the genocide of the Congolese
The end game of the continuing low intensity war in Congo is dismemberment. Congo`s partition is already being talked about by the international community as if it were `fait accompli`.
North and South Kivu are Kagame`s reward for Rwanda`s participation in the take-over of the DRC. These provinces have already been fully integrated into Rwanda`s economy.
For this purpose Eastern Congo has been under a de-population program which seeks to replace indigenous people with foreign nationals. The situation in the Kivus continues to be a case for the inhabitants, of living in a low intensity war zone. The atrocities that have been committed have psychologically damaged an entire nation, a people who have witnessed their country turned into an abattoir while the world has largely remained silent.
President Zuma has excellent standing within Africa. He has already protected Pres. Omar al-Bashir of Sudan from arrest by the foreign European court of the ICC . Sudan is a case in point for Congo. It and Somalia have already been partitioned for the benefit of oil reserves . If Pres. Zuma can see fit to help The Sudan, can he not do the same for Congo ?
Zuma has the opportunity to establish an international dialogue, an indaba, for the Congolese,tens of thousands of whom live as refugees in South Africa . To resolve the issue of neo-colonialism in Africa and to begin implementing the renaissance of this continent , leadership must be of the people and for the people. We require a return to the sentiments and above all vision of African leadership of the liberation years, leaders who stood by their word, not their bank accounts and who served the people. Zuma has already established Africa as a major part of the BRICS nations in his vision for peace and prosperity , let him prove that he extends this vision of peace and properity beyond the borders of South Africa. For a united Africa, there is only one region to start the building process of rebirth and healing and that is the Congo. For Africa to heal, the heart of the continent must become the heart of the indaba.