Wednesday, October 15, 2008
KABILA VULNERABILITY AFTER TURNING AWAY FROM THE WEST
REPLY: KABILA VULNERABLE AFTER TURNING AWAY FROM WEST
New York, USA
Reply to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Fred Ouluoch, writer of the analysis"Kabila Vulnerable After Turning Away From the West" in AllAfrica, posted on October 13 2008, makes good points regarding the situation in Congo-Kinshasa mostly of his current president. He shows that the west has abandonned him because of his ties with China and hostile sentiment of the population because of Lumumba's death.
We woul like take issues with his argumentation while thanking him for his effort to understdna the situation in Congo-Kinshasa. French could have well served well the interest of Congolese people if he knew what is happening now in this country. Bloggs and televisions alone are not enough. The war is old and most of Congolese people got use to it, and there is noting new that will bring out the excitement. The cause and actors are still the same directly or indirectly. China has always been there since Mobutu way back to 1980's; she has increased manpower and economic presence. One would remember how China was giving economic assistance to Congolese people when the crisis was so deep--e.g. rice. The aid in question was presented to Congolese people as donation but it was sold by Mobutu's inner circle for profit. Congolese people are smart enough to understand that whatever is said about China is a distraction since China is now all over the world.
Here in the United States of America China's presence is felt everywhere. From San Francisco to Island of New York they eat Chinese. New York City has two China Towns: Canal Street in Manhattan and Flushing in Queens. Washington, D.C. has its own ChinaTown. San Francisco, Atlanta, Philadelphia, Boston they have ChinaTowns. ChinaTown is quarter where lives the population of Chinese descent in their majority. Most of quarters in question were abandoned areas that Chinese did some renovation. There is no City, Town, County even countryside in US where there is no Chinese food. Chinese are appreciated here as good workers bringing capital to American economy through their small business. These Chinese are here to stay. The Great China with Shangai and Hong Kong market deals also with United States government in main areas and contribute a lot to American economy. America borrow more from China than another country. China pomps money in the American economy. The debt that America owes to China has already reached 13(?) billion. I assume we have so many "made in China" here than Congo. As you can see, the insertion of China factor in Congo is as the wrong one.
Concerning Kabila's power makers, these forces were and still well alive. Rwanda and Uganda are just little force on the front line. They receive their instruction on Congo from Washington, London, Paris, and Berlin directly or indirectly. They have no power to act directly themselves because of the complexity of the Congolese question. Everybody has a stake in this country. It has been so since the creation of Congo Free State through all painful years of colonization. Congo was set up as a commercial vehicle, a supply warehouse rather than a country of human beings. Many who have being source of that creation would like to see the basic mentality continued. And they have financial and manpower to do so. Anything, Congolese people would do to free themselves from that spirit they would either lack ways and means or just face strong opposition through political and economic sabotage. A strong leadership in Congo works against the mentality.
However, one needs to ask is this mentality is only proper to Congo ? What about Congo Brazzaville? What about Senegal, Ivrory Coast, Ghana, Nigeria, Zambia. Zimbabwe, Uganda, Burundi, Peru, Colombia, Indonesia? Well, the answer to this question would be almost the same everywhere with some graduation made here and there. Still, in general things are relative in third world countries for supply of raw materials. Do you I side with the mentality? NO. But I would like to see the truth told to the population and steps taken to achieve freedom in some areas like what was done to acquire the political independence.
For instance, raw material contracts need to be reviewed by Congolese parliament and seek advice from experts; they must contain stipulations improving social conditions of local population including labor, health, housing, infrastructure, education, small business working directly or indirectly with companies concerned. Contracts must be limited to twenty-Five years renewable after satisfy primary goal set initially. The control of the contract should be given gradually to local, district, province, and central government before being reviewed by the parliament and have the seal of approval by the president. The refusal of mining companies to submit themselves to control and review is always a source of tension. They want only to deal with high-ups that they bribe to the detriment of Congolese people. This way brings them closer to central government business and preference for his leadership. Mining companies and other can stay in the country as long as they want if they stop being directly involved in politics. If this involvement is good for their own countries, in Congo, the population sees it as betrayal. And when you betray you have to expect the hate as consequences.
Mobutu was the puppet of the west. Kabila also is the puppet of the west. The difference between both is Mobutu became direct puppet of the west. He had the password that was later confiscated. He did not have to pass through intermediary to reach power makers. Kabila also belongs to west. Still, he has to go through China, Rwanda and Uganda to reach Washington, London, and Berlin. Mobutu was not just a puppet, but also a power maker among puppets. Kabila did not reach that level yet.
As for Kabila concerned with Congolese sentiment, I don't know where the writer is getting that from? Kabila has no feeling for Congolese people but to stick to power forever by any means necessary. The self inflicted rebellion gives him that power. Nkunda's rebellion is financed by Kabila through Rwanda and Burundi. He knows everything about this endless war. When Kabila enjoys peace in Kinshasa, there is no war. When Kabila is in trouble in Kinshasa, the war will start again. This is a gimmick; it is not a war; it is an instrument, a tool to scare Congolese people with and pretend to be a peacemaker. Eastern war is used to put Congolese people on check, to assess their confidence to Kabila and to unite around him.
Right now, Congolese people are preparing for new general elections. Kabila has accomplished nothing to deserve their vote. He has spent all his time dealing bloodsuckly with his opponents and consolidate his power. Bemba's case is at point. Muteneery is provoked as a way to get rid off officers he doesn't like. He sets up coup d'Etat against himself to rise his popularity. The country has fallen in deep corruption, embezzlement, arbitrary arrests, sequestration, dictated verdicts, false imprisonment and summary execution worse than Mobutu's period. Congolese people live at paleolithic period. American dollar has become their currency. They buy and sell in American dollar. Congolese franc served as decorative paper. People don't even pay attention to it. They die in record number of simple fever. Medications sold on the market are all expired or rejected from their country of origin.
The minority on power live in luxury. They eat, sleep, and enjoy goods from London, Washington, Berlin and Tokyo. They import fancy cars and live in sumptuous palace with fences like in the rich American suburbs..Congo has no roads, no light, no clean water. The country presents disaster everywhere including Kinshasa the capital city. Parents cannot even afford to send their children to elementary school. The alphabetization has reach its level of before the independence of the country. High schools and colleges have become again a lux. College graduated are under educated. Some cannot even write a clear sentence or do a simple math operation. College and high schools are in the mix. There are no books, no labs. Professors are still writing on the black boards. Students memorize just to score and pass classes. University libraries are full of expired theory books thrown out from Sorbone, Oxford, Princeton and Harvard. Students do not read. Professors, often unpaid, have become professors because of political influence. Mediocres, they cannot teach good but mediocrity. Students with education, are poured on job market to perform poorly and force the country to rely on foreigner technicians to do simple tasks.
With this somber portrait, who can elect again Kabila in Congo? Nobody but cronies. And how many cronies do we have in Congo? There are minority less than one percent of the population. . Could this minority offer victory for Kabila? No way and no how. In this case, what does he to do to maintain himself on power? He has to manipulate and steal the elections as he had done it before. What will be the best way to steal the elections for him in Congo? He would need to create pocket of tensions all over the country and maintain those existing already. Where are the existing pocket of tensions? All eastern Congo is the permanent pocket of the tension, especially Goma, Rutsuru, Masisi, Bunia, Butembo, Lubero, Wamba, Isiro, Bukavyu, Kindu, Ubundu, Kisangani, Haut Wele, Bas Wele, Aketi, Bumba, Banalia, Bafwasende, et Oriental Katanga including Kalemie, Manono, Ankoro. In the last elections, Kivu itself as area gave him the absolute victory. And what was the situation in Kivu that time? Worse than today. There was the endless war. How in the world can you run elections in the war area? Nowhere, isn't it? Well in Kabila's Congo that was feasible, it was done ,and he is going to do it again.. The current so-called war is just a prelude of what it is going to be for elections.
It is up to Congolese people to understand what is at stake; refuse the boob trap and continue to fight for liberty, freedom in free, transparent and independent democracy rather than continue to endure a despicable life. Eastern Congo has been in turmoil since independence. The founding fathers, aware of the situation, had the eastern Congo administrated through a special legislation that gave authority to the minister of Home affairs and Parliament. Its leaders were proposed by Home affairs, confirmed by the Parliament and nominated by the president. Kivu was declared contested region. Gradually, some areas that improved as regard to their chaos, disorder and anarchy were sooner reintegrated to the rest of the country. There was no elections done in the region unless there was improvement. Such exceptions were also good for Sankuru, Mwene-Ditu, Idiofa, and many more. Why Kabila is refusing to do the same? This legislation is well known by any politician from eastern provinces. Because, Kabila, knows that without chaos he cannot win any election in Congo.
Regarding Lumumba's factor, I think the writer is just taking his cue from bank data without verification on the ground. Lumumba's myth is already caduc or dead. This myth was with old people from 1930-50. This demograph is old and has less influence in today's politics of Congo. Those who were ten years old in 1960's when Lumumba was murdered knew nothing of Lumumba. The current power is held by 1960's generation. They heard about Lumumba briefly in school and common conversation. There is no doctrine of Lumumba they are attached to. They respect and honor Lumumba as symbol of resistance and not as a tool to work with. This generation is more pragmatical rather than ideological. Lumumba's mythe is used as infomercial and not a factor that can influence the politics. It is dead, fallen in desuetude, caduc, fatigue, lapsed. Deciduous, null and void as one could think of Kennedy's factor. The China approach has nothing to do with Lumumba but commercial one. US has politics lined up with China not because of Lumumba rather commercial one. France in China and Great Britain in China. China represents today a world largest market where governments and privates go for business and not for ideologies. Kabila main goal is to keep Congo in turmoil and stick to power forever. The war is themeans to achieve this goal.Once that is removed from him, he would no longer be a president in Congo.Please update your thoughts.
New York, USA
Reply to Jzpalmares@gmail.com
The persistent rebellion in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo calls into question Joseph Kabila's presidency and who wants him out.
It appears that the forces that were behind the assassination of his father, Laurent Desire Kabila, are regrouping after realising that he is asserting himself.
Kabila was pushed into the leadership of Africa's third largest country in 2001 at the age of 31 following the assassination of his father, who owed his ascent to power to Uganda and Rwanda.
But it is the same forces -- who perceived him as a transitional president -- that have kept Kabila busy.
He has always maintained that Rwanda and Uganda, who have maintained a presence in the eastern Congo, either directly or by proxy, have to leave to allow an inter-Congolese dialogue.
But now, his main headache is his attempt to distance himself from the West, which was instrumental in his elevation to power.
Kabila has progressively moved towards China, thereby alienating the West, especially former colonial power Belgium.
DRC experts point out that Kabila is simply responding to the strong public feeling that Congo has always been a victim of the West, which habitually installs puppets there to do its bidding in as far as the country's vast resources are concerned.
These sentiments stem from murder of the independence hero Patrice Lumumba, who was seen to be fighting for the resources of the country to be used to benefit the Congolese people; and the excesses of Mobutu Sese Seko, who was seen as a puppet of the West.
Having maintain a low profile for some years, Kabila now does not want to be seen as a pawn of the West, and wants to satisfy the wishes of his constituents.
The assassination of his father did not help matters since his death was seen as having come from his refusal to co-operate with some mineral barons out to fleece the country of its resources.
Joseph Kabila's handlers feel that while the Lusaka agreement signed in July 1999 forced him to incorporate rebel leaders such as Jean Pierre Bemba into his government, it is now time for him to rule freely after winning the first democratic general election in 40 years.
This, however, has not been easy. Besides its vast size, DRC has always attracted immense interest from the neighbouring countries and the West. Kabila is also under pressure to restore the dignity of the Congo and its military, after years of battering by Uganda and Rwanda.
Born to a Tutsi woman while his father was in exile, he communicates more easily in the English and Kiswahili languages, which are spoken in much of East Africa than in the French and Lingala languages that are spoken in Kinshasa. He cuts an unassuming figure compared to his extrovert father.
In one of his first trips to the US after taking power in 2001, Kabila in an interview expressed strong feelings against the undue interference by Uganda and Rwanda in DRC and appealed to his neighbours to recognise the country's sovereignty.
Still, he has to battle against forces who contend that Congo is too vast and too rich to remain as a single entity and would rather it were divided for peace to return.
The armies that are occupying eastern Congo have as their goal the ending of his rule, with other observers arguing that the rebellion will not end as long as he is seen as continuing his father's policies.
Besides, Kabila has the task of improving the lives of the Congolese people, whose have been distracted by the war, for close to four decades.
© 2008 Sankurunews
Posted by SANKURUNews at 10:50 AM