Commentaries

October 2007

Need for A New Leadership
by
George Bakaly Sembe
bsembe@yahoo.com

Last November, Joseph Kabila was elected President of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), the election was hailed as the “most positive event in Sub-Saharan Africa since Mandela’s electoral victory in 1994” by the UN. In fact the “international community” pulled all the stops spending half a billion dollars to organize elections in a country as large as Western Europe with no infrastructure to speak off.

The head of the UN mission in the DRC (MONUC), William Swing and EU commissioner Louis Michel the architects of “Congo’s transition” claimed that elections would be the panacea to all of Congo’s tribulations, less than a year later everyone can see what a mess Congo is in. Westerners reading this will say “here is another Black man trying to lay blame on somebody else” but I beg to differ. First because I do believe we (Congolese) are to blame for this is ultimately our country, but that does not take away from the fact that the management of post-Mobutu’s Congo has been botched mostly because of foreign intervention be it Rwanda, Angola, the EU or the UN, everybody has come into Congo to protect interests that had nothing to do with the Congoles

In 1996, Rwanda came in under the pretense that they were pursuing perpetrators of “the genocide” President Kagamé has openly admitted that the bulk of Laurent Kabila’s troops came from Rwanda, in fact, Laurent Kabila’s first Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, James Kabarebe happens to hold the same position in Rwanda today. Today after 11 years of occupation, Rwanda continues to pretend that it needs to be in DRC in order to protect itself from the Interahamwe and other Hutu extremists, it supports Laurent Nkundabatware a Congolese Tutsi, who many human rights groups have accused of various crimes against humanity, just like the Gareton report did about Laurent Kabila/James Kabarebe forces in 1998, and the international community does nothing about that, it accepts Kagamé’s claims of self defense, it accepts that a minority holds power in Rwanda for more than a decade, and it accepts that to “protect” the mass murder of more than 4 million Congolese is acceptable.

The peoples of both Kivus voted for Joseph Kabila, believing that the Swahili speaking candidate will be more inclined to help them than Lingala speaking Jean Pierre Bemba, today they realize that the man does nothing to help, while they are getting slaughtered one tribe after the other, their brethren Joseph is indulging in Kinshasa’s politics, he could not accept that Bemba kept a few hundred men and launched a two day war that killed at least a thousand man, women, and children but he can accept that Laurent Nkunda who is wanted by the International Tribunal for war crimes keeps more than 3,000 men.

The same goes for MONUC and the EU, where are “masters” Swing and Michel when it comes to the Kivu, where are they when it comes to the tens of thousands of Hunde tribesmen massacred by Kigali’s henchman Nkunda. The people who swore that the best way to reform Congo’s armed forces was to bring into a single army former foes who had massacred people across this paradise lost in the Heart of Darkness are now saying “Congo does not have an army” the very same people who swore that the elections were fair and democratic, even though one candidate launched a tank attack on the other and canceled a constitutionally binding debate, are now “waking up” to Kabila’s despotic trait and clamoring for the villain of yesterday Uganda’s instrument Jean Pierre Bemba to return to Kinshasa.

Leopold’s Free State of the Congo, was meant to be a region of international commerce, an “open door” policy would be enforced, everyone, except the natives, could profit from the riches of the Congo; they were so bountiful that they belonged to the entire (White-Capitalist) World. In the days of Leopold, Hausa tribesmen from Ghana and local collaborators were used to oppress the Congolese, make them slaves, and steal their wealth. Today Kagamé and his gang have replaced the Hausa and Kabila, and the entire Congolese Government are the new collaborators as they casually witness Nkunda butcher their brothers and sisters. As Congolese, it is our responsibility to seek a leadership that will take our country back and make it clear to the Louis Michel and Kagamés of this World that they will not profit from the Congo until we do.