Hands off Panzi Hospital in Congo: Stop the violence against African women!

LONDONThe African Socialist International condemns the political attack on Panzi Hospital in the Kivu region of the Democratic Republic of Congo.
 
We also condemn the attacks on Dr. Denis Mukwege by the Kabila government under the disguise of tax evasion.
 
Tax authority, known as ‘La Direction Générale des impôts ‘GDI, has seized the hospital’s bank accounts demanding $700,000 ransom for so-called taxes.
 
This is a response to Dr. Mukwege’s growing reputation and influence around the world and amongst the Congolese community for his work in support of rape victims in Congo.
 
Founder of Panzi Hospital and a gynecologist, Dr. Mukwege has been providing healthcare free of charge to the victims of rape with extreme violence in Eastern Congo.
 
He was awarded the Sakharov prize in the European Parliament, at Strasbourg, France on November 26, 1996.
 
Why would the same rulers who are supporting war in Congo choose to give a prize to Dr. Mukwege?
 
In his acceptance speech, he exposed the immense suffering imposed on our people back home in East Congo and implicitly stated that he had no faith in Kabila’s government.
 
 “The area where I live is one of the richest in the world; yet the overwhelming majority of its people live in extreme poverty due to insecurity and bad governance.
 
“Women’s bodies have become a battlefield and rape is being used as a weapon of war. There are multiple consequences as a result, which impact on the whole of society.
 
“The family unit is disintegrated, and the social fabric destroyed. In a largely militarized economy, populations are reduced to slavery or simply forced into exile,” he said.
 
He also recognized that there can’t be social justice or protection under the current neocolonial state:
 
“The authority of the Congolese State and its institutions remain fragile, and are not yet able either to protect the population nor to meet its basic needs. Justice must be at the heart of the peace process and the fight against impunity for the most serious crimes, including sexual violence, should be strengthened.
 
“There will be no peace or economic and social development without respect for human rights – without compensation for rape survivors and victims,  without consolidation of the public service including a vetting of security forces – without establishing the truth mechanisms to promote reconciliation”.
 
Everyone knows that the Congolese state is simply a subordinate state to its neocolonial states of Rwanda and Uganda under the domination of the U.S. and UK imperialists.
 
The truth is,  there is no justice with a neocolonial state with Kabila or otherwise.
 
Panzi Hospital, with its 450 beds, is not a private business run to generate profits, but to respond to the needs of the people living under military occupation.
 
Without the assassination of Laurent Desire Kabila, Joseph Kabila would not be in power today, but he has never used his position to shed light on the circumstances and motives of the assassination of his father. He has since maintained himself in power through electoral frauds.
 
Such a person is not qualified to accuse Dr. Mukwege of fraud, let alone to fight fraud in Congo – that is a contradiction in itself.
 
This is a regime  born by the U.S. government‘s led initiative, which backed, trained and funded  neocolonialist armies of Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi, which  overthrew Mobutu’s regime in 1996 and installed  a vassal state which accepts the existence of proxy armies of occupation in Congo.
 
Panzi Hospital is part of occupied Kivu territory where these proxy armies have been murdering   workers and peasants and raping women for 20 years.
 
To fight fraud must mean fighting occupation in the East. This is why a lot of people refer to Kabila’s government as a foreigner agent, to the point of accusing him of not being a Congolese national.
 
The UN has published numerous reports which clearly expose companies involved in looting and funding the genocide war in Congo and up to this very moment, Kabila’s government has never charged or taken a punitive action against murderers of Congolese and looters of Congo’s resources.
 
In Congo, every day multinationals and their private parasitic enterprises evade taxes. Mine ores and concessions are under sold to foreign exploiters, who do not have our best interests at heart.
 
John Numbi, the minister of health (rather the ministry of death) like all agents of this government,  value  more money in their pockets than lives of our people.
 

Personal gains first, people’s health last

 
The ruling class members can always get on the planes to get treatment in Europe, U.S. or South Africa while the masses continue to die mercilessly from preventable and curable diseases.
 
This clearly shows that neocolonialism is the system that allows and sustains rapes of African women in Congo.
 
To disrupt Panzi Hospital is to disrupt treatment and care available for women – victims of rapes with torture and mutilation in the hands of Rwanda and Uganda soldiers along with  their proxy groups operating in the region.
 
These horrific acts are carried out with the  use of    objects of all kinds such as sharp  knives,bullets, sticks, or hot melting plastic struck on and inside of women genitals.
 
The torture is carried out in front of community and family members. Over 40,000 women, victims of such atrocity, have been treated at the Panzi Hospital center.
The government’s fraud allegation shows once again that the current Congolese state power has no national or collective defense purpose.
 
It is rather a political tool to impose unjust social order and practices in defense of worldwide imperialist order in Congo.
 
Furthermore, the people of Congo, of which the vast majority are workers and peasants, are defenseless because we are stateless.
 
The armies of Kabila, the United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO) , Rwandan Defence Force (RDF), Front de Liberation Democratique du Rwanda (FLDR,Rwanda proxy group), Allied Democratic Force (ADF, Uganda proxy group), and Uganda Defense Force (UDF) are not instruments of  Congo’s national sovereignty, but tools of  national oppression and occupation in Congo.
 
MONUSCO, despite its 17, 000 soldiers and budget of $1.2 billion, is not in Congo to protect us, but to maintain imperialist socio-economic order, and this is why  hundreds were massacred in Beni under the nose of MONUSCO.
 
The struggle to defend Panzi Hospital is to defend Dr. Mukwege‘s right to practice his profession free from state persecution and harassment and  to demand as well as our right to free health care.
 
It is a struggle for a new state that can defend the country and its people from any imperialist attacks. It is to build a state that must replace the outdated oppressive neocolonial state.
 
To break the current status quo, the prime victims of neocolonialism in the Congo  (workers and particularly women) must get organized to lead a new revolutionary  struggle in alliance with peasants and honest progressive forces in order  to  end this war of occupation, looting and genocide in the Congo.
 
To fight fraud is to stop U.S. Africom troops from operating in the Congo. We know well that the U.S. has been the key force in destroying our independence, killing our genuine leaders and imposing irresponsible, fraudulent leadership like Mobutu in Congo, Kagame in Rwanda and Museveni in  Uganda.
 
The real fraudster is the neocolonial government of Joseph Kabila, which has submitted the people’s self-determination principles to MONUSCO, RPF, UDF, AFRICOM and their proxy groups who are  responsible for the genocide in the Congo.
 
There is neither dignity nor integrity for this government which depends on imperialist foreign aid.
 
The government must dance to their tunes, which is occupation, exploitation, repression and humiliation for the people of DRC.

 

End Occupation now!

Stop all neocolonial violence against African women in Congo!

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