WHO CAN SAVE THE PEOPLE OF THE CONGO? IS IT THE NEO-COLONIAL POLITICIANS? OR IS IT THE POWER OF THE PEOPLE?

WHO CAN SAVE THE PEOPLE OF THE CONGO?

IS IT THE NEO-COLONIAL POLITICIANS? OR IS IT THE POWER OF THE PEOPLE? PART 1

On the 10th of June 2009, a meeting was organised by The UK Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF), The National Alliance of Women’s Organisations (NAWO) and the International Action Network on Small Arms (IANSA). They invited Senator Eve Bazaiba Masudi to discuss the contribution of women, violence against women and the Socio-political and economical situation in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

Who are the contending forces in the Congo?

Africa has been attacked by imperialist forces for a very long time and this has resulted in two types of political movements, the independence and the surrender ones. The most high profile political movement in the Congo was the independentist struggle led by Patrice Lumumba’s MNC (Movement of Nationalist Congolese) in the 1950’s who mobilised millions of African workers and peasants. The Surrender camp was dominated by various competing bourgeoisie, neo-colonial political parties, notably Abako party headed by Joseph Kasavubu and Tshombe who attempted the break away of Katanga (South Congo). Mobutu became head of military and led in opposition to the political stance made by Lumumba. The ruling PPRD is headed by President Joseph Kabila and the MLC of Jean Pierre Bemba belongs to the surrender camp and are an extension of Mobutu and Tshombe’s leadership. The PPRP is a continuity of AFDL (Alliance des forces democratiques pour la liberation), created by Rwanda and Uganda’s neo-colonial leadership under the supervision of the US and UK, it has all kind of opportunists, from former Mobutists to so-called Lumumbists.

Who is Senator Eve Bazaiba Masudi? Whose side is she on? Oppressor or oppressed?

Senator Eve Bazaiba Masudi is Chair of the DRC Senate Socio-Cultural Affairs Committee and member of the opposition party Mouvement de Libération du Congo (MLC) who are neo-colonialists and was created by the same Ugandan neo-colonial leadership of Museveni who also helped to create AFDL earlier on.

Eve stated in her presentation that she was an activist in human rights but specialised in women and children and is a part of Women International League for Peace and Freedom who are there to bring the change needed for development. She was here to represent the masses of women and children living in poverty, disease and hostility. There are a lot of development programs in the Congo which the United Kingdom invests in but there is still poverty. Analysis shows that people are dealing with the consequences and not the causes. There are a lot of funds for violence against women and a lot of programs to help women with health and psychological problems. She was also wearing a dress which denounced violence against women.

How can this League or any other bring the change that is needed? The masses of African people in the Congo have been suffering for years and the nothing has changed. The conditions that existed before still exist today and are becoming increasingly worse. The masses of people are still in need of clean water, hospitals, schools and basic infrastructures in their country to name a few. All these organisations, NGOs included are not led by the workers and peasants, they are created by imperialism and are neo-colonial stooges to hold back the tide of change. They have done absolutely nothing to improve the material conditions of the masses in the Congo, they just attempt to treat the symptoms. No government has ever addressed the causes or the consequences of violence in the Congo (apart from Lumumba but he only lasted for 6 months), they are all maintaining the status quo for their Imperialist masters.

Is rape being used as a designer imperialist weapon against African Women?

Senator Eve stated that there were no changes in women being raped. They were being raped in the Eastern part of the Congo and also on the Western part where there is peace. The crime committers against the women are the military, civilians and the United Nations.

Rape is a favourite weapon of torture of imperialism, which is why Obama does not want to release the torture pictures of the CIA. The aim of these Imperialist inspired and sponsored wars in the Congo is to rape the African women, demoralise, humiliate, kill and separate them from their communities. The United Nations is an occupying army in the Congo and they are part of the violence being committed against the women and they also bring in weapons. In April this year, there have been allegations made in the bourgeoisie media that the Indian and Pakistani in DR Congo gave arms to militias and smuggled gold and ivory. If the Indian and Pakistani UN peacekeeper are doing this then just think about what the other peacekeepers are up to.

All of the armies occupying the Congo including Kabila’s army, have been trained armed and funded by the West. The UK has sold arms to all fighting gangs in DRC. The US trains both Ugandan and Rwandan armies with $7 million in direct military funding and military subsidies. During election in 2006 the UN army intervened to crush mass peaceful protest and did noting to stop kabila’s army killing 300 people in West Congo 2008. The majority of UN army soldiers are Indian, Pakistani and South African and represent the interest of their own country.

Rape is used as a weapon of war with the aim of trying to break the back of the inevitable rise of the African revolution being formed in resistance to the continual looting of African resources. Imperialism knows the strength of African woman and their ability to mobilise their people to take the reins of self-determination and fight for what is rightfully theirs. How can there be Coltan, gold and diamonds in your country and you and your country men not benefit from it? Could this happen to the resources of the United Kingdom? No, but then there are no resources to talk about coming out of the UK, is there.

Causes of conflict in the Congo

Eve Bazaiba Masudi went on to say that there are programs about the consequences and not the causes, the causes are the armed conflict. The conflict involves Burundi, Ugandan, Sudan, the United Nations troops and the Congolese army. Armed groups got into the Congo (DRC) during the 1994 genocide in Rwanda, the UN and the French asked Zaire (as it was known at that time) to open the borders to the Hutus and moderate Tutsis to come and live in the Congo. The Congo could not refuse this request as it was a member of the United Nations and it was a way for them to contribute to the peace in Rwanda. That program was short term but now there is a definite program to replace war from Rwanda to the Congo

She said that the program to get the Hutus out of the Congo was an opportunity to let the war with the Hutus and Tutsis happen in the Congo. The presence of the Hutus in the Congo is the population that is suffering as they are preparing to attack Rwanda and get power and Kagame is preparing to attack them as well so it is the Congolese people who are victims of these confrontations. When the Rwandan army goes into the Congo, they rape and loot and say that the Congolese is doing genocide in the Congo. When the Tutsis go back to Rwanda and the Hutus stay with the population and they blame the population telling them that they are the ones who call the Tutsis to come and fight with them then the women are raped by many men several times over.

The truth is the Rwandans came into the Congo well armed which is contrary to the UN terms of acceptance for refugees. How do you seek asylum with weapons in your arms? Do you think that Africans from Africa or the Caribbean can come and seek refugee in the UK with weapons in their arms? They’ll probably be killed in second and labelled terrorists.

In the final analysis, Britain is not a part of the solution to the problem in the Congo but is a part of the problem together with other Western Forces in the Congo and throughout the region. They do not aid in bringing stability as the rich resources in African benefits them directly. We need to understand that the poverty in Africa is directly related to the wealth in the Western World. We as Africans leave our homes and come to these Western countries searching for a ‘better life’ but what some of us do not realise is that we are running after our resources. We as African people cannot rely on our colonial masters to bring us the peace and freedom that we need to live without fear, humiliation and oppression. We have to be the makers of the change that we need because we are the makers of history. We must continue the righteous fight for self-determination in our lifetime.

Power to the Workers! Land to the peasants!

Touch One! Touch All! One Africa! One Nation!

Build the African Socialist International!

Ruth Kimathi

WHO CAN SAVE THE PEOPLE OF THE CONGO?

IS IT THE NEO-COLONIAL POLITICIANS? OR IS IT THE POWER OF THE PEOPLE? PART 2

The other causes of war in the Congo

She went on to say that the other causes apart from armed conflict that people cannot see is bad governance (the way the country is governed) and the spread of arms. All of these countries involved in the conflict do not develop or manufacture these weapons. Those who manufacture these weapons want to see violence fabricated to kill the population. They have programs in place to protect the animals, the chimpanzees etc. It is a lot easier to take away mineral resources in conflict as they get it cheaper.

Imperialism (US and others) sells weapons to all the neighbouring countries of the Congo which is situated in the heart of Africa. In order for Imperialism parasitic capitalist system born off the sweat of our African backs to survive they need to extract precious and valuable mineral resources easily and cheaply. What better way to do this than to supply various factions in that region with weapons to fight each other and attack the masses of people who want change and a better life. They can then walk out with the resources quite easily. Imperialism also has its different factions of neo-colonial stooges which they sponsor to extract resources from the Congo. They are loyal to none and easily replace them when their demands are not being met or their usefulness has ended.

The central bank in Uganda ‘reported by September 1997 Uganda had exported gold valued at $105 million compared with $60 million in 1996 and $23 million in 1995’ before the invasion of DRC (taken from UN Panel Report of Expert on illegal exploitation of minerals). Imperialism will save the chimpanzees and other animals but will not stop the sale of weapons in the Congo which has been in a state of continuous war for years.

Credit crunch? What credit crunch? Imperialism is dying and needs sustenance

Eve Bazaiba Masudi stated that the United Kingdom has a veto in the United Nations Council and contributes financially in all programs in the Congo, this is our tax money. She said that when they give money for a program they should look for the impact of the money given. Even in this credit crunch period the UK is still giving money to the Congo. A lot of money is invested in violence against women but the situation is not changing. NGOs are helping the people to get drinkable water.

She went on to say that the UK was present when the decision was made to open up the humanitarian head in the Congo. The UK is in the position of making things change in the Congo. It is due to the influence of Britain that the Slave Trade was stopped; they put a stop to the Slavery System. Pan Africanism is supported by Great Britain. We are asking the British Society to stop the wars in the Great Lake Regions. She has faith that if the civil society gets involved the war in the Congo will stop.

She concluded by saying that it is the voices of women involved in parliament in the government and in the civil society which has decided that we should stick to the cause or but we also have to look at the consequences.

Well throwing in a few crumbs after eating the cake in one big gulp does not hurt much does it. The United Kingdom benefits immensely from the resources of the Congo. The Coltan is used to prevent things like computers and mobile phones from overheating which is a very important function. After stripping the Congo and her neighbours of their valuable resources year after year and the UK’s involvement in setting the prices for the minerals looted, putting in a few £s in this program and that program and looking for no impact as to what the programs do, makes it is quite easy for them to put a few £s into the Congo. Africa is the solution to the economic problems of all imperialist countries, all the resources that you need to produce life is situated in Africa. It is the future.

While Africans are running away from Africa whether from Imperialism sponsored wars, poverty or what ever the case may be, you have all these countries running to Africa to loot it of its resources. China has an African plan, the United States has an African plan, India has an African plan, Pakistan has an Africa plan but do we Africans have an African plan?………Oh yes, we have the ASI, the African Socialist International. It is a revolutionary organisation to work under the leadership of the African workers and poor peasantry worldwide and to unify them into one organisation and using one philosophy and heading in one trajectory, that of total unification and liberation of Africa (our national homeland) and her disperse people. The ASI will give us the ability to determine the direction of our lives and how our resources would be used to benefit us first before anyone else.

The tragedy in the Congo is the absence of organised anti-imperialist forces to organise for revolution. Everywhere in the Congo and in the region, factions of surrendees forces are in position of leadership: the run the government and the opposition at the same time.

In conclusion, Africans liberated themselves from slavery, no one else did it for us and it is we again who will liberate ourselves from these miserable conditions that we face as a dispersed people. We are not oppressed because we are Grenadians, Ghanians or African Americans; we are oppressed because we are Africans. We need to come together and work under one leadership. We have freed ourselves before and we will do it again. Join the African Socialist International now to give speed to this process.

Power to the Workers! Land to the peasants!

Touch One! Touch All! One Africa! One Nation!

Build the African Socialist International!

Ruth Kimathi

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