On the 10th of June 2009, a meeting was organized 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 economic situation in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
Who are the contending forces in the Congo?
Since the U.S. and Belgian imperialist attack that destroyed the pro-independence government and national liberation movement led by Patrice Lumumba in the early sixties, Congo has been controlled by the forces that surrendered to imperialism, led by Tshombe, Kasa-Vubu and Mobutu. These forces also played a key role in the U.S./Belgian imperialist’s assassination of Patrice Lumumba.
Today the ruling party is the People's Party for Reconstruction and Democracy (PPRD) led by President Joseph Kabila. Jean Pierre Bemba, who is locked up by the International Criminal Court in Holland leads the main opposition party, the Movement for the Liberation of the Congo (MLC). Both leaders belong to the surrender group and are an extension of Mubutu and Tshombe’s leadership. The PPRD is a continuation of AFDL (Alliance des forces democratiques pour la liberation), created by Rwanda and Uganda’s neo-colonial leadership under the supervision of the U.S. and UK. It has all kinds of opportunists, from former Mobutists to so-called Lumumbists, they are all in there.
The MLC was created by the same Ugandan neo-colonial leadership of Museveni. He also helped create the Rwandan Patriotic Front of Kagame, in power in Kigali today, and AFDL which became PPRD in power in Kinshasa now. Other political groups include RCD (Rassembelement Congolais pour la Democratie) and Laurent Nkunda’s National Congress for the Defense of the People (CNDP). CNDP was created by Rwanda’s neo-colonial government of Paul Kagame to carry out proxy wars in Congo.
All these forces were created to advance the interests of U.S. / European imperialism; they all belong to the camp of those who surrendered to imperialism. The reality is that MLC, CNDP, PPRD, Museveni’s National Resistance Movement (MNR) and Kagame’s Rwandan Patriot Front (FPR) are all U.S. and British tolls for counterinsurgency warfare in Congo which has left at least six million Africans dead. Our people have no future when we surrender directly or indirectly to imperialism.
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 MLC which is a neo-colonialist force in Congo. She is an NGOist. She has no faith in the masses of Africans in the country. She cannot see that the masses need revolution. She is a petty bourgeois force who cannot see the future because of the limitations of her own social class outlook and because of submission to imperialism.
Eve stated in her presentation that she was a human rights activist specializing in women and children. She said she is a part of the Women’s 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 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 infrastructure. All these organizations, NGOs included, are not led by the workers and peasants. They are created by imperialism and its neo-colonial stooges to hold back the changing tide. 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’s government). 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 in the western part where there is peace. Those committing crime against the women are the military, civilians and the United Nations.
Rape is a favorite 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, demoralize, 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 women. They are also involved in selling weapons to various groups in the region.
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 to resist the constant looting of African resources. Imperialism knows the strength of African woman and their ability to mobilize 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 are there?
It is quite clear that she did not come to Britain to challenge imperialism, but to seek funds for NGO work. African workers need to be mobilised so that representatives of the African petty bourgeoisie do not get the space to sell out our people. We need to be mobilized in order to take the issue of rape away from the African petty bourgeois feminists and white feminist alike.
Part 1 (to be continued)