cc LEP Has
the M23 rebel group been defeated? No. And there is nothing in the
recent reportage in major western media that tells anything close to the
whole truth about the ongoing genocide and depopulation in DRC
The western propaganda system is again trotting out the refrain that
‘rebels in Congo have been defeated.’ The latest so-called ‘rebels’ --
the M23 forces -- are actually Rwandan government troops, not rebels.
(True Congolese ‘rebels’ -- such as the Mai Mai [also spelled Mayi-Mayi]
-- are always denigrated by the international corporate media system.)
Reports now appearing in the western mass media are that the ‘M23 rebels’ have
‘surrendered in Uganda’, or
‘turned themselves in’ in Rwanda.
This is nonsense, since these are Rwandan Defense Forces, most of them formerly
National Congress for the Defense of the People (CNDP) ‘rebels’, formerly
Congolese Rally for Democracy ‘rebels’, formerly of the Rwandan Patriotic
Army/Movement (RPA/RPF), formerly Ugandan People's Defense Forces (UPDF),
formerly National Resistance Army/Movement (NRA/M) troops. (This is especially
true of commanders, e.g.: James Kabarebe, Laurent Nkundabatware, and many
others). The varying incarnations of ‘rebels’ in eastern Congo have all and always been backed by
President Yoweri Museveni (Uganda)
and President Paul Kagame (Rwanda),
in turn backed by the USA, UK and Israel. M23 is the same: another
predominantly Tutsi army serving the Tutsi/Hema elites -- not the people of Uganda
or the people of Rwanda/Burundi and the bain of innocent men, women and
children wherever they go.
Meanwhile, in Kinshasa, Hippolyte Kanambe (alias
Joseph Kabila) is showing his consistent treasonous betrayal of the people of Congo by
calling for the M23 rebels to be included in the political process. How and why
would the president of Congo
be inviting ‘defeated’ guerillas who have committed war crimes, crimes against
humanity and genocide in Congo
(1990-1995) and Uganda
(1980-1985) to participate in the political process? Kanambe is another tutsi
elite (his uncle is James Kabarebe) and his goal as Trojan Horse (see, e.g,
Yaa-Lengi Ngemi, ‘Kagame's Trojan Horse in the Congo,’ New York Times, November
29, 2012) is to further integrate/infiltrate Rwandan guerillas and politicians
into the Congo. Media reports have exaggerated the fighting between Congolese
troops (FARDC) and their U.N. partner army the Rapid Intervention Forces,
against the M23: most M23 were warned in advance of an impending assault and
they fled to Rwanda and Uganda.
Meanwhile, multinational corporations operating in eastern Congo under the
media radar, but soaked in Congolese blood, include Banro Gold, Casa Mining,
Randgold, Mwana Africa, Loncor, Anglo-Gold Ashanti, Kilo Gold, and Moku Gold.
These are U.S., Canadian,
Australian, and European mining corporations and they benefit from having the
Rwandan Tutsi in Kinshasa
(Kanambe). They all have deep ties to the criminal extortion, money-laundering,
racketeering and theft behind the plunder and depopulation in the Great Lakes countries, ties to Kagame and Museveni and
Meanwhile, the United Nations Forces (MONUC, MONUSCO) and the Rapid
Intervention Forces (note the heavy presence of South African troops AND South
African mining companies in eastern Congo!) serve the corporate agenda.
Remember that almost half of the MONUC annual 1 billion budget went to Lockheed
Martin subsidiary Pacific Architects and Engineers -- a private military (read:
mercenary) company also involved in the US/Canada/UK/Israeli invasions of Zaire
(1996-1997) and Congo (1998-onward).
Meanwhile, TIME Magazine (Nov. 11, 2013) ran a little propaganda clip by a
white journalist Jessica Hatcher titled, ‘Saving Congo's Gorillas’. In typical
western media fashion, the furry primates are portrayed as the supreme victims
of war in the Great Lakes region. The point is
to manipulate public opinion to support further western/corporate intervention
but not for the people, rather ostensibly for the non-human primates, but
really for other western corporate exploiters, including Dian Fossy Gorilla
Fund, Jane Goodall Institute, Conservation International, CARE, Save the
Children, UNICEF, etc. Oh, and don't forget Ben Affleck and Eve Ensler's million-dollars
money-making schemes in Congo (requiring complete Ugandan and Rwandan
The page-and-a-half TIME story offers an interesting trail for anyone
interested in understanding the nature of power and the political economy of
the mass media. For example, if you haven't heard, former Massachusetts Senator
John Kerry is now Barrack Obama's new Secretary of State (replacing Hillary
Clinton). The gorilla story doesn't mention Kerry at all, though it might have,
since Kerry traveled to Rwanda
and has extensive ties to Kagame. Kerry also unveiled new diplomatic
cooperation (PEPFAR) with South Africa (note those S. African mining companies
and S. African troops in Congo!), Rwanda and Namibia (run by another criminal
enterprise backed by Washington)(and, also, especially, by the world diamond
cartels)(and PEPFAR is one of these corporate AIDS front efforts which are
merely a few hops from covert operations). But, again, the short gorilla story
does not mention Kerry. It does however mention a formerly mostly-unheard-of
gorilla reserve, Senkwekwe
described by Time as ‘a refugee camp for primate victims of war.’
Never mind the hundreds of thousands of human refugees in the region....or the
ongoing genocide against Congolese peoples... And remember that the so-called
‘humanitarian’ charity (so-called ‘not-for-profit’) CARE INTERNATIONAL is
‘partnered’ with BANRO GOLD Corp in the blood-drenched hills of South Kivu, DRC. This is the new humanitarian fascism.
So, let's follow the trail TIME inadvertently lays for us. Senkwekwe Orphan
Center , it turns out,
gets some funding from the capitalist Buffet enterprises -- in particular, the
Howard G. Buffet Foundation. The gorilla story in TIME doesn't tell you this.
TIME doesn't tell us that Warren Buffet, Howard G. Buffet and their companies,
Berkshire Hathaway, have been deeply tied to the plunder and depopulation in
the Great Lakes countries, and in Sudan. The Howard G. Buffet
Foundation claims to have donated over $US 1 million to the World Food
Program. Any enterprising honest journalist who wanted to look into this would
find a haven of tax breaks, rotten grains, and corporate profiteering all at
the expense of US taxpayers, all under the guise of the World Food Program, and
involving protectionist agribusiness. Corporations like ConAgra and Archers
Daniels Midland -- both tied to the Buffets -- that reap huge benefits by
dumping shitty ‘food’ on the World Food Program with the help of U.S.
politicians. Buffet also claims to have provided ‘capacity-building and
operations support for Virunga’s National Park rangers’ and ‘Humanitarian
support for counter-LRA efforts’. Unpack these claims and you will find the
ugliest realities of predatory capitalism. ‘Humanitarian support for counter
LRA-efforts’ ??? What "counter LRA-efforts (Lord's Resistance Army) could
possibly involve anything "humanitarian? War is Peace.
Let's dig a little deeper back in Time, though, and VOILA! see what we find
(found). Warren Buffet is also on the Board of Directors of the H.J. Heinz
Corporation. In fact, Berkshire Hathaway acquired H.J. Heinz in June 2013.
What does H. J. Heinz have to do with Congo?
Why did John Kerry travel there?
What are the real Buffet interests in the region?
I will only offer a small tidbit of insight: John Kerry's wife is Teresa Heinz,
of the H.J. Heinz fortune.
Bottom line: THERE IS NOTHING ABOUT ANY OF THE RECENT REPORTAGE IN ANY MAJOR
WESTERN VENUE THAT TELLS ANYTHING CLOSE TO THE WHOLE TRUTH ABOUT THE ONGOING
GENOCIDE AND DEPOPULATION IN AFRICA.
If you are consuming the western mass media (Time Magazine, New York Times, New
Yorker, etc.) you are contributing to your own mental illness, and to the war
against the people of Africa.
I. His origins :
Joseph Kabila, in his real name Hyppolite Kanambe Kazemberembe, was born
on 4th June 1971 of a Rwandan father on the name of Christopher KANAMBE
and a Rwandan mother named Marceline MUKAMBUKUJE. His father was an
opossant to the Rwandan former president Juvénal HABYARIMANA. He met
Laurent Désiré KABILA, opposant of the Zairean former president MOBUTU,
in the resistance movements based in the mountains on the rwando-zairean
border, where they fought against their common enemies: MOBUTU and
HABYARIMANA. After the death of his friend Christopher Kanambe in 1977, Laurent
Désiré Kabila married (in the traditional customs) his widow Marcelline
and adopted (in the same traditional customs) her two young twin
children, a girl and a boy: Jenny KANAMBE and Hyppolite KANAMBE.
II. A neglected youth :
LD Kabila, who wed – several women (of which more than 13 -) when he
went underground-and of which he got a number of children (more than
25), had only a limited – time to take care of the latter. So as he had
not been able to push his studies beyond the secondary level, the young
Hyppolite Kanambe was forced to do several jobs for his living- amongst
which as a taximan,as a barman and of mechanic in the cities of Dar-are –
Salaam and of Kigoma in Tanzania.
-Indeed, his”foster father” (hear ‘step father’), LD Kabila, lived
with all his family in exile in Tanzania during Hyppolite’s childhood
and adolescence. Kabila spent more of his time in exile in the traffic
of the gold and diamond rather than fighting MOBUTU’s regime; which
often led him to cross the forests and the mountains of Tanzania,
Burundi, Rwanda and Uganda, to exercise his fraudulent business.
III. Back to the native land
In 1995, Hyppolite Kanambe decided to get back to his motherland the
Rwanda, where he was welcomed by his uncle James KABAREBE, Colonel and
Head of the intelligence services of the Rwandan Patriotic Army (APR),
who accommodates him in his own home.
At first, Kabarebe finds for his his nephew a job as “driver boy”, in
other words drive assistant of a delivery truck transporting goods in
Kigali, before employing him as his private chauffeur. In 1996, when the Americans launch their military —base to prepare
the invasion of Zaire, Paul Kagame appoints Colonel James Kabarebe as
Head of the military operations and responsible of the “Zaire File”. He
supervises the recruitment and the training of the new recruits of the
military base. This is when he takes the opportunity to register his
nephew Hyppolite Kanambe to the training program, in order to
incorporate him, at a later stage, to the invasion operation of Zaire
that is being primed.
Hippolyte Kanombe served in the Rwandan army in 1995. Several
witnesses also stress the indisputable fact that Hippolyte Kanombe alias
“Joseph Kabila” is fluent in kinyarwanda, the lingua franca of Rwanda.
IV. ASSASSINATION OF LAURENT-DESIRE KABILA:
These dark zones one do not want to enlight Laurent Désiré Kabila’s
death has already poured a lot of ink without the mystery which
surrounds him was unveiled. Far from us the idea to supply here the
hidden causes and the definitive identity of the real authors of this
tragedy which henceforth makes the Congolese politics a saga. However,
while discovering some circumstances which preceded and followed the
tragedy of Laurent Désiré Kabila’s murder in the direct line of Joseph
Kabila’s ascent towards the summit of the power, we can only be upset
with the concordance, the coherence and the convergence of these facts
which place Laurent Désiré Kabila’s “son” in the very center of the
Thus let us examine the main elements that were set before the tragedy strictly speaking: ACT I : Kinshasa, October 2000 : Mrs SIFA Mahanya’s arrest Mrs SIFA MAHANYA, presented wrongly as being Joseph Kabila biological
mother (we shall come back to it), is really Congolese and it is one of
the numerous declared or known “wives” of LD Kabila with whom she had 6
children named: Joséphine, Cécile, Masengo, Gloria, Kiki and Maguy.
Mrs Sifa lived with her husband in the Marble Palace, the official
residence of the Head of State when at the end of October of the year
2000, Laurent Désiré Kabila has a severe discomfort after a meal. The
medical examinations immediately practised diagnose a poisoning. The
investigations led by the presidential security staff raise a bundle of
serious indications of assumption converging on Mrs SIFA, who is accused
of attempt murder on her husband and is immediately arrested on order
of LD Kabila and imprisoned in the prison center of Makala in pavilion
ACT II : Kinshasa, 11 January 2001 : the exfiltration of Mrs Sifa from the prison center Behind his “father”’s back, Joseph Kabila organises the prisoner to
be removed from her cell, with the complicity of the director of the
prison, Mr. Kelly DIDO KITUNGUA. Mrs Sifa Mahanya is immediately
secretly transferred to Lubumbashi where she is accommodated in a
discrete place. ACT III : Lubumbashi, 12 January 2001: LD Kabila is advised to to cancel his trip to Cameroun The day after the removal of Mrs Sifa Mahanya, Joseph Kabila contacts
his “father” who was preparing to fly to Cameroon to take part at the
Summit of the French-speaking world. Joseph advises Laurent Désiré
Kabila not to go to Cameroon on the basis of reliable intelligence in
his possession information, about a plot against the president of DRC.
Laurent Désiré Kabila who deeply trusts his “son” cancels his trip to
Cameroon. From Lubumbashi, where he was, the Head of State get back
directly to Kinshasa.
ACT IV : Kinshasa, 15 January 2001 : Joseph Kabila orders the
disarmament of the garrison of Kinshasa, then he leaves hastily to
The day before the tragedy, on order of Joseph Kabila, all military
of the FAC garrison of Kinshasa are disarmed without any explanation.
Much more, colonel Eddy Kapend receives Joseph Kabila’s strict orders to
proceed to the arrest of the Head of the External Management Intelligence (ANR / OF), Mr. Ismaël Tutwemoto. It is Mr.
Leta Mangasa, the ANR Chief General Administrator general-in chief who
executes this arrest.
After having taken all these apparently “inexplicable” measures, Joseph
Kabila quickly and discreetly flies to Lubumbashi from where he makes a
mysterious trip outside the country. ACT V : Kinshasa, 16 January 2001 : Laurent Désiré Kabila is killed In the middle-day, shots blast between the Marble Palace walls, the
presidential residence. Laurent Désiré Kabila, seriously wounded to his
head, dies a short time later, even before being loaded on the
helicopter which transports him to the Private hospital Ngaliema.
It is at nightfall that Joseph Kabila gives the order to open N’Djili
airport closed since the announcement of the attempted coup, specially
for him, to allow the landing of his plane from Lubumbashi! This
behavior of Joseph Kabila seems at the least strange!
How come a son, who scrupulously watched his “father” security until
the day before, and who advise the cancellation of his trip to Cameroon
because an imminent deadly danger, how come after the announcement of
the attack on his “father”, this “son” remained cloistered in
Lubumbashi, at only 2 hours flight from Kinshasa, and joins the capital
only at the end of the day, several hours after his “father”s death?
Where had he spent the day? What did he match do all this time? Where
did he really come from? Was Lubumbashi not a diversion?
So many questions over the underlying causes of Laurent Désiré Kabila’s death should have been investigated. However, for our
country, we have been working for years now. And today, numerous recorded testimonies are examined and scrutinized.
The formal testimonies of the Congolese medical staff who had received
Laurent Désiré Kabila body at the helicopter landing strongly confirm
that the Congolese president had died well before his arrival to the
However, Joseph Kabila, who had taken control of the operations around ”
his father “, ordered the transfer of Laurent Désiré Kabila’s body to
Harare in Zimbabwe! He then multiplied deceitful communiqués addressed
to the Congolese people to persuade them that his president was well.
Dominique Sakombi knows about it!
Why thus this masquerade and this macabre movements’ around the
mortal remains of a president of the Republic? Another mystery! But the
detailed file of the Laurent Désiré Kabila murder will be the subject of
ACT VI : Kinshasa : During the funerals, Sifa Mahanya is
presented to the public as the “weeping widow”, and then as Joseph
Kabila’s “biological mother”! During Laurent Désiré Kabila’s funerals starting in Harare and ending
23 January 2001 with the burial in Kinshasa, Mrs. Sifa Mahanya, the
prisoner removed from her cell 5 days before M’Zee assassination and hidden in Lubumbashi so far, gets out of her hiding place and is
propelled on the national front scene. She is suddenly presented to the
national and international press as ” the weeping widow ” of the
deceased president and the biological “mother” of Joseph Kabila who has
just taken his “father”’s seat in the conditions which we know. And here
we are, the buckle is buckled!
However, in his lifetime, throughout the war and during his mandate to
the head of the country, Laurent Désiré Kabila never officially
introduced the ” first lady ” to the Congolese people, in other words:
his official wife among his dozen of wives! And, the one that was
presented as “the weeping widow” had been removed from prison where she
was held for attempted murder on her husband by poisoning. And the
author of this removal is the very one who has taken the seat of the
victim, and of which Mrs. Sifa gives for the very first time, the
honorable testimony of being “the biological mother”. Do you get the
Courtesy of APARECO
Blood Coltan: Remote-controlled warfare and the demand for strategic minerals
cc ZA The
atrocious war in Congo is tied to the huge appetite in the west for
strategic minerals essential to the electronics and military industries.
The criminal regimes in Uganda and Rwanda sponsor proxy militias whose
violence facilitates the smuggling of these minerals through the two
The Congolese war, which has killed over six million people since
1996, is the deadliest conflict in the world since the Second World War.
If you add the number of deaths in Darfur, Iraq, Afghanistan, Bosnia
and Rwanda over the same period, it would still not equal the millions
who have died in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Part of a solution to this is for western governments to hold Rwanda and
Uganda accountable for funding proxy armies in the DRC. The retreat of
M23 rebels from the Eastern DRC in recent days shows international
pressure to stop Rwanda from supporting the rebels is working. The DRC insurgency is far from over, as other rebel groups are still to be defeated. There is a long way to go before stabilization in the region will be possible.
Considering that violence and brutality in the DRC is proportionate to
the demand for the eastern regions of the country’s rich mineral
deposits, it is less a matter of who is funding and supporting one army
or another. The question is, rather, what is creating a heightened
demand for conflict minerals?
The high-grade metal tantalum, processed from the precious mineral coltan,
makes it possible to build smaller and smaller electronic gadgets like
smart phones and tablets. It is also essential in powering a new trend
of military applications such as drones. A new demand for tantalum has
boosted coltan mining, trading and smuggling. As stockpiles run low, it
is most likely a tantalum shortage could intensify violence again, which
directly and indirectly affects people in the mining areas of the
This province is the richest source of coltan in the world, with an
estimated eighty percent of the world’s coltan reserves. Competition for
minerals has a direct effect on the relentless violence in the region.
Women and young girls have been among visible victims of the conflict
and hundreds of thousands of them have been raped by opposing warring
factions as a weapon of war.
A country the size of Western Europe, the DRC holds an estimated $24
trillion in mineral reserves, including gold, diamonds, copper, cobalt,
coltan, tin, tungsten, zinc, manganese, magnesium, uranium, niobium,
gold, diamonds and silver. Armed groups vie for control of mineral mines
and the routes for mineral transportation. Minerals are channeled
through neighbouring countries, Rwanda and Uganda by violent rebel
groups and then bought by multinational companies. The Washington Post
reports Congolese minerals are smuggled into Rwanda to the tune of $6
million a day.
Tantalum plays a vital role in the growing coltan market. A derivative
of coltan, tantalum is a key component in modern electronics. It is the
metal used in capacitors or devices that store energy.
Tantalum capacitors are not only used in smartphones. They are important
for aerospace and military technologies, which rely on tantalum
capacitors for running applications that reach very high temperatures.
With an extraordinary ability to withstand a broad range of temperatures
and to resist corrosion, tantalum capacitors are a marvel of
technology. They can retain a charge for an extended time and can
tolerate operating environments of up to 200 °C.
One of the biggest challenges for defence electronics designers is in
managing extremely high temperatures generated by the high performance
processors in the new military applications. Recent innovations in
thermal management have made it possible to operate under high heat
loads using tantalum capacitors.
This extends to smart bombs, on-board navigation in drones, robots and a
variety of weapons systems, such as the capacitors in anti-tank
systems. Further advances in technology have brought the rapid
development of fully autonomous weapons or lethal autonomous robots. In
short, if it were not for tantalum’s amazing heat resistant properties,
these systems would otherwise overheat.
Such advances in military technology increase the need for coltan. The
International Consortium of Investigative Journalists reports: “Coltan’s
ability to hold and move electrical signals and its conductive ability
in extreme temperatures, makes it ideal for smart bomb guidance
controls. Security analysts say it is a strategic mineral.”
Tantalum derived from coltan is essential in powering a new trend of
military applications made by the US. Yet, the US has no domestic source
of coltan. In order to sustain a continued flow of coltan, it depends
entirely on imports.
The United States’ Defence Logistics Agency (USDLA) maintains reserves of strategic minerals and rare metals in its National Defence Stockpile
(NDS). The NDS was established in 1939 to reduce the possibility of “a
dangerous and costly dependence by the United States upon foreign
sources for supplies of such materials in times of national emergency.”
Despite this, US tantalum stocks have depleted in recent years.
According to Daniel McGroarty, in a Pentagon report last year about US
dependency on minerals, the Department of Defence recommends stockpiling
tantalum and eight other strategic minerals. If the US were to run out
of tantalum, would it be able to continue building its state-of-the-art
The consequences of a tantalum shortage would have a calamitous effect
on the DRC. A shortage of coltan ore at the end of 2000 contributed to
an overnight price hike from $49 to $275 per pound (454 grams). The
moment of the price hike was also a time of great intensification of
violence in the Eastern DRC.
Today the price of tantalum is up again
and the rise in price corresponds to the violent situation on the
ground. In June the situation in the DRC became increasingly insecure.
The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) warned: “…acts of
violence committed against civilians, including murder and sexual
assault, remain at a very worrying level and regularly cause the
displacement of thousands of families."
Conflict-free campaigns attribute the tantalum rise as a response to the
smartphone and tablet market. These campaigns aim to ensure rebel
forces do not control sources of tantalum to finance armed conflict and
that supply chains are transparent. These initiatives look at supply
chains and manufacturing connected to companies like Apple and Samsung,
but there is more to tantalum than the phone and gadgets market.
Conflict-free advocates make the mistake of overlooking the links
between minerals and the weapons manufacturing industry. It is doubtful
defence companies will be seeking out conflict free mineral sources
anytime soon. A conflict-free weapon is an oxymoron.
Even less likely is the prospect of the defence sector abiding new
federal legislation, which requires public companies to disclose whether
they use conflict minerals from the DRC. Under the 2010 Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act,
US companies are required to submit a report to the Securities and
Exchange Commission by May 2014 on the sources of the minerals they use.
Campaigns for conflict-free minerals are calling on electronics
companies to use fair trade, conflict-free materials in smartphones,
laptops and tablets. Their work has been successful in increasing the
number of conflict-free mines in the eastern DRC. What has not been
addressed is the larger role of conflict minerals beyond the realm of
At the current rate, the weapons industry could exceed smartphone and
tablet makers in coltan consumption if it has not already. Extended use
of drones in the past decade means the US needs tantalum because the
basic circuitry in drones is built with tantalum from refined coltan.
This connection to weapons manufacturing gives new meaning to the term
Blood coltan is not exclusive to central Africa. Significant coltan
reserves exist in the Amazon jungle covering the Venezuelan-Columbian
border creating an
black market[/url]. Drug lords dominate the Columbian side of the
border. This is considered a conflict zone as coltan is smuggled through
the danger area on its way from Venezuela to Columbia and to Brazil.
In the DRC, mineral mining, trading and smuggling continue to fund the
ongoing conflict. Armed groups include the Congolese national army
(FARDC) whose ranks include many former rebels. The M23, which has given up control of the region, is made up of former members of the FARDC who mutinied in April 2012. A Global Witness report last year
revealed members of FARDC make millions of dollars through their
control of the mines. Constant struggles between the FARDC and numerous
rebel groups over control of minerals mining and transportation of
minerals have a direct effect on the killing, raping and ongoing
violence in the region.
The rush on coltan engenders the violence in the DRC. Spearheading that
demand is tantalum, a key ingredient in new military technologies.
The US obsession with “surgical” remote-controlled warfare, especially
drones, is sharpening the appetite for tantalum. The US has killed
thousands in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Yemen and Somalia with the
ever-increasing drone strikes. Armed drones are also in operation in
Mali, Libya and Niger.
This highlights a worrying connection between two contemporaneous wars –
the twelve-year ‘war on terror’ and the sixteen-year war in the Congo.
Joining the two is the demand for Congolese minerals.
* Giunta Carrie is a part-time lecturer based in London and volunteers with Stop the War Coalition as a web editor.
struggle for peace and stability in DR Congo will always remain a
battle against foreign aggression and domination, which dates back to
the confrontations between African societies and European invaders at
the turn of the 19th century.
By 1900, the entire DRC had lost its independence as a result of
European conquest and occupation; and attempts to assert independence
and national sovereignty have been doomed to failure; beginning with the
betrayal and assassination of its first prime minister, Patrice Lumumba
in 1961, under the noses of Belgian and UN forces.
The patterns of external aggressions against the Congo have
continued. In the last two decades, the country was invaded by armies
from seven African states.
Today as before, the strategic objective has always been and remain
the same – the scramble for and exploitation of Congo’s vast mineral
deposits; no matter the costs in human lives.
According to mineral experts, eastern Congo is estimated to hold
Africa’s largest mineral deposits; worth trillions of dollars. There is
70 per cent of the world’s supply of tantalum, a metal used in mobile
phones, computers, laptops, tablets and digital cameras. Besides
diamonds, DR Congo is also home to hefty quantities of gold, tin,
tungsten, copper, colton and cobalt.
The recent escalation of violence by the M23 rebel movement again
with established support base from not only Rwanda but Uganda,
demonstrates the vulnerability of the DR Congo as a nation, to external
exploits. Uganda and Rwanda’s active involvement is rooted both in this
history of predation and corruption.
For example, on March 17, 2006, a protégé of the Ugandan government,
Thomas Lubanga Dyilo, was the first person to be arrested on an ICC
arrest warrant for the use and abuse of children in armed conflict.
Then on May 24, 2008, Jean-Pierre Bemba Gombo, leader of the
Mouvement de Libération du Congo (MLC), was arrested by the Belgium
government under an ICC arrest warrant. Bemba, a former vice president
of the DRC, was charged with two counts of crimes against humanity and
four counts of war crimes in connection with MLC’s raping, pillaging and
looting raids through the Central African Republic (CAR).
Africans must understand the present, concrete reality that the
powers behind the looting of Africa’s mineral wealth, who present
themselves as ‘allies” in the development of the continent, are
determined to ensure that they dominate and control the destinies of
resource- rich African countries like DR Congo, in order to ensure their
unobstructed access to cheap strategic natural resources.
The Congolese people need to wake up to the reality of a collective
defence of their people against this imperialism or external aggression.
The current crop of African leaders have mortgaged the continent to
Western powers in exchange for their existence and creation of
These leaders, must not be regarded any less unfavourably than the
middlemen collaborator chiefs who mortgaged the continent for trinkets
and whiskey during the first wave of mercantile colonisation of Africa;
or those who sold their subjects to slave traders. The DRC conflict
involves armed groups and foreign governments, fighting over lucrative
minerals that keep the fashion and jewellery industries alive and power
our computers, laptops and mobile phones.
Yet unlike the robber barons, imperialist ideologues, explorers,
rogues and adventurers scrambling for Africa at the beginning of the
19th century, those behind the rapacious war in DR Congo have gone a
Camouflaged as ‘African liberators’, they have employed extreme
violence and deception to achieve their objectives; plundering DR Congo
of its natural resources, committing crimes of aggression, war crimes
and crimes against humanity.
Their strategies have included employing proxy militias, using
underage children and deploying them to fight their wars. There can be
on denying that DR Congo is one of the most tragic stories in the
history of Africa. With its strategic location in the centre of Africa
and its enormous natural wealth, it has always been a prime candidate
for imperial ambitions and envy of adventurers, mercenaries and looters
of all kinds.
No other region on the African continent has known as much political
strife, loss of lives, and social dislocation since the second world
war as the DR Congo has.