Sunday, February 8, 2015

Democratic Republic of the Congo

Two entirely different countries now, both of which are called Congo, neither of which is either remotely Democratic nor a working Republic. The DRC on this page, the larger of the two, the eastern of the two; a land of vast rain forests, which produces oil and has lots of mining reserves, was ruled by the same despotic tyrant, Colonel Joseph Mobutu, for thirty-two years, who gave himself the royal title Mobutu Sese Seko, renamed the country Zaire, and launched an anti-Soviet manifesto of such Macarthyite proportions against neighbouring Angola that the Americans immediately responded with political and economic aid which left him free to be the ridiculously wealthy monster at home that he had always aspired to being (he is reckoned to have embezzled between four and twenty billion US dollars).

Mobutu was finally overthrown in 1997, by Laurent Kabila, backed by Rwanda and Uganda; both countries then turned against him and tried to overthrow him, but he resisted, supported now by Angola, Chad, Namibia, Sudan, and Zimbabwe, all of whom sent troops. Their intervention could not prevent his assassination; his son then took power and signed the March 23rd peace agreements with the Tutsi rebels, who now call themselves the M23 rebels in honour of that deal. The Kabila family still holds power, though now it is son Joseph, trained as a soldier in China. An estimated three million people have died in the conflict, some from wounds, others from disease and malnutrition consequent upon the catastrophic mess the country is in. Militias abound. Plundering of natural resources has been commonplace. Corruption is endemic. Most surveys place the DCR in the number one slot on the world poverty list, though the term does not apply to the Kabila family or their close associates and friends. A disaster area. The tale of Mistah Kurtz, it may be recalled, took place in the Congo, and clearly Mistah Kurtz, o the horror, he still very much alive and well.

Giving guerrilla warfare an entirely new spelling

Marks For: 0 

Marks Against: 1000s

Copyright © 2015 David Prashker
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The Argaman Press

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