Economic Consolidation and Extractive relationship Kimbangu resistance Independence movements disguised as cultural associations Paternalistic Political Rule and Role of Christian Mission Van Bilsen 30 year plan for independence Belgium accumulates debt in the name of the Congolese people
Brussels conference Declaration of Independence Congo elects Patrice Lumumba as Prime Minister (June 30 1960 Lumumba takes office) Lumumba’s Independence Day Speech Lumumba assassinated on January 17, 1961 just over six months after taking office US, Belgium, French, British and UN Involvement in Lumumba’s assassination Lumumba’s letter to his wife Pauline
Mobutu Era (1960 – 1997) Initiated first coup in September 1960 Resistance by Nationalist and Democratic Forces including the Mulele led resistance Second coup in 1965 when he assumes the full reigns of power Reign marked by Kleptocracy Cold War Patron of the West Destruction of the country Overthrown in May 1997
Kabila’s time (1996 – 2001) Rwanda invades in October of 1996 using the Hutu unchecked presence in Congo as the rationale for the invasion Kabila made spokesperson of Rebellion May 1997 - Brought to power by Rwanda and Uganda with the help of Angola and the backing of the United States (See 2001 Congressional hearing of Tom Tancredo and Cynthia McKinney) Kabila assassinated in January 2001 replaced by Joseph Kabila
Launched in 1998 with the second invasion of Congo by Rwanda and Uganda Attempt to remove Kabila whom both countries installed in May 1997 Kabila appeals to Zimbabwe, Angola and Namibia for support to resist Rwanda and Uganda Marked by the systemic rape of Congo’s natural resources Geopolitics - 8 African Countries implicated
We were accompanied by body guards for everything, even when we went to the toilet … We had to be at the disposition of the man who raped us all day. It was always the same man. Even if I did not want to, I had to be his concubine. He always had his gun pointed at me and threatened to kill me if I resisted him. If I posed the least resistance, he would hit me.
The ultimate reason for the terrorizing of the women and displacement of entire villages by the perpetrators is to access and control mineral rich land of gold, coltan, tin, niobium and other valuable resources. In fact, two types of systematic rapes are taking place in the Congo; one is the violent raping of women and the second is raping of the resources by multinational corporations; and the two are inextricably linked.
Berkeley 66 % said their home had been destroyed or confiscated 61 % of those polled in the east said they witnessed the violent death of a family member or friend 34 % said they themselves had been abducted for more than a week 53 % reported being forced to work or being enslaved by armed groups 16 % had been sexually violated and 12 percent multiple times Johns Hopkins Snap Shot of South Kivu Province 82% of rape survivors have STDs 60% have lost their husbands Estimated 30% of rape survivors are HIV positive Impunity throughout province – estimated 40,000 case of rape - 38 cases brought to prosecution.
In order to stop the rapes, we must stop the conflict. The rapes are a direct result of the conflict. International pressure can play a role in stopping the conflict which is in fact the best way to help the women. Also, pressure on corporations to make sure that Congo's wealth is not looted and in fact benefit the people is also needed so that the women will have the resources needed to heal and recover from the trauma that they have experienced.
Transitional Government (2003 – 2006) One + Four (One president and four vice presidents) Structural flaws of elections in 2006 Rebel groups in the North and East of Congo
Forrest International (George Forrest) Nikanor (Dan Gertler) Katanga Mining (Glencore) Dodge Phelps (Freeport McMoRan) Anvil Mining First Quantum Trinitech & Eagle Wings Kemet HC Starck Citibank American Mineral Fields/Adastra Cabot Corporation OM Group AngloGold Ashanti World Bank International Monetary Fund Heritage Oil Blattner Group Banro Traxis Woldwide Comprehensive List found on Website
Rich Land Untold Wealth Poor People Human Rights Lost Since 1885, the affairs of the Congo have not been determined by the people of the Congo The central question is who is going to control Congo's wealth and for whose benefit The root cause of the conflict in the Congo is the scramble for her immense natural wealth
Rich Land Untold Wealth Poor People Human Rights Lost Congo has enormous natural, hydro, agricultural and human potential Congo's resources are vital to the functioning of the world's military, aerospace, technology and electronics industries Congo's geo-strategic location and spectacular wealth makes it critical to the development and future of the entire African continent
Local elites Neighboring countries Multilateral Institutions (World Bank, IMF, London Club, Paris Club) Foreign governments Foreign Corporations Congo' challenge is both internal and external. We can help through pressure on the outside and support to groups on the inside.
1. Very Brief History of Congo's challenges: A. Control of Own Affairs B. Internal & External Challenges C. Geostrategic Battle D. Fulcrum on which Africa swings E. Enormous Potential - Energy, Hydro, Agriculture, 2nd Largest Rainforest in the World 2. Key note that what is taking place is the latest expression of scramble for Congo's wealth - would be a mistake if we pursue short-term policies that are not even guaranteed to work 3. We know what works - global pressure and attention on all parties involved 4. Optimum Ways to help: A. Global Pressure - appeal to President Obama to take the lead and encourage other nations to engage on what is a scar on the conscience of humanity B. Support local institutions and connecting them to the global flow of information, commerce and ideas
1. End Conflict & Worst Humanitarian Crisis 2.Partner with Congolese to control their resources and determine their affairs Global Pressure on world leaders and corporate actors Support local Congolese institutions Global Education/Mobilization Campaign Leads to: Political process backed by the global community Global pressure on international forces (corporate, foreign governments, multilateral) fueling the conflict, weakening the people’s sovereignty, entrenching dependency and deepening the impoverishment of the people Strengthening of local Congolese institutions FOTC Top 10 Tactics: 1.Congo Week 2.Break the Silence Tour 3.Fundraising Campaigns 4.Grow support networks 5.Media outreach 6.Commentaries and policy papers 7.Letter Writing campaigns 8.Cultural events 9.Delegations to Congo 10.Open source participation at several levels Executed on massive global scale (100 countries, 1,000 communities) FOTC Strategy
Educate yourself Spread the word to your family friends and loved ones Become a Friend of the Congo Invite A Congolese speaker to your community Support Congolese grassroots institutions Participate in the Recycle Program Write a letter to your elected officials and local media Write corporations about their involvement in the Congo Join our cyber protest and myth breakers team Sign-up for the FOTC email list Participate in FOTC delegations to the Congo Bring your talents, expertise, ideas and suggestion to bear on the Break the Silence global movement