Saturday, 29 November 2008


Joseph Kabila’s supporter in and outside the DRC are seriously hoping that the solution to the crisis in Eastern DRC is war. That is why they are all rallying behind an increase in peacekeepers. Since the latter are going to take months to assemble, in Alan Doss own words, the EU is being urged to step in with its more performing weaponry and men. Here is the first misjudged step to be taken, for the following reasons:

1) Why is it going to take months to assemble 3100 peacekeepers? Few governments are willing to provide them. It will take some convincing. The only ones that are usually inclined to provide peacekeepers, at least when they are to operate on the theater of African failed States, are those governments for whom, according to a certain Ian William (who considers himself an expert in those matters) “the UN payments [for peacekeeping missions] are lifelines for their defense budgets than for the suffering victims”. Some of those governments are being shunned by Kinshasa, i.e. India, whose forces have, on the other hand, defended so well the FARDC since their first defeats in 2007.
2) Is the EU going to send troupes? Let’s assume that YES. After all both the increase of troupes for MONUC and the EU bridging troupes’ resolutions are being sponsored by France. This is the current chair State of the EU in need of scoring foreign policy success. The Russia and Georgia issue is proving to be tougher than expected, more in the line of waiting for the next US administration to step in. France badly needs a success in Africa and necessarily via UN. The bridge-troupes will even prove to be trickier. Indeed, France is not the suitable actor in the Great Lakes because of its role in the murky project of a genocide underpinning several boarders.
3) Finally everyone is getting it wrong by capitalizing on a MONUC with a different mandate. It is being often forgotten that MONUC had already a stronger mandate, the first one in the history of the UN, that is, the use of force. In Mr. Alain LeRoy’s (*) words, MONUC is expecting “18 transport helicopters and six attack helicopters from Member States, despite earlier authorization for the craft from the Security Council”. He is already regretting that “the States we have asked say they don’t have any available. It’s very damaging because that diminishes the effectiveness of the force. We sincerely hope that certain countries will supply us with these helicopters”. The meaning of all this is that these allies of the DRC government want to perpetuate the war instead of seeking political solutions. They fear facing the respective responsibilities these solutions will be bringing into light.

However the choice of war, even by so called peacekeepers, is not the only misguided perception so many national and international actors, most of them unaccountable to the people, are driving home. The biggest misjudgment has been the UN and the EU complacency that equated the 2006 vote in the DRC with a peaceful transition to true democracy. I am not the only one who thinks this. One of the so called specialists of Africa, Mr Phil Clark of the Center for Socio-Legal Studies, Oxford University has already said, about the DRC elections, that “ a flawed electoral process that failed to address the issue of minority representation was bound to create more conflicts than it resolved”. Therefore, as long as the UN, EU, DRC government are willing to use guns instead of talking peace, there will be no peace whatsoever. Up to now, surprisingly, it’s the much vilified CNDP that has been unilaterally talking peace and ceasefire, dodging successfully at the same time all bullets and bombs coming its way at the hands of FARDC-FDLR, MAI MAI-PARECO, MONUC-ANGOLAN MERCENARIES, and very soon, European troupes! Instead of maintaining this rhetorical and military support for Kabila, the UN and the EU, for their own credibility should pressure him for political solutions.

(*) Mr. Alain LeRoy is the recently appointed Under-Secretary General for the Peacekeeping Operations at the UN. He replaced another French diplomat at the UN, Mr Jean Marie Guehenno


Anonymous said...

To understand what happens in Congo and specially what is the content of the policy of Joseph Kabila one has to have a closer look at his ideology. This was shaped mainly during his stay a la fin des années 1990,1'université de la Défense nationale de Pékin. There he was educated in Maoist military art. Many leftist people therefore adhere to him as hero to bring freedom to Congo and Africa. But what are Maoism and Maoist military teachings? The result of this can be seen all over the world where Maoism gets hold of minds. To understand this one has to dwell somewhat on the history of Mao trying to free China from imperialism. Mao was meant to be a freedom fighter and he set up some theory on Chinas special way to socialism. This meant to base on peasants rather than working class. So he created the theory to get hold of the metropoles from the country. But Maos troops during the famous Long March through China rather looted peasants than got allied with them. So they got down to a helpless gang fleeing through China and crying for help from Sovietunion during WW2. What was the reason for this? In reality the poor and exploited peasants should have joined Chines liberation army, but they did not. Mao's main idea was that political power comes out of the barrel of a gun, thus military boot would bring socialism. This of course is absolutely contrary to what once Karl Marx said upon which the Chinese base, that the weapon of critics can not replace the criteria of weapons. It means, however much weapons there are, none of them will bring food. This warmongering idiocy of Joseph Kabila has it's roots in this ideology. And Joseph Kabila plays the old game in Africa between the former superpowers to balance between them, to get the out most of baksheesh. Now he balances between China and EU, who both have a race on raw material in Africa.
In China the result of this Maoist policy was hunger. And to ban this Mao proclaimed the great leap forward. But in reality it is ever more into misery. When Mao died, his herit Deng Tsiao Ping said, go on and get rich, in reality another great leap forward. So by cheap wages and ruthless exploitation he opened the door for all capitalist of the world. In fact the millionaires grew while the poor grew as well. Everybody remembers the massacre of Tien An Men in Peking, when military boots crushed the desire of people for freedom and welfare.
But not only Joseph Kabila was a good scholar of this method, but also this ominous Pol Pot of Cambodia. The heaps of sculls in Cambodia from peasants not willing to feed parasite military is sad witness of this sick ideology. Burma is another example.
The central problem is, this self declared revolutionaries are not capable of establishing a sound economy, extending it, so that people have enough food. In this strata fits as well the appearance of Che Guevara in Congo fighting together with Laurent Desiré Kabila against Mobutu. He got in trouble with Che because he started arrogance against troops of Laurent Desiré Kabila, because they were not as he meant proper soldiers and undisciplined. As most where peasants, they had to take care of food and cattle beside. It shows what character this army had, not that of looter and parasite. Che Guevara died lonely in the forest of Bolivia.
During WW 2 one can see where troops were successful and where not. Those parasites of Hitler very soon suffered deadly defeat, because of terrorizing and looting people. That his how things go.
It is essential during liberation war to build up sustainable economy. This all foreign troops in Congo and those of Joseph Kabila do not achieve and never will.
It shows clearly that of course the rifle is essential in one hand but in the other the hoe.

Antoinette said...

Fully agree with you on the fact that the socialist revolutionnaries have never established any sound economic policy! So very right!

Anonymous said...

In this branch you have to make distinction between socialist revolutionaries loving the money and getting millionaires and those loving the people. But of course it is wise to distinct between those loving the people because of money. The rest are scarce. To sort these chaps into the right dustbin it is useful to look at their hands and not upon their mouth.

Antoinette said...

You sound almost African for the last bit of looking at their hands not heir mounth, very well said indeed!

Anonymous said...

No my sister for freedom fight. I am a unionist and thirty years ago I was offered to become union boss of biggest car factory in Europe. My colleague with whom I was once on strike preferred to climb up and now has to deal with jail and justice because of corruption. I preferred to stay with my work mates and e.g fight for equal wage for equal work e.g. for my chinese colleagues in Shanghai. They were shot for their demands and I was sacked.
But every morning I can look into the mirror without fear. This lesson I mention is bitter experience.