Tuesday, February 12, 2008

What's At Stake in the Congo? Not Merely Mining Contracts

Although much has been written about the Congo's contract review process, the essence of what is really at stake has hardly been discussed.

The central question for the Congo and Africa is who will control the Congo for the next 25 to 50 years? Will it be institutions like the World Bank, International Monetary Fund, corporate barons such as George Forrest, Dan Gertler, Benny Steinmetz, Arthur Ditto and Richard C. Adkerson or will it be the Congolese people? This has been the central question for the last 120 years of Congo's history. It is the reason why Lumumba was assassinated in 1961; Mobutu installed; Rwanda's and Uganda's double invasion of the Congo (1996 & 1998), supported by the West; and finally, the reason why the world's deafening silence in the face of 5.4 million dead Congolese and the heinous rape and abuse of hundreds of thousands of women and children.

The question for Kabila, Kasongo, Gizenga and others is will they sell out the Congolese people like Mobutu sold out Lumumba and an entire generation of Congolese?

Will they go down in history as the modern day Tshombe and Mobutu who collaborated with the West to condemn their people to four decades of sheer hell?

For all the students of development and those who lament the poverty on the African continent, this is how it happens. This is where Naomi Klein's Shock Doctrine meets John Perkin's Confessions of an Economic Hitman. What we are witnessing in the Congo today is the impoverishment of yet another generation of Congolese and the institutionalization of dependency under a neo-liberal regime.

One key antidote is to shine a light on one of the greatest heist at the dawn of the 21st century and support the Congolese people who are resisting the theft of their patrimony day and night.
Become a friend of the Congo and support the people >>


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