Monday, April 21, 2008

Grand Inga: Who Will Benefit

The ability of Congo to provide electricity for the entire African continent and have enough left over to export to Southern Europe and the Middle East is legendary. It appears that steps are being accelerated in order to bring this vision to fruition. However, as is almost always the case when it comes to Congo, the central question is who will benefit? As has been the case since 1885, things do not look good for the Congolese people.

Click here to find the grand Inga Dam!

1. Banks meet over £40bn plan to harness power of Congo river and double Africa's electricity

2. Grand Inga, Grand Illusions?

3. Congo's Inga power projects seek new lease of life

4. World Energy Council Facilitates Action On The Inga Hydropower Projects

5. Scramble to Dam the Congo Keeps Africans in the Dark

6. Will Italy, Israel and Egypt Benefit From Congo's Hydro Power At The Expense Of The Congolese People?

7. Will Italy, Israel and Egypt Benefit From Congo's Hydro Power At The Expense Of The Congolese People? (AUDIO VERSION)

8. Inga Hydroelectric Facility

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Plane Crashes in Goma, DRC

An unfortunate accident happened today in the beleagured Congo. In addition to the conflict, previous plane crashes and an earth quake the people have to endure yet another tragedy. One can only hope that the loss of life is limited. Read news below:
Plane crashes in Congo neighborhood
Scores killed in DR Congo plane crash
79 feared dead in Congo plane crash

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Government Repression in the Congo: The Case of Bundu Dia Kongo

The Congolese government through its police forces has again targeted the people of Bundu Dia Kongo (BDK); a religio-political organization made up of the Kongo people in the Bas Congo province of the Democratic Republic of Congo. The government crushed the group in February of 2007 pursuant to protests in Bas Congo stemming from corrupt provincial elections. Again, the Congo government has unleashed the police force on the people killing 100 people according to United Nations sources; many more are missing. Some people are hiding in the bushes and are in desperate need of medical care from injuries incurred during clashes with the police but they are afraid to come out from hiding for fear reprisal by the government.

As the global community is focused on the East of the Congo, the repression of the Bundu dia Kongo (BDK) is yet another example of the crisis of legitimacy that has bedeviled the Congo government under the leadership of Joseph Kabila. The government sees each crisis as an opportunity to unleash violence on the civilian population with the hopes of ruling by fear rather than by consent.

The government accuses the group of attempting to mount a rebellion in the Bas-Congo province, while the Bundu dia Kongo claims it is a peaceful religio-political group that has been in existence for 39 years looking after the welfare of its adherents. The root of the problem however is political in that many BDK politicians have been sidelined or excluded from participation in the provincial government by vote rigging by the Kabila regime. The result has been the marginalization of the Bas Kongo province and reduction in access to resources outlined in Congo's constitution.

Pursuant to clashes with the government, Bundu Dia Kongo was banned. The Congolese parliament has called for an inquiry into the state violence against the Bas Kongo people.

The Bas Kongo region is the home of Joseph Kasavubu, the first president of Congo and Congolese heroine Kimpa Vita.

Click here to read the April 2007 Statement by Human Rights Watch to the DRC Parliamentary Commission Investigating Events in Bas Congo.