Friday, January 04, 2019

The Fight To End Tyrannical Regimes in Congo Persists

January 4th is a seminal day in Congo’s history, which serves as a national holiday. On January 4, 1959, ordinary Congolese stood in defiance of Belgian colonialism demanding independence. Congolese in Kinshasa unleashed a spontaneous uprising out of frustration with the repressive Belgian colonial regime. In his critically acclaimed work "Congo: From Leopold to Kabila," Dr Georges Nzongola Ntalaja said the march on January 4, 1959 "sounded the death knell of Belgian Colonialism in the Congo." The unifying chant of the marchers was "Indépendance Immediate" or "Independence Now" in English. The uprising represented the radicalization of the struggle for independence. It frightened not only the Belgian authorities but also the Congolese elites know as évolués.

Nine days later on January 13, 1959 both the King of Belgium and the Belgium government announced that in due time Belgium would grant Congo full independence. In the conscience of the nation, the day represents the historic point of departure for the independence of the Congo from Belgian colonialism.

The courageous stance by that generation of Congolese served as a key catalyst for Congo’s independence in 1960. Since the 1960s Congolese have celebrated and commemorated that generation’s actions and named the day “la journée des martyrs de l’indépendance,” or in English, independence Martyrs Day. Without a doubt, Congolese of that era made enormous sacrifices for freedom and independence.

Congolese continue to make tremendous sacrifice for total independence and liberation from tyranny. The youth have been at the forefront of this fight. During the past few years, Congolese youth have paid the dearest price in confronting the tyrannical regime of president Joseph Kabila. Throughout 2018, Congolese youth rose up to demand democracy and justice in the Congo. Unfortunately, several of them paid the ultimate price for demanding change under the repressive regime of Joseph Kabila. Figures such as Rossy Mukendi, Therese Kapangala, Luc Nkulula and many others are martyrs of the pro-democracy movement in the Congo.

Courageous Congolese continue to make enormous sacrifices for a better future for the sons and daughters of the Congo. As Congo enters 2019, Congolese youth and the broader Congolese society are still pursuing peace and democracy. They are demanding that the Congolese government and the broader African and International community respect the will of the Congolese people following the December 30, 2018 elections. Click here to get the latest updates on the post-election demands of the Congolese people.

Join the global movement in support of a peaceful and just Congo by visiting!


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