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Violence, an Erupting Volcano in the Democratic Republic of the Congo

Havana (Prensa Latina) Violence persists in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) as an erupting volcano, with sources that feed it and threaten to transform the country into a failed state.
Nowadays, at least four outbreaks of violence are visible in the DRC, most of them in the east and center of the country, although the storm has already reached the capital, Kinshasa, where the main public and civil society institutions with the most outstanding roles in the entire national scenario are concentrated.

The problems affecting the DRC are multiple due to its location in terms of geographical and geopolitical situation, where the Belgian colonization caused a total of more than one and a half million deaths.

The DRC - presumably the most diverse territory in terms of wealth in Africa - is going through a bad time, because political pressure activated the controlled crater of the dispute over the presidency of the State and now the lava burns everything.

That violence spreads and affects both nationals and foreigners alike: last year was the most lethal for the United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO) which suffered the loss of 15 blue helmets and reported 53 wounded in an attack by the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) , considered the worst aggression of this kind suffered by this troop of peacemakers.

DESTABILIZATION PROCESS

What we now see is the stage of a process of destabilization of the postcolonial state, which also occurs in other parts of Africa, but the Congolese case is paradigmatic because after being emblem of decolonization in 1960, the country sank at a complete standstill.

Its neo-colonial independence left a structure dependent on the export of raw materials, with a backward workforce and a social elite that largely responded to the standards of the former metropolis, Belgium, and thus to the great Western powers.

That African country under Belgian control from 1908 to 1960, which King Leopold II ruled as a 'hacienda', still suffers the aftermath of that period in its social distortions, although one of his most notable figures, the nationalist Patricio Emery Lumumba, assassinated in 196,1was the leader of the process of continental decolonization.

WHAT NOW?

All the variables indicated in the Congolese history are related to violent continuity solutions, which partially respond to some challenges, but have not offered a definitive option to meet two requirements: security and development.

According to academics, an unstable DRC is considered to be of benefit to extra-regional powers, because what happens in Congolese territory will affect all of Central Africa, the Great Lakes and even the southern region, which is, in sum, the majority of the sub-Saharan area.

Strengthening the imbalance to keep a State under control can benefit the great capitals of the world in this era of the technology of Coltan (columbite-tantalites), which exports are lead by the DRC worldwide receiving of few receiving few remunerations from international trade.

Violence escalates again and now strikes are boost by the opposition race against the president, Joseph Kabila, backed by the security forces, but criticized by civil society due to an alleged desired for a third term at the head of the country, when the Constitution only stipulates two.

Since the end of last year a new lethal dose was added to the violent scenario because political opposition, which agreed in December 2016 with the president the issue of the elections for 2017, considers that the time the the year have already expired.

According to estimates, on average some 5,500 people leave their homes every day in the DRC, where more than 70 armed factions fight for control of resources in a general way, which could lead the country from a crisis to a catastrophe.

The Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (IDMC) indicated that more than 1.7 million Congolese fled their homes in 2017 due to insecurity, which put the total of displaced persons at four million, more than in the cases of Syria, Yemen and South Sudan, that are at war.

Clashes between protesters and riot police were staged in the streets, with a high toll of casualties, most of them in Kinshasa, where the events involved devout Catholics: 82 priests were arrested in that capital and 41 in the rest of the country, according to press reports.

The Lay Coordination Committee of the Catholic Church organized on December 31, at the national level, a march to demand the full implementation of the End of the Year Agreement in all its provisions, which confronted the public forces and that triggered tensions that until now seem endless.

gpm/arb/mt

  • Countries: Africa