Wednesday, January 18, 2012

The Only Solution to the Congo’s Crisis is a Unified Socialist Africa

By Kilaika Anayejali kwa Baruti
The Congo has been kissed by Mother Africa herself.  The Congo is her heartbeat, being the very center of all her existence, located in Central Africa and surrounded by nine other countries.  The land of the Congo is rich and plentiful just like the rest of her.  It is full of vast resources and the most beautifully skilled people that she birthed to care for the land, which is a natural law that they possess.  It is even more so natural that they should benefit from her by giving her continuous life and shall forever bask in all her glory.  However, this has unfortunately not been the case.  As beautiful and harmonious it could all be, it is not, although everything is as plentiful now as it has always been for centuries.  It is because over centuries as in other countries in Africa the land and the people have been exploited.  This must end.
The Congo is a land that is rich with resources such as; petroleum, potash, lead, zinc, copper, phosphates, gold, magnesium, cobalt, industrial diamonds, gem diamonds, coal, silver, timber, uranium, natural gas, and hydropower.  The main minerals that the Congo are also rich in that are commonly being mined today are cassiterite, coltan, gold, and tungsten ore also known as wolframite.  These are her minerals.  This is her blood.  Let us not forget the rubber which has mounds of exploitive stories to tell.  The Congo is also known for its production of things we love such as coffee, cocoa, tea, and sugar.  If ever a place was blessed or to be called an Eden we could call it the Congo.
Colonization had been the monster that plagued Mother Africa and the Congo specifically.  Indeed, I say, yes it still does till this day. The Congo’s first encounter with this parasitic beast came in the form of “Explorers” as they would call themselves.  They bore the face of the Portuguese in 1482.  They had an increasingly stronghold on the Congolese people.  Using Christianity as one of the biggest methods they managed to keep this grip.  Once they baptized King Nzinga Nkuwu on May 3, 1491, it was pretty much a wrap and later his son King Alfonso I.  The way of the colonizer is to destroy your way of life and give you what you think is his, which he will prove is more beneficial than your primitive ways.  It is this way that the people are manipulated.  Getting the people to believe what you want them to believe creates a place of submission.  This tactic has proven to be very affective.  Three centuries later these Portuguese “Explorers” ran up on Brazil in what they called, “discovery” and begin to transport over 300,000 slaves to Brazil from the Congo.  The Portuguese were extremely happy with the rights they possessed as time went by over their mining rights that they established in the Congo.  My, what wealth they weaved.  Things however started to turn the corner when the first revolt took place spear-headed by a Congolese woman by the name of Kimpa Vita.  Under the leadership of this bold African woman the Congolese people refused to give the Portuguese more mining rights and it resulted in the Battle of Mbwila.  Over 20,000 Congolese fought this war with the Portuguese, but for them it was a loss battle.  At the same time the Dutch were moving in which created dismay for the Portuguese.  The Dutch wanted their bite out of the Congo as well.  The Congolese more so took sides with the Dutch to help aid them in their struggle against the Portuguese and so they did gain their independence.  Even though Kimpa was revered as nobility by her people and victory was declared, she was later seized by her enemies and condemned for being a witch although she was baptized in the name of Christianity bearing the name Dona Beatrice.  Just the idea that she had the ambition to wage battle against her oppressor was a sentence to burn. 
Amid the quest of Europe’s need for power, which had them warring with each other, the Congo and its resources continued to suffer.  As a result of the Berlin Conference the French prevailed as the victors gaining control of Congo’s raw materials and at the time the highest commodity was rubber, palm oil, and cotton.  This fight between the French, Belgian, and the Portuguese led to the French gaining control of the Northern sector of the Congo while King Leopold II privately owned the area that is now known as the Democratic Republic of Congo.    The now one man show that featured King Leopold resulted in the most horrific atrocities known to mankind against mankind.  So many men, women, and children suffered unimaginable torture, again in the name of Christianity.  King Leopold’s greed for wealth somehow justified inhumane treatment to people often referred to as savages, the Congolese people.  Belgian soldiers without any moral consciousness hunted people and were known for cutting off limbs such as hands and feet collecting them.  This is just a small example of the wide scale torture the people suffered at the hand of Leopold.  He was criticized by his equally vicious peers around the world for these atrocities.  They labeled him a monster.  In King Leopold’s rubber collecting expedition he managed to create a death toll of ten million people.  The land he controlled was annexed to the British Parliament on Nov 15, 1908.  Not really changing the situation for the Congolese people.  It was merely an exchange of European power which continued to rule over them.  The Germans also had their hands in on the exploitation of the Congo with the introduction of the French granting them, through trade agreements, the laying of the German railway and it resulted in the death of over 23, 000 more Congolese.  These lives loss was a direct relation to forced labor.  Forced labor was abolished in 1946 because of the pressure that the U.S. was putting on the French about its colonial policies.  The world was taking notice, not because they cared about the lives of the people, but again because they wanted a piece of the pie.  This is a reflection of World War II.
Riots broke out in a place called Leopoldville and Stanleyville resulting in Congo’s independence.  The struggle for independence named Patrice Lumumba as it prime Minister.  Patrice Lumumba a great African, a revolutionary, and a freedom fighter waged tireless struggle for liberation.  He echoed the fact that History will one day have its say, but it will not be the history that Brussels, Paris, Washington or the United Nations will teach, but that which they will teach in the countries emancipated from colonialism and its puppets. Africa will write its own history, and it will be, to the north and to the south of the Sahara, a history of glory and dignity. Because of it he suffered tremendously.  He suffered unjustly, just as Kimpa did.  Lumumba pushed very intensely for all foreign powers to be removed from the Congo.  He was aided in his quest for liberation with arms and weaponry from the USSR.  Many were not happy with this.  The C.I.A. infiltrated and aided in the overthrowing of the government and the unlawful arrest of Prime Minister Lumumba along with making sure he was tortured severely.  He was dismissed from office on September 5, 1960.  He was viciously murdered in January of 1961.  Those that continued the war cry of Lumumba fought continuously in rebellion. 
One known rebellion was the Simba Rebellion, which gained control of at least half the country, but Belgian troops were sent in to destroy the rebellion.  After five years of unrest Mobutu declared his self president in 1965 and was elected president officially in 1970.  Between the times of Congo’s independence up until now there have been so many episodes of corruption and scandals that have taken place in the name of democracy.  Yet we know and what we must continue to confront is the fact that we know it is indeed a struggle of conflict minerals and diamonds that create these neo-colonialist leaders that sacrifice the lives and livelihood of the people to satisfy their own thirst for wealth by aiding the foreign powers who seek to continue to monopolize off of the resources and will never care about the lives of the people of the land. 
There now is continuous struggle and unrest today in the Congo over the production of minerals such as coltan, gold, and ore.  These natural resources are those that are used in technological products across the world.  Products such as cell phones, laptops, computers, and phones are somehow more important than human existence.  The everyday products that come a dime a dozen and that are so readily available to be gobbled up at every moment by billions of consumers across the globe that are oblivious to the realities that goes into making these very products or that simply choose to ignore the fact because consumerism is far more important than humanism. 
In short there are military forces in the Congo, militias in the Congo, and leaders that know this market has an immeasurable dollar amount on it, as foreign interest want, need, and have to suck these raw materials up.  The only people that are paying the price are the people that suffer tremendously and yet reap no rewards at all.  They only die.  The only thing the people of the Congo see is death from this reality.  In a recent supposedly Democratic election Joseph Kabila was declared President.  Civil war has broken out in a country that that says the elections were stolen.  They say the election was unjust.    Tshisekedi’s stance echoes that the results were unjust and attempted to declare his self president.
 I must mention that this is a man that aided in the overthrowing, imprisonment, and torture of Lumumba.  The Carter Election Monitoring Center issued that the results were mismanaged as well.  As a result of it all people have taken to the streets in protest throughout the world and in the Congo.  Men and women have been abducted from their homes and manhandled.  I can safely say that this, as any many cases, has proven to be a question of power play.  I can say that I firmly believe that neither party holds the interest of the people at bay.  I can safely say that the abuse of power is clear and evident in the way that the military and the militias treat the people.  It is also clear that the people of the Congo have never reaped the benefits of these resources and that the President elects don’t have any interest to make sure that they do in the future.
It is my hope, and it is my hope because I know that it is the only solution, that African people throughout the world stand up collectively against Capitalism and Imperialism.  It is this driving component, these outside corporations and industries that are the catalyst for the chaos.  It is they who bid the highest bid for the resources and by this they lay the framework of exploitation.  When the people denounce Capitalism and Imperialism as one voice, African people, they can begin to collectively organize themselves to say, “Hey we will control our own resources.  We will not sale and exploit each other for a dollar.  We will collective fight against you if you try and take our resources.  We will not allow you to continue to do this to us and our children that come after us.”  African people must get organize and come to control the means of production and reap the benefits of the labor.  The crisis in the Congo is one that African people throughout the world must be concerned with. 
It is our responsibility to ensure that our brothers and sisters know that we stand in solidarity with them.  Yet we must organize the battle.  We must organize the masses to aid us in this struggle.  We must consistently expose the plight of our enemies and show the people how our enemies hold no love for us.  We must continue to expose these Neo-colonialist puppets that run for presidents and call filling their pockets democracy.  We must show the people that we will at all time safeguard Mother Africa.  She is our breath and we must make sure that she is breathing properly.  The only solution is a Unified Socialist Africa, an Africa that serves the interest of her people.  We call on you brothers and sisters to create the reality of Pan-African Internationalism, for it is the way to organize the Proletariat (working class) to total liberation!  UHURU DAIMA!