Very few in Congo politics have made a compelling and indelible mark like Tshisekedi has. Unflappable, the 83 year-old career politician gets the most of recognition for a lifelong gutsy opposition to successive presidents. Yesterday, Wednesday July 27, hopes of millions that cling to his towering persona visibly weighed on him as heavily as ever, upon his return from Belgium after a two-year absence.
A week nowadays barely goes by without making us witnesses to flashy “Breaking News” highlighting scenes of bloody massacres and gory carnage in western cities. To many in those cities or in immediate proximity, recrudescence of violent acts is the overture of a dark and apocalyptic chapter that forces waging war on western soil have forced into the “civilized world.” Paris, Brusells, Nice, Munich, Orlando; a string of attacks chiefly attributed to terrorism, but sometimes precipitously, in which dozens of lives are stopped cold at once.
Follow me on Twitter This flag! Of all the recent memes of the Internet, of all the viral contents ranging from exotic video games to for instance celebrities’ life that avid Internet onlookers devour, or else, one only has captivated me. #ThisFlag, initially a glimmer assumed to remain short-lived in the immense universe of the Internet, attracted energies to evolve into a full-fledged fireball that many saw become palpable, even to be felt on the other side of the web’s virtuality otherwise known as “real life.” It is worth stopping to ascertain the energy that undergirds such enormous elan in yet one of the most unsuspected manners, also why its relevance is far greater than could be thought.
When on June 21 the International Criminal Court handed a 18-year sentence to Jean-Pierre Bemba, thus ending a protracted trial that had for nearly six years invited sustained attention, some voices disapproval of the court’s judgement were raised in a loud critique. The once Congolese (DRC) warlord, vice president, and defeated candidate in 2006’s presidential elections, faced prosecution for atrocities committed by his troops in neighboring Central African Republic. They had joined up with forces loyal to late CAR’s president, Ange Felix Patassé, toiling but eventually failing to quell a rebellion led by François Bozize. With Patassé deposed, events surrounding war efforts he spearheaded were to stick. As presented in a statement accessible on ICC website, Bemba’s troops having crossed into CAR to assist a beleaguered head of state, did, from October 2002 to March 2003, commit crimes against humanity and war crimes on local populations.
June 30 is virtually the most important day in the calendar in so far as the people of the Congo (DRC) are concerned. From early years, in primary school, it is instilled in children, through civic education, how on that day of the year 1960, our grandparents freed themselves from the yoke of colonialism, snatching rights to freedom from the Kingdom of Belgium. This fascinating story is one of the rare accounts of great achievements that our people were able to bring about in recent history. Before it was made possible, on January 4, 1959, scores of disgruntled Congolese, men and women, were brutally massacred during a protest (at least 49 dead-some suggested 100s) by Belgian forces, for daring to express how fed up of subjugation they were. Continue reading “DR CONGO: 56 Years, What Independence?”→
On this day, June 19, a yellow chain circles the world as we are united in mind and heart to pay a resounding tribute to Congolese(DRC) victims of wars and turmoils that have defined the last two decades.