Monday, October 08, 2012

Need For New Beginning in DRC

Need for new beginning in DRC

Monday, 08 October 2012 00:00
Pacifique Sukisa-Makasi

Future politicians of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) who have not yet socially and economically contributed to destroying the DRC should conquer fear. They should request Africa’s sub-regions, the African Union and the broader international community to help us to challenge the existing dictatorial political systems and help the DRC give birth to a positively effective political direction towards a peaceful, stable and prosperous DRC based on the “government of the people, by the people, for the people,” and “a democratic and free society in which all persons live together in harmony and with equal opportunity”.

We have to remember that our diversity must continue but we have shared precious things to protect, that is: “the DRC nationality and sovereignty”. Without forgetting that there are those who are taking chances on our lack of a responsible leadership, the ongoing intolerance of our diversity and lack of strong government institutions, corruption, impunity, etc, we should also always remember that our country is surrounded by nine other countries, meaning the DRC definitively has citizens originally from these nine countries and therefore, whoever is covered by the 2005 DRC constitutional referendum should be considered as a citizen of the DRC.

We should also remember that the current high unemployment in DRC and today’s interdependent world requires us to do business with other world citizens. We have to also remember that no individual, small or big company wants to invest without extracting profit, meaning that we have to carefully open our doors to international investors based on the international formal principles.

There is a need for an urgent national and all-inclusive dialogue – that is, of the DRC’s political leadership, the general public, diaspora — reflecting the post-election problems in consideration of all the defining factors of the current deadlock as well as its various dimensions. Among these are: the major problems of governance, social justice and cohesion confronting the DRC and the great lakes region, towards achieving viable and durable solutions.

The current AU, regional, sub-regional groups and the broader international community effort to discourage power politics and conflict and encourage political maturity is already obviously part of the solution.

Congolese in exile are deeply divided over the current DRC situation. Currently, I am aware of two main DRC groups active in South Africa against the ongoing political crisis in DRC.

There is a group of Congolese citizens in South Africa, mainly Lingala-speaking, calling themselves “combatants” who are allegedly using violent attacks on individuals and property associated with the regime of President Joseph Kabila. This group sees any DRC person who does not support Mr Etienne Tshisekedi as an automatic supporter of Mr Kabila.

There are allegations that the combatants have been involved in other violent actions and threats. This group is reported to have assaulted members of the official Congolese delegation attending a mining conference in Cape Town in early February 2012.

It is said that they also ransacked the DRC embassy in Pretoria, destroyed office equipment and forced diplomats to go into hiding. It is also said that the embassy has since reported the death of one of its staff as an indirect consequence of the incident.

The “Combatants” are alleged to have camped outside the headquarters of the governing ANC in Johannesburg. Briefly, the current position of the “Combatants” is that opposition leader Etienne Tshisekedi won the 2011 presidential elections and that he is the legitimate president of the DRC. This group believes also that South Africa, Sadc, USA and allies and the United Nations should not in any way be involved in DRC’s economic and political affairs.

The other group is the Revolution Congolaise (RC), a movement of moderate citizens from the DRC. It is composed of men and women from all DRC’s eleven provinces, political and human rights activists, church leaders, students, workers in the DRC public and the private sectors, the unemployed, among others.

We are united in the fight against dictatorial governments that deny us dignity, liberty and protection; governments that oppress us instead of protecting us and which are rooted in injustice, discrimination, intolerance and the lack of good will to make the DRC an effective member of the AU and the international community.

The Revolution Congolaise.RC is also continuously lobbying the Sadc, the great lakes region, the African Union and the broader international community to assist us by creating conditions for an all-inclusive national dialogue that will find a way out of the current institutional, political and socio-economic deadlock.

It is very obvious to us that political parties in the DRC do not represent the will of the people but personal interest. They believe in promoting strong individuals than promoting strong government institutions and they seem to use politics as self employment.

The DRC opposition is divided and what is most disappointing is that President Kabila and the main opposition leader and others are not willing to come under one roof for dialogue that could move the country forward. Many of DRC opponents of President Kabila lack political maturity by basing their political convictions on tribalism, regionalism, linguistic differences, personal wealth, among others. The struggle for peace, justice and stability in the DRC is a struggle that has taken many innocent lives.

Building unity in the interests of the masses of DRC people requires setting aside regionalism, linguistic and ethnic differences, among others, in order to build a new society.

— Pambazuka News.

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