Category Archives: RDC

RDC : Mbote changement ? | RDC – Philippe Biyoya Makutu : “Nos partis sont constitués pour remplacer les colonisateurs” | Jeuneafrique.com – le premier site d’information et d’actualité sur l’Afrique

RDC : MBOTE CHANGEMENT ?

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RDC – Philippe Biyoya Makutu : “Nos partis sont constitués pour remplacer les colonisateurs”

opposition(1124) – Joseph Kabila(479) – parti politique(205) – opposition congolaise(42)

19/10/2012 à 16h:36 Par Tshitenge Lubabu M.K.

Une séance plénière au Palais du peuple, à Kinshasa. © Lionel Healing/AFP

Philippe Biyoya Makutu est professeur de sciences politiques à l’université de Kinshasa et à l’université de Lubumbashi. Pour lui, le but des partis politiques n’est pas d’apporter leur pierre à l’édifice du bien public mais d’accéder à des privilèges… D’où leur impopularité.

Jeune Afrique : Pourquoi les partis politiques congolais, en particulier ceux de l’opposition, sont-ils en permanence l’objet de critiques ?

Philippe Biyoya Makutu : Quand on se replace dans le contexte colonial, on se rend compte que nos partis ne se sont pas constitués pour accomplir des idéaux propres à toute formation politique, mais pour remplacer les colonisateurs, c’est-à-dire un groupe de gens qui avaient des privilèges. Raison pour laquelle, depuis les années 1960, nos partis sont des clubs d’amis qui n’aspirent pas au bien-être collectif. Leur objectif n’est pas la conquête du�pouvoir, mais l’accès aux privilèges. Ce sont des structures de survie. Le gouvernement lui-même apparaît comme une sorte d’arche de Noé qui sauve les plus chanceux.

Peut-on faire avancer le débat politique dans de telles conditions ?

Le premier handicap vient de l’absence de relations entre la vie de l’État et l’existence des partis : les provinces, les tribus ont plus d’importance que les partis, qui ne sont plus que des clubs de football auxquels on adhère parce que certaines couleurs attirent. L’unique débat politique tourne donc autour de la forme de l’État : fédéralisme ou unitarisme. Aucun débat sur la place de la RDC dans le monde d’aujourd’hui et de demain. Rien non plus qui unisse les fondateurs d’un parti, à part l’ambition d’entrer au gouvernement ou d’être candidat à quelque chose. Transformer la société n’est malheureusement pas à l’ordre du jour.

On dirait des clubs de football auxquels on adhère parce que certaines couleurs attirent.

Est-ce aussi la raison pour laquelle l’opposition ne parvient pas à se choisir un leader ?

C’est en effet là aussi une querelle d’ambitions. Opposition par rapport à quoi ? Lorsqu’on a formé le gouvernement 1�+�4 [un président et quatre vice-présidents, comme prévu après le dialogue intercongolais de Sun City, NDLR], il y avait des opposants à Mobutu, des opposants à Kabila et au gouvernement.

La fonction de porte-parole de l’opposition rapporte des dividendes et chacun veut y accéder pour en profiter. Et puis le pouvoir n’a jamais compris que ses per­formances et sa force dépendaient de la qualité de l’opposition. Il préfère une opposition à sa mesure.

via RDC : Mbote changement ? | RDC – Philippe Biyoya Makutu : “Nos partis sont constitués pour remplacer les colonisateurs” | Jeuneafrique.com – le premier site d’information et d’actualité sur l’Afrique.

via RDC : Mbote changement ? | RDC – Philippe Biyoya Makutu : “Nos partis sont constitués pour remplacer les colonisateurs” | Jeuneafrique.com – le premier site d’information et d’actualité sur l’Afrique.

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Autesserre: The Trouble with the Congo

The Trouble with the Congo: Local Violence and the Failure of International Peacebuilding

Lecture with Assistant Professor Séverine Autesserre

NAI FOI Lecture Series on African Security 2011. Filmed 2 November 2011. 50 min.

via Autesserre: The Trouble with the Congo.

via Autesserre: The Trouble with the Congo.

Présidentielle en RDC : tension au lendemain de la victoire contestée de Kabila | Jeuneafrique.com – le premier site d’information et d’actualité sur l’Afrique

Présidentielle en RDC : tension au lendemain de la victoire contestée de Kabila | Jeuneafrique.com – le premier site d’information et d’actualité sur l’Afrique.

via Présidentielle en RDC : tension au lendemain de la victoire contestée de Kabila | Jeuneafrique.com – le premier site d’information et d’actualité sur l’Afrique.

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Présidentielle en RDC : Kabila déclaré vainqueur par la Ceni, Tshisekedi s’autoproclame président | Jeuneafrique.com – le premier site d’information et d’actualité sur l’Afrique

Présidentielle en RDC : Kabila déclaré vainqueur par la Ceni, Tshisekedi s’autoproclame président | Jeuneafrique.com – le premier site d’information et d’actualité sur l’Afrique. via Présidentielle en RDC : Kabila déclaré vainqueur par la Ceni, Tshisekedi s’autoproclame président | Jeuneafrique.com … Continue reading

RD Congo: la violence domine la présidentielle: Source: Le Figaro

Les affrontements meurtriers entre les partisans du président Kabila et de son opposant Tshisekedi font craindre le pire.

Dans les immenses banlieues pauvres de Kinshasa, une foule dense s’était massée, samedi matin, au bord des routes. Une foule de petites gens, vivant d’expédients ou de rien, agglutinée pour voir leur champion, Étienne Tshisekedi, candidat à l’élection présidentielle à un tour qui doit se tenir ce lundi.

Mais ils ne verront personne. Dans cette ville où la tension est de plus en plus grande, les affrontements ont vite éclaté, entre militants des différents partis, à coups de pierres ou de pieds. La police et l’armée, largement débordées, sont intervenues, tapant ou ouvrant le feu, de préférence sur les supporteurs de l’opposition. Selon des sources diplomatiques, les affrontements auraient fait au moins 6 morts et 17 blessés.

En réponse, le gouverneur de Kinshasa a interdit tous les rassemblements au nom de «l’ordre public ». Joseph Kabila, président sortant et favori autoproclamé, a annulé son meeting. Malgré ce geste, la ficelle a été jugée un peu grosse.

La mission d’observation de l’Union européenne a dénoncé la gestion «désorganisée» de cette fin de campagne par l’État. «Le gagnant de cette mesure est bien le clan Kabila. Tshisekedi comptait sur un rassemblement dans une ville qui lui semble acquise, pour faire une démonstration de force», explique un membre d’une ONG d’analyse politique.

Avant le meeting prévu, le convoi d’Étienne Tshisekedi, qui devait traverser la cité en ébullition a été bloqué près de neuf heures à l’aéroport par les brigades anti-émeutes.

Campé sur son Hummer rouge, le leader, âgé de 78 ans, n’en a pas moins lancé ses harangues. L’homme qui se dit «déjà désigné par le peuple comme président», a une fois encore dénoncé Kabila comme un «président étranger», un «Rwandais» et a appelé les siens à descendre dans les rues. Une incitation à la violence que Tshisekedi récuse. «J’appelle ça de la légitime défense contre une dictature», explique-t-il.

Totale inorganisation

Il devait finalement être raccompagné de force chez lui par la police et ses gardes du corps violemment battus par les forces de l’ordre. L’Europe a dénoncé «une grave entrave à la liberté de campagne». Dimanche, le vieil opposant n’avait pourtant rien perdu de sa hargne.

Au contraire. Dans sa ville, il a par avance accusé le pouvoir «de fraudes électorales», laissant entendre qu’il n’était pas prêt dans ces conditions à reconnaître une éventuelle défaite.

À vingt-quatre heures du vote, les ambassades s’inquiètent, désormais ouvertement, de ces deux stratégies du pire qui s’affrontent, de la violence qui monte, de l’impréparation générale. L’organisation du scrutin qui s’annonce calamiteuse ne devrait pas calmer les esprits. Selon plusieurs sources, nombre des 63.000 bureaux de vote n’auront pas le matériel à temps, ni sans doute le personnel requis.

Difficile de mettre en cause le manque de moyens. Officiellement, ces élections ont coûté pas moins de 600 millions de dollars. Pour tenter de faire baisser la tension, plusieurs ambassadeurs ont engagé ce week-end des démarches auprès des candidats et de la Commission électorale, en charge de la préparation des scrutins.

«La communauté internationale se réveille, mais il est bien tard. Elle finance 30 % du processus et aurait pu émettre des critiques bien avant. Si tout cela est désastreux, elle se rend compte qu’elle portera une partie de la responsabilité de cet échec», analyse un observateur.

Source: Le Figaro

via Observatório Segurança Humana.

via Observatório Segurança Humana.

allAfrica.com: Congo-Kinshasa: UDPs Party Says Secured Five Provinces in Elections

Congo-Kinshasa: UDPs Party Says Secured Five Provinces in Elections

Daniel Finnan29 November 2011

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As votes are tallied and counted in the Democratic Republic of Congo’s presidential elections the main opposition UDPS party told RFI on Tuesday that despite fraud they are confident of securing victory. Etienne Tshisekedi’s party says they have secured enough for a majority and do not want to see the vote annulled.

“I think we have five provinces,” says Ferdinand Nkashama, the Secretary of the UDPS’s Election Surveillance Commission. “After Kinshasa we have the two Kasai provinces, Kasai Orientale and Kasai Occidental. We have Bandundu, Bas-Congo, and we have a little bit of Province Orientale. I think it’s good for Tshisekedi to be next president of Congo,” he told RFI during an interview at the UDPS party headquarters.

Nkashama denies that Tshisekedi will not accept the result if incumbent president Joseph Kabila is re-elected. He says the UDPS will accept “anything people give to us.”

Justin, a young UDPS activist at the headquarters in Limete is not as willing to accept a possible defeat. He says that if the UDPS are not declared winners then “most of the Congolese people are going to do whatever”.

“People can see what is coming out of the polls and they can see that Tshisekedi is first everywhere,” he says. According to him, the international media is also to blame for not reporting the truth.

“When something bad happens in this country, we’re all going into the street to say that ‘we don’t want this’. But you people are not showing that the international community always says ‘Mr Kabila’s right, Mr Kabila’s right’,” he told RFI.

Throngs of people filled the party headquarters’ compound on Tuesday afternoon. Many were keen to explain events during the afternoon in an area of Limete called Kingabwa.

Lawyer Jerry Kambungu, another UDPS activist, described military police arriving at a polling station in the early afternoon. It was one of the sites which had had voting extended due to organisational problems on Monday. He claims the police were trying to bring marked ballots into the polling station, but the local population resisted.

“They used tear gas, intimidating the population so they could introduce the marked ballots,” Kambungu said.

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He also claimed some members of the uniformed officers were Tanzanians speaking Swahili. Kambungu said he speaks Swahili and can identify different varieties from Rwanda or Tanzania. These claims are of course difficult to verify but RFI witnessed a video depicting tear gas being deployed.

The account is also consistent with a number of incidents witnessed with voters claiming that they were protecting their polling stations from interference or fraud. On Tuesday morning RFI visited the Ecole Dyavanga polling station in the Masina area of Kinshasa. The previous day voters had burnt a vehicle belonging to the electoral commission because they suspected malfeasance.

Nkashama, the Secretary of the UDPS’s Election Surveillance Commission, called the whole operation, from the election planning to the alleged fraud, “very, very bad”.

via allAfrica.com: Congo-Kinshasa: UDPs Party Says Secured Five Provinces in Elections.

via allAfrica.com: Congo-Kinshasa: UDPs Party Says Secured Five Provinces in Elections.

BBC News – Failed state: Can DR Congo recover?

BBC News – Failed state: Can DR Congo recover?.

via BBC News – Failed state: Can DR Congo recover?.

Failed state: Can DR Congo recover?

A Congolese rebel holding a rocket and lighting a cigarette (Archive shot)

As the Democratic Republic of Congo prepares for just its second general elections in four decades on 28 November, Congolese affairs analyst Theodore Trefon considers whether this failed state, still recovering from a war which led to an estimated four million deaths, can ever be rebuilt.

People in the Democratic Republic of Congo expect very little from the state, government or civil servants.

In fact, ordinary Congolese often repeat expressions like “the state is dying but not yet dead” or “the state is ever present but completely useless”.

It seems they also expect little from the upcoming elections and there can be little argument that DR Congo is indeed a failed state.

Ordinary citizens are poor, hungry and under-informed.

The government is unable to provide decent education or health services.

The country – two-thirds of the size of western Europe – is a battleground.

The citizens of DR Congo pray to be delivered from the brutal militias that still control parts of the eastern provinces, where rape has become so commonplace that one senior UN official called the country “the rape capital of the world”.

Inside DR Congo
size map

The Democratic Republic of Congo covers 2,344,858 square km of land in the centre of Africa, making it the 12th largest country in the world.

Predators

I asked a university colleague if he thought things could get worse.

Start Quote

Well, there was an eclipse that day”

Excuse for missing a meeting

“When you are rock bottom, you can still dig deeper,” was his response.

Public administration is in shambles. Civil servants have mutated into predators.

Ferdinand Munguna is a retired railway worker in Lubumbashi, the mineral capital of DR Congo in the south of the country.

He has to bribe the man working in the pension office who requires “motivation” before processing the old man’s file. Mr Munguna complains that his pension is “hardly enough to buy soap”.

Starting a business in DR Congo takes 65 days compared to the sub-Saharan African average of 40 days. In neighbouring Rwanda it takes three days.

And guess which country has one of the worst air safety records worldwide?

The prestigious Foreign Policy magazine’s Failed States Index puts DR Congo in the critically failed category. Only Somalia, Chad and Sudan (when it included South Sudan) have worse rankings.

The recently released UNDP report on human development indicators put the former Belgian colony at the bottom of the 187 countries it surveyed.

Congolese school children in Kinshasa (Archive shot)DR Congo, Africa’s second largest country, has a literacy rate of 67%

On the political front, President Joseph Kabila has shown much more interest in regime consolidation than implementing his five-point development agenda – which most Congolese consider more as a political slogan than a development initiative.

When criticised, Mr Kabila’s henchmen resort to the ultimate force of dissuasion.

Take Zoe Kabila, the president’s brother, who ordered his Republican Guard escort to beat up two traffic officers because they did not give his 4X4 priority.

Usually immune to the brutality of the security forces, even people in Kinshasa were shocked by this incident at a busy downtown intersection.

Numerous cases of journalist beatings and killings have also been reported.

Floribert Chebeya, a highly respected human rights activist was murdered, allegedly by members of the president’s inner circle.

Unfair Congo bashing

Poor leadership is a major problem for DR Congo.

When there’s no state…

In the absence of a functioning state or similar, even the best-intended projects can have perverse side effects if they are carried out without comprehensive feasibility studies or efforts to understand local culture and practices.

An international medical NGO provided mosquito nets to a poor village in the Upemba region of Katanga. Many lakeside villages in the mineral-rich province suffer from a high rate of malaria-induced child mortality. Sleeping inside these nets is the best way to avoid mosquito bites and malaria. But this laudable action created a human and ecological catastrophe.

As the mosquito nets were free and abundant, fisherman used them as fishing nets. Given their extremely fine mesh, not only were fish removed from the lake but all other forms of micro-fauna and micro-flora too. The lake gradually became covered with a black scum. Villagers lost their sources of livelihood and food supply.

It took a Belgian priest two years to get the villagers, who believed they had been cursed, to realise what had happened and before the lake was able to regenerate.

There are few figures on the political landscape with vision, leaders able to bring an end to corrupt government, reduce poverty, solve the country’s security problems or improve the well-being of ordinary people.

DR Congo bashing has become a mantra amongst academics, humanitarian non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and policy makers.

But I think that this is unfair.

While it is important to maintain pressure on Kinshasa’s unabashedly corrupt political establishment, we also have to consider the country’s troubled past.

Few societies have accumulated so many woes.

Those old enough to remember say the whip and chain is what they associate most with Belgian colonialism.

Others however are nostalgic and wish for the Belgians to return to solve the country’s problems.

Cold War policies facilitated the maintenance of the brutal dictatorship of Mobutu Sese Seko.

BBC Afrique’s Arthur Malu Malu Mushi explains the key issues as DR Congo chooses a new president

He ruled what was then named Zaire for 32 years, supported by the West because of Cold War strategic interests.

Two wars – the liberation war that toppled Mobutu and “Africa’s first world war”, from 1997-2002 – are overwhelming obstacles to development, state-building and well-being.

DR Congo is also victim to what is commonly referred to as “the resource curse”. The central government cannot control borders with its nine neighbours.

Much of DR Congo’s coltan, a mineral used in computers and mobiles, is illegally exported through Rwanda. Precious tropical hardwoods are siphoned off through Uganda.

Surreal

DR Congo’s financial and technical partners – the so called “international community” – are also to blame.

They have no master plan for reform. They do not share a common vision and often implement contradictory programmes.

Belgium supported the idea of decentralisation arguing that it could bring government accountability down to the grassroots level. The World Bank blocked the process.

A rickety bridge in DR Congo (Copyright Theodore Trefon)DR Congo’s road to development is paved with good intentions

Bank experts have some control of the treasury in Kinshasa but they have absolutely no idea of how resources in the provinces are managed.

Data collection is a surreal concept in DR Congo – many offices do not have electricity, let alone computers.

Absence of national sovereignty is another hallmark of a failed state.

DR Congo is a country under international trusteeship. Important decisions are taken by World Bank technocrats, UN officials and increasingly by international NGOs.

When the electoral campaign officially opened last month, candidates travelled to Europe and the US to garner support.

The UN mission, Monusco, is playing a key logistical role in the elections by transporting ballot boxes across the vast nation. People would not be able to vote without this kind of support.

Whatever accountability there is in DR Congo is directed towards international backers, not the Congolese people.

Congolese authorities have abdicated from the development agenda.

Road rehabilitation and bridge building have been delegated to the World Bank and Belgian Technical Cooperation.

Monusco is supposed to look after the security sector. The World Health Organization and medical NGOs try to deal with the public health challenges.

The UK is involved in reinforcing governance programmes, while churches provide primary education.

The state is an absentee landlord – outside partners do its work.

Dynamic survivors

So DR Congo is on an artificial life-support system. But replacing the state, or acting on its behalf, is not viable in the long-term. It undermines state-building momentum.

DR Congo in figures

  • Population: 70 million
  • UN human development index: Bottom of 187 countries surveyed
  • Life expectancy: 48 years
  • Has 70% of the globe’s coltan – vital for mobile phones
  • Average annual income: $300
  • With 13% of the world’s hydropower potential, its network of rivers could power much of Africa
  • Just 9% of the population has access to electricity

Sources: Estimated figures from the UN and World Bank

DR Congo and its partners are clearly confronted by the tragedy of powerlessness.

The system is such that when things do not work, go wrong or do not move forward, it is never really anyone’s fault.

There are plenty of good excuses. A colleague told me when asked why he did not show up for an appointment: “Well, there was an eclipse that day.”

While DR Congo is clearly a failed state, Congolese society has not failed.

On the contrary it is strong, vibrant, dynamic, tolerant and generous. People have a sense of taking charge of their own destinies.

Women form rotating credit systems to compensate for the absence of an accessible banking system.

Farmers band together to hire a lorry to get their cassava or charcoal from the central city of Kikwit to market in Kinshasa.

Bebe, who lives in the Paris suburb of Griney, sends money home to Kasai via Western Union. Some months it contributes to school fees, others it pays for medicines for her ailing mother-in-law.

Her father will spend some of it on Primus, the beer of choice in Kinshasa.

“Elikia” means hope in Lingala and there is much of it throughout the country.

Hopes for positive change will come from the people, not from the Congolese political establishment, and certainly not from outside interventions.

Theodore Trefon is senior researcher at the Royal Museum for Central Africa and author of the blog Congo Masquerade: The political culture of aid inefficiency and reform failure.

On 25 November, the BBC World Service is broadcasting a special one-hour debate in front of a Kinshasa audience: Is DR Congo a failed state? Tune in at 1900 GMT.