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Sunday, June 3, 2018


Opposition in the Democratic Republic of Congo unites against Kabila

Opposition in the Democratic Republic of Congo unites against Kabila

The US State Department Report released in June 2006, states that “The Democratic Republic of the Congo DRC is a source and destination country for men, women, and children trafficked for forced labour and sexual exploitation.

The vast majority of trafficking occurs within the country's unstable eastern provinces, where transitional government control is nominal and members of armed groups continue to perpetrate violent acts with impunity. 

Indigenous and foreign armed rebels continue to abduct and forcibly recruit Congolese men, women, and children to serve as labourers, porters, domestics, combatants, and sex slaves, albeit at a much-reduced rate from previous years.

Many people abducted in past years, including a limited number of  Ugandan nationals being detained by Ugandan militia operating in Congolese territory, are still being held by these armed groups. There were reports of Congolese children in prostitution in brothels in the country. 

There were also numerous reports indicating that some local authorities attempted to recruit child soldiers for armed groups. 

During the year, there was one known case of Congolese children trafficked to Zambia.” But what about the never-ending story of the corrupt DRC politicians and never-ending health crisis if the US State Department cares about Congo?

World Health Organization

Data from the World Health Organization (WHO) concerning DRC indicated a life expectancy at birth of 42 years for men and 47 years for women, with a healthy life expectancy at birth of 35 years for men and 39.1 years for women. And all this happened because the public expenditure on health was four percent of GDP.

The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) Country Profile Report some years ago advised that medical services have been severely disrupted and degraded by the effects of years of war and economic collapse, and the opening up of some areas since the end of the civil war has revealed the extent of the disruption to social services. 

The report stated; “Many areas have not had medical supplies for several years. Of the country’s 306 health centers, less than 60% have vaccination facilities.” And so far, the medical investigative journalists of Secrets of Aids and Ebola Facts Journal, have noticed that nothing has changed to this day. 

Information from our readers and friends on all social media exposed that hospitals and other health infrastructure face serious staffing, supply, payment problems, and many have largely ceased functioning. 

Patients must often provide or purchase their own medical supplies. Private clinics operate in most of the larger towns but unpayable for the poor. Christian missionaries played a prominent role and, in many areas provide the only health.

'The Lancet' reported in an article on the results of a nationwide health study and they found that deaths in the DRC were 40 percent higher than the average rate for sub-Saharan Africa and that most deaths were from easily preventable and treatable diseases. 

Fever, malaria, diarrhea, respiratory infections, and malnutrition were the principal causes of death, together accounting for more than 50 percent of deaths in both the east and the west. But they did not mention medical experiments and vaccine trials.

Children under five years of age were at particular risk from these diseases, with malnutrition as a primary or contributing cause. Death rates were more than one-third higher in the unstable eastern provinces. 

The report pointed out that improving security and increasing access to essential health services, such as clean water and basic medical care, would dramatically reduce preventable deaths.

Reports by human rights and humanitarian organisations, including the IRC, Médecins sans Frontières (MSF), Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch, have also drawn attention to the use of violence, rape and sexual assault by combatant forces, leaving many men, women and children in need of medical treatment, and called for restoration of a sustainable health care system. 

The MSF Annual Activity Report article on the DRC ‘A never-ending health crisis’ also detailed a number of places, including Baraka, Bunia, Kisangani and Kinshasa, where MSF is providing medical care and counseling.

Another report written by the Swiss Federal Office for Refugees added that; “Without modern or sophisticated equipment, Congolese doctors often act purposefully and effectively. 

Having a great deal of experience in dealing with the most widespread local diseases, they provide quality treatment, without much in the way of resources. 

The African continent wasn't terrorized by serious diseases than malaria. African doctors and traditional healers were the solutions for ages. Africa experienced serious setbacks and multiple diseases when the whites appeared on the continent.

After the whites came along in Africa there has been explosive outbreak of various diseases including polio, cholera, Ebola, Aids, trypanosomiasis or sleeping sickness, measles, Hepatitis E, nodding and pneumonic plague, you name it has never happened before.

And now United Nations institutes, UNHCR and UNICEF are announcing that it was seeking for millions of dollars for programmes aimed at helping hundreds of thousands of people displaced within the DRC as well as Congolese in neighbouring countries. 

They are seeking millions of dollars to support the return and reintegration thousands of refugees and people who have to flee for local violence. 

They were also asking for millions to provide protection and assistance for an estimated 1.1 million internally displaced people and orphans.

To us, it seems the United Nations as a global guard has lost all grip in Africa. Asking for money is mopping with the tap open. Why Congo, probably the richest country in Africa should be in such a chronic disturbing situation? 

Is it some of the strategies for Belgium, the former colonial master, and America to take control over the country's resources? As a result of corruption and civil wars, despite the country’s vast mineral wealth, an average Congolese national is among the poorest on the planet. 

Therefore United Nations, we suggest as well to take the corruption of African Leaders into consideration and try to do something about it. If not, then what is the need for the United Nations?  Donald Trump is right to say he can potentially save the United Nations billions of dollars, but he also knows the UN is corrupt as well.

Paradox of poverty

The reality, described as a 'paradox of poverty,' is the consequence of large-scale corruption which ensures very little of the DRC mineral wealth find its way back to the people. 

Between 2013 and 2015, mining revenue of up to $1.3 billion, twice the amount the country spends annually on health and education, failed to reach the treasury, according to Global Witness. 

The shortfall is blamed on a 'dysfunctional state-owned mining company and opaque national tax agencies' as well as; 'corrupt networks linked to President Joseph Kabila’s regime.' The United Nations. The Kabila's and their ancestors are the problems and not the ordinary nationals! Aren't you aware of that?

For decades the Democratic Republique Congo is an extremely uncertain, volatile country. Due to delays in the electoral process, 257 national elections were not held by the end of 2016, as required by the constitution. Why the Democratic Republic? Because this country isn't democratic at all.

President Kabila to stay in power until the end of eternity?

The opposition and the government reached an agreement on December 31, 2016, allowing President Kabila to stay in power until the end of 2017 while ushering in a power-sharing agreement with the opposition to oversee the government in the interim.

The implementation of that agreement, however, became mired in controversy when Kabila named Bruno Tshibala, a dissident opposition leader, as prime minister on April 7, 2017. 

This report, however, points to political problems of governance that go beyond the peaceful and democratic transfer of executive power. 

Elections alone will not be enough to redress the violence, poverty, and corruption afflicting the country. With the power and money of Kabila, he can stay in charge till eternity...

DRC political elites

For a large part, elections in the Congo have produced the exchange of power among political elites. There has been an extremely little redistribution of wealth by the government, and scant investment in infrastructure, job creation, or social services. 

Throughout the peace process, the international community and Congolese elites alike have placed an emphasis on the trappings of democratic institutions, the creation of national and provincial parliaments, the extension of state authority, and a liberal constitutional framework, but have had little success in influencing the content of those institutions and rendering them accountable to the country’s citizens.

What is lacking is an emphasis on accountability for political elites. In this article, we highlighted structural weaknesses related to governance in the Congo: ambiguous conflict of interest legislation, the difficulty in obtaining fiscal and legal records, and the lack of transparency in declarations of assets made by senior figures in government.

We document the Kabila family on our 'Secrets of Aids and Ebola Facts Journal' blog, from their relatively austere life to the pinnacle of state power. Their ascendance raises significant questions, which we have detailed here: 

Has the family benefitted from privileges not available to most Congolese, including the use of the Republican Guard to protect their properties, or exceeding the number of mining permits legally allowed?

Have there been conflicts of interest in how they obtained stakes in over 80 companies as we have described before and will do it here again? 

And have foreign governments, donors, and multinationals been sufficiently scrupulous when they have partnered with or supported these companies?

The purpose of this article is not to provide definitive answers to these questions that will be up to Congolese courts and watchdogs but to illuminate the issues at stake for our readers. 

Greater accountability will only come with pressure on Congolese political elites and their international business partners to ensure ethical behavior. 

For over 5 decades Congo has been ruled by two families, the Mobutus and the Kabilas. Photo: Joseph Kabila and wife

For over 5 decades Congo has been ruled by two families, the Mobutus and the Kabilas. Photo: Joseph Kabila and wife

Without greater transparency, more pressure on political elites to render them accountable, and clearer legislation regarding conflicts of interest, good governance will remain a distant aspiration.

And 'The Lancet' still writing reports and nobody, such as the United Nations, seems to do anything about it. 

Over 100 mining permits for diamond and gold are in possession of president Kabila and his wife and they own 70,000 hectares of farmland, around 10 times the size of Manhattan.

We can only read a Lancets' article on the results of a nationwide health study, in The Democratic Republic Congo and know that deaths in the country were 40 percent higher than the average rate for sub-Saharan Africa but most deaths were from easily preventable and treatable diseases. Imbeciles!!!

We all know DRC has been chronically underfunded because the rulers enriched themselves. President Joseph Kabila’s family, including some of his siblings, “either partially or wholly owns” more than 80 businesses operational inside and outside DR Congo. That is where the money is UNHCR and UNICEF!!!

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