A response to Editors
The history of People is not what scholars have related and perceived but what those people have experienced within time and within outcome: advocacy to sell the Good image of DRC over the world.
On March 2013, the Review of African Political Economy has published its 40th volume and 135th Number. The number was dealing with a special issue: “neither war nor peace in the democratic republic of Congo (DRC): profiting and coping amid violence and disorder”.
I have read with benefit some articles and I have perceived the real desire of writers to help readers to understand merely what is going one in DRC. They try to explain how people perceive the nowadays situation in DRC and the social transformations occasioned by more than 15 years of continuing political and social violence. For most of them, these conflicts do not have a singular logic, but result from multiple local conflicts, as well as outside interventions.
However, what have been pointed out merit some arrangements in order to sell a good image of DRC through the world. I would like to take one article and get into in discussing. But I have found better to respond to editors, because, the way they present there letter is like, if you said DRC, it like you mean directly hell. Within this analysis seems to be wrong.
At the first glance, I was trying to understand the title. I went throughout a question: Is there a third option between war and peace? It could be better to say neither conflict nor peace in the Democratic Republic of Congo, and then we could be able to understand. The absence of war is not an absence of conflict. The formation of a conflict, they way it is resolved, and even if ceasefire, are part of conflicts. Congolese are looking some solution not to ending war but conflict.
You have stressed the difficulties of resolving the complex and interrelated conflict in DRC. This is because many factors are linked such as political and economic issues, national and international context, and ‘issues of identity, ethnicity and nationality. I was expecting you to be more specified instead of getting in generalization. That’s why I want to counter against the issue of identity or ethnicity which is not a mainstream cause of violent conflicts and which, by the fact, leads to war. We can find such divisions in the political area due by the membership to a party and as it is all over the world. But I think that the diversity of tribes or nationality avoids almost civil war in DRC. Is there any ethnicity in DRC which is looking for an integrated position? The discussion on Banyamulenge (Rwandophone question) or Tutsi is an international problem related to 1994 during the genocide. Hueling put it up in right way: the unique question of identity connected to the genocide, is charity or generosity of DRC to International community and it deals with rules of international laws of refugees. If we can perceive this identities struggle on this window, perhaps we can be near the truth. Rwandophone question, and to be fair in this analysis, which appears as sunrise grievance hide a strong bridge to our neighbours who are looking some reason to spoil our resources and our sovereignty, but not as longer as root cause of conflict. Please to consider this aspect and find out, strictly, the real causes ‘of wars in DRC. Those small ethnic conflicts cannot lead to bloodshed of Hundreds of thousands of Congolese. I would like to replace this question of identity to the question of patriotism. And to get into conclusion that DRC’s wars (conflicts) are managed out of the Congolese and then the grievances to Congolese will focus on the lack of patriotism. you have underlined it : “instead, it seeks to show the ways in which some Congolese people, particularly, in the east of the country, find strategies to survive, cope and in some cases even to profit from, the liminal socio-political environment in which they find themselves” I spent like eight months in this part, from August 2012 to May 2013, and I have realised that the first look at Goma or Bukavu cannot let know that here people are fighting, because buildings are risen, there is life. If you are new, you will get lost. The stand is that, some eastern population are training in a system which themselves don’t know the outcome.
Yes, you are right; to address this issue that the M23 occupation causes civilians and displacement of hundreds of thousands of people, but actors involved don’t mind. Poor people are starving. Murison(2002) argues that “the political turmoil in eastern DRC has created hundreds of thousands of temporary and long-term displacement of persons, who are frequently in dispute with established residents over farmland, fuelling new conflicts that often have an ethnic dimension.” So far, I see in this analysis further causes of another conflict in DRC based on land.
“The violence associated with the Congo wars has caused social upheavals throughout the country, but particularly in central and eastern regions” is there any places in the central region were war took place? I don’t Know, perhaps you have other hidden historical information of this Country. For my concern, the central regions of Congo, if you have read the ‘really history’ of this country, you will directly realised that, besides the so-called war of liberation led by Laurent Desire Kabila and always by superpower, central part is one of the peaceful area of DRC. People are not longer fighting and international actors have no significant interests, besides diamond. They have found another method to nick.
You have concluded that DRC is collapsed state and a society plagued by widespread poverty in the context of war. This statement sound like there is no life. Some years ago, we were a developing country and the last report of our economic wealth fare shows us that our economy is increasing. We know those settlements are according to a Western view. The situation of DRC is not a fatality since we are bundled by our resources. Really that we are our own actors of our development, unfortunately foreign actors want to do this duty for us. They have made a utopian line to follow which one is out of our deep aims. This behaviour justifies what you have expressed, but with less causes, the gap or breakdown of formal relations between state and people. The government is not working in order to satisfy the needs of people but to be admitted in the international standard of development.
DRC is not an extremely insecure place. This is just to set a negative view of DRC. Yes there is a kind of insecurity but in some places, it seems to me normal as over the world. Just have a quick look at DRC map and its superficies, you will realise that, it’s like 15 percent of the DRC which is in violent war and in insecure situation. You are right, because it is a national affair, but you don’t have to generalise when you want communicate particular issue and if sometimes you don’t have in your take all information. A part from that area, some parts of east, DRC is mostly an oasis where everybody wants to have something to say, to buy, to sell and to steal. Perhaps you have to blame God for him give us those resources which powerful countries and neighbours change with Congolese blood. This blood wills complaint one day. We can lie to a people, destroy a culture, but it is difficult to efface the memory of this people or this culture
I got to conclusion that, your historical understanding of DRC is bit controversial. Five years after the independence, Mobutu came on power in the way that we know, but establishing a strong Kingdom. Whatever the relation with USA, Modern society is determined by cooperation in the international system. Each country uses what is in possession for his interest. The security offered by the USA was not a gift but an agreement. (Mineral – Security). In addition to this, the relation was more profitable to the USA. Nowadays relation is not a kind of agreement but a USA invasion on DRC resources, and other actors. As political analyst, you know well that the main cause of conflict in DRC is not local but international and I have proposed below an analytical tool of to map the DRC conflict.
“The achievement of national independence did not establish a political system because of the resistance of Congolese politicians and by some Western states. Whatever the outcome of independence, the right of self determination is nonnegotiable. It is greater to every people to be free and poor and more than to be slave and rich. The way that you argue shows the will to blame Congolese people who were at that time looking for their dignity. Let go straight on the issue. Could we blame at the same time Belgian authorities and Congolese politicians? You did the latest and I will do the former. Our ‘father’ did not strictly prepare any Congolese to deal with political, economic and social affair following the international criteria. The instinct of paternity is still today in their Blood. We want to fish ourselves. It is fair to say that our politicians have to be blamed not because they behave in fact like predators but rather because they are marionette of outsider decision maker in order to protect their authority and leadership : “Every power comes from outside” that is “to connect every power comes from God”.
For a brief history, we had ten years of peace (1965-75) throughout Congo before Mobutu dictatorship which benefit to bipolarity system during the Cold War Union Sovietic and USA. The Congolese opinion about the term of Mobutu took two sides: his first years were grateful and second years become diabolical. I was deeply surprised to notice how you described DRC brief history. I was wondering why you didn’t mention the death of Laurent Desire Kabila (didn’t you see in him as nationalist and as a saviour of DRC?) You have pointed out and blamed the nature of the Global and all inclusive Peace Agreement signed in South Africa in December 2002. In your understanding, it’s failed to resolve the underlying causes of the conflict and rewarded those who sought power via military mean by contrast, the creation of transitional system 1+4 was the peaceful agreement at that time and the way to begin with a democratic process in DRC. The upshots of this agreement are relievable: they are still war but only in one area, at east contrary before the GIPA. Conflict is a process and dynamic. Its resolution is also a long process. It is not helpful for us scholars to get in hurry in conclusion. After time, our analysis can be revealed wrong. Some conflicts are protracted but not intractable; that is the case with the east of DRC.
Could you remember the number of actors involve in the Global and Inclusive Peace agreement in December 2002? And could we compare to the current negotiation in Kampala? The impact is less than this one of 2002. On 2002 we were talking about a dialogue between Congolese (sons of a country were fighting for a leadership question). Today’s dialogue contains many parties and other primary actors are not sometimes cited. In your further analysis, I would like you to name in three words the negotiation since 2012. Many issues form this agreement are to be blamed, and don’t want to come over that. You have pierced out that “the deeply flawed disarmament, demobilisation and reintegration (DDR) initiative did little to achieve an effective integration process or even ensure that former and serving soldiers were properly paid, fed and housed”. For that we need to be blamed, even if today the question is current, soldiers are not properly paid, you are right. However, please to notice that a history cannot be related after few years since the end of the event. Some issues are hidden and will be revealed many years later. What we need for the current situation in DRC is not a quick historical analysis, but to provide solution through the causes of this conflict which are not effectively appeared.
Furthermore, one of your assertions dropped from Clark, Prunier, Reyntjens on the failure of Mobutu by a politico-military movement, the “Alliance des Forces Democratiques pour la liberation (AFDL), has to be considered. AFDL dependent on and partly directed by external powers, primarily Rwanda, Angola and other neighbouring states. The situation didn’t yet change. Some of those parties we chased away Mobutu, are still acting in the east part, and did the same with disputed electoral victories of 2006 and 2011 which have not brought to power a government with strong internal support by people, as you have mentioned.
The social dysfunction is not due to the interaction of poverty, state collapse and war-related violence. The mainstream cause is a scarcity of good governance. The government have to set up an economic policy worthy which must go through the privatization of some public sectors such as Insurance (SONAS), SNEL, REGEDISO, INSS… where the state has failed
Challenging representations of war and violence.
I get those particular summits of illegal export of valuable minerals and the horrific level of sexual violence as a misperception of DRC dilemma. Sincerely and friendly, I want to say that you came across your analysis. Conflict in the DRC is undoubtedly linked to the extraction of natural resources and various other spoils, but this does not mean such resources were the primary cause of war. With pleasure, I disagree strongly with you. And a question can be asked to you: to whom you belong. A fact to be considered, there are more than 10 regions in DRC, in those regions, there is no war, only some ethnic troubles or conflict, which seem to me normal in country of diversity of ethnic identity. We can think together: After the Cold War, mineral become the interest of many superpowers and multinational cooperation. This is based on the need to make nuclear weapons for some, and for increasing their capital. Superpowers became like foolish because of the find material for those aims. Related to the DRC, the part where there is not any wars (unless Lubumbashi where there is not violent, but cold war), there is no uranium, gold no coltan, no diamond and so one, just conclude… this reason cannot be minimised. On the top of causes, Mineral resources cause is the first and then others come beyond. I was satisfying you have mentioned this point but the way you expressed were unless unbearable. In addition to the discussion, this allegation, “furthermore, the assumption that those involved in these economics are either greedy militia or profit-maximising businessmen overlooks the fact that the majority those involved in the trade in precious minerals continue to be motivated by coping and survival”, explains the bad will of businessmen to avoid Congolese parties to evolve in this extraction of precious minerals. That is the same way their former fathers did. And you will never forget that your statement sum in right way the capitalism system and the global system were parties involved in the cooperation are not equal, but they are obliged to cope with. Poor have to stay poor till they will die.
Coming together, a part from the really fact of violence, the violence against women tends to be sometimes a cultural injustice to withdraw money from those so called women predator. There is a media lynching and propaganda made by grassroots initiatives against gender-based violence and some NGOs in order to get money for surviving. We can almost see on that a rise of another injustice. There are victims. But violence against women is not either basis or the special issue of war.
Conclusion: DRC war is a business War. For foreign actors, DRC is a big and free hole of resources, everybody can use for himself.
 I made a journey by bus from Bukavu to Bujumbura for a short holiday. I was amazing the structure of relief and in the same times I was imaging what was under the soil. I was proud to be Congolese and think God. I get in conclusion those people who yearn us are right…