Over the last couple of days Kinshasa, the capital of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, has been rocked by a series of protests against the weak, reactionary and corrupt government of Joseph Kabila. Through mass mobilisations, the predominantly student movement has dispelled any notion of the democratic credentials of the Kabila regime and has exposed its true dictatorial nature.
The M23 officers – Bosco Ntaganda, Sultani Makenga et al – have risked highly lucrative positions in the FARDC command structure, control of tax rackets mines and timber amongst other things in carrying out this rebellion. Why is it war seems more profitable than peace?
Once again the Democratic Republic of Congo has been through months of turmoil, soldiers defecting en masse from the Congolese Army (FARDC) followed by fighting between government forces and militia in the Kivu regions. But why is all this happening and what interests lie behind these events? Gavin Jackson looks at the different forces on the ground and outlines the looting on the part of the various imperialist powers that is the real reason behind the barbarism.
Despite having a constitution that enshrines equality between the sexes, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is home to some of the most extreme and brutal oppression of women. This demonstrates in a very vivid manner that women’s oppression cannot be eliminated simply through legal rights, but requires certain material conditions, which in turn must be fought for in the shape of a class struggle. (The author of this article recently visited the DRC where he found a country ravaged by imperialism and where the oppression of women was extremely acute.)
In a country two thirds the size of Western Europe the overt and widespread rigging of elections has not prevented the Congolese masses turning out to decide their own fate by any means they can find. In the process more than a dozen have been killed and over a hundred injured before the election with at least another four killed by the police of the regime in the days after the result was announced.
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