What has made the Congo economy successful?
History of the CongoExploitation and violence to this day
The history of the Congo is dominated by exploitation and violence. In 1885, Belgium's King Leopold II took land the size of Central Europe. Not as a colony, as a private property. He brutally suppressed popular resistance. This time has left its mark. When the Congo gained independence in 1960, Patrice Lumumba, socialist and the country's first prime minister, looked back once more.
"We have had the experience that our land was robbed under the pretext of alleged laws that did nothing other than enforce the law of the strongest. We have had the experience that in the cities the whites live in huge mansions, and the Blacks in dilapidated straw huts. And who will forget the shots that were fired at our brothers and the dungeons into which all those who no longer wanted to bow to a system of oppression and exploitation were thrown? "
Wedged between Moscow and Washington
Lumumba wanted to abolish the rule of a few, who ruled with arbitrariness and arms. Nobody knows whether he would have succeeded. Half a year after taking office, he was murdered with the help of the CIA. The USA feared for the copper from the Congo, had Lumuba offered himself to the Soviet Union. Instead, Mobutu Sese Seko, who ruled like the colonial rulers, came to power. The West got a bulwark against communism and copper, the population was bled to death in the land that Mobutu renamed Zaïre. Only in front of the UN did he give militant speeches, such as in 1973:
"The world is divided into two camps: the ruled and the rulers, the exploited and the exploiters. The poor countries are not poor because they are innate, they are as a result of their history. They are from certain, certain countries If the rich exploit the poor more and more, so the mathematical logic wants it, then the poor get poorer and poorer and poorer. "
Growing need, despite the abundance of raw materials
But Mobutu was also an exploiter, he left no doubt about that. The resource-rich country fell into chaos, and the need increased. Rebels under the leadership of Laurent Kabila overthrew the seriously ill despot in 1997. The African World War followed - soldiers from 13 countries raged in the Congo for years, fighting for power and influence. Four million people died. The country is still suffering from the consequences today, says Reena Ghelani from the UN Emergency Aid Coordination.
"One in seven people in Central Africa is a victim of a crisis and urgently needs humanitarian aid, half of it in the Congo. The humanitarian situation continued to deteriorate in 2018, which is one of the largest and most complicated crises in the world."
Rulers who enrich themselves
Laurent Kabila was shot dead by his bodyguard in 2001. Since then, his son Joseph has been in power. The war continued in the east of the country, while Kabila enriched himself like all his predecessors. And left it to the UN to take care of the people. He would only have liked to get rid of their neutral soldiers before the election, said Kabila in September 2018.
"20 years after the stationing of the blue helmet troops in my country and extremely questionable, dubious, ambiguous results, I repeat my government's call to begin with the withdrawal of the UN troops."
A country that is on the ground
Kabila leaves a land that lies on the ground, ruined by generations of white and black rulers, to his successor. There are hardly any roads, but there are many weapons and even more corruption. In the Congo, the law of the fittest still prevails, the end of which Lumumba once announced. There is no improvement in sight.
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