Forget about the external influence, Congolese can turn their country around

Editor,It is only when one finally realises that salvation, whether of an individual or a collective such as a nation, can only come from oneself that the journey to redemption truly begins. Despite their historical reality with the West, the Congolese, in their majority, it would seem, still believe in a sort of Western Messiah – perhaps with a UN visage – to pull their chestnuts from fires they themselves have torched off, with that same Western world a major enabler.
Conflicts in eastern DRC have driven thousands out of their homes.
Conflicts in eastern DRC have driven thousands out of their homes.

Editor,

It is only when one finally realises that salvation, whether of an individual or a collective such as a nation, can only come from oneself that the journey to redemption truly begins. Despite their historical reality with the West, the Congolese, in their majority, it would seem, still believe in a sort of Western Messiah – perhaps with a UN visage – to pull their chestnuts from fires they themselves have torched off, with that same Western world a major enabler.

As long as the DRC and its leadership are allowed to think they can shift blame for the consequences of their own failures onto the shoulders of outsiders – whether as scapegoats or saviours – I have less hope in the likelihood of a solution, peaceful or otherwise to the chronic Congolese malady.

And as long as many powerful foreign actors continue to profit from keeping the DRC under permanent external tutelage, and the Congolese elite remain apparently oblivious to how fundamentally wrong this is, then I’m afraid we must prepare for a failed state on our borders and the security consequences of that situation for the long haul.

In the meantime, we can be sure all sorts of profit-seeking adventurers will be jumping into the melee to try and get their cut from the juicy carcass that the DRC has become. Which, of course, will push that benighted country even deeper into “Failed State” status.

This, in turn, will generate even more militias and even more armed self-defence groups to protect their own people from various marauders and other criminal bands, and to compensate for the inability of the state to provide even the minimum of public goods, including security for any and all residents on its territory.

In summary, I am not very hopeful of any improvement in the DRC as long as that country continues on its current path and the so-called international community persists in allowing the DRC “authorities” (for lack of a better word) to continue to sleep-walk deeper into disaster-land.


Mwene Kalinda, Kigali, Rwanda

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The Peace, Security and Cooperation Framework (for DRC) makes total sense to me. Will DRC – the most concerned party – take it seriously? It has to, for the sake of its long suffering people. The corrupt Congolese politicians and military have surely stolen enough from the country. They should be satisfied with what they have and now, once and for all, start acting like real leaders to manage the DRC’s resources responsibly and use the proceeds to the benefit of the people.

Forget about the complicity of some of the Western countries that want to divide, conquer and keep the country and the region in perpetual chaos for their own benefit. If Rwanda can do it, why can’t the DRC do it? And if Rwanda and DRC can come together and bring the region along, imagine how far we would all be. Let’s just do it, please.

Nyokabi
, Nairobi, Kenya

Reactions to the story, “Mushikiwabo: Rwanda still hopeful on DRC peace process”, (The New Times, July 22)

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