Tuesday, November 18, 2008


clipped from: www.blackcommentator.com

This is a reprint of a recent interview conducted by Pambazuka News with Congolese leader Ernest Wamba-dia-Wamba

Introduction by --Bill Fletcher, Jr., BlackCommentator.com Executive Editor

Wamba, as he is generally known, is a is a leading Marxist thinker and activist who spent many years in exile in the USA during the reign of the notorious Mobutu Sese Seku

the world's attention has suddenly turned to the current sweeping of Laurent Nkunda's forces around Goma. What's brought about this kind of attention?

I think that the change of the balance of forces on the terrain is part of the reason
we have to add also the need for Western capitalists, after the Chinese contract with the DRC government, to re-assume their control over the Congolese resources. We hear that the idea of a Kosovo is being played, but, if it materialises it will be not for Congolese peoples’ interest but to have control over very important mineral and agriculture potential resources of the area.

What are the political and economic factors behind the conflict?

There are of course many unresolved issues since the Rwandese genocide took place and many, including genocidaires, moved massively to the DRC
Nkunda, for example does use the presence of the FDLR [Forces Démocratiques de Liberation du Rwanda], still committed to retake power in Rwanda and perhaps carry out genocide, as one reason for his war
we have to distinguish between the main objective, access and control over the resources, and the conditions facilitating that objective, the existence of genocidaires creating havoc on innocent people, the sentiments of exclusion still felt by the Tutsi Congolese, the involvement of the DRC government with those genocidaires – used as the government's marines, according to some – and the possible alliances between business people aligned with government officials of states in the region. Most of our regional governments are actually led by security officers allied to businessmen. It is said that Rwandese businessmen, among others, have been financing Nkunda to keep control of the mines and continue exploit minerals – coltan, niobium, etc – very much sought by transnational enterprises producing or distributing mobile phones, satellites, etc.

The subsoil of the whole of the DRC has almost been sold out with contracts to so-called partners

In a sense, Kivu is now the weakest link of the globalisation’s chain. We need to identify the different contradictions converging there. The absence of a real state authority, apparently willed by some who are in the State, facilitates the agents of the world economy of crime.

Rwanda has an interest it uses contradictorily: the presence of the genocidaires to claim that its security is threatened and to keep a situation of anarchy to have access to resources on which its businessmen have been enriching themselves

The rebels are occupying an area of about 3 territories. It is not clear whether in negotiations they will accept to give it up. If the DRC government does not succeed in getting that territory back and if external forces support the keeping of the territory by the rebels, a small but very rich country will be formed and the impact on the rest of the country may lead to a real balkanisation

What is needed even for democracy to be built in the area is that people agitate to really build a post-neoliberalist developmentalist State.


You Know What We Don't Talk About Enough Around Here? The Congo.


DRC: Rwanda and the Doomed Cease-Fire

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