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Thread: Violence in DR Congo

  1. #21
    alhoon's Avatar Moderator
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    Default Re: Violence in DR Congo

    Quote Originally Posted by sumskilz View Post
    The price of consumer electronics, and hence profit margins, is related to the degree of instability in DR Congo, particularity with regard to acquisition of coltan. Too much instability and it becomes more expensive it get it out, too little instability allows for monopolization which raises the prices. A corrupt central government monopolizing control of the mining can enrich itself and charge higher prices, without actually benefiting the average citizen. While competing militias each controlling limited mining territory compete to sell the coltan they extract. There is no way that mining in Canada, Australia, or even Brazil can compete with a dollar a day to literally slave labor prices. Maintaining territorial integrity isn't about nation building as it's primary goal, it's about monopolization by corrupt regimes.
    That's a very sad description that may be true and even if not 100% accurate it certainly is true in large part.
    And it's a remnant of the colonial system. Neo-colonial if you want. "Why govern the place since we only want Columbite and Tantalite?"

  2. #22

    Default Re: Violence in DR Congo

    Quote Originally Posted by alhoon View Post
    And it's a remnant of the colonial system. Neo-colonial if you want.
    Or, depending on how you want to frame it, both are products of the same phenomena. Ultimately only the locals can completely solve the problem. Every country has resources that others would like to get at the lowest price possible, but not every country has so many people willing and/or able to cut their neighbor's throat in order to facilitate that. Market forces are amoral, not immoral as some seem to misunderstand them. If outsiders care about the situation and are willing to pay more for their consumer electronics in order to not contribute, they are free to do so, but something like a fair trade certification for consumer electronics would help, and give manufacturers a label that justifies their higher price.
    Quote Originally Posted by Enros View Post
    You don't seem to be familiar with how the burden of proof works in when discussing social justice. It's not like science where it lies on the one making the claim. If someone claims to be oppressed, they don't have to prove it.


  3. #23
    IronBrig4's Avatar Good Matey
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    Default Re: Violence in DR Congo

    Quote Originally Posted by Dr. Legend View Post
    As for why it gets no attention in the media, well, nobody cares if it doesn't serve their agenda. There's more important stuff to report on, like 16 terrorists killed by Israel.
    The DRC martyrs tend to be martyred by other Christians. Think about how nobody bats an eye if Sunni and Shi'ite Muslims slaughter each other. Same deal.

    Also, getting involved in the DRC would be a nightmare like Rwanda was. I met Romeo Dallaire, the Canadian officer in charge of the UN mission to Rwanda in 1993-94. If you want me to elaborate, I will, but suffice to say running a UN mission in the African interior is kafkaesque. It's a miracle Dallaire was able to save any Tutsi, let alone the 30,000 or so that he did save.

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  4. #24
    alhoon's Avatar Moderator
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    Default Re: Violence in DR Congo

    Look at this man's eyes, decades after Rwanda and you will see why the UN has to do something to stop a 3rd Congo civil war.
    There must be other ways other than just arming a different gang each time or sending in 50K+ peacekeepers. I am not talking waving a magic wand and make the problem evaporate. Even alleviating the starvation problem would help.

  5. #25
    IronBrig4's Avatar Good Matey
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    Default Re: Violence in DR Congo

    Dallaire still takes meds for PTSD. UN missions can't just rush in with guns blazing. They have to coordinate with whatever indigenous government is left, the various moving parts within the UN mission itself, and NGOs that are providing humanitarian assistance (ie. Red Cross, Doctors Without Borders).

    The peacekeepers have to find a balance between maintaining the indigenous government and reaching its humanitarian goals. But when that government condones genocide or actively participates in it, things become difficult. And if it's in the middle of the Congo Basin, peacekeepers have to operate at a severe logistical disadvantage. That's why Rwanda was such a catastrophe compared to the UN mission in Sierra Leone several years later.

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  6. #26
    Voltaire.'s Avatar Delusions of Grandeur
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    Default Re: Violence in DR Congo

    I also wasn't aware of the seriousness of the situation until recently. Pasted from the Economist to avoid paywall:

    Congo is sliding back to bloodshed

    NO CONFLICT since the 1940s has been bloodier, yet few have been more completely ignored. Estimates of the death toll in Congo between 1998 and 2003 range from roughly 1m to more than 5m—no one counted the corpses. Taking the midpoint, the cost in lives was higher than that in Syria, Iraq, Vietnam or Korea. Yet scarcely any outsider has a clue what the fighting was about or who was killing whom. Which is a tragedy, because the great war at the heart of Africa might be about to start again.

    The cause of the carnage
    To understand the original war, consider this outrageously oversimplified analogy. Imagine a giant house whose timbers are rotten. That was the Congolese state under Mobutu Sese Seko, the kleptocratic tyrant who ruled from 1965 to 1997. Next, imagine a cannonball that brings the house crashing down. That cannonball was fired from Rwanda, Congo’s tiny, turbulent neighbour. Now imagine that every local gang of armed criminals comes rushing in to steal the family jewels, and the looting turns violent. Finally, imagine that you are a young, unarmed woman who lives alone in the shattered house. It is not a pleasant thought, is it?

    Mobutu and his underlings looted the Congolese state until it could barely stand. When a shock struck, it collapsed. The shock was the Rwandan genocide of 1994. The perpetrators of that abomination, defeated at home, fled into Congo. Rwanda invaded Congo to eliminate them. Meeting almost no resistance, since no one wanted to die for Mobutu, the highly disciplined Rwandans overthrew him and replaced him with their local ally, Laurent Kabila. Then Kabila switched sides and armed the génocidaires, so Rwanda tried to overthrow him, too. Angola and Zimbabwe saved him. The war degenerated into a bloody tussle for plunder. Eight foreign countries became embroiled, along with dozens of local militias. Congo’s mineral wealth fuelled the mayhem, as men with guns grabbed diamond, gold and coltan mines. Warlords stoked ethnic divisions, urging young men to take up arms to defend their tribe—and rob the one next door—because the state could not protect anyone. Rape spread like a forest fire.

    The war ended eventually when all sides were exhausted, and under pressure from donors on the governments involved. The world’s biggest force of UN blue helmets arrived. Kabila’s son, Joseph, has been president since his father was shot in 2001. He has failed to build a state that does not prey on its people. Bigwigs still embezzle; soldiers mug peasants; public services barely exist. The law counts for little. When a judge recently refused to rule against an opposition leader, thugs broke into his home and raped his wife and daughter.

    Mr Kabila was elected for a final five-year term in 2011. His mandate ran out in 2016, but he clings to the throne. He is pathetically unpopular—no more than 10% of Congolese back him. His authority is fading. He can still scatter protests in the capital, Kinshasa, with tear gas and live bullets. And few Congolese can afford to take a whole day off to protest, in any case. But in the rest of this vast country, he is losing control (see Briefing). Ten of 26 provinces are suffering armed conflict. Dozens of militias are once again spilling blood. Some 2m Congolese fled their homes last year, bringing the total still displaced to around 4.3m. The state is tottering, the president is illegitimate, ethnic militias are proliferating and one of the world’s richest supplies of minerals is available to loot. There is ample evidence that countries which have suffered a recent civil war are more likely to suffer another. In Congo the slide back to carnage has already begun.

    Beyond Africa, why should the world care? Congo is far away and has no discernible effect on global stockmarkets. Besides, its woes seem too complex and intractable for outsiders to fix. It has long had predatory rulers, from the slave-dealing pre-colonial kings of Kongo to the Kabila family. Intrusive outsiders have often made matters worse, from the rapacious Belgian King Leopold II in the 19th century to the American cold warriors who propped up Mobutu for being anti-Soviet.
    Nonetheless, the world should care and it can help. Congo matters mainly because its people are people, and deserve better. It also matters because it is huge—two-thirds the size of India—and when it burns, the flames spread. Violence has raged back and forth across its borders with Rwanda, Uganda, Angola, South Sudan and the Central African Republic. Studies find that civil wars cause grave economic harm to neighbouring states, which in Congo’s case are home to 200m people. Put another way, if Congo were peaceful and functional, it could be the crossroads of an entire continent, and power every country south of it with dams on its mighty river.

    If outsiders engage now, the slide back to war may yet be held in check. First, cuts to the UN peacekeepers’ budget, made partly at President Donald Trump’s behest, should be reversed. The blue helmets are not perfect, and cannot protect remote villages. But they can protect cities and are the only force that Congolese trust not to slaughter and pillage. Second, Mr Trump’s welcome sanctions against Mr Kabila’s moneymen—building on earlier embargoes on conflict minerals—should be extended. Donors should press Mr Kabila to keep his promise to hold elections by the end of the year, and not to flout the constitution by running again. In this, they should make common cause with sensible African leaders. The Congolese opposition should take part in the vote, instead of boycotting it.

    A flicker of hope

    The omens are not all bad. South Africa has just dumped Jacob Zuma (see article), who indulged Mr Kabila’s claim that Western pleas to uphold Congolese law were imperialism. (Mr Zuma’s nephew reportedly has oil interests in Congo.) Cyril Ramaphosa, Mr Zuma’s successor, is honest and pragmatic. Just as Nelson Mandela was repelled by Mobutu, and hastened his departure, so Mr Ramaphosa is surely repelled by Mr Kabila. He has experience negotiating the end of bad things, including apartheid, Northern Ireland’s troubles and Mr Zuma’s presidency. He must not let Congo go back to hell.
    https://www.economist.com/news/leade...back-bloodshed

  7. #27
    hellheaven1987's Avatar Comes Domesticorum
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    Default Re: Violence in DR Congo

    In other words, another normal day in Africa.
    Quote Originally Posted by Markas View Post
    Hellheaven, sometimes you remind me of King Canute trying to hold back the tide, except without the winning parable.
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  8. #28
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    Default Re: Violence in DR Congo

    Just another country that has seen a rapid increase of the population. From 40 millions in the 1990s the population is more than 80 million now(doubled in about 20 years). It seems that this is a phenomenon that exists in countries with many tribes(the one tribe tries to surpass the other with child births). Also the country is governed from the west while the majority of the territory is in the east

  9. #29
    dogukan's Avatar Tribunus
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    Default Re: Violence in DR Congo

    Quote Originally Posted by sumskilz View Post
    But you're just talking about the period prior to 1966 again. I asked if you could connect that to what's going on today. I was suspicious that this was a case of claiming it's obvious, we all know that it's always colonialism's fault, without really having a thought out point or knowing much about the history. I see now that my suspicion was well-founded, but if there are any better arguments, I'd be interested.

    Obviously, I'm not really buying Belgium having used its omnipresent power over the last 55+ years to force the retention of the borders of a colony it's no longer invested in and maintain control of the hearts and minds of its people to such an extent as to remove their agency. The Mobutu regime (1965–1997) had an official policy of de-Europeanization and the Western nation most involved in its affairs was certainly not Belgium. Kabila, who came to power after that, had been a Lumumba supporter and then allied himself with various international Marxists. If one felt the need to blame external forces, pointing out the US-Soviet proxy war aspect would have at least made more sense, though only as a contributing factor.

    Speaking of borders though, I'm pretty sure the Belgians did support the Katanga state breaking away during the Crisis. It had been independent prior to the Belgians, at least to the extent that it was the personal realm of Msiri who allegedly held over 500 local chief's daughters hostage as his wives, while he used the superior firepower of his Arab-Swahili thugs to capture slaves and loot local resources, not unlike his northern neighbor Tuppu Tib, both of whom were nominal vassals of the Sultan of Zanzibar. Leopold II was just the newest thug in the game, if I remember correctly, he actually put Tuppu Tib in charge of his operations.
    The connection is to colonialism not to Belgium.
    Colonialism has shaped the institutions, norms, daily life activities and economic structure for reproduction of life, handled a division of labor based on extraction and shaped the "space" of Congo based on that with its institutions and physical space.
    While we do not know what the alternative to colonization would have been, it is undeniable that the state of Congo is an artificial construction of colonialism created not to function but to extract and the people in it were born into this destructive cycle.
    Could the agency in Congo not handle this? Sure, it is a possibility. But a cycle of underdevelopment is not something that you can separate from its history.


    Quote Originally Posted by hellheaven1987 View Post
    In other words, another normal day in Africa.
    I think I am getting old on these boards but these one-liners are unproductive and contribute nothing. Africa has +50 country with 1 billion people living in it I one of the largest continent space on earth.
    So yeah, no. Not "another normal day in Africa"
    "Therefore I am not in favour of raising any dogmatic banner. On the contrary, we must try to help the dogmatists to clarify their propositions for themselves. Thus, communism, in particular, is a dogmatic abstraction; in which connection, however, I am not thinking of some imaginary and possible communism, but actually existing communism as taught by Cabet, Dézamy, Weitling, etc. This communism is itself only a special expression of the humanistic principle, an expression which is still infected by its antithesis – the private system. Hence the abolition of private property and communism are by no means identical, and it is not accidental but inevitable that communism has seen other socialist doctrines – such as those of Fourier, Proudhon, etc. – arising to confront it because it is itself only a special, one-sided realisation of the socialist principle."
    Marx to A.Ruge

  10. #30

    Default Re: Violence in DR Congo

    Quote Originally Posted by IronBrig4 View Post
    The DRC martyrs tend to be martyred by other Christians. Think about how nobody bats an eye if Sunni and Shi'ite Muslims slaughter each other. Same deal.
    They're highly unlikely to be Christians, except as a tribal affiliation or a self-identification or some such, but that's not really what Christianity is. But yeah, in this case it may not be an inter-religious conflict, unlike in Nigeria or Egypt for instance.

    Also, getting involved in the DRC would be a nightmare like Rwanda was. I met Romeo Dallaire, the Canadian officer in charge of the UN mission to Rwanda in 1993-94. If you want me to elaborate, I will, but suffice to say running a UN mission in the African interior is kafkaesque. It's a miracle Dallaire was able to save any Tutsi, let alone the 30,000 or so that he did save.

    No joke. Here's a pic of the two of us.
    While people's view of Africa as a medieval warzone is outdated, it does seem that the continent has no shortage of civil wars and genocides. The situation there seems pretty complex.
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  11. #31
    hellheaven1987's Avatar Comes Domesticorum
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    Default Re: Violence in DR Congo

    Quote Originally Posted by dogukan View Post
    While we do not know what the alternative to colonization would have been, it is undeniable that the state of Congo is an artificial construction of colonialism created not to function but to extract and the people in it were born into this destructive cycle.


    Great, enlighten us which nation does not start as agricultural state.

    Quote Originally Posted by dogukan View Post
    I think I am getting old on these boards but these one-liners are unproductive and contribute nothing. Africa has +50 country with 1 billion people living in it I one of the largest continent space on earth.
    So yeah, no. Not "another normal day in Africa"


    Enlighten us which Sub-Sahara state is governing with high efficiency then.
    Quote Originally Posted by Markas View Post
    Hellheaven, sometimes you remind me of King Canute trying to hold back the tide, except without the winning parable.
    Quote Originally Posted by Diocle View Post
    Cameron is midway between Black Rage and .. European Union ..

  12. #32
    IronBrig4's Avatar Good Matey
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    Default Re: Violence in DR Congo

    Quote Originally Posted by Dr. Legend View Post
    While people's view of Africa as a medieval warzone is outdated, it does seem that the continent has no shortage of civil wars and genocides. The situation there seems pretty complex.
    Very much so, and it is still awash in Cold War weapons shipments.

    Enlighten us which Sub-Sahara state is governing with high efficiency then
    Namibia's doing okay.

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  13. #33

    Default Re: Violence in DR Congo

    Quote Originally Posted by hellheaven1987 View Post
    In other words, another normal day in Africa.
    Indeed. UN is a-okay with civilians being killed as long as petrodollar is safe, and since oil isn't a significant factor in Africa, UN is perfectly fine with more waves of violence in Congo.
    By means of ever more effective methods of mind-manipulation, the democracies will change their nature; the quaint old forms -- elections, parliaments, Supreme Courts and all the rest -- will remain. The underlying substance will be a new kind of non-violent totalitarianism. All the traditional names, all the hallowed slogans will remain exactly what they were in the good old days. Democracy and freedom will be the theme of every broadcast and editorial [...]. Meanwhile the ruling oligarchy and its highly trained elite of soldiers, policemen, thought-manufacturers and mind-manipulators will quietly run the show as they see fit.
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  14. #34
    dogukan's Avatar Tribunus
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    Default Re: Violence in DR Congo

    Quote Originally Posted by hellheaven1987 View Post


    Great, enlighten us which nation does not start as agricultural state.

    Enlighten us which Sub-Sahara state is governing with high efficiency then.
    What does starting as an "agricultural state" mean exactly? What are you trying to adress here?

    And what makes you think governance is a matter of efficiency?

    You said the violance in congo is just another day in Africa, which is stereotyping 1 billion people and 50+ countries.
    Its not a normal day in ghana, ethiopia, botswana, kenya, senegal, cote d ivor, namibia, rwanda...etc

    Africa is a diverse place. Its not a monolithical entity. We are not in the 1980s anymore.
    Do people say "another day in europe" when violance erupts because of all the world wars?
    "Therefore I am not in favour of raising any dogmatic banner. On the contrary, we must try to help the dogmatists to clarify their propositions for themselves. Thus, communism, in particular, is a dogmatic abstraction; in which connection, however, I am not thinking of some imaginary and possible communism, but actually existing communism as taught by Cabet, Dézamy, Weitling, etc. This communism is itself only a special expression of the humanistic principle, an expression which is still infected by its antithesis – the private system. Hence the abolition of private property and communism are by no means identical, and it is not accidental but inevitable that communism has seen other socialist doctrines – such as those of Fourier, Proudhon, etc. – arising to confront it because it is itself only a special, one-sided realisation of the socialist principle."
    Marx to A.Ruge

  15. #35
    alhoon's Avatar Moderator
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    Default Re: Violence in DR Congo

    http://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-44150762

    Ebola outbreak in Congo... Now of all times.

  16. #36
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    Default Re: Violence in DR Congo

    To be quite honest, there isn't really much the UN could do to solve the current political situation in the DRC as the fighting going on primarily in the eastern parts of the country is mostly a series of multiple conflicts. As of right now, there appears to be about 5 or 6 separate conflicts that are happening in the DRC.
    Here are some links to their Wikipedia articles if anybody wants to get a quick summary of the major conflicts going on the DRC right now.

    Kivu Conflict
    Kamwina Nsapu rebellion
    Ituri Conflict
    Katanga Insurgency
    Conflict between the Batwa and Luba
    ADF insurgency
    Lord's Resistance Army (given that this group has its numbers diminish significantly, I'm unsure whether they're active in the DRC anymore)

  17. #37
    alhoon's Avatar Moderator
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    Default Re: Violence in DR Congo

    That's... 7 different conflicts!

  18. #38

    Default Re: Violence in DR Congo

    It's sort of an indicator that the DR Congo is something that only exists at its fullest extent on paper.

    Although I think there's some confusion in this thread. The DR Congo is apparently a paragon of human rights, as is evidenced by its recent election to the UN Human Rights Council.
    Quote Originally Posted by Enros View Post
    You don't seem to be familiar with how the burden of proof works in when discussing social justice. It's not like science where it lies on the one making the claim. If someone claims to be oppressed, they don't have to prove it.


  19. #39

    Default Re: Violence in DR Congo

    Quote Originally Posted by sumskilz View Post
    It's sort of an indicator that the DR Congo is something that only exists at its fullest extent on paper.

    Although I think there's some confusion in this thread. The DR Congo is apparently a paragon of human rights, as is evidenced by its recent election to the UN Human Rights Council.
    Saudi Arabia is also part of that, obviously both countries being beacons of stability and human rights.
    By means of ever more effective methods of mind-manipulation, the democracies will change their nature; the quaint old forms -- elections, parliaments, Supreme Courts and all the rest -- will remain. The underlying substance will be a new kind of non-violent totalitarianism. All the traditional names, all the hallowed slogans will remain exactly what they were in the good old days. Democracy and freedom will be the theme of every broadcast and editorial [...]. Meanwhile the ruling oligarchy and its highly trained elite of soldiers, policemen, thought-manufacturers and mind-manipulators will quietly run the show as they see fit.
    -
    Aldous Huxley, Brave New World Revisited, 1958

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