Tuesday, August 22, 2006

DRC: Post-electoral gunfights (Update 2)

I have been trying to follow the evolution of the situation as best I could, and it is for once, I must admit, very hard to do from the US. That said, one thing is clear: The troops on both sides (President Kabila, and Jean Pierre Bemba) have withdrawn from downtown Kinshasa, following a UN-encouraged agreement, but Kofi Annan was still asking the two leaders to meet very soon, to put a formal end to all this.

In a secondary development, it seems as though the EUFOR troops that were stationned in Gabon, will now come to reinforce the ones already in Kinshasa, to bring back some semblent of order in the city, and the country. It seems as though they will now get a chance to prove they were not just there to protect the few, or to evacuate Western citizens.

In my search to find out what sparked all this, I found this press statement by the Congolese Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of staff, of the Armed Forces of the DRCongo (FARDC), Lt-Gen Kisempia Sumgilanga. Now the General is somewhat neutral, but he is also issued of the government troops that battled the rebels before the peace agreement of 2002. Keeping that in mind, in this statement, he established his version of the timeline of events, on August 20th, leading to this renewed crisis (Found here[fr] in La Conscience. I will provide a translation tomorrow, but the jist is that the FARDC were provoked, and they defend themselves.

I wonder...


Jonathan Edelstein said...

I wonder if the best outcome in light of all this would be a de facto Kabila-Bemba-Gizenga triumvirate, in which whoever doesn't become president is named prime minister and Gizenga is named VP or president of the senate. Neither leading candidate would have an easy time keeping the country together without the other, and Gizenga's maturity would help both of them.

Michoko said...

Hi Ali :)
I was very sad over the last news from DRC and hope that things will settle down soon.
Take care of yourself :)

Lorraine said...

Hey Jonathan, do you know about Gizenga's history?

Jonathan Edelstein said...

I assume you mean the Stanleyville government? I'm well aware of that along with the other less savory aspects of Gizenga's history. That was a long time ago, though, and given how much the current constitutional structure resembles the First Republic, his experience could be valuable.

If it were up to me, Kashala would be president, but he doesn't seem to have the organization or base of support. Anyway, it isn't up to me, and it shouldn't be because I'm not Congolese.

Lorraine said...

Your assuming that with age comes wisdom/maturity and/or that experience is the best teacher. Just because someone has gone through an experience does not necessarily mean that (s)he has learned anything from it.

If you're interested Mme Dorothee Gizenga writes about her father Antoine Gizenga at http://www.cei-rdc.org/forum.php3?id_forum=1823&retour=article_forum.php3

Black River Eagle said...

Wow! That is a powerful rebuttal by Dorothée Gizenga in defense of her father, Antoine Gizenga, at the CEI RDC Forum site. Did Dr. D. Lynn Waldron respond? Not yet? I've seen the website of Dr. Waldron before while doing online research on the Congo, but thought that the blatant self-promotion at the site was a bit S-T-R-A-N-G-E.

So this is the Gizenga that my friend from Kinshasa said "I wish that my father had lived to see this day... Gizenga finished 3rd in the elections." Just how old is Antoine Gizenga if he served as vice-Premier Minister in Patrice Lumumba's administration? 81 years old!! Joseph Kabila and JP Bemba gonna listen to advice from this man!? You have to be kidding. There are some nice photos of the two front-runners not listening to advice from another older man, European Commissioner Louis Michel, over at the EC's webiste. There's also a photo of Antoine Gizenga and Louis Michel meeting in August 2005:

Somebody needs to update the Wikipedia profile on this historic politician including a reference to his daughter's rebuttal at the CEI forum and Doc Waldron's site.


TheMalau said...

For once, I am not going to participate in this discussion, because you are all doing a great job at framing the debate. I appologize for disappearing, I am having internet connection issues at home. This is pretty crazy, I am trying to figure things out on this end, and to sewhat prospects we have for October.

Anonymous said...

Hi ! It is my first time to post a comment in this forum. My name is Norbert X MBU-MPUTU living in Wales (United Kingdom). I am writer, journalist and reseacher. I a writing for Congo Vision and I made some comments ans wrote aome articles about the now Congo issues. I will post tomorrow an article about "Kabila-Bemba-Gizenga: the vital or fatal triumvirate" as the last article I wrote, I compared Congo and the anciant Roma.
Norbert X

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