Around this time last year, i was glued to the news, following by the minute, developments in Cote d'Ivoire as they unfolded. Some might remember the post titled 'The country with two presidents'.
This time, its happening even closer home.Africa's second largest country has had elections.Election 'observers' have described the process as fraught with flaws.The Supreme Court, ratified the results announced by the electoral commission, declaring the incumbent, Joseph Desire Kabila, as president-elect. The man has since taken the oath of office, while the country has witnessed heavy security deployments comprising boots and machines. (Zimbabwe's Robert Mugabe was the only foreign head of state who attended the ceremony.)
|A campaign poster bearing Mr.Kabila's photo|
Just like last year, the 'opposition man' Etienne Tshisekedi, has declared himself winner, and is organizing his swearing-in ceremony slated for tomorrow (Friday 23rd December), at Kinshasa's martyrs square. There is potential of many more 'martyrs' being created. We will effectively end up in a similar situation like Cote d'Ivoire's, a year ago. Déjà vu? I wish it were. Only this has happened before.
It is said (and don't ask me by who) that in Africa, incumbents never lose elections. I am happy that Zambia disproved this saying, where Michael Sata is now president and busy implementing his own brand of economics, dubbed 'Satanomics'. But i digress.
|Mr. Tshisekedi who has declared himself president and 'issued an arrest warrant' for Mr.Kabila|
Why am i so interested in the DRC situation? And why does it seem to me like there is little or no interest at all from 'the international community' (whoever they are!)?
I can only answer the first question. This Christmas, many kids across the world will receive playstations, laptops or iphones from 'Santa' (whoever he/she is). These electronic devices contain capacitors manufactured from tantalum, which is extracted from the mineral coltan. You may or may not remember that statement from this other post: 'Is there blood on your mobile phone?'
The DRC contains some of the world's largest coltan reserves, among a host of other mineral resources. However, the wars in the Congo have seen millions of people die and some of the most horrific and widespread cases of sexual violence against women. Remember the 'rape capital of the world' statement?
While kids in other parts of the world enjoy their 'gifts from Santa', their Congolese counterparts will be enduring the uncertainty that continues to engulf their land-especially when their country ends up with two presidents. And that's what worries and gets me really concerned.