President Felix Antoine Tshisekedi Tshilombo’s First US Visit: Congo's Government Expectations from the Trump Administration
I. Peace and Political Stability: Prerequisites for the Establishment of the Constitutional Democracy and Rule of Law in the in the DRC
1. One of the main goals of the opposition in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) for December 2018 presidential elections was to remove the outgoing president Joseph Kabila Kabange and his regime from power without more bloodshed. Given the fact that Felix Antoine Tshisekedi Tshilombo pragmatically allowed the opposition and the Congolese people to achieve this objective, it is now critical or even imperative that the United States via the Trump Administration assist him and the Congolese people to consolidate the constitutional democracy and the rule of law on the ground in the DRC.
2. However, it must be pointed out that one cannot successfully assist President Felix Tshisekedi and the Congolese people to consolidate the constitutional democracy and the rule of law on the ground without, first and foremost, securing a lasting peace and political stability in the DRC. Yet, as we know, it is no longer a secret that from mid-October 1996 to present, the lack of a lasting peace and political stability in the DRC in general and in eastern DRC in particular have always been the number one biggest challenge that faced all post- late Marshall Mobutu’s regime, Mzee Laurent Desire Kabila’s regime, Joseph Kabila Kabange’s regime, and President Felix Antoine Tshisekedi TShilombo’s regime today.
3. Peace and security have been the biggest challenges for Congolese authorities because, among other things, from mid-October 1996 to present, the UN Security Council, the United States, Britain, and the international community at large have sided with Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, the current president of Uganda, and Paul Kagame, the current president of Rwanda by accepting their bogus argument the real politick hypothesis.
4. The real politik hypothesis being understood as Uganda and Rwanda’s so-called “legitimate right” to do whatever is necessary to protect their so-called “security interests” within the DRC’s territory. This, in total disregard of both the Cairo Declaration of 1964 regarding the territorial inviolability of national boundaries as inherited at independence and the UN Security Council resolution 1304 calling for Uganda and Rwanda’s troops withdrawal from Congo.
5. Hence, while Paul Kagame considered his invasion and occupation of the DRC’s territory as a legitimate effort to rout out the remnants of Hutu extremist fighters, notably the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR) and former Rwandan Armed Forces (ex-FAR/Interahamwe), mostly responsible for the 1994 genocide that massacred over 800,000 Tutsis and Hutu moderates; Yoweri Kaguta Museveni saw his invasion and occupation as a golden opportunity to eliminate Ugandan opposition groups operating inside the DRC, singularly the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) led by Uganda’s notorious terrorist and war criminal: Joseph Kony.
6. However, as time went by, facts on the ground revealed that from mid-October 1996 to present, Museveni and Kagame’s regular troops along with rebel groups that they and their backers -- notably the multinational corporations involved in the looting of the DRC’s natural resources-- created, trained, equipped, and restructured at their will, invaded the DRC in order to remove late Marshall Mobutu Sese Seko and their former allied Mzee Laurent Desire Kabila (i.e. that they barbarically assassinated on January 16, 2001) from power in order to balkanize the DRC and extend their territorial, economic, and hegemonic ambition in the DRC in general, and in eastern Congo in particular.
7. Kagame’s determination of dismembering Congo was unequivocally clarified on March 18, 2001 when responding to questions that Robin Wright, journalist at the Los Angeles Times asked him.
Question: "Central Africa is facing the most serious set of crises since the European colonial rulers in the 1960s, problems underscored by the assassination in January of President Laurent Kabila. Congo has armies from five nations occupying its land. Will it ever be controlled by one government again?"
Kagame’s Answer: "May be one government, one man sitting in Kinshasa, does not fully address the problems of people who are living in a huge country with the poorest infrastructure on the continent. May be the Congo would be better off with a federal government, with some provinces having some autonomy to govern themselves, rather than always tying them to the central government in Kinshasa. [But for the moment] it’s one country, at least in terms of geographic interpretation, [and] the countries that are in the Congo have not claimed any piece of territory."
Question: "How important is it for the rest of Africa to keep Congo together?"
Kagame’s Answer: "Rwanda today is different from what it was 100 years ago. It used to be bigger than it is. It was dismembered and nothing happened."
8. What do Kagame’s answers tell us? Kagame’s answers suggest that, according to him, as 100 years ago, Rwanda was dismembered and nothing happened; today, The DRC can also be dismembered or Balkanized and nothing will happen. To me, this Kagame’s response to Robin Wright is the kernel of most Hima/Tutsi extremists and their backers’ misadventures in the DRC in general, and in Eastern DRC, in particular.
II. Facts Refuting Museveni and Kagame’s real politik hypothesis, and Explaining the Reasons behind MONUSCO’s Inertia
9. Evidence documented in three different reports on the “Illegal Exploitation of Natural Resources and Other Forms of Wealth in the Democratic Republic of Congo” presented by the international panels of experts appointed by the U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan, corroborate this assessment (See Annex XI. Final report of the Panel of Experts on the Illegal Exploitation of Natural Resources and Other Forms of Wealth of The DR Congo).
10. Furthermore, fierce battles that Rwandan Patriotic Army (RPA) soldiers or Rwandan Defense Forces (RDF) waged in the Haut Plateau highland in Sud-Kivu province against those they were supposed to protect, notably Cdr. Patrick Masunzu, a former Rally for Congolese Democracy (RCD/Goma) fighter. Rwanda’s officials persistent demands for the convenience of a second Berlin Conference, in order to revise borders set by the first Berlin Conference of 1885; and above all, the three bloody battles between Rwandan and Ugandan troops in Kisangani, a bloody battles which caused the massacre of thousands of innocent Congolese civilians, the systematic pillage of Congo's natural resources, the spread of HIV and other infectious diseases, the massive destruction of Congo's ecosystem, as well as the destruction of Congolese's properties, add more substance to our assessment. In other words, all facts above mentioned contradict and/or invalidate Museveni and Kagame’s real politick hypothesis argument.
11. As it can be observed from mid-October 1996 to present, the DRC has always been victim of the vicious circle of invasions and occupations of its territory by Yoweri Kaguta Museveni’s and Paul Kagame’s troops. The use of the notions such as “Congolese rebellions” and/or “Pro-Rwanda’s Congolese rebels” is nothing but Museveni, Kagame, and their backer’s Machiavellian way to consciously mislead those who are not familiar with their lies, ruses, camouflages and deceptions, and smoothly advance their territorial, economic, and hegemonic ambition in eastern Congo.
12. Besides, we must always keep in mind that in the course of the senseless invasion and occupation of the DRC’s territory by Museveni and Kagame’s troops, according to the International Rescue Committee (IRC), a leading global humanitarian and post-conflict development organization working in more than 28 countries affected by conflict worldwide, over 5,4 millions innocent Congolese have been decimated so far, making Museveni and Kagame’s troops multiple invasions and occupations of the DRC’s territory, the dealiest conflict since the end of World War II.
13. Due allowance being made, this Congo’s holocaust is 7 times higher than that of Rwanda’s 1994 genocide and around 2,000 times higher than those massacred during the barbaric terrorism act of September 11, 2001. Indeed, to better understand the gravity of this Congo’s holocaust, one has just to think about a hurricane that totally washes out the entire population of the states Arkansas or Connecticut. Or an earthquake that completely decimates the population of the states of Deleware, Hawai, Idaho, and the District of Colombia combined?
14. And what saddens me the most here is that it was neither a tornado nor an earthquake and less the hurricane Andrew that was responsible for the decimation of over 5.4 million of men and women in the DRC. But these over 5.4 million innocent Congolese were decimated under Yoweri Kaguta Museveni’s and Paul Kagame’s leadership, directly and/or indirectly. Besides, as I tirelessly underlined it in my previous publications, the over 5,4 million of innocent Congolese killed were not mosquitoes or africanized killer bees but they were real human beings with bodies and souls just like you and me, like any other human being. But, despite this Congo’s holocaust, Museveni and Kagame continue to walk freely as though nothing happened.
15. Now, it is becoming quite clear why, even though the international community under the United States leadership, has so far spent over 20 billion dollars to bring about a lasting peace and political stability in the DRC; since the creation of the United Nations Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUC) in 1999, which became the United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO) on July 1, 2010, peace and political stability still remains elusive in the DRC in general, and in eastern Congo in particular.
16. Indeed, aside its colossal budget expenditures above mentioned; MONUSCO has about a maximum of 19,815 military personnel, 760 military observers, 391 police personnel and 1,050 members of formed police units on the ground. Furthermore, by its resolution 1925 the Security Council gave it a new mandate, that of using all necessary means to carry out its missions which, among other things, includes the protection of civilians, humanitarian personnel and human rights defenders under imminent threat of physical violence, and to support the Government of the DRC in its stabilization and peace consolidation efforts. despite these facts MONUSCO is till incapable of bringing about a lasting peace and political stability in Beni, Bunia, Butembo, let say, in the provinces of North Kivu, South Kivu, Maniema, and part of the Orientale province, and singularly in Ituri?
17. Basically, 20 years (that is two decades) later, MONUSCO has revealed itself as nothing but the worst form of “Ridiculous mammoth Bureaucracy”. This is because, despite the colossal budget expenditures above mentioned, and the decimation of over six million of innocent Congolese; apart from some UN Security Council’s usual condemnations, starting with the expressions such as:
“Recalling, Bearing in mind, Reaffirming, Expressing, Stressing, Welcoming, Noting with concern, Underlining, (…), the UN Security Council condemns and/or strongly condemns the continuing activity of and support to all armed groups”, etc.;
The UN Security Council, under the leadership of the United States and Britain, with the collaboration of the MONUSCO, have done little on the ground in terms of persuading and/or forcing Presidents Yoweri Kaguta Museveni of Uganda, and Paul Kagame of Rwanda, to put definitively and permanently an end to their two decades of state-sponsored terrorism, barbarism, vandalism, and genocide in eastern Congo; and getting rid of all kinds of armed groups and terrorists marauding in eastern Congo?
18. In fact, so long as the UN Security Council, under the leadership of the United States and Britain, will never make it clear to Presidents Yoweri Kaguta Museveni of Uganda, and Paul Kagame of Rwanda, to either immediately, definitively, and permanently put an end to their decades of state-sponsored terrorism, barbarism, vandalism, and genocide in eastern Congo, they will face justice in the same way that Charles Ghankay Taylor, the former President of Liberia, did, there will be no peace in eastern Congo. Eastern Congo will remain in a permanent state of war. Why is it that? Map.1 below tells it all.
19. In fact, when you look at Map 1, you will certainly observe that most of the DRC’s strategic mineral resources are concentrated in eastern Congo. Basically, the 3TsG (i.e. Tantalum, Tin, Tungsten, and Gold) which are minerals mostly used in modern industries: cell phones, pagers, computer motherboards, DVD players, videogames, numerous kinds of electronic and communication devices, aerospace industry and jet engines, health care devices, jewelry, ships, weapons systems, energy, ballistic missiles, and so forth, are mostly located in North-Kivu, South-Kivu, Maniema, much of north area of former Province Oriental and in Katanga.
20. As a popular French proverb goes “L’appetit vient en mangeant” (English translation: “appetite comes with eating”). It is very naive for anyone to expect that those who, for two decades, have been enjoying the benefits from their involvement in the illegal exploitation of the DRC’s natural resources and other forms of wealth are ready to willingly quit doing so. As such, it is clear that in the absence of an acceptable level of peace and political stability in the DRC in general, and in eastern Congo in particular, any entrepreneur—foreign as well as national, worth of the name—will take the high risk of investing valuable capital in the DRC. Because this could practically mean throwing one’s money by window.
III. DRC's Government Expectations from the Trump Administration
21. Given the above considerations, most Congolese expect the following from the Trump Administration during the First US Visit of President Felix Antoine Tshisekedi Tshilombo:
A. Persuade and/or constraint President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni of Uganda and President Paul Kagame of Rwanda to immediately, definitively, and permanently put an end to their two decades of state-sponsored terrorism, barbarism, vandalism, and genocide in eastern Congo. Otherwise, they will be in the new future forced to face justice, in the same way that the former President of Liberia, Charles Ghankay Taylor, did. Enough is enough.
B. Reexamine its policies towards Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, the President of Uganda, for the following reasons:
(I) Museveni is the one who sponsored Kagame's Rwandan Patriotic Front invasion of Rwanda in 1994 to install Paul Kagame to power. In the process, it caused the genocide of over 800,000 innocent Tutsis and Hutu moderates.
(II) Museveni is the one who conspired with Kagame and some multinational corporations involved in the illegal exploitation of Congo's natural resources to install Mzee Laurent Desire Kabila to power in Congo on May 17, 1997. In the process, it caused the genocide of over 230,000 Hutu refugees in the jungle of Equateur and around Kisangani in Province Orientale.
(III) Museveni is the one who command the Congolese rebel leader J.P. Bemba and his Movement for the Liberation of Congo (MLC) and supported Wamba dia Wamba. In the process, it caused three bloody battles between Rwandan and Ugandan troops in Kisangani.
(IV) Museveni is the one who, without laughing, curved out an independent province in the sub-region of Ituri, in Congo's Province Orientale, appointed Ms. Adele Lotsove as its governor, and as such, activating and exacerbating hatreds between Hema and Lendu ethnic groups, causing the massacre of thousands innocent civilians.
(V) And above all, Museveni is the one who manufactured several rebel groups of his obedience (i.e. The Congolese Liberation Movement, abbreviated in French as MLC, of Jean Pierre Bemba; The Congolese Rally for Democracy-Liberation Movement, or RCD-ML, of Mbusa Nyamwisi; The Congolese Rally for Democracy-National, or RCD-N, of Roger Lumbala; and The Union of Congolese Patriots, or UPC, of Thomas Lubanga) in order to destabilize Congo. The list can go on and on.
(VI) Why is Museveni acting like this? Museveni is acting like this because, according to him, his “mission is to see that Eritrea, Ethiopia, Sudan, Ugandan, Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi, and Zaire become federal states under one nation. It is not a choice now, but a must that East Africa becomes one nation. Either we become one nation or we perish as the Red Indians perished. As Hitler did to bring together Germany, we should also do it here. Hitler was a smart guy, but I think he went a bit too far by wanting to conquer the whole world” (See, The Executive Intelligence Review, Special Report, June 1997, p.17). How can a leader of country like Uganda admire such a vicious supremacist, warmonger, and genocidaire as Adolphe Hitler?
(VII) Further, Museveni calmed his fears that the United States might not accept his plan in this way: “I know these Americans very well. When I go to them, I talk about regional integration, women emancipation, and environment protection, and they give me money!” (See, the Executive Intelligence Review, Idem.)
(VIII) As it can be observed, the Real Culprit in the Great lakes Region’s nightmare is Museveni. Hope for the DRC’s lasting peace and political stability lies in the USA, which must publicly denounce and condemn the invasion of the DRC by Museveni’s and Kagame’s troops; force these troops to immediately and unconditionally withdraw from the DRC; and urge Museveni, Kagame, and Kuruziza to adopt and implement Constitutional democracy in Uganda, Rwanda, and Burundi.
C. Assist Felix Tshilombo’s regime to create a strong and well-organized, well-equipped, and well-motivated National Army. A National Army capable of telling most of the DRC’s neighbors that, guys pay attention, another Sheriff in is town. If not, Museveni and Kagame will persist in their foolishness in Congo. And sooner than later, eastern DRC will become the predilection homeland of all kinds of terrorist organizations: Al Qaeda, ISIS, Hezbollah, Hamas, LRA, ADF-NALU, etc.
D. Assist Felix Tshilombo’s regime to effectively eradicate diverse terrorist organizations, and disarm and demobilize other armed groups, which continue to control vast mining concessions in eastern in eastern Congo and use their earnings of the looting of Congo’s natural resources to amplify their evil undertakings.
E. Aid Felix Tshilombo’s regime to be able to keep former DRC’s president Joseph Kabila and his FCC in check. Indeed if Kabila and his FCC can, as it looks likely to be now, legally and constitutionally control almost all the offices of the provincial assemblies; place more Governors of provinces at the head of the country's 26 provinces; place the speaker of the National Assembly; place the President of the Senate; select the Prime Minister of their obedience; place at the head of key ministries and the head of the army, the National Police, and secret service ; and above all, if necessary, they can constitutionally unlock the locked articles of the constitution; they is little that President Felix and his regime can do to bring about meaningful changes that most Congolese are expecting. And in this case, the DRC is sitting on a retarded bomb.
F. Assist Felix Tshilombo’s regime to conceive and implement a strategic plan consisting of connecting all old 11 DRC’s provinces by freeways, highways, railways, and other modern transportation and communication means; investing in agriculture, schooling, hospital, baking, tourism, etc. In fact, what a best way of helping the DRC to revamp its social overhead capital, reinforce its national unity and internal cohesion; cement the nation lasting peace and political stability; keep China and Indo- Pakistan’s economic influence in the DRC in check; and above all, reinforce U.S. influence and credibility in the DRC by singing with the Congolese people their democratic battle field song: “Felix, kobosana te, Papa alobaki, le people d’abord” (i.e. Felix, don’t forget, Dad said, people first).
© Congo Vision
Map 1. DRC’s 3TsG Sites / Locations
Sloj, S. Litofe, Ph.D.
USA, July 28, 2020
This paper pursues three objectives.
The first objective is to underscore that peace and political stability are the sine qua non requirements for the establishment of a constitutional and/or protective democracy and the rule of law. The rule of law, in turn, facilitates the establishment of a good governance, which consequently promotes both equity in income and wealth distribution and an effective implementation of corrective justice. Equity in income distribution and an efficient implementation of corrective justice combat corruption, impunity, tribalism, nepotism, and many other mismanagement practices. This, in turn, alleviates people abject poverty and improves their living conditions and their life expectancy..
The second objective is to underscore that, although the UN Security Council, under the US and Britain leadership, established the United Nations Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUC) in 1999, which became the United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO) on July 1, 2010, to cement a lasting peace and political stability in the DRC; twenty years later, this objective still remains elusive. This paper explores the reasons behind this elusiveness. It explains why is that MONUSCO, which is the United Nations’ biggest and most important peace-keeping operation in the world, is still twenty years later after its creation incapable of establishing peace and stability in Beni, Bunia and Butembo. Let’s say, in the provinces of North Kivu, South Kivu, Maniema, and part of the Orientale province, and singularly in Ituri? Why is that? This paper brings to light the facts behind MONUSCO inertia.
The third objective is to suggest practical policies that the Trump Administration could implement in order to assist Felix Antoine Tshisekedi Tshilombo, the newly DRC’s democratic President elected, and the Congolese people to effectively cement peace and political stability in eastern Congo, and by doing so, establish and consolidate the good governance and rule of law, effectively combat corruption and other mismanagement practices, and stimulate local and foreign investments in agriculture, health, education, manufacturing, and services.