Date: Sat, 17 Jul 1999 13:38:04 -0500 (CDT)
From: The Guardian <email@example.com>
Democratic Republic of Congo Plans to dismember country: Receive US support
From The Guardian (Communist Party of Australia), 7 July 1999
The following article was published in "The Guardian", newspaper of the Communist Party of Australia in its issue of Wednesday, July 7th, 1999. Contact address: 65 Campbell Street, Surry Hills. Sydney. 2010 Australia. Phone: (612) 9212 6855 Fax: (612) 9281 5795. Email: <firstname.lastname@example.org> Webpage: http://www.peg.apc.org/~guardian Subscription rates on request.
In the last few weeks plans for the dismemberment of the Democratic Republic of Congo have surfaced. The plans provide for the setting up of a puppet "state" in that part of the territory now under foreign occupation. They are the brainchild of the rulers of Rwanda, one of the leading aggressors against the DR Congo, and have received support in certain leading quarters in the US.
The new chairman of the US Senate Foreign Relations Sub-committee on Africa, Senator William Frist (a right-wing Republican from Tennessee), during a hearing held on June 8 about wars in "Central Africa" publicly raised the issue of "redrawing Africa's borders".
According to Frist, "These borders may not support a viable political entity and may be of limited value in defining our own policy toward Africa."
National sovereignty goes down the drain again.
Since August of last year, the DR Congo has been subjected to aggression, instigated above all by US imperialism, with the aim of subjugating and re-colonising that resource-rich country. Under the leadership of President Laurent-Dsir Kabila, the people of DR Congo have been trying to cast off the neo-colonialist yoke and to build up a democratic state.
The aggressors -- Rwanda, Uganda and Burundi -- have occupied more than a third of the territory of the DR Congo in the east. For several months the war, which is causing great suffering for the Congolese people, has been in a more or less stand-off situation.
In May, the national liberation forces, those of the DR Congo and its allies Angola, Zimbabwe and Namibia, temporarily recaptured the important city of Kalmie on Lake Tanganyika, but Kalmie was soon afterwards again in the hands of the aggressors.
The latter have since also advanced somewhat further in the south-east, posing a more serious threat than before to the important diamond-producing city of Mbuji-Mayi. Recent reports say that Angola and Zimbabwe, despite having serious problems of their own, have reinforced their troops helping to defend that city.
On June 24, the DR Congo filed proceedings with the UN International Court of Justice (ICJ) charging the three aggressor countries with violating its sovereignty, asking the ICJ to order their troops out of its territory and seeking compensation for the crimes committed by them.
The much-publicised on-again, off-again negotiations in Lusaka (Zambia) for a possible cease-fire in the DR Congo, seem designed more to provide a legitimacy for continued occupation of the eastern DR Congo than to get the aggressors out.
The Congolese Government has already categorically rejected a "cease-fire proposal" being circulated by Rwanda, saying its contents "are an insult to international law, trample on the UN Security Council's Resolution 1234, refuse to recognise the Syrte agreement [signed on April 18 by a number of states including the DR Congo and Uganda] and despise the Charter of the Organization of African Unity".
The Congolese Minister of Information, Didier Mumengi, said the Rwandan proposal "can only cause indignation and anger, since it calls for the partition of our country and demands the annexation by Rwanda of the eastern part of the Democratic Republic".
Mumengi went on to underline the fact that the insecurity in Rwanda has its origins not in the Congo but in the culture of Rwanda today which is characterised by hate, intolerance and ethnic cleansing.
"Kagame [Vice-President and strongman of Rwanda] has shown his face as that of a pyromaniac of Africa. He is the biggest obstacle to that peace which has already been agreed on at Syrte and encouraged by Resolution 1234 of the UN Security Council.
"Drunk with his dream of constructing a Hima Tutsi Empire in the Great Lakes sub-region, Kagame is plunging the African continent into those dark ages of wars for conquest which today have been thrown into the dust-bin of the history of mankind.
"The necessity imposes itself, for the international community and for the Rwandan people, of putting Paul Kagame out of harm's way and of treating him as the criminal he is."
The DR Congo, said Mumengi, was striving at Lusaka to obtain "a just cessation of the hostilities, in the form of an agenda for the retreat of the forces of aggression ... in order to put an end to the aggressors' mad adventure and to re-establish, at any price, the integrity and sovereignty of our country". He said the struggle of the DR Congo was a struggle of "African renaissance against the culture of ethnic hate and martial madness", the Congolese Government "remains committed to supporting the dynamism of Lusaka.
"It will bring its important contribution on the express condition that the aggressors retreat from the country's territory, that they desist from interfering in the internal affairs of a sovereign state and that questions of common security for a lasting peace in the Great Lakes sub-region be discussed in good faith."
The Guardian 65 Campbell Street, Surry Hills. 2010 Australia.