The situation in DRC/Congo-Kinshasa

There are two Congo’s in Africa. The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), also called Congo- Kinshasa and the Republic of Congo (Congo-Brazzaville). This is about the situation in DRC.

The conflict in DRC is the war with most causalities since World War II.  It has previously been estimated that 48 women are raped every hour, making a woman being raped every 75’th second. The country is run by Joseph Kabila, whose soldiers are raping women and children. Two Swedish researchers (Eriksson- Baaz and Stern, see below) went to DRC to interview Kabila’s soldiers about why they rape women. When a woman is raped, her husband is ashamed. He is not “even man enough” to protect his own family and his wife becomes a reminder of his “unmanliness”. Hence she and their children are forced out of their homes by the “man of the house”. Kabila knows this. The soldiers know this. If a man feels like he cannot protect his own family, it is likely that he feels that he is incapable of resistance against Kabila. Rape as a weapon of war is in that way psychological warfare. (Eriksson-Baaz and Stern, 2013 pp. 19-21)

In 1961, the first prime minister of DRC, Patrice Lumumba, was murdered. Still to this date his murder remains unsolved. There are evidence of murder plots from both Mobuto, the Belgians, MI6 and the CIA. The question is not who wanted Lumumba dead, but who came first. Why did so many actors want Lumumba dead? The answer to that question is the same as to why there is a civil war going on in the country.

The Eastern parts of DRC are home to huge mineral resources, especially to a mineral called cobalt. Cobalt can be found in every computer and smarthphone. As long as there is a conflict in DRC, we can get cheap minerals, cheap cobalt from DRC. If there is peace in the country, the prize of cobalt goes up, as do the prize of our electronic devices. Hence nobody wants peace in DRC. Imagine the impact the cobalt prizes have for IT companies and stocks all over the world. Lumumba who wanted to unite the country, was murdered because of this and after his death the civil war, that is still ongoing to this date, broke out.

Denis Mukwege, the Nobel Peace Prize Laureate 2018, talks about the situation in DRC: 


Further reading:

Adetunji, Jo. Forty-Eight women raped every hour in Congo, study finds. The Guardian. May 12, 2011. Available at: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2011/may/12/48-women-raped-hour-congo [2018-08-2]

Eriksson-Baaz,M. & Stern, M. (2013). Sexual Violence as a Weapon of War? Perceptions,Prescriptions, Problems in the Congo and Beyond. London: Zed Books Ltd