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  • Writer's pictureWhat is Happening in Congo?

The Faces Behind the Death of Millions

The Democratic Republic of Congo has known violence for centuries now. With a change in fate after the arrival of colonial powers in 1483, there is not a moment in time where the people of this nation have known peace. Although the murder of millions occurred at the hands of many, there are a few key players that should be highlighted, especially those that have not been properly held accountable for their crimes.

Most notably, is King Leopold II of Belgium and the atrocities that he committed in Congo, beginning in 1885. After his arrival, he laid claim to Congo as his private property. From 1885 to 1908, Leopold forced the Congolese to labour under harsh conditions that culminated in their mutilation and/or death. At that time, the majority of the Free State's revenues derived from the export of rubber from Congo, in an effort to maximize the production of rubber the "Red Rubber System" was introduced. Its implementation resulted in millions losing their hands or in death. In total, approximately 6 million Congolese people died under this system.

Paul Kagame, president of Rwanda along with Yoweri Museveni have been silent but deadly when it comes to their involvement in the wars in the eastern region, primarily South Kivu, of The Democratic of Republic of Congo. In 1996, Kagame invaded the eastern region of Congo, without impunity, under the pretense of going after people who had committed the genocide in Rwanda. The Rwandan military targeted Congolese civilians as they massacred children and women. Kagame has been supported by the USA, UK, and France in the form of military and monetary support. The support of Kagame has been so that these countries can gain easy access and control of vital minerals found in the war zones. It is said that Paul Kagame has been instrumental in the murder of 6 million Congolese people in his quest to "revendicate" for the Rwandan genocide in 1994. Along side Kagame, Ugandan dictator, Yoweri Museveni has been instrumental in the strategic killing of Congolese people through war. The Ugandan army assisted the Rwandan army in the invasion of 1996. Ugandan militia groups are still present in the region and continue to kill Congolese civilians. Uganda's efforts are also supported by Western powers.

In terms of the West and their modern day involvement, there are too many figures implicated in the atrocities perpetuated against Congolese nationals. However, Tony Blair, along with Bill and Hillary Clinton are often referred to for their puppeteering and behind the scenes orchestrating of wars in Congo used to gain power,money and conflict minerals. The Clinton's have supported both Kagame and Museveni, once referring to them as "Renaissance Leaders". They have provided countless monetary support to Rwanda and Uganda. Bill Clinton refers to Kagame as one of the greatest leaders of our time, knowing that he is an immoral leader. Similarly to the Clinton's, Tony Blair and other former UK Prime Ministers have shown immense support for Kagame, hailing him as a "visionary leader". Blair has consistently defended Kagame and continued to show support for him, even after countless UN reports describing Paul Kagame's active role in the ongoing genocide, all in an effort to protect the UK's mining interests.

To close this very broad overview of instrumental players in the murder of millions in The Democratic Republic of Congo, I present the former head of state, Joseph Kabila. Much can be said about him, including the legitimacy of his nationality and ethnic background. Rumour has it that he may in fact be Rwandan, however this is not the focus. Kabila, came into power after the assassination of his "father", former rebel leader and president, Laurent Desire Kabila. Joseph Kabila was a dictator in Congo for 18 years. Under his dictatorship the state of the nation worsened in every possible way. Kabila has signed contracts with Western mining companies, allowing them to exploit resources in Congo at the expense of Congolese people. In addition to that, Kabila has close ties with Museveni and Kagame, who we've highlighted as being heavily involved in the death of millions of Congolese people.

In time, there will be an in-depth breakdown on these perpetrators as well as on other influential figures that have flown under the radar in regards to their participation in these atrocities. Congo is a perfect example of Western hypocrisy, and how instrumental this has been in the death of millions. These deaths continue to this day and the world proceeds to be willfully ignorant as it was in the past, when Leopold II mutilated and killed for the exploitation of our minerals.

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