Frown Frown



45,000 People Die Monthly in Congo

Posted Jan. 23, 2008 – With the death toll in the Democratic Republic of Congo surpassing any other conflict since World War II, an international aid organization is calling for an increased commitment to improving health conditions and ending lingering vestiges of violence.

"When war destroys a country's economy and infrastructure, there's no quick-fix," says Dr. Richard Brennan, who helped pen a recent report for the International Rescue Committee on the crisis affecting the central African nation. "Significant improvement in Congo 's health and mortality will require years of unwavering commitment from the government and the international community and substantial financial investment. Sadly, the humanitarian crisis in Congo continues to be overlooked and funding remains disproportionate to the enormity of need."

The perfect storm of war, disease and malnutrition are snuffing out an unbelievable 45,000 Congolese every month, and over the past decade, the conflict-driven humanitarian crisis has claimed 5.4 million victims, according to the survey, conducted with Australia's Burnet Institute.

"Congo 's loss is equivalent to the entire population of Denmark or the state of Colorado perishing within a decade," George Rupp, president of the IRC, said in a statement.

Tuesday's release of the survey coincided with the Congo government was slated to sign a ceasefire with eastern rebel and militia factions, designed to smother smoldering tensions in the war, which has lasted from 1998 to 2003. The war formally ended five years ago, but "ongoing strife and poverty continue to take a staggering toll," Rupp said. "The conflict and its aftermath, in terms of fatalities, surpass any other since World War II."

Malaria, diarrhea, pneumonia and malnutrition, aggravated by conflict, were the top killers in Congo , the survey said.

"Most of the deaths are due to easily treatable and preventable diseases through the collapse of health systems and the disruption of livelihoods," Brennan said, noting that Congo spends only $15 per person each year on health care, the lowest of any country in the world. "If you're in the United States , we spend $6,000 per person per year," Brennan said.
 
 BLACK by NATURE, PROUD by CHOICE.
Original Post
Instability and turmoil in the congo is good for global business, when one considers the natural resources there:

petroleum, timber, potash, lead, zinc, uranium (for nukes), copper, phosphates, natural gas, hydropower
Coltan (a metal used in computers and cell phones)

I recommend the book "King Leopold's Ghost", for those who may be interested in some background info. about the congo and its land being pillaged.
quote:
I recommend the book "King Leopold's Ghost", for those who may be interested in some background info. about the congo and its land being pillaged.


Good call! (I think about this book every time I listen to Hugh Masekela's, "Witch Doctor.") It's depressing, though. The pictures of severed hands.... Frown I was relieved when I finished it.

Colonization is evil. Mad
quote:
Originally posted by EbonyRose:
Frown Frown



45,000 People Die Monthly in Congo

Posted Jan. 23, 2008 – With the death toll in the Democratic Republic of Congo surpassing any other conflict since World War II, an international aid organization is calling for an increased commitment to improving health conditions and ending lingering vestiges of violence.

"When war destroys a country's economy and infrastructure, there's no quick-fix," says Dr. Richard Brennan, who helped pen a recent report for the International Rescue Committee on the crisis affecting the central African nation. "Significant improvement in Congo 's health and mortality will require years of unwavering commitment from the government and the international community and substantial financial investment. Sadly, the humanitarian crisis in Congo continues to be overlooked and funding remains disproportionate to the enormity of need."

The perfect storm of war, disease and malnutrition are snuffing out an unbelievable 45,000 Congolese every month, and over the past decade, the conflict-driven humanitarian crisis has claimed 5.4 million victims, according to the survey, conducted with Australia's Burnet Institute.

"Congo 's loss is equivalent to the entire population of Denmark or the state of Colorado perishing within a decade," George Rupp, president of the IRC, said in a statement.

Tuesday's release of the survey coincided with the Congo government was slated to sign a ceasefire with eastern rebel and militia factions, designed to smother smoldering tensions in the war, which has lasted from 1998 to 2003. The war formally ended five years ago, but "ongoing strife and poverty continue to take a staggering toll," Rupp said. "The conflict and its aftermath, in terms of fatalities, surpass any other since World War II."

Malaria, diarrhea, pneumonia and malnutrition, aggravated by conflict, were the top killers in Congo , the survey said.

"Most of the deaths are due to easily treatable and preventable diseases through the collapse of health systems and the disruption of livelihoods," Brennan said, noting that Congo spends only $15 per person each year on health care, the lowest of any country in the world. "If you're in the United States , we spend $6,000 per person per year," Brennan said.


I'm sure that all of this can be spin-doctored into being America's fault if not British colonialism. Roll Eyes

But North America is supposed to be such a hell on Earth. Let the Republic of Congo go on record as being another country that is a better place to live than Amerikkka. Roll Eyes
quote:
Originally posted by Romulus Burnett:
I'm sure that all of this can be spin-doctored into being America's fault if not British colonialism. Roll Eyes


lol The Congo Free State was a BELGIAN colony... Hence the other posters mentioned 'King Leopold'...

quote:
But North America is supposed to be such a hell on Earth. Let the Republic of Congo go on record as being another country that is a better place to live than Amerikkka. Roll Eyes


That 'reading' thing really escapes you... Or maybe it's the comprehension part...
quote:
Originally posted by Romulus Burnett:
I'm sure that all of this can be spin-doctored into being America's fault if not British colonialism. Roll Eyes

But North America is supposed to be such a hell on Earth. Let the Republic of Congo go on record as being another country that is a better place to live than Amerikkka. Roll Eyes




It is however, documented that the assassination of Lumumba was the direct result of orders given not only by the Belgian government, yet also the Eisenhower administration, acting through the CIA.

Lumumba, who was democratically elected. First and last democratically elected, I think.

What stake does amerikkka have in having anything to do with the murder of lumumba?

I suppose democracy (in other countries) are great, so long as it's someone that uncle sam 'likes'...
fro At any rate, 45,000 people dying a month is totally tragic and UNACCEPABLE! Frown When you calculate that a year...it's 540,000 people....OMG! It just goes over my HEAD how Massa can discard us like that....like we're not even HUMANS. They are TRYING so hard it seems, to eliminate/destroy us....one nation at a time. Why isn't there an outcry INTERNATIONALLY? Why do they ignore it when it comes to US? This is the kind of stuff that literally TURNS my stomach. It really breaks my heart to know that our people are seen as untouchables. undesirables. useless. See, when Massa is finished torturing and terrorizing an African nation, what does he do? He wipes his boots of it....and moves on to the NEXT NATION! Over and over again. Pretty soon....Africa will be nothing more than a barren landmass void of people. Watch! fro
quote:
Originally posted by Raptor:
quote:
Originally posted by Romulus Burnett:
I'm sure that all of this can be spin-doctored into being America's fault if not British colonialism. Roll Eyes

But North America is supposed to be such a hell on Earth. Let the Republic of Congo go on record as being another country that is a better place to live than Amerikkka. Roll Eyes




It is however, documented that the assassination of Lumumba was the direct result of orders given not only by the Belgian government, yet also the Eisenhower administration, acting through the CIA.

Yes I already understand that. I don't doubt that the CIA was involved at all but as I said in the other thread who was actually the one that pulled the trigger? The CIA reported that one of their scientists injected him with a leathal agent and put his body in the trunk of a car yet another source says Katungan and Belgian authorities lined Lumumba and three others up against a tree, executed him and buried his body nearby. Somebody is lying. Somebody had to get to Lumumba first. See, unless someone on AfricanAmerica.org was actually THERE to witness what actually happened firsthand I don't want to hear shit about who's information is more acurate because they belong to some special interest group.

Lumumba, who was democratically elected. First and last democratically elected, I think.

But an important peice of information always seems to be left out. Even though Lumumba was rejected by the U.S. when he didn't get satisfaction from the U.N. he sought help from the soviet union to spite the U.S., knowing they were natural enemies.

What stake does amerikkka have in having anything to do with the murder of lumumba?

I honestly cannot say with such conflicting information. I've never been able to find out if the CIA actually pulled the trigger or simply failed to protect him on purpose, thereby, allowing Beligian and/or Katunga enemies to apprehend and execute him. And Belgian constituents all of a sudden coming out and saying they lied about taking responsibility for Lumumba's death is not enough for me. Too many lies, too much deception.

I suppose democracy (in other countries) are great, so long as it's someone that uncle sam 'likes'...

Regardless of who Uncle Sam likes or doesn't like Marxism did not survive in South Africa.
quote:
Originally posted by HonestBrother:
quote:
Originally posted by Romulus Burnett:

Regardless of who Uncle Sam likes or doesn't like Marxism did not survive in South Africa.



Formerly Zaire ... now the Democratic Republic of the Congo....


And that bad old Marxist Patrice Lumumba was soon followed by Mobutu Sese Seko .... The USA liked him a lot.


Always trying to please your demigod masters, regurgitating the same answer oshit asset ranted about in the other thread. I tell you what: You're so smart try and figure out who the real culprit was in Lumumba's demise since oshit obviously doesn't know either.
Every time I think about the DRC, and about the tragedy going on there, I throw my hands up. There is feeling of impossibility about rectifying the current situation that I personally find disappointing. I find myself not wanting to think much about it, because it just seems like a lost cost. But meanwhile, if my math is right, at least three people there have died, out of this month's 45,000, in the time it has taken me to type this post.
quote:
Originally posted by Romulus Burnett:
quote:
Originally posted by HonestBrother:
quote:
Originally posted by Romulus Burnett:

Regardless of who Uncle Sam likes or doesn't like Marxism did not survive in South Africa.



Formerly Zaire ... now the Democratic Republic of the Congo....


And that bad old Marxist Patrice Lumumba was soon followed by Mobutu Sese Seko .... The USA liked him a lot.


Always trying to please your demigod masters, regurgitating the same answer oshun auset ranted about in the other thread. I tell you what: You're so smart try and figure out who the real culprit was in Lumumba's demise since oshun obviously doesn't know either.



I did not regurgitate anything.

I'm not taking sides on the culprit in Lumumba's death.

You said "South Africa". I corrected you. It's Zaire. That much I know without anyone telling me anything.

It's also a fact (in which I need no instruction) that Lumumba was soon followed by Mobutu - who visited the White house several times.

You should try to have a little integrity for a change.
quote:
Originally posted by HonestBrother:
quote:
Originally posted by Romulus Burnett:
quote:
Originally posted by HonestBrother:
quote:
Originally posted by Romulus Burnett:

Regardless of who Uncle Sam likes or doesn't like Marxism did not survive in South Africa.



Formerly Zaire ... now the Democratic Republic of the Congo....


And that bad old Marxist Patrice Lumumba was soon followed by Mobutu Sese Seko .... The USA liked him a lot.


Always trying to please your demigod masters, regurgitating the same answer oshun auset ranted about in the other thread. I tell you what: You're so smart try and figure out who the real culprit was in Lumumba's demise since oshun obviously doesn't know either.



I did not regurgitate anything.

I'm not taking sides on the culprit in Lumumba's death.

You said "South Africa". I corrected you. It's Zaire. That much I know without anyone telling me anything.

It's also a fact (in which I need no instruction) that Lumumba was soon followed by Mobutu - who visited the White house several times.

You should try to have a little integrity for a change.


Just admit you don't know and oshit asset sending you PMs don't count. There is one specific person that was the culprit. Mobutu was only a pawn.
quote:
Originally posted by Romulus Burnett:
quote:
Originally posted by HonestBrother:
quote:
Originally posted by Romulus Burnett:
quote:
Originally posted by HonestBrother:
quote:
Originally posted by Romulus Burnett:

Regardless of who Uncle Sam likes or doesn't like Marxism did not survive in South Africa.



Formerly Zaire ... now the Democratic Republic of the Congo....


And that bad old Marxist Patrice Lumumba was soon followed by Mobutu Sese Seko .... The USA liked him a lot.


Always trying to please your demigod masters, regurgitating the same answer oshun auset ranted about in the other thread. I tell you what: You're so smart try and figure out who the real culprit was in Lumumba's demise since oshun obviously doesn't know either.



I did not regurgitate anything.

I'm not taking sides on the culprit in Lumumba's death.

You said "South Africa". I corrected you. It's Zaire. That much I know without anyone telling me anything.

It's also a fact (in which I need no instruction) that Lumumba was soon followed by Mobutu - who visited the White house several times.

You should try to have a little integrity for a change.


Just admit you don't know and oshit asset sending you PMs don't count. There is one specific person that was the culprit.



I don't know.

I never claimed that I did.

People with integrity don't insist that they know things which they do not.

But how can YOU be trusted to deliver accurate information on events in Zaire ... when you can't even keep the name of the country straight?
quote:
Originally posted by HonestBrother:
quote:
Originally posted by Romulus Burnett:
quote:
Originally posted by HonestBrother:
quote:
Originally posted by Romulus Burnett:
quote:
Originally posted by HonestBrother:
quote:
Originally posted by Romulus Burnett:

Regardless of who Uncle Sam likes or doesn't like Marxism did not survive in South Africa.



Formerly Zaire ... now the Democratic Republic of the Congo....


And that bad old Marxist Patrice Lumumba was soon followed by Mobutu Sese Seko .... The USA liked him a lot.


Always trying to please your demigod masters, regurgitating the same answer oshun auset ranted about in the other thread. I tell you what: You're so smart try and figure out who the real culprit was in Lumumba's demise since oshun obviously doesn't know either.



I did not regurgitate anything.

I'm not taking sides on the culprit in Lumumba's death.

You said "South Africa". I corrected you. It's Zaire. That much I know without anyone telling me anything.

It's also a fact (in which I need no instruction) that Lumumba was soon followed by Mobutu - who visited the White house several times.

You should try to have a little integrity for a change.


Just admit you don't know and oshit asset sending you PMs don't count. There is one specific person that was the culprit.



I don't know.

I never claimed that I did.

People with integrity don't insist that they know things which they do not.

But how can YOU be trusted to deliver accurate information on events in Zaire ... when you can't even keep the name of the country straight?


Integrity doesn't have shit to do with it, especially since you have none nor do you have any self-respect or character. You should refrain from thinking you can tell me something I already know, which was already posted a long time ago in another thread, like Mobutu's involvement in helping to overthrow Lumumba.
quote:
Originally posted by Vox:
Every time I think about the DRC, and about the tragedy going on there, I throw my hands up. There is feeling of impossibility about rectifying the current situation that I personally find disappointing. I find myself not wanting to think much about it, because it just seems like a lost cost. But meanwhile, if my math is right, at least three people there have died, out of this month's 45,000, in the time it has taken me to type this post.


I definately understand that feeling of impossibility... It's beyond frustrating... I've got several friends from the DRC... Man, the stories they have... Betweem their stories and some I've heard from Rwanda, and the Sudan, I couldn't hold back the tears a couple of times. Simply heartbreaking.
Thanks for the response, OA... You know we used to have a female member here from the DRC. Very passionate poster, too. Then there was a report of a major flare-up of violence, and no one ever heard from her again. I think Noah TA was the first one to notice she was gone. This was maybe 2003... Frown

Edited to add: The member's name was Lipati.
quote:
Originally posted by Romulus Burnett:
Integrity doesn't have shit to do with it, especially since you have none nor do you have any self-respect or character. You should refrain from thinking you can tell me something I already know, which was already posted a long time ago in another thread, like Mobutu's involvement in helping to overthrow Lumumba.



You are no judge whatsoever of another's integrity, self respect, or character.

You would have to possess it ... to recognize it.
quote:
Originally posted by Vox:
Thanks for the response, OA... You know we used to have a female member here from the DRC. Very passionate poster, too. Then there was a report of a major flare-up of violence, and no one ever heard from her again. I think Noah TA was the first one to notice she was gone. This was maybe 2003... Frown

Edited to add: The member's name was Lipati.


It's probably not the same poster.. but the person who initially invited me to AA.org was a friend of mine from the DRC.
fro You know when folks make comments like this "When war destroys a country's economy and infrastructure, there's no quick fix," he says. "Significant improvement in Congo's health and mortality will require years of unwavering commitment from the government and the international community and substantial financial investment. Sadly, the humanitarian crisis in Congo continues to be overlooked and funding remains disproportionate to the enormity of need...(BBC news 1/28/08)." Comments like from whitefolks reminds me of the same kind of talk during the Rwanda crisis. Now, one of Congo's natural resources is gold...right? As is Rwanda's? Then why is the WORLD ignoring a similar plight? And the reason why I mention "gold" is cuz that's all MASSA care about. What's in it for him. Oil in the middle east. Surely there are natural resources in both countries[Rwanda and Congo] that can influence him to send troops...the way he sent troops in Iraq...and is potentially thinking about sending troops in to Iran. I guess it's WAY too late for Rwanda. But Congo...I know I know I'm just being hopeful. BUT! the bottom line is MASSA care less if the crisis involves BLACKFOLKS....all he care about is what will benefit HIM in the long run. I guess there isn't enough GOLD to make him consider Congo.... I read somewhere that over 3 millions people have died there since the 90's. Somehow....in all this....I feel so powerlessFrown This has been bothering me all day. BTW...I've ALWAYS hated the name CONGO...as a little girl I remember watching Tarzan and the term CONGO always indicated something bad, dark, ugly and primitive. Anyway... fro
quote:
Originally posted by Kocolicious:
BTW...I've ALWAYS hated the name CONGO...as a little girl I remember watching Tarzan and the term CONGO always indicated something bad, dark, ugly and primitive. Anyway... fro


Reading this, at first I was like, "What the hell is this chick talking about?!" But then, while I hate to admit it, I realized I know exactly what you're talking about. Kind of a barely detectable "embarrassment" at the sound of the name, right? As if it is "stereotypically" "African" and "primitive!" Confused And yet, when you learn and read and start understanding the history, you see proud, powerful, beautiful peoples and cultures in the Congo & DRC. "Belgium" should be the name that sounds savage and backward, right? The colonized mind bears vestigial scars that persist even after it becomes enlightened. It's deep. If people like us have at least a passing familiarity with that feeling, imagine the masses of those of us who may not have the same sense of consciousness we seem to have!

I might need to re-watch that documentary MsPrettygirl posted, just 'cause I feel like being mad again. Mad
Originally posted by Vox
quote:
Reading this, at first I was like, "What the hell is this chick talking about?!" But then, while I hate to admit it, I realized I know exactly what you're talking about. Kind of a barely detectable "embarrassment" at the sound of the name, right? As if it is "stereotypically" "African" and "primitive!" Confused And yet, when you learn and read and start understanding the history, you see proud, powerful, beautiful peoples and cultures in the Congo & DRC. "Belgium" should be the name that sounds savage and backward, right? The colonized mind bears vestigial scars that persist even after it becomes enlightened. It's deep. If people like us have at least a passing familiarity with that feeling, imagine the masses of those of us who may not have the same sense of consciousness we seem to have!



fro EXACTLY... and beauty, pride and POWER were NEVER words connected to "Africa" or its people especially in the late fifties ..early sixties. The word Africa itself was ugly to many southern blackfolks who always said loudly "I'm not FROM Africa....I'm from Georgia." It's sad cuz even Cheeda was treated more human than the so-called "savages" Tarzan lived among. Plus as he swung through the jungle with "boy" on his hips, yelling that famous yep I often wondered why he had so much control over the animals....and the black people who live there did not. Now, I know better and yes like you...I am angry. And it is chilling...cuz even as a little girl, I was witnessing the rape and disconnect of my continent unbeknownst to me [on film]....while Africans saw and felt the destruction of their homeland first hand..EVERY. DAY! fro


Now, one of Congo's natural resources is gold...right? As is Rwanda's? Then why is the WORLD ignoring a similar plight? And the reason why I mention "gold" is cuz that's all MASSA care about. What's in it for him.





I guess it's WAY too late for Rwanda. But Congo...I know I know I'm just being hopeful. BUT! the bottom line is MASSA care less if the crisis involves BLACKFOLKS....all he care about is what will benefit HIM in the long run.
quote:
Originally posted by Kocolicious:
fro NOW...I know this brotha is not BLACK. WHAT he is...is a FOOL! AND A troll. You just outed yourself. I'm glad cuz I knew all along..Romulus Burnett...i.e. Rome...Burn... Got it!fro


You should really take a step back and read your own posts. You've said MASSA more times in one thread than Hattie McDaniel said in the whole movie 'Gone With the Wind'.


20
Originally posted by Dhead
quote:
You should really take a step back and read your own posts. You've said MASSA more times in one thread than Hattie McDaniel said in the whole movie 'Gone With the Wind'.


fro Don't you know YET? Fool. I don't give a fock what you think! It's time for your MEDS!fro
quote:
Originally posted by Romulus Burnett:
quote:
Originally posted by Kocolicious:
fro NOW...I know this brotha is not BLACK. WHAT he is...is a FOOL! AND A troll. You just outed yourself. I'm glad cuz I knew all along..Romulus Burnett...i.e. Rome...Burn... Got it!fro


You should really take a step back and read your own posts. You've said MASSA more times in one thread than Hattie McDaniel said in the whole movie 'Gone With the Wind'.


20


But not as many times as you've invoked him in your posts. Rome burn it. Kokolicious I love you.
quote:
Originally posted by HonestBrother:
quote:
Originally posted by Kocolicious:
fro NOW...I know this brotha is not BLACK. WHAT he is...is a FOOL! AND A troll. You just outed yourself. I'm glad cuz I knew all along..Romulus Burnett...i.e. Rome...Burn... Got it!fro



I'll tell you what he is:

Romulus and his true love.


I think it is insulting to those Gorillas to equate their natural behavior with the likes of Rome Burn-it.

We are tlaking about a genocide, and this fool is posting stupid ass pictures and ego trippin'. I guess African lives don't mena much to 'him'
quote:
Originally posted by Kocolicious:
fro You know when folks make comments like this "When war destroys a country's economy and infrastructure, there's no quick fix," he says. "Significant improvement in Congo's health and mortality will require years of unwavering commitment from the government and the international community and substantial financial investment. Sadly, the humanitarian crisis in Congo continues to be overlooked and funding remains disproportionate to the enormity of need...(BBC news 1/28/08)." Comments like from whitefolks reminds me of the same kind of talk during the Rwanda crisis. Now, one of Congo's natural resources is gold...right? As is Rwanda's? Then why is the WORLD ignoring a similar plight? And the reason why I mention "gold" is cuz that's all MASSA care about. What's in it for him. Oil in the middle east. Surely there are natural resources in both countries[Rwanda and Congo] that can influence him to send troops...the way he sent troops in Iraq...and is potentially thinking about sending troops in to Iran. I guess it's WAY too late for Rwanda. But Congo...I know I know I'm just being hopeful. BUT! the bottom line is MASSA care less if the crisis involves BLACKFOLKS....all he care about is what will benefit HIM in the long run. I guess there isn't enough GOLD to make him consider Congo.... I read somewhere that over 3 millions people have died there since the 90's. Somehow....in all this....I feel so powerlessFrown This has been bothering me all day. BTW...I've ALWAYS hated the name CONGO...as a little girl I remember watching Tarzan and the term CONGO always indicated something bad, dark, ugly and primitive. Anyway... fro


The instability is going on because it benefits the West already...

They never go in to bring 'peace', the multinationals are in their resource raping already.

THE GEOPOLITICAL STAKES
OF THE INTERNATIONAL MINING COMPANIES
IN THE DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO
(EX-ZAIRE
)



BY
PIERRE BARACYETSE
MINING CIVIL ENGINEER


TRANSLATED FROM THE FRENCH


By


Alexandre LOUDIEBO


ACKNOWLEDGEMENT

Albert Caquot once said: "Our thirst for knowledge finds itself quenched, above all, in those synthetic works, which are put at our disposal by the generous endeavors of an enlightened mind. Through these works, we are able to grasp, in an overview that is logical and rigorous, a group of human competencies at a given moment."

To all those who are fighting against intolerance, and who, by their daily life, struggle for peace and happiness among all the peoples of the world, we are dedicating this brief overview of the geopolitical stakes of the international mining companies in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), for it is multidimensional and the main cause of the ills, which are devastating the Great Lakes Region in Africa during this second millenium after Jesus Christ.

Freedom is one of the virtues, which makes man capable of seeking the truth throughout the ages, using his intellect. It happens that, sometimes, this truth hurts, comes out of its well no matter how deep it is... and that martyrdom results from it. Happy is that very one who gives his life for liberty, for the truth, for peace, for equality of opportunities and for all the many other human values, which are trampled upon by the eccentricity of economic interests.


INTRODUCTION

The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is a geological scandal, especially in the South-east Katanga region where are found the world biggest copper reserves, which are not yet exploited, in what is called in English the Copper Belt and which extends to Zambia.

In 1978, DRC was the first producer of this red metal, with 500,000 tons a year. This production reached 30,000 tons in 1985, as a result of a bad upkeep of the mining infrastructures of the major mine of Kamoto in Kolwezi, a section of which collapsed in September 1990 while its production represented 33% of the company, Générale des Carrières et des Mines (GECAMINES), major supplier of foreign exchange for the public Treasury of Congo-Kinshasa.

This lack of upkeep, along with the absence of modernization of the mining infrastructures were generalized not only because of the fall of the copper prices but particularly because of the bad management of the State portfolio by the successive governments of the Mobutu regime.

All the information contained in this document is intended for anyone who wants to closely follow the evolution of the chaotic situation, which is raging in the Great Lakes Region. This data comes from my proper experience in the field, from my research and from numerous other sources.

DRC is also a geopolitical scandal with its flares-up in its quest for political stability since April 1990. This has incited the big transnational mining corporations to turn their backs against it and to go and invest elsewhere during the last few years, especially in Zambia, Chile and ex-USSR.


THE MINING COMPANIES TO THE ASSAULT OF DRC

How to explain this sudden upsurge of interest by the mining companies for this region of Central Africa? And in light of the known transactions, how is the future exploitation of the resources of the Great Lakes Region of Africa shaping itself under this new authority? The answers are to be found in the dynamics of two (2) converging actions:

The First Action:

It consists of pressures put forth by international financial institutions on the countries of the region, so that they repay their debts.

In fact, several developing countries contracted enormous debts from a great number of international financial institutions, such as the World Bank and the IMF, and they are not able to meet their obligations. In many of these poor countries, the national assets and international aid were wasted by dilapidation policies, as in Zaïre for example under the Mobutu regime.

The fall of the prices of raw materials, along with the drop in production of certain raw materials, the carelessness and corruption of governments put these developing States into difficult situations vis a vis international investors. In order to make them live up to their debt repayment schedule, the international institutions compel them to implement a set of economic policies, which generally can be summarized into three (3) unpopular decisions:

1) Deep cuts in State services, especially basic social services (education, health);

2) Privatization of State enterprises;

3) Currency devaluation, whose impact on the population standard of living has always been underestimated.

The Second Action:

It deals with the deep transformation of the world mining industry of the last few years. The mining transnational corporations benefit, in turn, for their expansion from the privatization of State enterprises. The 1970's were, in fact, characterized by the nationalization of industrial sectors, especially those, which were linked to the exploitation of natural resources; these nationalizations were made an integral part of the national development strategy of a great number of African countries.

The reverse movement started in 1993; 18.5% of the overall value of the world mining production (with the exception of oil) was in the hands of the State enterprises. In 1994, this ratio was about 16%, and it was anticipated that, in 1996, it would only be 14%.

It was first in the developed countries that privatization of the mines was the most important. From June 1995 to May 1996, US $2.2 billion were spent for the acquisitions of this type of enterprise. This represented almost the double of the previous year. The share of the mining industry of the Western countries, which belonged to the States, diminished thus of about 40% during this period. In comparison, this reduction was only about 6% in the developing countries. In these countries, the exports of raw materials accounted, for the most part, for the State revenues. Here, the socio-political troubles associated with privatization were, by far, much more important than elsewhere.

This is what explains the fact that, after a first wave of privatization, stronger and stronger criticisms were heard in the developing countries. Agreements, which were negotiated for a long time, were delayed. Several countries of the South were, from then on, inviting "investors" not to purchase State enterprises any longer, but rather to come and create new ones. The financiers, who seek to get a quick turn-around profit on their initial investment, were not very much interested in this. It is in this context that we should examine the recent great interest in the Great Lakes Region of Africa.

Thus, behind the drama under which Central Africa has been living since 1990, immediately following the end of the Cold War, there is an important stake for the transnational mining corporations. Mining resources in other countries of the world have already been heavily exploited, not to say exhausted, and those, which are being exploited, are associated with such tremendous costs.

The great financiers of this world, hunters of mineral resources, have their eyes targeted on Central Africa where discovered mineral deposits are still virgin or ill exploited and likely to open markets to big capital gain investments.

The collapse of the USSR left an open market and has also thrown the planet at the mercy of international finance capital. The disappearance of the communist world put an end to bipolarity, which arose from World War II, thus quickly favoring the rise to power of the multinational corporations, whose expansion and strategies today can no longer be stymied.

In order to ensure their investments, these financiers need a customized economic and financial policy. That is why the mining transnational corporations are fighting over the most juicy bits and pieces in one or the other part of Central Africa, and this in keeping with the political tendencies or "rebellions", which are associated with them and sometimes even created by them.

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