We are honored to have a friend from DRC as a guest on our blog today. He is a Congolese man who blogs at https://bukavunews.wordpress.com/. He uses his voice to document the injustices done towards vulnerable women and children in eastern DRC and as an ally, works towards their independence. He shares his thoughts with us today on the 55th anniversary of the Independence of D.R. Congo.
The 55th anniversary of the independence of D.R. Congo: a look at the result.
D.R. Congo is celebrating, today, the 55th anniversary of its accession to independence.
Such a day would be an occasion for the Congolesepopulation in general and the Congolese leaders in particular to question themselves on what they did with the 55 years of independence and to decide of what the future is going to look like.
55 years are not neither a very long time nor a very short time. They are enough time to improve the plight of a population.
Today, when you askthe Congolese leaders how D.R. Congo is doing, they tell you that it is doing well. When you ask them to justify their response, they give you two justifications: first they tell you that democracy has been established through the organization, in 2006, of the first free and transparent elections in the history of the country, and then they boast an economic growth of over 8% that the country realized in 2014.
But you have to be naive to believe that D.R. Congo needed only the free and transparent elections and an economic growth of over 8% to fare well.
Let talk first about democracy.
When they tell us that democracy has been established through the organization, in 2006, of the first free and transparent elections in the history of the country, they forget that democracy does not only involve free and transparent elections but also the freedom of expression and the respect of others main rights and liberties of people.
How many Congolese are in prison today just because they expressed their opinions? How many Congolese are not allowed to move around just because they have no money to give to soldiers to cross the barriers they set up in rural areas?
Let talk now about the economic growth of over 8% the country realized in 2014.
What do we have to do with an economic growth which did not generate employment?
What do we have to do with an economic growth which did not get the Congolese family out of poverty?
Do Congolese people need a growing economy or a living-conditions improving economy?
According to the UNDP's report on the human development in D.R. Congo published in 2012 and whose a French summary can be found at: http://www.lemonde.fr/planete/article/2013/03/15/la-rdc-au-dernier-rang-de-l-indice-de-developpement-humain-du-pnud_1849284_3244.html, 87,7 % of the Congolese population live below the poverty line. That report confirms also that the average revenue of a Congolese is of $ 319 per year.
What to say about this report?
It shows that the 55 years of independence have not been an occasion for the Congolese leaders to improve sufficiently the living conditions of their population nor to make them walk towards a future they deserve.
Congolese who make $ 319 per year and who, I might add, constitute the majority of the population do not have the [means] to see a doctor when they get sick. The water they drink is not potable and the houses they live in are not respectful of human dignity. They take one poor meal per day and transport as well as basic education remain for them a dream.
I cannot finish this article without talking about women who constitute, at this time, over 52% of the Congolese population.
When I ask them what they think about the Congolese independence, they tell me that only men got it. They tell me that they remain not only the machines at the service of men but also the beings who do not have the rights but only the obligations.
When I ask them when they do hope to get their independence, they tell me that the struggle is difficult because men that they call their opponents are well equipped to push back the attack.
The Congolese women are wondering apart from rape, the lack of access to education, domestic violence, earlier marriage, polygamy and levirate, what else they got from the 55 years of male independence in D.R. Congo.