Congo: how to stop the killing | The Economist

More people were killed in a recent civil war in the Democratic Republic of Congo than in conflicts in Vietnam, Syria, Iraq and Korea combined. The African country may be sliding back in to war, but one man is hoping a message of peace can overcome violence. WARNING: this film contains distressing images.

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It’s one of the deadliest countries on the planet – wracked for decades by civil war, rape, murder, and genocide. Now the Democratic Republic of Congo is in the midst of another crisis and potentially another civil war.

But one group of young people is taking a stand – not with weapons but with a message of peace. Fred Bauma risks his life every day campaigning for peace in the DRC, a country that has grown used to killing.

Between 1998 and 2003 a brutal civil war, and the starvation and disease that came with it, tore the country apart, killing between one and five million people. That makes it one of the single most deadliest conflicts since 1945.

Sitting on vast mineral wealth and situated at the heart of the continent, the DRC could be the crossroads of Africa – if it were peaceful and functional. But the country remains extremely undeveloped. Only one person in seven earns more than $1.25 a day. Life expectancy is just 63 years.

The President Joseph Kabila is standing down after almost 20 years and a battle for who succeeds him is underway. The election due to be held in December will undoubtedly be an unfair fight. At worst, it can plunge the country back to Civil War. The favourite to replace Mr. Kabila could be as bad for the country as the current dictator.

Emmanuel Ramazani Shadary is from the same party as Mr Kabila and is seen as a potential puppet for the president. The two best known opposition figures are Moïse Katumbi, a charismatic former governor, and Jean-Pierre Bemba, a former vice president and rebel leader who this year was acquitted of war crimes. But both candidates have been excluded from the race. Mr. Bauma is a member of Lucha, a youth group that does not engage in politics but protests against the government’s failure to provide services. In the face of mounting violence, Lucha’s peaceful protests provide an alternative to the bloodshed that has plagued the country for decades.

Fred’s fears are justified. One of his colleagues Luc Nkulula was burnt alive in a house fire that was allegedly started by government forces.

If Congo could find stability then the whole of Africa would benefit however it is unlikely that a presidential election will bring about real change. It is a risky moment for this fragile country. In almost 60 years since independence Congo has never had a president peacefully step down. There’s a real chance that the country could fall back into civil war.

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50 Responses

  1. How to stop the killing? A civil war you said?? This is NOT a CIVIL WAR. The media working hard on creating the illusion of the truth and pushing the CIVIL WAR agenda to justify the balkanisation of Congo(the end agenda). My dearest Congo ❤️#Le peuple gagne toujours#

  2. I feel like i should be doing something to help , but then I remember I’m American and no one wants our help

  3. They need to Sterilizes all the people from Africa to many kids suffering from the poor Places

  4. The Economist, you either a liar or you being economical with the truth. Who sells them arms, who is benefitting from this war- reveal the puppet masters- US,UK, France, Belgium ( ?) just asking

  5. This is NoT a civil war it is a predation war done by proxy Uganda, Burundi and Rwanda backed by your Glencore ,Trafigura .war is brought by western multinationals taht do not want to pay for the minerals.Lucha is Soros.Soros is a lutter!

  6. Ugh, this is so easy to do. How many times are we going to regurgitate the same crap? How about getting to the honest root of all the players in the Congo?

  7. That beautiful infant amongst those bodies got me I know I looked at that about 4 times.

  8. I think if they cant get control of there land then the other stronger countrys need to take over just for a bit to get them back up on there feet but doing that would put tremendous strain on those government’s resources

  9. Leopold II of Belgium and Belgium itself are to be thanked. They paved the way to the chaos Congo experiences today.

  10. Congo is all mine like Napoleon
    I will return my brothers and sisters out of misery

  11. Congrats to all the black ppl who let the u.s and other countries pay u to keep your ppl in turmoil while they take your resources and profit.. youre stupid

  12. they should elect me as dictator; one flick of my wand and all the problems will be gone.

  13. Challenge accepted. If the economist wants, they can offer me $10,000,000 (Ten Million United States Dollars) and I will teach them to: "how to stop the killing"

  14. .. This child besides dead mother it break’s my heart 😭 soooo sad. I will prey for Congo…

  15. So tragically terrible . God , please help the people of Africa to find peace and harmony in there country and in there homes .

  16. As long as the US has operatives all over the Continent, there will be de-stabilization in every country (Just like they have done in Venezuela). They will create unrest, supply weapons, etc., as they wipe out resources. Then they will prop up whichever leader is most easily controlled–offering aid (bribes) in exchange for the right to rape the land of resources, use populations as test subjects for viruses and chemicals, including toxins–until the leader becomes too greedy and the CIA will jump in again and restart the process. The UK and China are equally complicit w/ old Charles himself making billions from arms sales–just as he did in Iraq, Afghanistan, etc., and China was the supplier of machetes as they incited the genocide in Rwanda. The elite run corporations, bankers, and warmongers will never stop until the citizens of those countries rid themselves of their own treasonous, tyrannical leaders willing to sacrifice the sons of patriots to serve their insatiable greed and lust for power.

  17. The economist makes such rubbish journalism. What was the purpose of this mini documentary? Who supports the current statuos quo in Congo the economist? Who benefits the most with the congolese instability? Diamonds, lithium, rubber etc.. How many british companies are doing business directly or indirectly with congo? What about Belgian and French? There are no weapons factory in Congo. You need to go further in your investigation and not just blaming the poor african people.

  18. Every time African countries get a leader that wants to benefit Africa, they somehow disappear 🤔 I wonder why

  19. Belgium came, took control of Congo colonized it’s people, committed mass atrocities and left Congo without any much development. Little public infrastructure, very few people were educated. How do you expect the Congolese to lead without support from Belgium. Literally every colonial powers developed their colonies to an extent but Belgium did very little. It’ll take time before the country stabilizes. It’s still a young country. European countries weren’t better far off at the time they formed. So instead of blaming Africans maybe help them to make a better world for all

  20. When talking about unifying the country, do u consider the LANGUAGE in which all countrymen could discuss their issues and be nationalists in same language? @ @ What about the education (Early Childhood Education) of the future generation @ @. Look at the vast Russia, China, USA, EU… have the same language and unit and they rule your country , neighbors and their generation will continue to rule over and over Congo and Africa! @ @ @.

  21. Here we are, the Congo, a country with enormous natural wealth, and yet the government is doing nothing to advance its peoples. Why is it in every case where a resource-rich country stays or becomes poor, its the result of a ruling class getting all the money? Dictatorship needs to stop. NOW. It’s hard to accept but peaceful protests aren’t going to do anything.

  22. The DRC is too big to succeed… If nations of Africa where allowed to come into being in the normal way then each nation would be populated predominately by one people group.. But we have these nations that where cut out as imperial dominions mixing tribes up who are not united.. So we see civil wars as each group of people struggle to put their leader into the position of dictator .. This in conjunction with the mentality of ""Winner Takes All"" sees to it that positions in all arms of government are filled by the leaders ethnic group and allied ethnic groups if they have any.. This winner takes all mindset drives the losers who end up with nothing to fight to gain power.. Leading to an endless cycle of corruption division and civil war… the DRC should be cut up into probably 15-20 different nation states to bring a more peaceful outcome.. But the lure for power and riches that the winning dictator can gain from dominating all other ethnic groups ensures that the deadly game of winner takes all never stops..

  23. I’m a Congolese I was only enjoy 10 years of my life without war, the rest until today I never see peace

  24. Updates: Congo never slid into a civil war and elected a leader who isn’t even mentioned here: Felix Tshisekedi

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