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Question: Can you add to this analysis of the Democratic Republic of the Congo? CPNN article: Moving towards the culture of peace and non-violence in Democratic Rep
CPNN Administrator
Posted: Dec. 31 1999,17:00

This discussion question applies to the following articles:

Moving towards the culture of peace and non-violence in Democratic Rep
North-Kivu, Congo: Peace is needed to stop the use of child-soldiers in the clashes
Local Voices Saying No to War in North Kivu
A Peace Message on the Cell Phones
Un Message de Paix dans nos Portables
Our Actions for a Culture of Peace in the Democratic Republic of the Congo
Nos Actions pour une Culture de Paix en République Démocratique du Congo
Letter from Kivu, Congo
News from JFDHOP (Democratic Republic of Congo)
Democratic Republic of Congo: Activities Report of JFDHOP during the 2018 elections
Young people from DRC and Rwanda demonstrate in Goma for peace in the sub-region
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Posted: June 08 2007,08:07

Anticipating  the questions of readers, I should like to add to  my article on the march toward democracy in the  Democratic Republic of Congo [editor's note: the full original article is available in French by clicking here.

After having lengthily sketched the various mechanisms used by different Heads of State to consolidate  their power,  it remains for us in the last analysis to show how  the Democratic Republic of Congo is engaged on the path  towards a culture of non-violence and peace. Indeed, to show it, we considered it useful to articulate this work in chapters.

The first chapter consisted in speaking about the reign of Mobutu thus and the various strategies he used to hold power. The second chapter was centered on the war of liberation. In this chapter, we showed how people oppressed a long time by the regime of Mobutu were tired of his regime,  especially owing to the fact that it trampled underfoot  the resolutions of the sovereign national conference. Thus, the people gave their confidence to the former rebel, Laurent Désiré Kabila.  

The third chapter turned around the rule of Joseph Kabila who replaced Laurent Désiré Kabila. He agreed to involve the country in the process of peace by accepting the implementation of the agreement of Lusaka, to the point ofl bringing the country to the democratic elections. In continuation, it was a question in the fourth chapter of explaining the concept the culture of peace and non-violence according to the reality of the Democratic Republic of Congo.

The fifth chapter finally considered the climate which animated the moments of the elections in Democratic Republic of Congo, and the entry of the Congolese people into the third Republic, the installation of democratic institutions and the men who must animate them.

Learning the lessons from all these events, our study is completed by a great question And today? We understood that the culture of peace is at the same time a process and an end. As process, the Democratic Republic of Congo engaged in this process, in spite of the course being rocky. Nevertheless,, the country dared to organize democratic elections for the very first time since its accession to international sovereignty to put an end to the war. We dare to accept in spite of certain deviations noted after publications of the results of second turn of the presidential election as well as the unhappy events of the 22 March 23, 2007 in the province city of Kinshasa that the country has already taken up the challenge in its engagement towards a culture of peace and non-violence.


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CPNN Administrator
Posted: June 13 2007,07:05

The following editorial concerning the Democratic Republic of the Congo has been sent to CPNN by the author,  Basumba Bolumbu Norbert.  It was published originally in French in Humanitaire sans Frontières, Journal of education in human rights, international humanitarian law and culture of peace, edited by the Agency for Diffustion of International Humanitarian law in Central Africa, ADDIHAC.

The following English translation is followed by the original French.

The culture of death (By Basumba Bolumbu Norbert)

The culture of death can be regarded as the negation of human life. In other words, human life is not worth anything.

Thus, one can put an end to human life whenever one wants to. This is what happens in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Since 1996, wars have caused the death of more or less 3 million people: men, women and children.

In January 2006, several people were killed during and organized peaceful march in Kinshasa within the framework of demanding political rights.

After the first round of presidential elections, the attack of the residence of the opponent Jean Pierre cost the life of a hundred participants in the armed confrontations of August  21, 22, and 23, 2006, in the city of Kinshasa.

At the least in January 2007, 136 people were killed in Matadi and Boma in the province of Low Congo. During the new armed confrontations between elements of the presidential guard and the guard attached to former vice president J.P Bemba, more or less six hundred people were killed according to the estimate of the German embassy in Kinshasa.

It is astonishing that all these losses in human lives are not the subject of serious investigations to identify the culprits and bring them to justice.

Supposed the authors of these human tragedies continue to profit from impunity, as if the life is not worth anything in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Impunity promotes the culture of death.


La culture de la mort
         (Par Basumba Bolumbu Norbert)

La culture de la mort peut être considérée comme la négation de la vie humaine. En d’autres termes, la vie humaine ne vaut rien.

Ainsi, on peut mettre fin à la vie humaine tant que l’on veut.  Ce qui se passe en Rép. Démocratique du Congo

Depuis 1996, les conflits armés ont occasionné la mort de plus ou moins 3  millions de personnes : hommes, femmes et enfants.

Au mois de janvier 2006, plusieurs personnes furent tuées pendant marche pacifique organisée à Kinshasa dans le cadre de revendications politiques.

Après le premier tour des élections présidentielles, l’attaque de la résidence de l’opposant Jean Pierre a coûté la vie à une centaine de morts pendant les affrontements armés du 21, 22 et 23 août 2006 dans la ville de Kinshasa.

Au moins de janvier 2007, 136 personnes sont tuées à Matadi et à Boma dans la province du Bas- Congo. Pendant les nouveaux affrontements armés entre les éléments de la garde présidentielle et de la garde rapprochée de l’ancien vice- président J.P Bemba, plus ou moins six cents personnes sont tuées selon le bilan établi par l’ambassade d’Allemagne à Kinshasa.

Il est étonnant que toutes ces pertes en vies humaines ne fassent pas l’objet des enquêtes sérieuses pour identifier les coupables et les traduire en justice.

Les présumés auteurs de ces tragédies humaines continuent à bénéficier de l’impunité, comme si la vie ne vaut rien en Rép. Démocratique du Congo.

L’impunité promeut la culture de la mort.
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Norbert Basumba
Posted: June 14 2007,16:18

We have pleasure to express our reactions about the article of Medard du Rocher–Bopé: “ Moving toward the culture of peace and non-violence in Republique Democratic of Congo”.

1.The dialogue inter-congolais was not the initiative of President Joseph Kabila.  These forum was decided during the conference in Lusaka (Zambia) about the peace in Republic Democratic of Congo. In this moment, Joseph Kabila was not president of RDC.

2.The dialogue inter-congolasi is also the volonty of all parties in the conflict: Government of Kinshasa; rebel groups and the unarmed oppositions.

3.The rise to the 3ème republic in RDC is not easy, because all objectives of dialogue inter-congolais are not achieved: mixing of the army (see the situation in the East of country), truth and reconciliation commission, the justice against the alleged criminals of war. It is not easy to build the peace in the country after the armed conflict without justice.

Norbert Basumba Bolumbu
General Director, ADDIHAC
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Posted: June 15 2007,07:03

[editor's note:  The following is an English translation and the original French follows below.]

Dear Norbert Basumba Bolumbu

I read your concern and here is my contribution.

Points 1 and 2

It was signed in July and August 1999 in Lusaka, by the belligerentes parties to the Congolese conflict.  It  provides the foundations of the political processes of negotiation conceived in the intention to promote the national reconciliation and a lasting peace in  the country devastated by the war.   The signatories of the Agreement, recalled here for memory, were the governments Congolese, Namibian, Rwandan, Ugandan, Zimbabwean, Angolan, as well as  the rebels of the Movement of Release of Congo (MLC) and of the Congolese Gathering for Democracy (RCD), which control the east part of the  country. This agreement envisaged a cease-fire controlled by UNO and the disarmament of all the armed groups; the formation of a commission Conjointe soldiers as a prelude to the deployment of an U.N. Force of 5000 men (MONUC), the withdrawal of the Democratic Republic of Congo of all the foreign Forces, a protection for all the ethnic groups, the re-establishment of the authority of the State in all the country, and the opening of “a national dialogue” between government, opposition, groups of ex-rebels, leading up to elections. In practice, the agreement never came into effect, in particular because of the reserve of President Laurent Désiré KABILA.

  The disappearance of “Mzée” KABILA, seemed to open the way for a progressive withdrawal of the foreign Forces of occupation, under the auspices of the Security Council of UNO which heard the new Head of the State  on February 2 in New York; and with a releasing of the “dialogue inter Congolese”, with the mediation of the Gabonese president, Omar Bongo. A meeting of the committee of conflict prevention and management  of the Organization of African Unity (OAU) was also programmed. The change of president with Kinshasa gave place to pressing diplomatic steps, turned in the Great Lakes of the Belgian Minister for the Foreign Affairs and the special correspondent of the European Union, interview with the South-African President, advent of a new Head of the State in Washington and New York, opportunity of a first meeting with Rwandan President Paul KAGAME, all leading toward reactivating the agreement of Lusaka and at organizing a "truth summit”.  Belgium; the old colonial power, which would hold the Presidency of the European Union from July 1, 2001, wished to support a regional solution. Angola and Zimbabwe had “good reason to leave” the conflict in DRC. The Rwandan President, criticized more and more in his country, stated on his side that Lusaka remained “a viable base of work”. And the Ugandan president, Yoweri MUSEVENI, considered, as of the end of January, a withdrawal of his troops, affirming that the “goals of its country were reached” (helping the Congolese of the East, and security of the borders by moving away the Ugandan rebels from them). “One cannot be eternally accused of remaining in Congo to steal its Gold” he declared to the daily newspaper New vision of Kampala. A movement of the Liberation of Congo of Jean-Pierre BEMBA, at the beginning of February moved the young president to start negotiations of Peace.

Point 3

It is today possible in our country to constrain dictatorial power by dialogue and the way of the elections ; the war is like a fire that consumes and that  one does not know how to stop. It is not easy to stop the war; what we must do for our country is to refuse violence in all its forms, resist the lords of war of our country.  Peace is a process.  It is a goal even if one of the points of the Dialogue Inter-Congolese did not succeed such as disarmament, the mixing and the situation of the East of the country.  It  evolves little by little as a  process and we are on the way toward the culture of peace and non-violence


Cher Norbert Basumba Bolumbu

J'ai vu votre concerne et voici ma contribution :

Points 1 et 2 :

L’ACCORD DE LUSAKA                  
Il a été signé en juillet et août 1999 à Lusaka, par les parties belligérentes au conflit congolais,   Il jette les bases du processus de négociation politiques conçu dans l'intention de promouvoir la reconciliation nationale et une paix durable de ans le pays ravagé par la guerre. Lles signataires de l'Accord, rappelés ici pour memoire,était les gouvernements congolais, namibien, rwandais, ougandais, zimbabwéen, angolais, ainsi que par les rebelles du Mouvement de Libération du Congo (MLC) et du Rassemblement Congolais pour la Démocratie (RCD), qui contrôlent l’Est du pays.  Cet accord prévoyait un cessez-le-feu contrôlé par l’ONU et le désarmement de tous les groupes armés ; la formation d’une commission militaires Conjointe comme prélude au déploiement d’une Force onusienne de 5000 hommes (la MONUC), le retrait de la République Démocratique du Congo de toutes les Forces étrangères, une protection pour tous les groupes ethniques, le rétablissement de l’autorité de l’Etat dans tout la pays, et l’ouverture d’un « dialogue national » entre gouvernement, opposition, groupes d’ex-rebelles, menant à des élections.   En pratique, l’accord n’était jamais entré en vigueur, notamment par la réserve du Président Laurent Désiré KABILA.  

     La disparition du « Mzée »KABILA, semble ouvrir la voie à un retrait progressif des Forces étrangères d’occupation, sous les auspices du conseil de sécurité de l’ONU qui a auditionné le nouveau chef de l’Etat dès le 02 février à New York ; et à un déblocage du «dialogue inter congolais », avec la médiation du président gabonais, Omar BONGO. Une réunion du comité de prévention et de gestion des conflits de l’organisation de l’Unité Africaine (OUA) est également programmé. Le changement de président à Kinshasa a donné lieu à de pressantes démarches diplomatiques, tournées dans les Grands Lacs du ministre belge des affaires étrangères et de l’envoyé spécial de l’Union européenne, entrevue avec le Président sud-Africain, séjour du nouveau chef de l’Etat à Washington et à New York, occasion d’une première rencontre avec le Président rwandais Paul KAGAME, visant à réactiver l’accord de Lusaka et à organiser un « sommet de la vérité ». .La Belgique, ancienne puissance coloniale, qui exercera la Présidence de l’Union Européenne à partir du 1er juillet 2001, souhaite favoriser une solution régionale.  L’Angola et le Zimbabwe auraient « la tentation de sortir » du conflit en RDC.  Le Président rwandais, de plus en plus critiqué dans son pays, a déclaré de son côté que  Lusaka restait une « une base de travail viable ». .Et le président Ougandais, Yoweri MUSEVENI, a envisagé, dès la fin janvier, un retrait de ses troupes, affirmant que les « buts de son pays ont été atteints » (aidé aux Congolais de l’Est, et sécurisation de la frontière pour en éloigner les rebelles Ougandais).  « On ne peut éternellement se faire accuser de rester au Congo pour y voler de l’Or » a-t-il déclaré au quotidien New vision de Kampala.  Un mouvement de Libération du Congo de Jean-Pierre BEMBA, exhortait début février le jeune président à entamer des négociations de Paix.

Point 3 :

Il est aujourd’hui possible dans notre pays de contraindre le pouvoir dictatorial par le dialogue et la voie des élections ; la guerre est comme un incendie qui s’embrasse et qu’on ne sait pas comment l’arrêter.  Il n’est pas facile d’arrêter la guerre ; ce que nous devons faire pour notre pays refusons la violence sous toutes ses formes, résistons aux seigneurs de guerre de notre pays  La paix est un processus est un but si l'un des points du Dialogue Inter-Congolais n'a pas réussi tel que les desarmement, le brassage et la situation de l'Est du pays. Cela évolue petit à petits comme processus et nous sommes en route ver la culture de la paix et de la non-violence.
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CPNN Administrator
Posted: Oct. 24 2007,09:34

01/2, Avenue des Ecoles, Commune de Goma
Boite Postale 117 Goma, Province du Nord-Kivu
République démocratique du Congo
Tél. : +243 81 256 0135 / 99 404 2097
contact@adecop.kabissa.org http://www.adecop.kabissa.org

PRESS RELEASE N°013/AD-GO/23-10/2007

North-Kivu: Peace is needed to stop the use of children in the clashes ADECOP (Action des jeunes pour le Développement Communautaire et la Paix), youth organisation based in Goma, North Kivu Province, is closely following the dramatic security and humanitarian situation in this part of eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, and express its concern about the impact of clashes between government forces and the troops of traitor watchdog General Laurent on the rural population of the territories of Masisi and Rutshuru Nyiragongo, especially on children.

If the past two weeks, pressure from the international community, particularly the mobilization of the media and the United Nations, have helped to expect at least a temporary ceasefire, the conflicted parties are still determined to keep fighting, putting thousands of people in forced displacement and several others in a situation of hostage in villages where they are at the mercy of the occupants of the day.

ADECOP is particularly concerned about the fate of children and youth in areas of conflict.

Since October 8, 2007, a team of researchers from the organization has already met a total of 27 children, aged between 11 and 16 years. The children report that they had been used for a period ranging from three days to two weeks by government forces to transport ammunition and food between September 15 and October 11, 2007 in the area of Karuba, Mushaki and Katale. Most of them have been cut off columns of people fleeing the fighting and others were approached by military officials with the promise of receiving money and food. They also report the case of other children who were allegedly abused, injured or killed during these operations. In addition, some of these children say they have been used for highly dangerous missions in enemy territory on several occasions.

For its part, the armed movement of Laurent Nkundabatware, benefiting of the mystery on the composition and strength of his troops resorted to the threat and use of force to compel children to join. In localities of Kitshanga, Kimoka, and Mweso, among other, notables from tribal communities were ordered to join the fight against the Kinshasa government through bringing the younger generation in their communities to enlist in Nkunda's troops. While at the moment his movement is experiencing a wave of desertions and contradictory statements, Nkunda will catch up forcibly enlist children, mainly in the territory of Masisi1 and Rutshuru, in order to maintain its strength on the front lines.

While precarious calm settled, the latest developments in this disturbing context, namely the resurgence of clashes in the territory of Rutshuru last week, reinforce fears of a renewal of the involvement of children in military activities.

The excessive militarization of the areas occupied by the government, from Mugunga (20 km from Goma), and the proliferation of fronts by Nkunda forces confirm the absence of any willingness of the conflicted parties to put an end to their differences through peaceful means. All the suffering inflicted on civilian populations, especially the use of children in the extension of the spiral of violence, are the evidence of the absence of any consideration of human rights and of international humanitarian law in this unnamed conflict.

ADECOP particularly stigmatizes the stubborn of the Congolese government to not accept the option of a peaceful resolution of the North-Kivu conflict, while armed solutions have sufficiently proven their futility and their disastrous impacts on human security in the region. The complicity of some community leaders in the use of children for military purposes demonstrates the growing and dangerous responsibility of these leaders (supposedly on behalf of their communities!) in disturbing peace and the transposing the political conflicts in the ethnic dimension.

According to this situation, ADECOP strongly recommends:

* To the international community: the use all its diplomatic weight to convince the conflicting parties of the urgent need of a peaceful resolution of the current disputes and to remind the Congolese government its commitments as regards the elimination of the use of children in military activities and the Movement of Nkunda, his responsibilities towards the humanity;

* To the Congolese government: to show a sense of responsibility by withdrawing from this war that has no rationale and is only to prolong the suffering of a population already battered by more than a decade of various conflicts ;

* To the Congrès National pour la Défense du Peuple: to stop exploiting inter-ethnic tensions to justify the motivations and purpose of his fight

Goma, Oct. 23, 2007.

On behalf of ADECOP
Action des jeunes pour le Développement Communautaire et la Paix
Youth Action for Community Development and Peace,
Guelord Mbaenda, Director
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CPNN Administrator
Posted: Oct. 30 2007,17:36

Evolution of the Peace Process in the Democratic Republic of Congo

submitted to CPNN in French by Solidarité avec les Victimes et pour la Paix and translated into English by CPNN

For the original article in French, see RDC Solidarite.

From the recent past to today

After the armed hostilities in 1996 and the fall of Mobutu in May 17, 1997, there was a period of relative calm for fourteen months. A new rebellion began on August 2, 1998. Very early, negotiations started in Lusaka (Zambia) and arrived at the first agreements of ceasefire dated from July 10, 1999. It was to oversee respect of these agreements of Lusaka that the Security Council of the United Nations set up its resolution creating the Observation Mission of the United Nations (MONUC).

It was in October 2006 that the first free elections were organized.

To establish an account of the situation is difficult, but it is easier to say that at the present time the effects of armed conflict are still sad at various levels.  There is extreme poverty in the civilian population.  Until the present a responsible solution has not been found to assure access of children to education.

Good news today is that the country now has a Constitution, a President of the Republic, a Parliament and a Senate and provincial assemblies as well as provincial governments following the democratic elections organized in 2007.  In general, the Democratic Republic of Congo is arriving slowly at peace and stability despite the constraints of reconstruction and restoration of a state of law.

Without pretending to be exhaustive, this report is a description of human rights violations on the civilian population in the city of Kinshasa.  Acts of torture continue to take place.  Political assassinations continue to sow horror and desolation.  Great suffering is experienced every day by the victims and their families.  The arrests of defenseless people have not been halted.  

Liberation of arrested victims with conditions

This year 2007 has been marked by the liberation of over 200 prisoners by the Ministry of Justice.  According the report of the Director of the Prison, each prisoner receives a pension of 100 Congolese francs per day (equivalent of one US quarter).  Under these conditions, one can say that the victims have been subjected to hunger and conditions unfit for human dignity.  This report has several cases of victims that have benefited from this measure of conditional liberty.

In the East, Serge Maheshe

On the evening of Wednesday, 13 June 2007, Mr Serge Maheshe, journalist of the Bukavu (East) station of Radio Okapi sponsored by the United Nations, was killed by bullets fired by several unknown assailants as he tried to get into his vehicle which was marked by the symbols of the United Nations.  Aged 31 years, Maheshe, working for Radio Okapi since 2002, was a well-known figure of the press in the region.

In the West, Madame Anne-Marie Kalanga

On 18 June 2007, Madame Anne-Marie Kananga, a commentator on a regular program of the National Congolese Radiotelevision was hit by bullets fired by three men dressed like policemen who attempted to enter her home in a neighborhood in the west of the capital city.  The journalist, hit by two bullets in the leg, along with her younger brother also hit by a bullet in the leg, is hospitalized in the Ngaliema Clinic.

Tolerating child labor

At the root of the tolerating of child labor in the country is the failure to guarantee the right of education for all children.  The right of education is constitutionally guaranteed, but the RDC government has failed to implement its promises according to the Accords of Mbudi.  Parents are not able to pay for the expense to send all of their children to school, and when children have not paid their tuition on time, they are excluded and chased out of the classroom.  These practices should have been stopped after the election, but they continue and the actual cases have been identified.

And finally, according to the Special Envoy of the UN Secretary-General, a country cannot survive unless it allows some political opposition.  This plays an essential role in the reconstruction of democratic rights.  During the disarmament of troops in the city of Kinshasa in 2007, the behavior of the RDC Armed Forces (FARDC) seemed not to be aware of this principle at the basis of the United Nations when they used force and firearms.  There are several cases of victims who were wounded or killed.

Respect for human rights is necessary for a sustainable peace.
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