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The Crisis in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Dr. David Benoît-Mohan, président, Alliance Française de Détroit. Aime Mpane. DISCLOSURES 1.) The information in this presentation is based on the internet research of Dr. David Benoît Mohan, who is solely responsible for its content.

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the crisis in the democratic republic of congo

The Crisis in the Democratic Republic of Congo

Dr. David Benoît-Mohan,


Alliance Française de Détroit

Aime Mpane


1.) The information in this presentation is based on the internet research of Dr. David Benoît Mohan, who is solely responsible for its content.

2.) Pictures and information is referenced where appropriate.

3.) The information presented is not endorsed by either the Alliance Française de Détroit or the government of the Democratic Republic of Congo

4.) Only those slides referencing Doctors Without Borders contain information from their websites

5.) Dr. David Benoît Mohan is not a member of Doctors Without Borders

6.) Alliance Française de Détroit and its Board of Directors are supporters of Doctors Without Borders, who are the beneficiaries of this event.

7.) This presentation is absolutely intended to be free of political and commercial bias, and was created to highlight the humanitarian situation of the region.


This presentation contains images of graphic violence, death, and extreme human suffering. Please be advised.

Justice – Paix – Travail

Official Language: French

12th largest nation in the world

Most populous Francophone country (71 M)

No Alliance Francaise in the DRC

Assets of raw material: $24 trillion (Equal to GDP of US and Europe combined)


GDP per capita: $186

$15 dollarsper year on healthcare

congo free state
Congo “Free State”

King Leopold of Belgium

“Personal colony”

Assoc. Int. Africaine

“humanitarian objectives”

Belgian monopoly over other European nations

“Force Publique” enforced rubber quotas by cutting off limbs. Decapitations of men and ritualistic hanging of women and children in the shape of a cross on the pallisades.

Between 1885 and 1908, the population was reduced by half.


the belgian congo
The Belgian Congo

1908, international (British) pressure

Belgian parliament took over administration

Exploitation of tens of thousands of people in rubber, copper, palm oil and cotton industry

Post-WWII, Congolese allowed to buy land and infrastructure created.

“Civilizing mission” linked to exploitation

seeds of independence
Seeds of Independence

Nationalist and cultural movements

World’s fair in Belgium

Charles de Gaulle’s visit to Brazzaville and offer of independence to French colonies

Riots in Leopoldville, and within the “Force Publique” tipped the balance

Kasavubu-first president

Lumumba (prime minister) murdered partly by Belgian government

Patrice Lumumba,


1960’s U.N peacekeepers

Anti-Communist Mobutu takes over after rebellion

Mobutu (head of army) created a harsh, corrupt dictatorship and re-named country “Zaire”

After the Cold War, Western support waned and reformers joining political forces in the First Congo War forced him out of office.

Zaire was a kleptocracy-Mobutu had embezzled the entire value of the national debt.

first congo war nov 1996 to may 1997
First Congo War Nov. 1996 to May 1997

In Rwanda, the Tutsis had gained power

Hutus fled to DRC refugee camps

Mobutu’s army helped these refugee Hutus to attack both Rwanda and Congolese Tutsis in Zaire

Hutu refugees in Zaire

Tutsi militia (Rwandan) and Ugandans, were helped by DRC politicians (Kabila) opposing Mobutu’s dictatorship.

Mobutu was overthrown and Laurent-Désiré Kabila is proclaimed president in Kinshasa.

second congo war coltan war great war of africa
Second Congo War/Coltan War/Great War of Africa

President Kabila, now fearing a possible plan of former Rwandan Tutsi allies to give DRC control to Rwanda, thanked and dismissed them.

Rwandan Tutsi troops attack DRC

Ugandan troops attack DRC to maintain their influence in the region.

Angola, Zimbabwe and Namibia helped Kabila and the DRC.

Kabila turned to former Hutu enemies to balance the power of Tutsis

Rwandans claimed influence, power plants and diamond mines in the East

Kabila’s diplomatic approach worked. Namibia, Zimbabwe, Angola, Chad, Lybia and Sudan as well as U.S., Canada, Australia and Japan supported him.

Nelson Mandela got the Rwandan president to admit his govt’s support of the war.

The UN supported a ceasefire agreement between DRC, Ang., Namib., and Zimb. with Rwanda and Uganda. Ethnic Tutsis in the DRC did not sign

Now there was war between the Ugandan and Rwandan govt. troops in the DRC.

Rwandan govt troops attacked Kabila, as well.

2001 Laurent Kabila


joseph kabila
Joseph Kabila

Laurent’s son, Joseph, is confirmed as President-friendly to the West, and English-speaking Episcopalian

Made peace with Rwanda (US)

Sun City agreements for a democratic system

Pretoria accord for Rwandan withdrawal and Hutu militia dismantling

Luanda agreements: Uganda withdrawing

Inter-Congolese dialogue to allow party system for Ugandan and Rwandan people still in DRC.

UN accuses Rwanda and Uganda of plundering resources from the DRC



Coltan is an essential component in the manufacture of capacitors for cell phones and other electronic devices

copper and zinc
Copper and Zinc

Child laborers in Katanga quit school for mines

statistics on the congo
Statistics on The Congo

5.4 million people have died as a result of the conflict.

2.7 million of the dead have been children.

1 in 5 children will die before their fifth birthday

Average life expectancy is 47 years

Budget has $2 per year on healthcare for its citizens

More than 200,000 women and girls have been the victim of rape or sexual violence

More than 1million people have been forced to flee their homes.

At 20,000 UN troops, Congo is home to the largest peackeeping mission in the world.

The UN Human Development Index report (2009) ranks D.R. Congo as 176th out of 182 countries.

on going conflicts
Kivu conflict: Ethnic Hutus (FDLR) vs. Ethnic Tutsis (Banyamulenge) in DRC

Rwanda supporting Tutsi rebels against DRC

LRA (based in Uganda) now camping in DRC massacring DRC for trying to help the US contain them. Hacking people to death, crimes against humanity and war crimes, including murder, rape, sexual slavery, and enlisting of children as combatants

In North Kivu murder and cannibalism by “Les Effaceurs” against the Mbuti tribe to take their land for mineral exploitation

Mai-Mai (DRC paramilitary) now not controlled by DRC

Ituri: UN trying to contain Lendu (Hutu) vs. Hema (Tutsi) tribal war

On-going conflicts


Lord’s Resistance Army

Mabanga Ya Talo, DRC

death from cholera
Death from cholera



27,000 victims last year in South Kivu alone

"I still have pain and feel chills," said one victim, who was raped in February by five men. They held an AK-47 rifle to her husband's chest and made him watch, telling him if he closed his eyes they would shoot him. After raping her, they shot him anyway.

Many people chose not to be tested for HIV/AIDS because they know they risk being rejected if they are found to be HIV-positive.

Rape survivors are often ostracised by their communities and abandoned by their husbands.

Rape victims are often afraid of having contracted sexually transmitted diseases while unwanted pregnancy also intensifies their trauma, the report says.

Figures suggest between 20-30% of patients, many rape survivors, are HIV-positive

1,152 women are raped every day, which amounts to roughly 48 women per hour.

alliance fran aise de d troit effort
Alliance Française de Détroit effort

Subcommittee for DRC of the Board of AFDetroit

headed by Dr. Benoit-Mohan and Carol Marti

Series of fundraisers to benefitDoctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) field teams in The Congo

June fundraiser with a guided tour by Dr. Nii Quarcoopome, curator of African Art of the Detroit Institute of Arts to view DRC art .

Fashion show in September of a local French fashion retailer

Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) is an international medical humanitarian organization created by doctors and journalists in France in 1971.

For more information on how MSF is helping people in the DRC, please click on the links provided on the website page “DRC-Relief Effort.”

Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières

where the money goes
Where the Money Goes

25¢/day provides two nourishing meals every day for a month to a child threatened by famine

50¢/day provides a month of clean water for 40 refugees

$1/day provides a surgical kit to carry out emergency examinations and basic surgery in the field

$2/day provides a month of nursing care for refugees from war or natural disaster

Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières