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.
Dr. David Benoît-Mohan,
Alliance Française de Détroit
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.
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
King Leopold of Belgium
Assoc. Int. Africaine
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.
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
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
Lumumba (prime minister) murdered partly by Belgian government
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.
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
Mobutu was overthrown and Laurent-Désiré Kabila is proclaimed president in Kinshasa.
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.
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.
Now there was war between the Ugandan and Rwandan govt. troops in the DRC.
Rwandan govt troops attacked Kabila, as well.
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
Child laborers in Katanga quit school for mines
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.
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 warOn-going conflicts
Lord’s Resistance Army
Mabanga Ya Talo, DRC
"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.
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.
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
For more information on how MSF is helping people in the DRC, please click on the links provided on the afdetroit.org website page “DRC-Relief Effort.”
Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières
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