The African Presidents index: The good, The bad and The ugly
APATHY IN REGIONAL BLOCKS
By Dr Antoinette Kankindi (Mushakipager)
In my third year at the Faculty of law, in the University of Kinshasa, we had a certain Prof. Ndeshyo who used to teach a Unit dedicated to the defunct Organisation of the African Union. I don’t remember much about the course, but I do remember that we used to press him with questions about the use of such an organisation for African people. We were too young then to understand the geopolitical intricacies underpinning the entity. He seemed to think that it was last bastion of some kind of Pan-Africanism. I wish I could meet him today and discuss what happened to it; and most importantly what it is the meaning of the AU today for our people.
I thought of this, now useless, unit because of what is happening in the DRC. If we read through the lens of Kabila’s failure to tame rebellions from the Kivu, we can see that, while we’d prefer not to have rebels at all, his tenure characterised by an inexorable destruction of an African power house, should be a challenge not only to the rebels, but most importantly to the leaders on the continent. By this I am pointing to the fact that the AU has been so sickeningly uninterested to the DRC crisis. The leadership on that front seems to act like the Congolese people who are waiting for the “International Community” to solve Congolese problems. I cannot recall any pro-active move from the AU on this matter
You could object to my point the fact that, at least since November, a smaller regional group (CIGRL) tried with a better chance of showing something more promising than the conference of Goma in 2008 (where we had only the defunct CIAT) and the botched Nairobi negotiations in 2009. When CIGRL showed some courage, I thought we had moved to a different stage: Africans working hard to solve African problems. However, there has been a terribly discordant voice in this block: yes you know it, and that is Tanzania. This voice allowed Kabila to mess up again taking us back as far as we were in 2009. But things have changed, African leaders cannot be the ones taking us backwards all the time. The guys fighting in M23 ranks have seen their province, their people and the country being destroyed systematically for the last 20 years. No one needs to prove that. I wish Mr. Kikwete could see where there used to be a road leading to my primary school to witness himself what has happened to it in the last 20 years. And I think any Congolese who is honest can say the same of his home area or his town.
If his Excellency the President of the great people of Tanzania did, he would certainly never send children of this continent to defend the regime that has done that to us. The poor young Tanzanian who was captured in the fight around Kinyandonyi yesterday should be sent back to his president to give a personal testimony, not only about how his bosses members of the UN brigade are working with the FDLR, but also of the glaring reasons why M23 took up the task of fighting Kabila. I hear that Yersterday, the new god of Goma, Mamadou was at it again trying to recapture Kanyaruchinya, he couldn’t though. But he knows, if he is feeling strong because of the UN-FDLR backing, to continue attacking M23, he will find more than his match. In the meantime, we have to acknowledge that continental and regional organisations are failing the people of DRC who have put up with such corrupt governance for over a decade now.