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A History of Resistance in the Congo | Possible Futures →

studentofafrica:

Thanks to @viewfromthecave for the link.

The Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) has an image problem. Sometimes it is viewed as the most violent of violent societies. At other times its population is viewed as passive and fatalistic. This essay attempts to shed some light on this paradox. Its underlying thesis is that the Congolese people have shown a great interest in the politics of their country. When given a chance they have used the right to vote in sophisticated ways, and when they felt betrayed have supported dynamic protest movements—sometimes violent, sometimes non-violent. However, there have been long and frequent periods when external interventions have rendered protest seemingly hopeless. During such periods the Congolese have often appeared to be apolitical and passive. Yet there have also been periods where Congolese have mobilized to oppose and even overcome such external intervention, particularly in the East. Ultimately, we must ask ourselves whether the growing resistance to the Kinshasa regime in the wake of the recent national elections will manifest itself in a new (and possibly violent) protest movement, or whether repression by the regime will result in another period of seeming passivity.

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