Wednesday, January 24, 2018

University of Kinshasa Students Under Seige By Kabila's Security Forces


The University of Kinshasa has been experiencing a very intense tensions today. This morning, the students arrived at the university with the objective of protesting against the payment rate set by the University. In fact the officials are paid at a rate of $58 and yet the University sets a rate of $100 but based on what?* They forget that these officials are our parents and it is thanks to them that we pay our academic fees. This is why the students wanted to protest against this.

Unfortunately, as we are in a state where freedom of expression is violated, the university has become a war zone with uniformed men everywhere, launching tear gas and firing bullets into the students' homes.

What are the consequences? several wounded, property losses and even arrests. We deplore such behavior on the part of the university and the state in an academic environment. Leaders must know that we are in our rights to protest.
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*The crux of the problem is that the rate hikes only apply to students who pay in Congolese francs, which is mostly everyone. Those students who pay in American dollars do not have to pay the higher $100 fee, they only pay $58 for their school fees.  This is a concrete example of how poor economic performance and the volatility of the Congolese franc have had a direct impact on students. Other sectors such as teachers, nurses, doctors, etc have all experienced similar challenges due to the weakness of the franc against the US dollar.



Version Française


Bullets & Teargas canister collected by UNIKIN students
l’Université de Kinshasa vit depuis cet avant midi une tension tres intense. Ce matin, les étudiants sont arrivés à l’université avec objectif de protester contre le taux de payement fixé par l’Université. En effect les fonctionnaires sont payé avec un taux de 92000 franc congolais et pourtant l’Université fixe un taux de 160.000 franc congolais, sur base de quoi? Ils oublient que ces fonctionnaires sont nos parents et c’est grace à eux que nous payons nos frais académiques. C’est pourquoi les étudiants ont voulus protester contre cela. Malheureusement comme nous sommes dans un État où la liberté d’expression est bafouée, l’Université s’est transformée en une guerre avec les hommes en uniforme partout jetant des gaz lacrymogènes, des coups de balles jusqu’à la résidence des étudiants.

Conséquences: plusieurs blessés, plusieurs pertes des biens et même les arrestations. Nous déplorons un tel comportement dans les sites universitaires, les dirigeants doivent savoir que nous sommes dans nos droits.

Etudiant à l'UNIKIN

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Sunday, January 21, 2018

Faith Leaders and Civilians Face Severe Onslaught From Kabila's Security Forces

Testimony: Jean-Marie Kalonji in below photo
Location: Notre Dame
Commune: Lingwala. Kinshasa
Riot police officers fired tear gas during a protest in Kinshasa,
the capital of the Democratic Republic of Congo, on Sunday.
Credit Kenny Katombe/Reuters

Church started at 6:30 am and the sermon was over around 8:20 am. The priests and the people started to march for about 100 meters (30 min), then the population was attacked by surprise from behind and in the front with jeeps and guns.

Given the people were close to the priest the police tried to find a way to separate the people from the priests. The people were kneeling and praying, than getting up and continuing while singing.

The people sat and laid down on the floor on three occasions when attacked by the security forces:
1. First, when the marchers were surrounded the priests instructed the people to sit on the floor. The priests started arguing with the police to let the people march.
2. Second time when the marchers saw that the police managed to separate one of the priests from the group, everyone sat on the floor again while other priests negotiated with the police.
3. On the third occasion, same thing people were kneeling, sitting and standing in one place.

Kabila's security forces started pulling the priests away from the people in an attempt to separate them and drive them back to the church. The marchers quickly recognized the strategy to take the priests back to the church so that the people would be isolated from religious leaders. The people insisted on following the priests back to the church. The police began preventing the people from walking back to church, and came in the middle of the crowd to pull away the priests. The police started pushing people with their guns to try to disperse crowds. Once they managed to separate the people from the priests, they started firing tear gas in the group of people and within a matter of seconds at least 20 tear gas canisters were released. People started running in different directions and others laid on the ground and took cover.

MONUSCO sent one Jeep that was filming and and the press was documenting the repression. The police are currently shooting in the air and going on avenues trying to disperse people from gathering and marching.

Click here to demand justice for the Congolese people!

Friday, December 29, 2017

The political commitment of Congolese Christians, in action, for the DRC

Dear fellow Congolese,

"Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter." - said Martin Luther King. This quote was the basis of this morning's preaching, December 28, 2017, at the Catholic parish of my neighborhood in Kinshasa, DRC.


This preaching has invited Congolese to be Christians with light in their actions that reflect the teachings of Jesus-Christ.  "Mo Kristo azali mwinda": A Christian is a light.

The salubrity that characterizes many cities in the DRC, particularly Kinshasa, is a sign of willful blindness or self delusion that the Congolese people are in ignorance while languishing in misery.

It was pointed out that the humanitarian and socio-economic situation in the DRC is dramatic and is getting worse all over the DRC. Ignorance, poverty, malnutrition, infectious diseases such as cholera and others are raging in the DRC while bad governance, violence, corruption, salubrity, ignorance, moral depravity, mediocrity and injustice are ruling the country.

Any religion that is unable to respond to the socio-economic and political problems of a society, in which it lives, has no reason for existence.

It is therefore essential that Christians receive training on constructive social doctrine of Christianity, to be able to act and live in the world according to the evangelical values.

The Catholic Church has therefore constantly reminded Christians in texts or speeches that are not often unambiguous, but at least have the merit of being clear, the injunction made to Christians to feel concerned by policies /politics. If you do not take care of politics, politics will take care of you.

What is observed is that many Christians are sensitive to the shadows and burden of political action. But those who suspect the politics of infamy often have a short idea. In reality, regardless of its frivolities, its failures and its corruptions, political action has a formidable stake: to tend towards a society in which each human being would recognize in any other human his brother or sister and would treat him or her as equal and with love.

Thus, every Congolese Christian should feel concerned by politics in the DRC. Whenever he/she can, they are called to be active citizen always taking care to minimize the results of their action. In today's society, there are several places where the future of humans is determined. We can act individually or collectively at the level of a family, a company, a region, an association, a neighborhood, a political party, a government, a country etc. The wider is the field of political action, the more Christians are demanded to demonstrate thoughtful commitment.

Indeed, it is the entire daily life (work, nutrition, housing, health, education, leisure etc.) of each human that depends on economic, cultural and state political decisions. Political choices do not only have immediate effects but also long-term ones, they also engage future generations.

All Congolese Christians have therefore been invited to commit for change and freedom in the DRC, a country that is being held hostage by a minority of people who are enriching themselves and exploiting the majority who are languishing in the most abject misery as well as in a dehumanizing insecurity.

A vibrant tribute was paid to all victims and survivors of exploitation and violence in the DRC.

The Congolese laity urged the DRC populations to overcome fear and take their responsibility  by mobilizing for the 31st  December 2017 Christians march in solidarity to claim their rights as well as to act individually and collectively to emit a Christian light in the DRC.

Congolese must no longer be silent about things that matter.

Peace and solidarity
A human being who adheres to Christian values as taught by Jesus-Christ, which are fundamental and universal.

L'engagement politique de Chrétiens Congolais, en action, pour la RDC

Chers Compatriotes Congolais,

"Nos vies commencent à se terminer le jour où nous devenons silencieux à propos des choses qui comptent." – dixit Martin Luther King.

Cette citation était à la base de la prédication de ce matin, 28 décembre 2017,  à la paroisse Catholique  de mon quartier à Kinshasa, en RDC.

Cette prédication a invité les Congolais à être des chrétiens ayant une lumière dans leurs actions qui reflètent les enseignements de Jésus-Christ. « Mo Kristo azali mwinda »: Un Chrétien est une lumière.

L’insalubrité qui caractérise de nombreuses villes en RDC, particulièrement Kinshasa, est un signe d’aveuglement dont souffrent les populations Congolaises qui sont dans l’ignorance et croupissent dans la misère. 

Il a été rappelé que la situation humanitaire et socio-économique, en RDC, est dramatique, et qu’elle ne fait que s’empirer, partout en RDC. L’ignorance, la pauvreté, la malnutrition, les maladies infectieuses telle que la cholera et d’autres sévissent pendant que la mauvaise gouvernance,  la violence, la corruption, l’insalubrité, l’ignorance, la dépravation des mœurs, la médiocrité et l’injustice font la loi.

Toute religion qui n'est pas capable de répondre aux problèmes socio-économique et politique dans laquelle elle vit, n’a pas de raison d’exister. 

Il est donc indispensable que les chrétiens reçoivent une bonne formation sur la doctrine sociale du Christianisme, pour pouvoir agir et vivre dans le monde selon les valeurs évangéliques.

L’Église catholique n’a donc cessé de rappeler aux chrétiens dans des textes ou discours qui ne sont pas souvent sans ambiguïté, mais qui du moins ont le mérite d’être clairs, l’injonction faite aux chrétiens de se sentir concernés par la politique. Si tu ne t'occupes pas de la politique, la politique, elle, s'occupera de toi.

Ce qu’on observe, c’est que beaucoup de chrétiens sont sensibles aux ombres et aux pesanteurs de l’action politique. Mais ceux qui soupçonnent la politique d’infamie s’en font souvent une idée courte. En réalité, même à travers ses frivolités, ses défaillances et ses corruptions, l’action politique a un formidable enjeu : tendre vers une société dans laquelle chaque être humain reconnaîtrait en n’importe quel autre humain son frère ou sœur et l’en traiterait comme tel, en égal et avec amour.

Ainsi, tout chrétien Congolais devrait se sentir concerné par la politique en RDC. Chaque fois qu’il le peut, il est appelé à être citoyen actif en se gardant toujours de minimiser les résultats de son action. Dans les sociétés actuelles, les "lieux", où se joue le devenir des hommes, se multiplient. On peut agir individuellement ou collectivement, au niveau de la famille, d’une entreprise, d’une région, d’une association, d’une commune, d’un quartier, d’un parti politique ; d’un gouvernement, d’un pays etc.

Plus s’élargit le champ de l’action politique, plus s’impose aux Chrétiens l’exigence d’un engagement réfléchi.  En effet, c’est toute la vie quotidienne (travail, nutrition, habitat, santé, éducation, loisirs etc.) de chacun qui dépend des décisions politiques des pouvoirs économiques, culturels, étatiques. Les choix politiques ont non seulement une portée immédiate mais aussi une portée à long terme, ils engagent les générations ultérieures.

Il a donc été demandé à tous Chrétiens Congolais de s’engager pour le changement et la libération en RDC, un pays qui est pris en otage par une minorité de gens qui s’enrichissent et exploitent la majorité qui croupit dans la misère la plus abjecte ainsi qu’une insécurité déshumanisante. Un vibrant hommage a été rendu à toutes les victimes et les survivants de l’exploitation et des violences en RDC.

Les laïcs Congolais ont exhorté les populations  à vaincre la peur et se prendre en charge en se mobilisant pour la marche des chrétiens du 31 décembre 2017,  en solidarité pour réclamer leurs droits ainsi que d’agir individuellement et collectivement pour émettre la lumière Chrétienne en RDC.

Les Congolais ne doivent plus rester silencieux à propos des choses qui comptent.

Paix et solidarité
Un être humain qui adhère aux valeurs chrétiennes telles qu’enseignées par Jésus-Christ, qui sont fondamentales et universelles.

Thursday, December 28, 2017

CONSIGNES DE LA MARCHE DE DIMANCHE

VOICI CE QUI A ÉTÉ DÉCIDÉ APRÈS CONCERTATION ENTRE LE CLC ET LES CURÉS

Marche du 31 décembre 2017

Il n'y aura qu'une seule messe dans chaque paroisse de 6h30 à 8h30. Ensuite les paroissiens avec leurs curés débuteront la marche selon un itinéraire qui sera donné le même dimanche lors de la messe.
Il y aura différents points de ralliement selon les paroisses et les zones géographiques.


Quelques consignes:
* Ne jamais fuir devant les forces de l'ordre , mais serrer les rangs et chanter les cantiques ou se mettre à genoux

* Rester solidaires et s'ils veulent arrêter quelqu'un nous constituer tous en prisonniers

* Face aux gaz lacrymogènes, se servir des serviettes mouillées et avoir de l'eau.
Appliquer la margarine bleu band sur le visage

* Objets à avoir: Bible, rameaux, chapelet, etc démontrant qu'on est chrétiens

* Pas trop boire ni manger.
Se munir de sa carte d'identité ou autres références de son identité, etc.

* Ne pas arborer des calcots ou autres effigies des partis politiques, mouvements citoyens etc.

* Tenues : vêtements de l'église, moklisto azali mwinda, Marie, etc. Ou tout simplement Tshirt blanc, chemise blanche, autre vêtement de couleur blanche.

Messages aux points de ralliement. Numéros de téléphones à avoir absolument:
0819677757 Leonnie Kandolo
0999999519 Jonas Tshombela
Comité laïc de coordination

Friday, December 22, 2017

US Sanctions Israeli Billionaire Dan Gertler Over Dealings In Congo

The U.S. Department of The Treasury sanctioned Israeli businessman, Dan Gertler for his corrupt business dealings in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. He and his associated 20 entities have been placed on the U.S. sanctions list.

Dan Gertler infamously said about his business dealings in the Congo I should get a Nobel Prize.  “They [Congolese] need people like us, who come and put billions in the ground. Without this, the resources are worth nothing.” Evidently the U.S. Department of The Treasury thought otherwise. The Treasury Department said Dan Gertler "has amassed his fortune through hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of opaque and corrupt mining and oil deals." 

Dan Gertler and Joseph Kabila

The Treasury Department noted that "between 2010 and 2012 alone, the DRC reportedly lost over $1.36 billion in revenues from the underpricing of mining assets that were sold to offshore companies linked to Gertler." And in 2013, "Gertler sold to the DRC government for $150 million the rights to an oil block that Gertler purchased from the government for just $500,000, a loss of $149.5 million in potential revenue."

The sanctions prohibit U.S. citizens from doing business with Mr. Gertler and his companies and any  assets held by him in the U.S. will be frozen. His main corporate partner in the Congo, Glencore, has already ceased royalty payments to him.

The Treasury Department highlighted the fact that "Gertler has acted for or on behalf of Kabila, helping Kabila organize offshore leasing companies."  The sanctions against Mr. Gertler could possibly affect Joseph Kabila's access to financial resources he needs to sustain his patronage network.

Source:  United States Sanctions Human Rights Abusers and Corrupt Actors Across the Globe, United States Department of The Treasury, December 21, 2017.

Select Sources on Gertler in the Congo:
Room Of Secrets Reveals Glencore’s Mysteries
https://www.icij.org/investigations/paradise-papers/room-of-secrets-reveals-mysteries-of-glencore/

Meet Dan Gertler, The Israeli Billionaire Diamond Dealer In The Paradise Papers
https://forward.com/news/national/387134/dan-gertler-orthodox-israeli-diamond-mine-billionaire-paradise-papers-congo/

Och-Ziff Capital Management Admits to Role in Africa Bribery Conspiracies and Agrees to Pay $213 Million Criminal Fine
https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/och-ziff-capital-management-admits-role-africa-bribery-conspiracies-and-agrees-pay-213

Gertler Earns Billions as Mine Deals Leave Congo Poorest
https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2012-12-05/gertler-earns-billions-as-mine-deals-leave-congo-poorest

Glencore and the Gatekeeper
https://www.globalwitness.org/en-gb/archive/glencore-and-gatekeeper/

Monday, December 11, 2017

LA POLITISATION DES UNIVERSITES ET INSTITUTS SUPERIEURS SUR L’ETENDU DE LA REPUBLIQUE DEMOCRATIQUE DU CONGO

Avant on nous faisait croire que l’université était apolitique mais laissez-moi vous dire que je vis le contraire depuis mon parcours dans une des plus grandes universités de la République. Les Universités de notre pays sont des véritables champs politiques instaurés par un système bien mise en place pour un intérêt catégoriel. Ce principe de l’apolitisation de l’université n’est que pire distraction et une véritableformalité limitant l’autre partie politique (l’Opposition). Comment justifier qu’une Université qui se veut apolitique, soit diriger à 95% par des autorités appartenant à une classe je cite, « la Majorité Présidentielle » ? Et cela à tous les niveaux universitaires notamment, Corps académiques, dirigeants promotionnels.


Si l’Université était réellement apolitique, on donnerait l’opportunité à tout le monde sans viser sa classe politique ou son statut politique. Je peux encore affirmer que les élections sur les dirigeants des Universités sont également des pires distractions et des pires formalités. La décision finale provient de ce qu’ils appellent eux-mêmes « la hiérarchie ».

Pouvons-nous imaginer qu’un Recteur d’une Université prenne une décision je cite, No0282/2017 du 04 décembre 2017 excluantinstantanément certains étudiants définitivement de l’Universités rien que pour avoir participer à une marche pacifique du 30 novembre 2017 lancée par le rassemblement dirigé par Felix TSHISEKEDI qui est un droit pour tout citoyen. Et cela, sans avertissement, notification, convocation voire même interrogatoire, mais tenant seulement compte de la liste lui avoir dressée par une personne. Cela prouve à suffisance qu’une telle décision est prise sous pression d’une partie qui veut adopter une certaine stratégie d’étouffer une jeunesse engagée au changement.

Voici un autre point démontrant la politisation des Universités ; à chaque fois qu’il y a un petit bruit à l’Université auquel, les étudiants revendiquent leur droit, on voit la présence des Policiers, des Militaires dans l’Université comme s’ils allaient à la guerre. Une personne qui arrive pour la première fois à l’Université se croirait à l’EST du pays car les coups des balles, les Gaz lacrymogènes etc., sont injustifiables dans une Université, source du savoir qui requière du calme. Ces policiers opèrent même des actes de violations en confisquant des histoires auprès de ces étudiants. D’autres pénètrentmême jusque dans les domiciles de ces étudiants, pour ne pas dire leurs homes. La question que l’on se pose tous est de savoir, à quoi servent les gardes Universitaires?

Dans une Université, on retrouve trop de Mouchards et le service de renseignement présidentiel, pourquoi ? Parce que l’Université est devenue politisée et devient un milieu dangereux des politiciens.

Nos Universités sont devenues en insécurités, sauvez-les quand il est encore temps sinon il sera tard. Les futures cadres sortiront de là.

Depuis l’Université de Kinshasa, les étudiants engagés

Click here to support the youth movement in the Congo!

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

STOP MUSEVENI CAMPAIGN

What: Press Conference
When: September 19, 2017
Time: 12:30 PM Sharp
Where: Dag Hammarskjold Park. East 47 Street between 1st and 2nd Avenues,Manhattan

Principal Speakers:
Milton Allimadi, Publisher/CEO, Black Star News
Kambale Musavuli, Spokesperson, Friends of the Congo
Imam Talib Abur-Rashid, Mosque of Islamic Brotherhood
Dr. Ron Daniels, President, Institute of the Black World 21 st Century

NEW YORK-- A coalition of African and Diaspora African advocates for accountable government in Africa, affiliated with the Pan African Unity Dialogue, will launch the STOP MUSEVENI CAMPAIGN at a Press Conference Tuesday, September 19, 12:30 PM at the Dag Hammarskjold Plaza, East 47 th Street near the U.N. The group has labeled General Yoweri Museveni, President of Uganda, “Africa’s Destablizer-in- Chief” for his destructive interventions and meddling in the affairs of neighboring nations. General Museveni has either initiated or supported wars against Rwanda (1990), Congo (1997), and South Sudan (2013), directly or indirectly leading to the deaths of millions of Africans and the destruction of billions of dollars in property. In 2005 the International Court of Justice (ICJ) ordered Uganda to pay the Congo $10 billion in reparations for war crimes against Congo and launched an investigation into Museveni’s activities in the region. U.S. taxpayers are the primary underwriters of General Museveni’s regime. He receives $750 million annually in U.S. financial and military aid. The U.S. claims Museveni as an ally and it is widely believed that he operates with the tacit blessing of Washington.

The Stop Museveni Coalition has adopted a Preliminary Action Plan to educate the public and build a national/international movement to compel Museveni to stop his destructive behavior:
■ Demand an arms embargo against the government of Gen. Museveni to force him to withdraw Ugandan troops from South Sudan and to prevent him from escalating the war by supplying arms to President Salva Kiir as documented by a U.N. Report to the Security Council.
■ Demand that General Museveni abide by the recommendation of the United Nation's Group of Experts' Report to the Security Council supporting dialogue to resolve the conflict between the belligerents President Kiir and exiled Vice President Riek Machar.
■ Demand that the U.S. stop Museveni from arming the brutal M23 Congolese insurgents as documented in several U.N. Reports
■ Demand that the Museveni regime enter into negotiations with legitimate representatives of the Congo to settle the $10 billion (now approximately over $30 billion with interests and penalties) in reparations awarded to the Congo in 2005 by the International Court of Justice (ICJ) for war crimes by Uganda's military in the Congo.
■ Demand a Commission of Inquiry to ascertain whether the U.S. blocked an International Criminal Court (ICC) investigation into alleged war crimes by Uganda's military in the Congo which could have resulted in the possible indictment of Gen. Museveni.
■ Demand that the U.S. Review its $750 million in annual aid to Uganda to ensure that none of it goes to police and Army units utilized by Museveni to suppress internal dissent.
■ Demand that Museveni regime enter into dialogue with civil society leaders and the opposition leaders including Dr. Kizza Besigye, candidate in the 2016 disputed elections which Ugandan and international observers concluded were not free, fair or credible.

Under Milton Allimadi’s leadership, the Coalition plans to hold a series of education/public awareness events and utilize social media platforms to expose General Museveni’s destructive behavior and the role of the U.S. Government in supporting him. They hope to galvanize massive pressure to Stop Africa’s Destabilzer-in- Chief in order to give peace, justice and prosperity chance to thrive in what is currently a very troubled region.

The Pan African Unity Dialogue (PAUD) is an umbrella organization of Continental African, Caribbean American, Afro-Latino and African American leaders and organizations committed to promoting Unity, Cooperation and Action among people of African descent in the U.S. PAUD is an Initiative of the Institute of the Black World 21 st Century. www.ibw21.org

For information on the Stop Museveni Campaign Contact:
Milton Allimadi: mallimadi@gmail.com – 646.261.7566