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

Friday, August 04, 2017

Western Media Coverage of Paul Kagame and the Rwandan Elections

Paul Kagame of Rwanda has long been the darling of the Western media. He has aptly been called the West's friendly tyrant. However, the recent media coverage has been the most critical one has seen.

Nation Magazine
https://www.thenation.com/article/rwandas-elections-and-the-myth-of-womens-empowerment/

Financial Times
https://www.ft.com/content/df2bb400-769f-11e7-90c0-90a9d1bc9691 

Wall street journal
https://www.wsj.com/articles/rwandas-success-story-adds-a-dark-new-chapter-1501666202

Washington Post
https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/africa/kagame-seems-set-to-win-again-in-rwanda-but-is-he-a-miracle-man-or-a-nascent-dictator/2017/07/31/069f832a-75fd-11e7-8c17-533c52b2f014_story.html?utm_term=.abe12d93c7bc

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/africa/in-rwanda-little-challenge-seen-in-presidential-election/2017/08/02/e3d72b52-776b-11e7-8c17-533c52b2f014_story.html?utm_term=.6735ee8a5c6a

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/democracy-post/wp/2017/08/01/dont-be-fooled-by-those-happy-campaign-rallies-rwandans-live-in-fear/?utm_term=.d8865a5b4f9d

New York Times
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/08/02/opinion/paul-kagame-rwandas-forever-president.html

The Times
https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/rwanda-voters-too-scared-to-criticise-repressive-kagame-x06q2q62m

Daily Mail
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4721282/Despot-dictator-Rwanda-sent-hitmen-UK-kill-rivals.html

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/wires/afp/article-4748488/Rwandas-Paul-Kagame-visionary-despot-both.html

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4721282/Despot-dictator-Rwanda-sent-hitmen-UK-kill-rivals.html

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/wires/afp/article-4743370/Ruling-partys-business-arm-dominates-Rwandan-economy.html

Express
https://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/832180/New-foreign-aid-outrage-scandal-money-dictator-Rwanda/amp

The Sun
https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/4082498/britain-gives-64million-in-foreign-aid-to-despot-rwanda-dictator/

The telegraph
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/07/30/rwanda-has-rebuilt-now-ruled-iron-fist/

Deutshe well
http://www.dw.com/fr/au-rwanda-les-femmes-qui-font-peur-%C3%A0-paul-kagam%C3%A9/a-39905748

http://www.dw.com/fr/pr%C3%A9sidentielle-au-rwanda-des-candidats-harcel%C3%A9s/a-39925876

http://www.dw.com/fr/lomnipr%C3%A9sence-de-paul-kagame-cache-des-blessures-encore-vives/a-39533348

Newsweek
http://www.newsweek.com/2017/07/21/kagame-presidency-stability-rwanda-elections-635018.html

Follow AGLAN and Congo Crisis for the latest updates on the Rwandan elections.

Friday, July 21, 2017

Jean-Marie and Sylva Released From Military Detention Center

On Monday, July 17, 2017, Jean-Marie Kalonji and Sylva Mbikayi were released from the Military Detection of Unpatriotic Activities (DEMIAP) detention center. The two young activists were detained on June 23rd without being charged of any crimes.


According to Jean-Marie and Sylva, the soldiers who detained them were concerned that they were working with foreign governments to destabilize the Kabila regime. They encountered many other youth in DEMIAP who were detained on similar suspicions. Unlike many of the youth who remain detained at DEMIAP, Jean-Marie and Sylva benefited from an international awareness campaign and empathetic individuals of conscience who facilitated their release. Although the Minister of Human Rights, Mrs. Marie-Ange Mushobekwa tweeted that she spoke to the head of DEMIAP to secure the release of Jean-Marie and Sylva, this account is dubious at best. The one certainty from the Minister's tweet is that she felt the pressure from the letters that were sent to her and the tweets that flooded her account.


Although, Jean-Marie and Sylva are free, they are not out of danger. They are currently getting medical treatment and recovering from the harsh conditions they endured in the military detention center. Unfortunately, many youth remain locked up in the center that for all intents and purposes serves as a warehouse for hundreds of Congolese youth. Many youth have been disappeared without their families knowing their whereabouts - two such cases are Edel Mulumba and Jeff Mulungiomo of Kinshasa. In addition to the DEMIAP detention center there are other youth in jails throughout the country who have been detained; Sephora Astride Bashiya Biduaya in Goma and Nicolas Mbiya in Mbuji Mayi are two other examples. It is imperative that we advocate for the release of these youth and the countless others who linger in Congo's prisons.

Jean-Marie and Sylva benefited tremendously from the support of people of conscience throughout the globe but they represent merely a glimpse into the incarceration state that Joseph Kabila has imposed on the Congolese people, particularly the youth. The widespread arbitrary arrests and warehousing of Congolese youth can surely be classified as crimes against humanity and should draw the ire and outrage of the global community.

Join us in bringing an end to the unwarranted persecution and detention of Congolese youth.


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