DR Congo

Is the Democratic Republic of Congo coming out of instability?

By Didier Mubinzi

The situation under which the DRC is evolving is very crucial: having experienced a war that ravaged the country for five years, the country is gradually moving towards the end of transition and this month of June 2005 is the combination of all issues at stake.

Indeed, for years, armed factions have been dictating life, mainly in the Eastern regions of the country and the conflict that has claimed more than 3.8 million lives is far from being completely over, with the proliferation of arms trafficking in the Lake Kivu and the perennial warfare in Ituri.

The Congolese population, victim of this deadly conflict, is experiencing the current situation with anxiety and devotion: anxiety because of the sluggishness in achieving the objectives of the country political transition. Despite the considerable financial assistance the country is enjoying, there is no improvement in sight regarding the social sector and the population is far from believing the good will of their leaders.

Having taken cognisance of the appalling management of the public resources by the leaders, the population is more demanding as far as the holding of election and the end of the transition are concerned. The devotion arises from the fact that the populations consider the election of new leaders as the only weapon it has to shape the political landscape in a profound manner.

In the face of those expectations strongly supported by the international community, and tired of bad governance, an important group of non-armed political opponents are putting more pressure on the current leadership. They are demanding the stoppage of the whole current transition by 30th June 2005. This threat puts in doubt the normal development of the transition process.

Up to date, the leaders have not done much to generate optimism; since they have failed to put an end to the tension which is rampant in the country, namely in the big cities. On one side, the population is threatening to demonstrate on 30th June, and on the other, the politicians who are not manning the affairs of the country are eager to replace those ruling. Against this background of conflicting interests and taking into account the social unrests already witnessed in 2005, there is still some doubt.

Will DRC ever come out of this long overdue political transition initiated since 1990? Will the country put an end to political instability and legitimacy crisis witnessed since the local elections organised in December 1957 and legislative elections of May 1960, elections considered by all as free and fair!

The restoration of peace will heavily hinge on the manner in which the current and future political power conceives and manages the development issues of the country, a management that does not sufficiently mainstream the concerns of the populations. For example how can it be justified the fact that taxes including tourism fees are levied once one moves towards the environs of Kisangani? The salary of a civil servant hardly amounts to $US 10 while government expenditure is in contrast with the rampant poverty throughout the country.

It is in the face of those contradictions that ACORD is determined to operate in the framework of social activism for more justice and solidarity. This can be rightly achievable only if the process of current transition leads to the organisation of elections, on the one hand, and the demand for another type of management of the country affairs where human being is a prime concern.