Albert II in the Congo

Albert II in the Congo: A visit frowned

A view of the protesters against the visit of King Albert II in DR Congo.

Albert II is expected in Kinshasa on June 29 where he must make his first visit as monarch of Belgium at the festivities of the 50th anniversary of the proclamation of the independence of Congo. In the Congolese community in the diaspora, this visit is widely regarded as "inappropriate". Friday, May 14, the Congolese have expressed their opposition to Brussels this trip they consider a "support" to Kabila.

Congolese, estimated in the hundreds, shouted Friday, May 14, however they feel about the upcoming visit of the Belgian Royal Couple in DR Congo. The observers would be wrong to sneer at the "low" participation. This weakness is only relative. In the West, the number of members is a basic criterion for gauging the strength of an organization or the popularity of a "demonstration". The Congo - Kinshasa is a world apart. Having no association or union tradition, the former Zaire is one of the most difficult people to mobilize for a cause. The largest number of them prefer to find the side of the "silent majority" that supports the action of the most active citizens.
Without getting their hands dirty.

A bad signal

Confirmation of this journey has been revealed for the first time on 7 April by the Belgian ambassador in DR Congo, Dominica Struye of Sweeland. While resigning, the Belgian Prime Minister Yves Leterme has recently confirmed the RTBF radio that he will accompany the king in Kinshasa. "The DRC is still riven by internal conflicts, corruption and incompetence and a lack of will on the political front, said a spokesman for the organizers of the demonstration. By going to the Congo, King Albert II gives the signal that his government supports Kabila.
It's a bad message to the Congolese people. "

Representation in Brussels party Kabiles PPRD (People's Party for Reconstruction and Democracy) was a split release on the same Friday. The text is signed: "Management Communication PPRD Brussels. The title needs no comment: "The Congolese community in Belgium supports the visit of the King. This unqualified statement is not based not on scientific evidence from a survey of opinion. In any case, in conversations and discussions among the Congolese in the "Net" and radios in the diaspora, there emerges a clear trend "against" this visit. Reached by telephone drafting Congoindependant, President PPRD-Brussels, Derlin Mputu, believes that "the visit of King Albert II in the Congo is not a support for the ruling regime in DR Congo. People confuse participation in an event and support a government. " For him, this visit is an opportunity for the Congolese and Belgians "strengthen the links between two peoples who shared a common fate for eighty years." We must not forget that thanks to the Belgium
DR Congo has been placed on the agenda of the international community, "he added.

For or against the visit of King Albert II?

"Today you can meet with Congolese extolling the virtues of" Five yards, "but it is increasingly difficult to find compatriots boast of campaigning in the presidential party," says one student.
Accused of being the head of an "occupying power", Joseph Kabila is suffering a real lack of image.

To have the heart net on the controversy surrounding the move of the Belgian royal couple, writing CIC interviewed several Congolese citizens. When asked "Are you for or against the visit of King Albert II in the Congo", here are the answers to the most significant. Some of our partners have requested anonymity. Note that in the statement cited PPRD-Brussels, it says in part: "In this fiftieth year of our independence when we remember the martyrs who gave their blood for respect, dignity and self-determination of the Congolese people, DRC, having found his place in the comity of nations, wishes to thank all its partners and friendly countries, reads the release. Therefore, the visit of King of the Belgians and the Prime Minister is an honor for all the Congolese people. "He added:" A fiftieth anniversary of independence without the strong presence of Belgium was not understood by the Congolese people. Share these moments of happiness and meditations we can finally express our gratitude. It is also a hope that the friendship between our peoples and the bond that unites us now for more than 100 years will remain forever alive.
This is finally the recognition that the DRC is not a vague and distant region of the world, and we have a strong common history that unites our peoples. "

Visit "inappropriate" and "infantilizing"

People who share the enthusiasm of the representative PPRD-Brussels is far from legion in the Congolese diaspora in Belgium. To "tie" the "partisan" and "opposition" to the visit of Albert II, our editorial team interviewed a small sample of citizens. "We" to "proclaim in unison three former Congolese officials. Congo and Belgium have close relations. We see no downside to this trip. The Belgian monarch is a bit at home to Congo. However, we disagree with the way the country is governed by the regime of Joseph Kabila. The following speakers are not going through the back of the spoon. For them, the presence of Albert II to these festivities is "infantilizing" for the Congolese people and "wrong" on the eve of the elections of 2011. "I am against this trip who will speak on the eve of the 2011 elections. This visit will be used as a dubbing the Kabila regime in spite of human rights abuses, the suffering of the people and the democratic deficit in place, "political analyst ton Tipo-Tipo Bitumba Mayoyo. For him, this trip has confirmed that the Congolese politician has remained a "big kid". "Fifty years after the proclamation of independence, the politician of this country still need the anointing of Belgium to legitimize," he adds. One student adds: "This trip can not hide the desire to support an illegitimate regime which has been conspicuous by its inability to provide answers to the aspirations of the public welfare." He added: "On 30 June, there will be a question of Kabila and the King of the Belgians. What about those who sacrificed their lives for independence? I have not heard a word of Patrice Lumumba. "The lawyer Jean-Claude describes this journey Ndjakanyi Royal" inappropriate ". "In endorsing this trip, he noted, the Belgian government has urged the formidable challenge of gamble Congolese citizens who do not recognize their government in place." For him, a certain Belgian "goes against aspirations of the Congolese to change.
Note that politicians from speaking Belgium were the largest "intercessors" of this journey.

Feast or meditate?

"Have you ever seen people partying in a house in mourning?" What will we celebrate? "These are two questions that kept coming from the lips of many people. As if in answer to these questions, the Congolese Jean-Claude Maswana used the "net" to urge his countrymen to hold a "retreat" in order to include a "self-criticism" of running the country for fifty years and meditate
on what was our share of responsibility in the current neo-colonialism "and what should be done to" capture the true independence (...) ".

Beyond the din, in Kinshasa, the Congolese veterans of the Second World War (73 survivors on a staff of 25,000) have more existential concerns. They hope to be received by the Belgian monarch. Grouped together in the UNACO (National Union Veterans of the Congo), the veterans of the war 40-45 "intend" to plead for recognition of their merits after having served under the Belgian flag (...) " said Norbert Kisombelo Ndotoni, president of the UNACO.
It complained last May 9 that "65 years after the war ended, veterans Congolese have no attention of the competent authorities of the DRC and its ancient city."

You see, Albert II will undertake a controversial visit. One thing seems certain: the next general election of 2011 is the wrong moment. In 1990, the young Congolese opposition had managed to "relocate" in La Baule, France, the summit of Heads of State of France and Africa to be held that year in Kinshasa. The general elections were announced for December 1991. The "radical opposition" of the time wanted to prevent President Mobutu Sese Seko of taking a "diplomatic advantage" over his future opponents. Another time ...

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