Archive for Che Guevara

Background of events in the DRC

Posted in Communist Movement, International Affairs with tags , , , , , on November 1, 2008 by Umer

by Ahmed Khan.

Located in central Africa, the Congo is one of the largest, most populous countries in the continent. Strategically located it borders nine countries; Angola, the Congo-Brazzaville, the Central African Republic, Sudan, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, Tanzania and Zambia. Economically, the Congo is one of the richest countries in the world in terms of resources, with the western Capitalist countries obtaining seven percent of their tin, nine percent of their copper, forty nine percent of their copper, and sixty nine percent of their industrial diamonds from there in 1959.

Belgian colonialism witnessed the intense exploitation of this resource rich country, dominated by Belgian-owned firms. Apart from mining these resources, large latifundia and commercial farms produced cash crops destined for Brussels such as Cotton, rubber, coffee, tea and cocoa.

With the intensification of the freedom movement spearheaded primarily by the Mouvement Nationale Congolaise (MNC) founded and led by the leftist Patrice Lumumba, Belgium was compelled to abandon its colony in the Congo, however it reserved the right to play a major role in its subsequent history. To review the character of the major parties up to independence, the MNC was “the patriotic party enjoying most influence among the population…it stands for complete independence and unity of the country”

In alliance with it, stood the Parti Solidaire Africaine and the centre du regroupement Africaine which apart from independence called for the nationalization of plantations and industrial undertakings along with the participation of workers in the management of industry. The appeal of the MNC as opposed to its competitors can be explained largely by the fact that it was the only national party claiming to represent all Congolese whereas the other parties represented the interests of specific ethnic, tribal and regional groupings.

The largest party antagonistic to the MNC and its allies was the Association des Bakongo (ABAKO) led during the crisis by Joseph Kasavubu to represent the Bakongo ethnic group. Close to the Catholic Church, ABAKO “well known for its separatist tendencies became obedient executors of the will of the Imperialists”

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