Central Africa: Sh*t is Effed Up, No News at 11

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Central Africa: Sh*t is Effed Up, No News at 11

Unread postby Crazedmongoose » Mon Nov 26, 2012 12:09 am

With the recent taking of Goma by the M23 rebel group, it seems like the world once again is forced to somewhat acknowledge the existence of Central Africa. I myself am wildly fascinated by the area and every time it's brought up a spend a few days vaguely studying about it, before I invariably forget (like the rest of the world does).

Anybody here have anything to add about Central Africa?

I find myself vaguely sympathetic to the Rwanda aligned rebel groups, but that's more due to contrarian revulsion at groups like Mai Mai and Interhamwe which were never brought to justice and simply set up shop in Eastern DRC and kept going.

Any other perspectives?
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Re: Central Africa: Sh*t is Effed Up, No News at 11

Unread postby agga » Mon Nov 26, 2012 2:11 am

Crazedmongoose wrote:I myself am wildly fascinated by the area and every time it's brought up a spend a few days vaguely studying about it, before I invariably forget (like the rest of the world does).


same here-

Crazedmongoose wrote:Any other perspectives?


if i were superstitious, i'd say that lake Kivu is cursed. the belt of central africa surrounding that area works like a loose network of city-states, with anarchy in between, and poverty everywhere. when you combine anarchy and poverty with huge population density you get strife and chaos.

rwanda and burundi can seem relatively state-like since they're so small. uganda is barely able to hold itself together, and it's only in the last few years - after more than four decades of instability - that kampala has finally managed to assert control over the entire country. eastern DRC hasn't been truly governed by kinshasa in almost 20 years.

as for the DRC, i'm generally sympathetic towards the rebels. some of them are just marauders, but some - this guy for example - seem like real leaders. it's unfortunate that the UN, and the international community, are bound into supporting the DRC government. it seems like the area *needs* a conqueror to set up a real empire there, but the only legitimate authority is the one that *retreated* to kinshasa 10 years ago! i mean, all those people there, right next to rwanda and burundi, which clearly want control over the area, but it somehow belongs to the government 1000 miles away that exerts no control over it? maybe we should give them a chance...
造反有理!
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Re: Central Africa: Sh*t is Effed Up, No News at 11

Unread postby Crazedmongoose » Mon Nov 26, 2012 2:27 am

When we see an event like rebels marching into Goma with no resistance and government troops defecting en masse, in the Western world where we have lived so long in the comforts of stable nation states and peaceful agents of change, we forget to ask "why".

Historically when a rebel group marches into cities with no resistance, that's basically saying that the present government has failed for this region and this people. We're talking about Fidel and Che marching into Havana, the CCP marching into Beijing to cheering crowds, or Napolean returning to France and the monarch's own troops cheering and greeting him. Before we had shit like twitter revolutions and peaceful elections, that's how you reliably changed governments.

Rwanda has grown its GDP per capita 4 times in the last 10 years, it's managed to transform from a country host to some of the worst ethnic tensions and worst acts of genocide to a country with no elements of legal racial discrimination (societal still exists, but Kagame has tried really hard to stamp out Tutsi-Hutu apartheids of any kind) and gone from a country where mass rape was the order of the day to a country where the parliament is 55% women.

I mean I don't know the situation that well, but I'm betting the Tutsi populace in the Eastern DRC where the Interhamwe still go on machete-rape sprees every so often, with no intervention from either their own DRC government or from the UN, those people wouldn't mind some of that.

Like the same way people in Three Kingdoms era might have flocked to Cao Cao despite the fact that he was a brutal warlord who committed what would in modern terms be crimes against humanity (the Xuzhou campaign, and killing of captives).


Regarding the failure of nation states in the heart of darkness, I don't know if this is patronising exoticism or whatever, but maybe they're not ready for it? We got to remember that nation states as we know it really was made to suit Europe (there's a reason it's called "Westphalian Nation States"). Africa was more or less still at the city state/proto-kingdom stage of development before the rest of the world gave it a rude awakening.

I hold very little optimism for the DR Congo (and I generally take a nuanced Hans Rosling type view which is very optimistic regarding Africa). They're basically going to be the battleground for competing interests both African (Rwanda, Uganda, Angola, Chad, Sudan, South Sudan etc etc.) and abroad (France, US, China). Traditionally regions like these needs a strongman to get past this warlord stage. And with all these international mega interests and the UN's curious brand of humanitarian smothering, I don't think they'll develop past their present stage, because any strongman (Nkunda is a good example) will just get destroyed.
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