Painting by Cheri Samba

Lokuta eyaka na ascenseur, kasi vérité eyei na escalier mpe ekomi. Lies come up in the elevator; the truth takes the stairs but gets here eventually. - Koffi Olomide

Ésthetique eboma vélo. Aesthetics will kill a bicycle. - Felix Wazekwa

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Blogging problems

My blog was down for a short period several days ago. It's still unclear why Blogger took it down, although "irregular access" appears to have played a role. I'm still trying to find out more. Thanks to those who expressed concern.

25 comments:

Anonymous said...

No concern for me. One of the worse and biased blog about Congo.

Anonymous said...

Welcome back Jason, and congratulations for your work... I hope we haven't seen the "worse" yet !

Happy new year

Anonymous said...

hi Anonymous Jan. 1: What's the best in your opinion?

Anonymous said...

Hi J, maybe a present from friends of Joka for you.

Anonymous said...

Hello, Jason please come back very soon we need you as you know, I suport you and Surprise for those who want to bring it down, for sure they will never win,that's for sure. forus who lives abroad we need your publication, even when don't agree with some of your comment but,At least I am free to give my opinion this is democracy we all looking for in DRC,anyone should be free to express is opinion, this is why this blog is all about, ( African and Especialy Congolese people need to Know and understand it)Again,Thanks Jason and Happy New year 2012. Sunga Congo

Anonymous said...

It is probably not possible to have a blog that is completely free of some bias...we all see the world through the lenses of our own subjective experiences and our understanding of them - not to mention our exposure to deliberately manipulated information flows.
This blog provides thoughtful analysis and a forum where competing points of view can be expressed...that is about as good as it gets.

blaise said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
blaise said...

I agree with anonym JANUARY 2, 2012 3:45 PM, people express their views, there is two sides of a story.
Maybe anonym JANUARY 1, 2012 11:31 PM can recommend us with those more "informed, non bias blogs or websites". I think it's easy to criticize others but difficult to gather facts and analyze them.
Let's offer solutions, correct information, bring something new, instead of demonizing one blog because it doesn't necessary abide to your narrative.

Anonymous said...

hear hear! Well said, Blaise!

Anonymous said...

I am stil waiting for the doomsday that this blog and ather Congo bashing medias has been preaching for the last 12 month. The RAIS has been reelected and sworn in ,life in Kinshasa has gone back to normal, most of his holiness(CHISEKEDI)Fatwas has largely landed on death ears ,the civil war and armagedon that most anti Kabila and Congo bashing medias have been waiting for has not happen and his holiness (CHISEKEDI) just told the rfi that there is no political crises in Congo.now i hop the followers of the UDPS cult ,control theire diaspora thugs ,because theire violent acts in Paris or Bruxelles ,are not going to help theire holyfather (Ya CHICHI )become president.

Anonymous said...

Doomsday has already arrived, worst development index. Where are our healthstructures, free education, education with a minimum of quality. Have you ever read dear an@1:41 comments from fellow congolese? grammar and vocabulary are poor. Merci les 5 chantiers. Peace in the east. ever heard of peace where army generals are doing illegal business and slaughter and rape?? ever read the last report of the UN , even if you believe only a fraction of it, it is still dramatic. So doomsday, yeah, since to many days.

blaise said...

@ an 1:41 am, I don't know what are your realities but from what we see Congo is not going anywhere. I don't particularly care for his "holiness"(sic) but your Rais is cutting deals for himself not for Congo.
Do us a favor by dissociating your Rais propaganda and Congo. Real people are dying out East, we are even not close to be developing.
So please, create your blog where you will enlightened us with the truth.
There is an UN rapport out there, give us your facts and figures instead of speculations and wishy-washy.

Anonymous said...

blaise, I always read your comments with great interest. Yesterday I read a cfr blog by Crawford Young in which he mentioned the 1965 elections that created an impasse between Kasavubu and Tshombe, after which Mobutu launched his November coup. The institutional structure in the DRC is different today than it was when I arrived in Congo in 1965. Back then you had three strong personalities in Kasavubu, Tshombe, and Mobutu. With Mobutu's control of the army garrison in Kinshasa (then Leopoldville) he was an independent force to be reckoned with in his own right...as history has demonstrated. Today the security forces seem loyal to the institutional structure, however imperfect it may be. I would argue this is a step forward from what the situation was then, when a coup threatened everything. In a newly emerging Congolese state structure, hopefully, Congolese civil society can act to build on this structure in a non-violent manner. There are both internal and external pressures on the current government to become more accountable to the will of the Congolese people. There is an opportunity here rather than a doomsday scenario; it will require perserverence and social mobilization. There are many partners and friends of Congo willing to work toward that goal.

blaise said...

@ 1:33,
thank you for those interesting insights. I agree that today is different from 1965. I will even go farther an say that we don't have an army but a plethora of militias.
That say, it's trues that it's not a doomsday scenario, Congolese people are resilient, they will figure out something.
The problem with all the friends is that although the good will is there, we lack coordination. I would love to see the UN draft a development plan with independent modules and leave to any organization the latitude to chose what program to contribute to.
If you count on the government you will be disappointed.

Anonymous said...

To anonymous January 6, 2011 1:33pm

I fail to see the reason to be optimistic about this statement, "internal and external pressures on the actual government to be more accountable to the will of the people, can be successful"
These people have been in power for the past 10 years at least, the pressures that you are talking about have been applied to these people for that long at least. I do not think that
the pressures you are talking about are working; just look at the last elections, the will of the people was not respected during these fraudulent elections. I have a hard time believing
that the same team that has been running the country for so long will respond to pressures
that could lead eventualy to a diminishing or to a loss of its power. I do not believe that the security forces are loyal to the institutions of the state (may be to a man), they are made up of former warlords armies put together into a new DRC army. Some officers are Congolese, some are not and their past loyalties and allegiances are still alive. Their allegiances are to the deals that they have made with a part of the DRC government as the parliament (representative of the people) is usualy not involved in most of these deals. The army of 1965 was a direct descendent the “Force Public” which was a structured and Homogenous entity. Today’s army is a bunch of Militias glued together by interests that have nothing to do with the loyalty to the institutions of the state. In my eyes it is a situation that is entertained by people in Kinshasa and neighboring countries to keep the DRC weak. These new security forces in their configuration are not a step forward for the DRC, on the contrary, the DRC is a hostage to these “former militia leaders/officers” who can at anytime when not satisfied with the way their deals are going, always blackmail the country (..if you do not do this, I will start a new war or intensify the instability in the area under my control…). I could never understand why in more 10 years JK could not put together a true standing army, well trained (at conducting wars and not the repression of unarmed civilians), well equipped, well paid, unless it was something that was not wished for or wanted for not so obscure reasons.
Change we can believe in starts with new people at the helm of the DRC, not the same corrupt and incompetent bunch who have made the DRC the last country in the world(187th out of 187) in terms of development index. This is nothing be proud of for any Congolese or friend of Congo in the world.

Bismark

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
To anonymous January 6, 2011 1:33pm

I fail to see the reason to be optimistic about this statement, "internal and external pressures on the actual government to be more accountable to the will of the people, can be successful"
These people have been in power for the past 10 years at least, the pressures that you are talking about have been applied to these people for that long at least. I do not think that
the pressures you are talking about are working; just look at the last elections, the will of the people was not respected during these fraudulent elections. I have a hard time believing
that the same team that has been running the country for so long will respond to pressures
that could lead eventualy to a diminishing or to a loss of its power. I do not believe that the security forces are loyal to the institutions of the state (may be to a man), they are made up of former warlords armies put together into a new DRC army. Some officers are Congolese, some are not and their past loyalties and allegiances are still alive. Their allegiances are to the deals that they have made with a part of the DRC government as the parliament (representative of the people) is usualy not involved in most of these deals. The army of 1965 was a direct descendent the “Force Public” which was a structured and Homogenous entity. Today’s army is a bunch of Militias glued together by interests that have nothing to do with the loyalty to the institutions of the state. In my eyes it is a situation that is entertained by people in Kinshasa and neighboring countries to keep the DRC weak. These new security forces in their configuration are not a step forward for the DRC, on the contrary, the DRC is a hostage to these “former militia leaders/officers” who can at anytime when not satisfied with the way their deals are going, always blackmail the country (..if you do not do this, I will start a new war or intensify the instability in the area under my control…). I could never understand why in more 10 years JK could not put together a true standing army, well trained (at conducting wars and not the repression of unarmed civilians), well equipped, well paid, unless it was something that was not wished for or wanted for not so obscure reasons.
Change we can believe in starts with new people at the helm of the DRC, not the same corrupt and incompetent bunch who have made the DRC the last country in the world(187th out of 187) in terms of development index. This is nothing be proud of for any Congolese or friend of Congo in the world.

Bismark
January 7, 2012 12:58 PM

Anonymous said...

I appologies for posting the same message twice,
I tought that it did not go through the first time around and send it a second time.

Bismark

blaise said...

Well put Bismark,
where Kabila sees success, I see desolation. He is more like a aesthetic surgeon than a true doctor.
The last UN's report precisely abound to that idea of those militias loyalties.
It's sad to see people who are praising Jk as if we are going to the right direction.

Lydie Boka said...

Hi Jason, keep up the good work. I am sure the "technical problems" are only temporary. Now let us see what happens with the U.S. technical mission on the elections.

Anonymous said...

To blaise and Bismark, Thank you for your response and comments. I concur that the current state of the FARDC, particularly in the east, bears no resemblance to a professional army. The strategy of integrating warlords and militias into the structure of the FARDC seems to have been misguided and has proven a catastrophe for the civilian population...though I understand the thinking was that integration would be a less violent alternative to enforcing demobilization.
I was considering parallels between the situation today and the 1965 elections when the resulting political impasse led to the November coup. I mentioned Mobutu's control of the army garrison in Kinshasa because at that time rival factions of the ANC were divided by conflicting regional and personal loyalties.
Do either of you believe that CENI would have requested outside "technical assistance" if the government authorities in Kinshasa were not feeling the effects of both internal and external pressures?

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i saw three hand in that pic..

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Anonymous said...

@ Anonymous January 9, 2012 2:26pm - PART 1
Thanks for your questions; I am appreciating the opportunity to address your pertinent parallel in terms of post electoral crisis between the 1965 elections and the 2011 elections in the DRC. In my humble eyes the strategy to integrate the warlords into the structures of the FARDC was not misguided but it was part of a well thought out plan to keep the North East of the DRC under a “de facto” control /occupation by Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi and to keep the FARDC weak and not capable to fight, in order to rely on foreign forces for the security of the status quo. This integration of the warlords is a catastrophe for the civilian population in the East especially because these arrangements were not made with the DRC civilians or the DRC as a nation’s interest in mind. These arrangements have in fact allowed the incorporations of military assets from Rwanda, Uganda and Burundi into all the different structures of the FARDC over a period of time. I do not think that the allegiances of these assets to the DRC will become effective just because of a change of uniforms and names. The divisions within the ANC in 1965 were not of the same nature as the ones in today’s FARDC. There is also the factor of the environment of that time, it was not the same, the garrison under Mobutu’s control was in Kinshasa the seat of power and was made up of DRC citizens with allegiances to Mobutu and the DRC as a nation. Today’s FARDC, might be loyal to JK and to the deals they made but not necessarily to the DRC as a nation. The FARDC officers and their men in the North East of the country do not want to be sent to other parts of the country for reasons that are related to the mines they control, the closeness to their sponsors in Rwanda, Uganda and Burundi and other reasons. A change in the status quo in Kinshasa will not be initiated by or come from these elements of the FARDC. These deals are too sweet for them as they can continue to be warlords under the cover of the FARDC. Other elements of the FARDC (presidential guards) come from JK “tribal areas” in the North Katanga; I don’t think that they want to return to their villages after having discovered Kinshasa. In the context of today’s army I do not see them imitating a change in the status quo either. Left are the soldiers of fortune around JK, as long as their being paid with money form the coffers of the state they will be just happy to be where they are. Bismark

Anonymous said...

@ Anonymous January 9, 2012 2:26pm - Part 2
To your other question, I would say that the Ceni/government can possibly respond to internal or external pressures that do not affect the Ceni/goverment ultimate goals, in this case maintaining JK in power by all electoral fraudulent means. The “technical assistance” requested by JK’s people, is for them to pretend that they are listening to the calls from inside and outside forces for a more competent entity to go through the mess they have created. Remember they actually continued with their thieving ways even before the arrival of the “technical assistance”, which is there as of now in a limited capacity to determine first of all the feasible of doing anything that would make sense. This request for “technical assistance” by JK’s people is a joke, it is the equivalent of a Leaf that is used to hide one’s external genitalia as everything else has been exposed. This is not a meaningful response to internal and external pressures that can in fact contribute to establishing the truth of the ballots but an act of hypocrisy aimed at well intentioned people knowing real well that this won’t change anything. For one to be able to respond in a positive manner to internal and external pressures for change, one must have in oneself the capability to change, to listen, recognize the necessity for the change and act on the request for positive change. People who are so arrogant to the point of thinking that they can fool the whole world and get away with it, are not capable in my humble opinion of responding to soft pressures for change from internal or external sources, only to forceful pressures of a different nature.
Bismark

Anonymous said...

Hello, I just wanted to comment on the pro-Kabila post saying there is no political crisis in the DRC. I live in Eastern DRC, a place where war has never stopped, and hundreds of thousands are today living an internal displacement situation because of this. More than 10 years after the official ending of the war, can you please develop as to where you see success here? Just a few indicators that it has all been a vast joke:
- Countless armed groups still exist in the DRC, some Congolese (various Mayi Mayi groups including ones that grew much stronger these last years like the Yakutumba faction), some foreigners with the Burundian FNL in Uvira and Fizi, the FDLR everywhere, the LRA around Province Orientale.
- FARDC soldiers are still the largest perpetrators of Human Rights violations in eastern DRC.
- Most of the FARDC troops are made of Rwandophones, mainly Tutsis, as most non rwnadophones were taken away from commanding structures with the recent regimentation process.
- In Bukavu, people live with the daily fear of seing the attackers and rapists of the 2004 Nkunda-Mutebutsi attacks in control of their towns. Each anti-Kabila demonstration was prevented by serious threats made by this group.
- In North Kivu, after the ex-CNDP gained military and political constrol of Rutshuru and Masisi, ethnic based assassinations have never been so numerous.
- Most mines in South Kivu are today controlled by Amani Leo soldiers, rwandophones in their vast majority, who are more concerned about their illegal business with Rwanda (see recent arrests) than with the security of the country.
- As I am speaking, many non rwandophone FARDC troops are deserting in order to join dissident troops in South Kivu.
- Rwandan troops are more than ever present in North Kivu, carrying political assassinations out.

Of course, all this is not visible in Kinshasa, a town that has never experienced war other than the few days of fighting between Kabila and Bemba in 2007. However, the majority of the Congolese population lives in Eastern DRC. Anonymous, if you are satisfied with these so called "improvements" for your country after more than 10 years of so called stabilization, it shows you are no patriot, and rather looking at your very own belly button. You probably are one of the few thousands, in a country of +60 million people, to benefit from Kabila's corruption, lack of political understanding and vision, and clearly too close relation with neighbor Rwanda. We are talking about a man who is not even capable of bringing light to the real circumstances that lead to the assassination of his own father, and who is happy with tens of innocents spending time for this, while the real guilty ones are in power holding positions in the DRC and in Rwanda.
Maybe you should come and see the heart of the problem on the field, where people are suffering, and come out the "the Rais's" palace in Kinshasa before making strong opinions on people who try to bring light to a scandalous situation.

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