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Planet Congo
Articles on Congo before 2009

  • (january 2010) Planet Congo (Report from Africa). Congo is unique. Congo is a historical and geographical fault-line between: an arid zone and a tropical zone; the land of great deserts and the land of great rivers; the Arab world and the "black" world; the land of the slave traders (first Arabs, then Europeans) and the land of the slaves; the land of the gold traders (first Arabs and then Portuguese) and the land of the gold; Islam and Christianity; the land of the desert oases and the land of the jungle villages; the Anglosaxon world (East Africa) and the Latin world (West Africa).
    It's difficult to find another place on the planet that marks the border between so many different cultures and historical backgrounds. And maybe that's the very reason that this country has always had so many problems.
    The original blame goes to the king of Belgium. Congo was worse than a colony: it was a personal territory of the king of Belgium, the evil Leopolde, who proceeded to exterminate the Congolese and steal the gold. The country never truly recovered from that trauma.
    Then Belgium (with help from France and the USA) also engineered the coup that overthrew Lumumba and installed Mobutu, one of Africa's most corrupt dictators. European corporations still control most of the wealth of the Congo that is currently being stolen out of the country by Rwandan, Ugandan and local militias since the 1997 civil war that ousted Mobutu and that has already killed 2.5 million people. Nobody really has an interested in stopping the war: an honest central government would mean higher costs for the European corporations that today benefit from this situation.
    Congo is cursed with all the mineral resources that the world wants. First it was gold, then diamonds and now coltan (columbo-tantalite). Coltan is a key ingredient of your cellular telephone. The booming demand for cell phones has caused a shortage of coltan. Guess what: that caused a surge in the civil war of Congo. To control the situation 90 international companies joined in a "Tantalum-Niobium International Study Center". And guess where it is based: Brussells, Belgium. (See The coltan war).
    TM, ®, Copyright © 2009 Piero Scaruffi All rights reserved.
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