Party in Goma! Barbecued Goat and Political Posturing Served at This Independence Party

This June 30th, Congolese President Joseph Kabila and friends will be rollin’ big in Goma on 22 inch rims drinking Cristal to celebrate the DRC’s 49th independence anniversary.  According to Congolese Minister of Agriculture, Fishing and Breeding, Emmanuel Libendele Lubuna:

“The decision to take the celebrations to the provincial capital was aimed at the liberation of this part of the DRC from the throes of war which had lasted over a decade.”

Kabila chose Goma as the party venue, not because of imminent volcanic explosions that threaten the city’s security or because of vicious displacement and severe violence in the vicinity, but because of the awesome lakeside views. That, and because Kabila is making a serious effort to diplomatically reach out to neighboring Rwanda and Burundi and simultaneously tell them, hey, North Kivu, this is ours and you can’t have it.

Asserting Goma as an important site in the Congolese nationstate signals that North Kivu is a part of the DRC and that Kabila will try to keep it that way. It’s also a way for Kabila to affirm his role in Eastern Congolese politics and display his patronage. If you want into the Kivus, you still have to go through him. And of course, there is nothing like an independence party in a war torn region to attempt to refute the claim There is No Congo.

While there probably won’t be any evites, if you are in the region, come celebrate a bit of Congolese independence and a lot of regional posturing this June.

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2 responses to “Party in Goma! Barbecued Goat and Political Posturing Served at This Independence Party

  1. Citing the importance for the newly-created International Criminal Court (ICC) to remain an impeccably impartial institution, the MJPC reiterated its call on the ICC to refer the DR Congo to the Security Council for possible sanctions.

    The MJPC (Mobilization for Justice and Peace in the Congo) warned that in the Congo as elsewhere, the ICC as a new international instrument to promote the rule of law and ensure that the gravest international crimes do not go unpunished could quickly lose its moral value if it does not take concrete steps to start enforcing its own issued arrest warrants.

    “Frankly the ICC cannot put off forever bringing the DR Congo before the Security Council for its continuing refusal to execute the outstanding ICC arrest warrant against Ntaganda,” said Makuba Sekombo, Director of Community Affairs of the MJPC, an organization that strongly denounces defying ICC arrest warrants in Congo. “There are serious dangers in continuing to allow Congo defy this arrest warrant, its sends a wrong message and could have disastrous effects in other countries,” added Sekombo.

    Ntaganda is accused of several war crimes and crimes against humanity including: the massacres of 150 people in the town of Kiwanja in 2008 in his duties as military chief of staff of the National Congress for the Defense of the People (CNDP), torturing and killing of hundreds of civilians of Lendu and Ngiti ethnicity between August 2002 and March 2003 when he was chief of military operations of the Union of Congolese Patriots (UPC), slaughtering of at least 800 civilians on ethnic grounds at Mongbwalu, including the first priest killed in the Ituri conflict, Abbe Boniface Bwanalonga, killing of a Kenyan UN peacekeeper in January 2004 and kidnapping a Moroccan peacekeeper later that year, and recruiting child soldiers in the eastern region of Ituri. The MJPC is strongly urging the Congolese Government and MONUC to execute the arrest warrant issued by the ICC against Ntaganda.

    According to Mr. Sekombo, the failure in the arrest of Bosco Ntaganda to date highlights the lack of seriousness in enforcing arrest warrants issued by the ICC and strongly urges the ICC to refer the case of Ntaganda to the UN Security Council to find solutions in accordance with Article 87, paragraph 7 of the Treaty of Rome.

    The MJPC is calling for Congo to be taken to the Security Council, as it claims Kinshasa is in clear violation of the ICC treaty which Congo ratified in 2002. The ICC cannot afford to ignore its statutory responsibility to report this matter” to the Security Council,” he said, adding that the Security Council would have the authority to require Congo to take all necessary corrective measures to enforce all ICC arrest warrants immediately.

    An online petition has been set up asking concerned citizens around the world to demand the UN Mission in Congo known as MONUC and the Congolese Government to act decisively to enforce the ICC outstanding arrest warrants against Ntaganda. The petition can be signed at http://www.gopetition.com.au/online/24459.html

  2. Bummer. I was counting on an evite for Kinshasa. Maybe the afterparty will be there? More clubs open all night…

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