What of the Congo?
Africa is a country that is made up of countries. The Democratic Republic of Congo if absorbed into the Southern African Customs Union ought to bring us closer to the dream of a united Africa.
What ever happened to the ambitious plans of bringing development and peace to the land that the graphic comic character, Tin-Tin eloped to with his mutt. Will the Congo be the next poster child like Sudan as shown in a rift in government because of bickering on who can and should govern, making everyday life however possible a bit more bearable to the citizen.
Somewhere vaguely in my mind between Pescanova fish TV adverts and Every-Drop-Counts-Save Water stickers on doors. I can remember the Founding Father calling for plans to tap from the mighty Congo river. That is the last olive branch Namibia offered to the Congo by my recollection. It was the 90’s when pictures of marches down Independence avenue and handouts of plastic string cap are now collectible memories.
Can you imagine the ceremonious fun fair when the Congo received not only the recognition it deserves for powering the world via the mobile phone with rare earth minerals mined from the clammy muddy depths to the green circuitry boards of micro processors. This very same technology and clammy earth could possibly offer solutions to southern Africa’s drought crisis.
The peace making process is building up amid an electoral crisis spilling over in the region. This process requires talent equivalent to a surgeons hand. Whether the Congo is a failed state or not is up for the peace keepers to decree. That judgement will require the disarmament and burying of hatchets as a prerequisite from the people themselves.
Drumming the message home to the multitude of villages and settlements that those that continue with bad intentions will face the rule of law as not to clog the judicial system.
The thinly veiled promise of foreign assistance should be taken with a pinch of salt. Boots on the ground are needed, even better so when not always from Africa. It would be the icing on the cake if the best French speaking talent in Africa can mid-wife the process of putting up the checks and balances needed for an integrated government.
Intergrated because the proper systems that have been built on by other actors on the stage of the peacekeeping process in the Congo will need proper execution on issues such as land tenure and etc., by bureaucrats and civil servants whom have leverage in their own communities. The people have the right to self determination.
Sustained dialogue and relations between Namibia and Angola is a gateway to talk on reforms such as ethnic tensions and persecuting heinous crimes by those that flee across the porous border of the Congo.
The stage is set and hopefully with the calm of the flowing Congo River a new non-invasive procedure to test out a model for a decentralized form of African governance can be set into action and the chips will fall where they may.
The Congo’s future hinges on the Southern African Customs Union. Good intentions are paramount as seen with the illicit outflows that cobble the streets that King Leopold II paved his way to immortality with his towering figure.
To make democracy in the Congo a true reality that will see the test of time unlike the Ozymandias like statues that litter the former sovereign courtyards of Belgium will require a conceited effort up until the next wave of mediators are passed the baton of hope.