Congo Archive

Rebuilding lives is foremost

May 17, 2019 Charles Kwuelum

In April Felix Tshisekedi, president of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), visited the United States. Controversy and protests around his victory in the long-delayed presidential election linger on, even as the transition and transfer of power has been described as the most peaceful since DR Congo’s independence. In Washington Tshisekedi met with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to discuss U.S.-DR Congo relations, including Tshisekedi’s “change agenda,” which includes attracting U.S. investments to the country. In light of the humanitarian crisis facing DR Congo, the meeting raises questions about the politicians’ priorities. As of December 2018, there were about […]

Black Earth Rising

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March 7, 2019 Jerry L. Holsopple

The opening music hooked me as Black Earth Rising, a mini-series on Netflix, came on with the titles featuring the fearful hope of the story, told with simple drawn lines rushing across the screen. I had to watch it again. It took me a few seconds to realize this was Leonard Cohen’s gravel-low voice chanting us into the darkness, surrounded by the voices of a choir and the cantor from a synagogue. The musical complexity is a fantastic opening to this multifaceted journey into the remains of the Rwandan genocide, and the tentacles that reach into the war next door […]

DR Congo’s uphill battle for peace

December 6, 2018 Charles Kwuelum

The Democratic Republic of the Congo is at a critical historical moment. That was the conclusion during a recent workshop held by Church of Christ in Congo (known by its French acronym, ECC), which focused on creating teams to prevent electoral violence. Long-expected parliamentary elections, a chance for the first peaceful transfer of power since independence, will be held on December 23. After the assassination of his father Laurent Kabila in 2001, Joseph Kabila became president and has remained in office beyond the country’s two term limit. After much local and international pressure, he has agreed to not run again. […]

Counting down in faith

July 20, 2018 Charles Kwuelum

By Charles Kwuelum On June 30, the Democratic Republic of the Congo celebrated its 58th anniversary of independence. Instead of celebrating landmark democratic achievements as a nation, the country faces the unpleasant challenge of multi-layered conflicts including political and ethnic violence. Militarized responses from DR Congo’s armed forces and rebel groups continue to shake its stability. In December 2016, President Joseph Kabila’s second and last term ended according to Congolese constitution. Elections have been delayed and the president has since remained in office. This has led to countrywide protests from citizens to demand elections. The peaceful protests were met with […]