Congo-Kinshasa: Latest New York Times Article On Congo Inadvertently Exposes Real Culprits in Congolese Mess


An article on major mineral dealings in the Democratic Republic of Congo posted last Thursday on the website of The New York Times, the preeminent newspaper in the US, is remarkable, at least to me, for one thing.

Nowhere does it mention the word Rwanda; not in a single paragraph, or sentence.

Usually, stories about the DR Congo in The New York Times, and most other major overseas news media for that matter, will be peppered with allegations, claims, and insinuations that place Rwanda at the center of the lawless country's problems.

Western media will tell their audiences - in very biased ways, with journalists relying on the most dubious sourcing - that Kigali "fuels" the endless conflicts in the Congo "because Rwanda is after its mineral wealth".

Very often the journalists sent by these media won't be much better than stenographers for Tshisekedi regime officials, the latter who long ago turned scapegoating Rwanda for their own failures into a fine art.

But the latest New York Times piece is different, most probably because the authors are more preoccupied with reasons that outweigh the need to serve up yet another anti-Rwanda hit job.

The New York Times this time has decided to report facts straight, probably because as a US corporate itself, accuracy is imperative in this case.

The article centers on what's described as a sticky issue for the administration of President Joseph Biden. It must lift sanctions on one Dan Gertler, an Israeli mining executive and billionaire, whom the US targeted with the said sanctions in December 2017, accusing him of "opaque and corrupt mining and oil deals that cheated the poorest people of the Congo."

However, the US government finds it must lift these sanctions, according to the article.

This is necessary so as to facilitate policy to gain up the US's competitiveness in the production of electric vehicles, the present and future of the automobile industry.

The reasoning is that if American companies are to be encouraged to invest in the extraction of copper, cobalt, and other minerals in the Congo, Dan Gertler must be freed from the sanctions.

It must happen because America fears it is being left behind by other economically powerful states that have set up shop in DRC, and are hauling away substantial amounts of its minerals.

Seen in another light, the US stance betrays breathtaking hypocrisy.

Have the issues originally given for the sanctioning of the Israeli tycoon been resolved? Or, if we look at the question from another angle, have the Congolese masses, on whose behalf the sanctions supposedly were imposed, now found justice, or been compensated for whatever bad consequences they suffered as a result of Gertler's alleged corrupt dealings?

I am not breathlessly waiting for any answers in the affirmative.

In any case, if there ever really was any concern about the issues for which Gertler was sanctioned, they are now conveniently swept aside in the new calculus of things.

The Congolese masses will just have to keep suffering, especially those in the east of the country that the Tshisekedi regime is targeting in a campaign of ethnic cleansing, even outright genocide, and whom no powerful government has ever strongly spoken for.

Because speaking for them carries economic benefits, but rather their existence in fact is seen as a hindrance to the economic interests of the powerful.

The protagonists in DRC's mountain of misfortunes include ultra-wealthy, none-African individuals, indeed like Gertler. They include the governments of rich, developed countries tussling, or position themselves to corner supplies of the metals required to feed voracious industry back home, say in the automobile and high-tech, and artificial intelligence sectors.

Above all, the authors of the DRC's troubles include the enablers of the status quo, whereby the DRC's mineral resources - copper, cobalt, coltan and more - are carted away, as raw materials and for a song.

The enablers of course are none other than Felix Tshisekedi at the head of the Congo's ruling class - a cabal whose most high-profile members are government spokesperson Patrick Muyaya, and foreign affairs minister Christophe Lutundula.

In a less cynical world, the Tshisekedi regime, in fact far more than the Dan Gertlers of this world, would be the first to be sanctioned and, for the crimes against humanity they are perpetrating, its senior-most officials subject to international arrest warrants.

Easily verifiable facts show that the Tshisekedi, rather than strive to offer good governance to its people, instead has presided over an explosion of lawlessness, with multitudes of illegally armed groups marauding everywhere.

Rather than take the challenge to govern responsibly, Tshisekedi fuels violence and conflict, fans hate speech against sections of his country's population, and integrates groups like the genocidal FDLR into his military, to achieve his violent agenda.

All the time, he rants with accusations, smears, and threats against Rwanda, even as Rwanda has done its utmost to avoid provocation, and to find peaceful solutions to issues.

Yet, according to the New York Times article, "Biden (administration) officials are motivated by a desire to find ways to strengthen economic ties with Congo, as well as aid the country..."

Such is the world we inhabit.

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