Rwanda has no intentions of weakening; fragmenting the Democratic Republic of Congo but this theory has again been revived in the ongoing political talk in neighbouring DRC.
For the past months, the Congolese people have reignited a public debate on how Rwanda has ulterior motives intended to balkanize DRC the vast mineral rich former Belgian colony.
Balkanization, is a geopolitical term for the process of fragmentation or division of a region or state into smaller regions or states that are often hostile or uncooperative with one another.
Olivier Nduhungirehe the Minister of State in Rwanda’s Foreign Affairs Ministry has punched in his fist into the debate saying, Balkanization of DRC is part of “conspiracy theories as old as ridiculous”.
“Congolese officials and diplomats in office refrain from endorsing and spreading, among the population, conspiracy theories as old as ridiculous. History teaches us that blowing on the embers of popular fear is dangerous,” the Minister said.
Nduhungirehe’s comments have attracted wide attention in the Congolese media and this has added more salt into the debate.
On January 4, 1959, ordinary Congolese stood in defiance of Belgian colonialism demanding independence.
The courageous stance by that generation of Congolese served as a key catalyst for Congo’s independence in 1960. Since the 1960s Congolese have celebrated and commemorated that generation’s actions and named the day “la journée des martyrs de l’indépendance,” or in English, independence Martyrs Day.
Last week on Saturday while commemorating the independence Martyrs Day, Dr Bokundoa-bo-Likabe André, National President of the Church of Christ in the Congo (ECC) made tantalising remarks claiming the ongoing military campaign against foreign militia in Northern Province should be viewed with skepticism.
“Our defense and security forces are fundamentally infiltrated by enemies of the Republic to the point that the sacrifices made by courageous FARDC soldiers appear less in the eyes of the public,” he said.
He said the military campaign in East, in this case those of Beni and Butembo is aimed at instilling a sense of fear and forcing citizens from this part of the country to pave way for foreign occupiers.
“This aims at pushing our populations to relocate from the eastern part of the national territory and, facilitate the balkanization of our Country,” he added.
And according to him, the balkanization plan is very real.
“There is no longer any doubt that many multinationals who gloat behind the illicit exploitation of our natural resources cover and finance our torturers to the point that our pleas and denunciations no longer worry the international community despite the excessive level of crimes against humanity having committed the gravest human rights violations of our era,” said the clergy.
The controversial clergy said the balkanization thesis is being carried more and more by a greater number today, including the Catholic Church and even the army.
Martin Fayulu the former presidential candidate that lost the DRC 2018 elections, says the balkanization plan is an ongoing process and that former President Joseph Kabila had a hand in it.
“We Congolese will not be slaves of a foreign country. Let no one corrupt you. Kabila came to power with a mission, to weaken, to divide the country in order to achieve Balkanization. This is why they precipitated the territorial division. He gave the province of Tanganyika to his brother. The implementation of the Balkanization plan is very advanced, “he said.
According to him, Félix Tshisekedi, who is currently in power, is continuing what he calls the work of Kabila.
The furious Fayulu has also called upon people to demonstrate on January 17.
“2020 is the year of liberation of the country. This is the watchword. We will start with a march on January 17th. All of us will be Lumumba. We will not break anything and we will walk in peace to mourn our dead, all our brothers killed in Yumbi, in central Kongo, in Kasai, in Kivu, etc. “, he added.
The metropolitan archbishop of Kinshasa, Cardinal Fridolin Ambongo Besungu has also added his weight on the Balkanisation claims saying the misery of people in the territories of Beni and Butembo (North Kivu) were a result on an ongoing “balkanization plan” of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) from its eastern facade.
Cardinal Besungu claims “In the current context, it is difficult to go to war against Rwanda and Uganda. We must first structure the army; provide it with the necessary means. If it is not done, it would be a bad thing. ”
“It is regrettable that some compatriots spend their time feasting in Kinshasa, while the risk of balkanization of the country is on the move,” the cardinal said.