May 26, 2022

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Central African Nations Continue to Suffer under the Curse of their Mineral Wealth

Central African Nations Continue to Suffer under the Curse of their Mineral Wealth

The Central African Nations of  CAR(Central African Republic), DRC(The Democratic Republic of Congo) and SSD(South Sudan) are Countries that have been embroiled in conflict for decades all because of the presence of natural resources, These Countries are rich in Gold, Diamonds, Timber, Oil, Gems, Metals Such as Cobalt, Iron, tin, copper, Zinc, Aluminum and much more. Despite these riches they are among the poorest countries in the world in terms of economic development. They are classified as very underdeveloped even by African standards. And all this is because of their Natural Resources. Warlords have curved mineral rich territories for themselves  which they exploit and illegally sell the proceeds to multinationals in exchange for firearms and inherently fueling further conflicts. The international community should do much more to alleviate the suffering of Peoples in these countries.

The trio have come to be known locally as the  troubled Three brothers. Because they share a lot in common. There are communities within the regions of these countries that have been divided by national boundaries even though they speak the same language. They share the same climate of a tropical rainforest.

You would often hear locals participating in religious groups in those States praying to God always asking him to take away their mineral recourses so that they can finally have peace. They cry out to god in churches asking God to end their suffering for they have been in pain for too long.

Africans appear to be the Ones least capable of managing their natural resources well for the benefit of their people. These issues are raised in the African Union Over and over again but the proceeds of those meetings often bear no fruit. It is sad to see that even an Organization powerful as the African Union has no power to bring long term peace and stability in those countries.

The DRC Issues for instance go back to more than a century in the times of European Expansionisms, even after the colonizers left, the welfare of the Congolese people never changed, The negative experiences of the Congolese people with the Belgians has created so much hostility between the two countries, that even today, Congolese and Belgians are always at loggerheads with one another.

Well, the innocent Belgian people should not be blamed for the cruel acts of the King Leopold the Second a century and a half ago, the Belgian people today say that they have nothing to do with his past war crimes. Well, why then haven’t they tried to make amends with the Congolese people by offering reparations? If they were really sorry then they would have acted sorry, but they are not doing that, the Congolese people say that the Belgians’ reluctance to make attempts for reconciliation is a proof of their guilt.

DRC Congo is also a pristine Jungle covered in tropical rainforests rich in all kinds of Biodiversity. You will find wildlife here that you will not find elsewhere in the world. The DRC problems are issues that almost every kid in every African household knows about like the back of their hand, they learn from teachers in their schools that DRC Congo is the African Country that received the most blessings by the Creator but never gave her the peace to enjoy the fruits of their land.

Many people argue that the main reason these countries are having so much troubles is simply because they have bad leadership, the expression that mismanagement and corruption are the root causes of the biggest issues these countries have, well there may be those issues of greed, corruption and mismanagement but there are also other elements of the problem that are often overlooked. The discovery of mineral resources in countries where illiteracy levels are very high and government institutions are very weak, inherently creates a breeding ground for instability once those minerals get discovered. If you take the natural resources element out, then the people in those countries may be telling a different story.

It was the discovery of Oil in Sudan in the seventies that fueled the ethnic and religious tensions between the people of the North and the south. The small tensions that began as insignificant disagreements escalated to civil wars that lasted for decades and led to the loss of millions of lives, and the country dividing itself along religious lines that later became separate states of Muslim majority North and Christian Majority South.

The Conflict in CAR(Central African Republic) was also partly curved along ethnic & religious lines(Christians against Muslims) with both sides committing grave atrocities, the control of mineral rich regions was among the most contributing factors of the conflict and lives of tens of thousands lost in the process.

the ever-growing Hostilities.

Because of their countries’ experiences, a vast majority of the Congolese people have lost all trust in their government, they don’t listen to a thing that their government tells them, they tend to believe more what they hear from their friends and their families than the words of the state, they disregard all the information that comes out of their state media apparatus as absolute rubbish and will not comply to any request by the state unless forced to.

Every Congolese is suspicious of every foreigner that visits their country, when you land at an airport in Kinshasa, the checking staff asks you why are you in Congo? Then you reply, I am a tourists, what is in that bag of yours, they are just my clothes, well let us check to make sure that you are not carrying guns and bombs to kill our people, when you say you are on a business trip, they’ll ask you, have you also come to steal our minerals? Most of the Congolese people I have met are always suspicious of foreigners as well as of one another.  Even when you go on an evangelical mission with a church group and say to them, I am a minister of the word and we have come to bring you the good news of Jesus Christ.

”They will say that David Livingstone Said  the same thing yet he ended up helping his European friends to sell countless tens of thousands of Africans into slavery, the Belgians came into the Congo preaching the Good news of Jesus Christ and left with the blood of millions on their hands, they never practiced a single word they preached.

The Hostility of Congolese towards Belgians is still rife to the present day, the Belgian Government and its people have not done enough to reconcile the two countries, The Congolese know the Belgians as white Europeans, so whatever a white person travels on the streets of Kinshasa, he/she is stared at daringly, almost every member of the community throws bloodshot red eyes at them, they hardly travel anywhere without being extensively stared at, the vengeance and hatred is all written in their eyes.

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