The Democratic Republic of Congo has been in the news again lately. On my flight returning from North Carolina, I read the Time Magazine cover story on coditionsinside of the Congo, after the supposed end of the civil war there. Today, CNN has a story regarding President Kabila’s reaction to a CNN story on rapes and atrocities commited by the Congolese army. It has me wondering, when is it possible to truly start hoping in a place like the Congo? When can a Congolese citizen truly belief that the nightmare that they have been living for so many years is truly over?
I don’t think anyone knows enough about Kabila the Younger to know if he really is a trustworthy character. At least in the CNN article he seems like he truly has compassion for the people who have been suffering in his country. Is that enough? At the same time, as a military man himself, how naive does he have to claim to be to say that he didn’t know about widespread allegations of rape and other horrors.
I want to be able to hope for Africa. Last night, I was reading Paul Rusesabagina autobiography and it makes me more conflicted than ever. I don’t know what I, as an American, can do right anymore with regard to Africa. I have this intense feeling of urgency to do something, but after so many misguided efforts, I don’t know what the West is supposed to do to do things right. In college I thought I had all the answers, but I was just ignorant of the complexity of things.
I also read this article today in the Seattle Times about the murder charges pending against Lord Delamere’s descendent in Kenya with a great deal of apprehension and a loss for what is right and what is wrong. Clearly it is wrong to kill someone. It is also wrong to be a poacher. I don’t think one is any excuse for the other, but being a white person in Africa is so complicated these days. My whole love affair with the Out of Africa of Isak Dineson is what started part of my obsession with Africa, and now that just makes me feel like an elitist imperialist.
I wish I was still able to make sense of these things.