Our ambassador Barly Koyangbwa discussing the frightening situation in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Please watch and share. For English subtitles click the subtitles/closed captions button on YouTube.

Transcript:

00:34
Thank you very much for being here with us Barly
00:39
I’m grateful to be here
00:41
We will talk a bit about your article
00:46
including some details about the current situation in Democratic Republic of Congo.
00:52
So to begin, tell us why you have written this article Barly.
00:57
Thank you Max.
01:00
I was firstly motivated to write this article because the international media,
01:05
when deciding what to broadcast to the public,
01:12
choose not to talk about what exactly is happening in Congo.
01:18
So in my patriotic spirit, I have felt somewhat discriminated.
01:26
I have therefore picked up my pen and taken the role of the journalist
01:33
to try and contribute in my modest way and inform about what is happening in Congo.
01:43
As you know my brother, there are horrific things happening in Congo.
01:49
Today we are hearing about the problems of rape and sexual harassment in Hollywood
01:57
involving the producer Harvey Weinstein and Kevin Spacey
02:03
Everyone was outraged and condemned what happened, myself and the media included.
02:14
And while everyone condemns these stories from Hollywood
02:19
I ask that people also think about what is going on in Congo,
02:25
which was described by the United Nations as the ‘rape capital of the world’.
02:34
When we refer to the rape in Congo
02:36
we are talking about the involvement of 30 soldiers
02:39
– but as a matter of decency I won’t go into detail –
02:42
30 soldiers who rape a 90 year old woman in front of her children and her grandchildren.
02:52
These are devastating levels of rape, carried out methodically and clearly targeted
02:58
to force people to flee.
03:03
As I have mentioned in my article, there is a Congolese doctor who has recently
03:07
received the Sakharov prize from the European Union for his work.
03:14
His name is Denis Mukwege.
03:18
His work was to repair women.
03:22
We use the word ‘repair’ because the rape is simply unimaginable
03:27
They are raping babies, 90 year old women and they are dismembering mens genitals.
03:31
It is horrifying.
03:36
The rape is designed to traumatise. They rape your mind, your reputation, your body.
03:43
And so I ask, while the world reacts to what is happening in Hollywood,
03:53
that it also takes note and reacts with outrage to what is happening in Congo.
03:57
In short, and perhaps I will develop this further during our conversation,
04:03
there are unimaginable things happening (in DRC) that the media choose not to take an interest in.
04:12
Rape is used as a weapon of war.
04:16
Congo has a huge wealth of natural resources, both on land and underground.
04:22
And there are those who want to occupy our land
04:28
and to achieve this they use savage and psychological methods to make people leave their land.
04:41
There are also movements of resistance to the government in DRC
04:50
including APARECO, of which you are a very active and involved member.
04:56
Tell us a bit about APARECO.
05:02
APARECO is a movement of resistance that began nearly 12 years ago, in 2005.
05:16
APARECO groups together patriots of all types – there are militants, teachers, doctors, religious people…
05:32
everyone who considers themselves as a patriot.
05:36
Our mission is to liberate the country and then reform the country after the liberation.
05:42
We oppose the system of occupation.
05:47
Mr. Joseph Kabila, whose real name is Hippolyte Kanambe, is a Rwandan citizen.
05:55
As soon as Mr. Ngbanda (founder of APARECO) saw Hippolyte Kanambe, who you know by the name Joseph Kabila,
06:05
he said to himself, “No, no, no.”
06:07
The role of president should be a legitimate role.
06:15
We cannot have a foreigner (as president).
06:18
It was then that he began to denounce (the occupation) and created the movement of resistance
06:25
So APARECO is a movement to fight against and oppose this occupation
06:35
which has caused so much damage.
06:39
When we talk about ‘the opposition’, the only true opposition to Kabila today is APARECO.
06:45
So they have covered up the situation and in doing so, they have put a foreigner in power
06:50
and created false oppositions in order to deceive international opinion.
06:56
We’ve now learnt that the electoral commission in DRC have announced that there will be elections
07:03
on 23 December 2018.
07:06
Will APARECO participate in the 2018 elections?
07:11
In principal, it is not possible for an occupied country to have credible elections.
07:22
Unfortunately there are some Congolese who think we can liberate the country through the elections.
07:27
The elections do not play a part in APARECO’s path to liberate Congo.
07:38
In 2006, just one year after the creation of APARECO,
07:46
Mr. Jean-Pierre Bemba won the elections.
07:53
Kabila, in compliance with his mentors, tampered with the elections.
08:00
I should point out that in 2011 Mr. Ngbanda, with the support of APARECO,
08:07
had helped Jean-Pierre Bemba and the people voted for Jean-Pierre Bemba.
08:12
But he never became president.
08:16
Because the elections are created by the occupation to simply conceal the situation.
08:22
Have a look at this picture here. These are the people who have come to protest the stolen victory
08:34
and the militant is there killing them while they march. Can you imagine this scene in the UK?
08:43
This is to show you that, you can win the elections (in DRC) but you will never be president.
08:48
He (Kabila) wanted to change the constitution so that he could run for a third term.
08:54
The people prevented this from happening.
08:59
Now that he knows he cannot fool the people and run again as a candidate, there won’t be any elections.
09:09
Because so long as he does not have the right to be a candidate, there will be no elections.
09:15
Their objective is to legitimise the occupation in the eyes of the international community.
09:22
You have mentioned these details in your article
09:27
and you have also talked about what we can do here in Britain to help the situation.
09:35
What can the British people do for the people of DRC?
09:39
That is a very good question.
09:43
You know Max, when I wrote this article it was not intended for people to simply have pity
09:50
on what is going on in Congo and then leave it there. That was not the idea.
09:56
I have targeted international opinion, in particular the British public, so that we can work together
10:01
to put an end to the deaths of Congolese that are occurring as a result of natural resources.
10:19
We cannot change the past, but together we can change the future.
10:28
Everything I have mentioned, where women are raped in the East
10:33
and people are decapitated and killed, are all a result of coltan.
10:41
And where is coltan found exactly?
10:44
It is found in the East of Congo.
10:47
And in what kind of products for example?
10:50
With coltan one can make smartphones, laptops, many things.
11:00
So each time there is an international demand (for these materials) people go to Congo.
11:07
That is why the big powers do not want to see Congo become a ‘normal state’.
11:13
Congo has lost millions of people as a result of coltan.
11:22
Today, as electric cars are being developed, cobalt, nickel and copper are forming the basis of a war to come.
11:32
The world will need these things. All these materials are in large quantities in Congo.
11:40
So we must all meet together – APARECO, the community, local journalists –
11:48
because these primary materials are fuelling people’s disappearances.
11:53
Lots of countries have developed simply through taxes, tourism etc..
11:59
There are many good things in Congo.
12:02
Culture, diversity, food. Congo could have a tourism industry simply based on its gastronomy.
12:12
Music, art, intellect, the Congolese have much to offer humanity.
12:20
So having written this article, I recommend that together we put on the pressure
12:28
and help prevent the large scale carnage that looms on the horizon.