Campaign chaos in Kinshasa



KPFA Weekend News, 11.26.2010

KPFA spoke to Yaa Lengi, author of Genocide in the Congo and leader of the New York City-based Congo Coalition about chaos in the Democratic Republic of the Congo prior to Monday's presidential election.






KPFA Weekend News Host Cameron Jones: The Democratic Republic of the Congo's presidential candidates, current President Joseph Kabila and challengers Etienne Tshisekedi and Vital Kamerhe had planned to hold their final rallies before Monday's election in Kinshasa, the country's capital today, but, the Congo News Agency reported that the Governor of Kinshasa canceled all rallies after clashes erupted between supporters of the leading candidates. KPFA's Ann Garrison spoke to Congolese native Yaa Lengi, author of Genocide in the Congo, and leader of the New York City-based Congo Coalition about the violence already erupting in Kinshasa and elsewhere in the country.
KPFA/Ann Garrison:  It looks like the question is not who's going to get elected, but how many people are going to get hurt or worse. Is that how it looks to you? 
Yaa Lnegi: Yes, how many people are going to get killed, how many are going to get hurt, how many people are going to be arrested.  Kinshasa is already chaos. When Tshisikedi came back from his traveling, he got to the airport in Kinshasa. The president, Hippolyte Kanambe, or so-called Kabila,  prevented Tshisikedi from walking out of the airport, where they kept him for probably half a day. I'm not even sure when they let him out, but then as people marched for them to let Tshisikedi out of the airport, they started beating up on people, shooting, and we got the news almost in real time because we had a funeral in the family, but the members of the family could not go from one area of Kinshasa to another to attend the funeral.   
Yaa Lengi: Well, that's the evidence we have. Actually I just released a press release with pictures of these little military tanks that they have been giving to the police and equipment that actually was given to them by France to control the crowds. Not only that, we just got information that Joseph Kabila, or Hippolyte Kanambe, requested that Uganda send troops to the Congo, with military equipment to control the crowd because the Congolese soldiers and the police that he asked refused; they're not gonna shoot on Congolese people. So both Europeans and the neighboring Uganda and Rwanda are ready to intervene in the Congo, so that Kanambe or Kabila can stay in power, yes. 
KPFA:  ​Could you explain why you're calling Joseph Kabila "Hippolyte Kanambe"?  
Sitting President Joseph Kabila. Yaa Lengi reports that supporters at opposition candidate Étienne Tshisikedi have chanted ZONGISA YE NA RWANDA, which, in Lingala, means SEND HIM [Kabila] BACK TO RWANDA. Yaa Lengi:  What has been happening while Tshisikedi's campaigning at every stop.  When Tshisikedi's campaigning, the Congolese people are chanting and shouting,  "Zongisa ye na Rwanda," which is the Lingala language to say, "Send him back to Rwanda."   And it seems like all these media, foreign media that is in the Congo, they don't want to translate that for their listeners or their viewers. The reason the people are chanting is because the people know today that Joseph Kabila is actually a Rwandan Tutsi by the name of Hippolyte Kanambe.  
KPFA: And that was Yaa Lengi, author of Genocide in the Congo, on chaos in the Democratic Republic of the Congo prior to Monday's election. For Pacifica, KPFA, and AfrobeatRadio, I'm Ann Garrison.

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