DR Congo

Contribution to a history of the workers' movement in Africa (part 1): Pre-1914

For many generations Africa has been synonymous with catastrophes, wars and permanent massacres, famine, incurable sicknesses, corrupt governments; in brief, endless absolute misery. At best, when its history is talked about (outside of folklore or “exotic” aspects), it is to point out its “worthy” Senegalese or Maghrebi sharpshooters, the celebrated auxiliaries of the French colonial army during the two world wars and the time of the maintenance of order in the old colonies. But never are the words “working class” used and still less are questions raised concerning its struggle, quite simply because it has never really entered the heads of the masses at the world or African level.

The only answer is the class struggle

Things are looking good for working people, according to the government. Wages have risen, unemployment remains low, poverty is falling, waiting lists for hospital treatment are down, there are more doctors and nurses and standards of education keep on rising. Yes, they admit, there are social problems with unruly children, street crime and immigration, but overall things did get better under New Labour. However, if you step back from the hailstorm of statistics, all is not what it seems.

Congo/Darfur: The ruling class can’t end the barbarism

Towards the end of last year, George Monbiot, celebrated opponent of ‘neo-liberalism’, announced “the resumption of the most deadly conflict since the second world war” (Guardian 14/12/04). He claimed “the civil war in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), already responsible for 3.8 million deaths” has, in his words, “started again”. Since the first eruption of the conflict in the DRC in October 1996, people have been dying from war, famine and disease...

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