More on Congo from R. Martens

Juan Fajardo fajardos at
Mon Jan 22 23:39:16 MST 2001

I may be inviting Louis' ire with this, since he and Rolf used to bump
(too mild a word?) heads in the old days on Marxism-General and Rolf is
one of the people whom Louis indicated, by name, needed not come
knocking at this list's door.

Be that as it may, I found this post interesting because, 1) it touched
on a subject that has gotten a lot of our collective attention lately,
even that of some of us who haven't posted anything on it yet; and, 2)
and primarily, because it cites some sources which I do not recall as
having been mentioned as of yet.  As for Rolf's analysis?  Well, I still
have to think about that.

- Juan Fajardo

-------- Original Message --------
Subject: UNITE! Info #144en: 1/2 The foul murder of L-D Kabila
Date: Mon, 22 Jan 2001 15:42:31 +0100
From: rolf.martens at (Rolf Martens)

UNITE! Info #144en: 1/2 The foul murder of L-D Kabila
[Posted: 22.01.01]

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In Kinshasa, DR Congo, the president of that country, Laurent-
Désiré Kabila, leader of the liberation struggle of the Congo-
lese people in 1996-97 and of its most difficult and interna-
tionally important defence struggle against the largescale ag-
gression instigated by the US and other imperialists since
August 1998, most foully has been assassinated.

President Kabila was shot at by a sneak murderer on Tuesday,
16 January. He succumbed to his wounds either the same day or
on Thursday 18 January, according to different reports.

This is another barbaric crime, and one of historic dimensions,
by the forces of imperialism and ultra-reaction in the world.
It certainly must anger the people in all countries.


Who may lie beind this crime? What may have been its dirty pur-
pose? What conclusions should be drawn, by Congolese and
others, from such an act?

The Kinshasa newspaper l'Avenir (The Future) wrote on this on
Friday 19 January, in an editorial headlined "Even when dead,
Kabila is still alive":

        "Dead or alive, Kabila is not an individual but an idea.
        Because the struggle which he has waged, and which he
        has inherited from Lumumba too, remains in force.
        Through his speeches, his patriotism and his struggle
        for total unity and independence of the Congo have
        occasioned others to emulate him in this. Many other
        Kabilas have been born and thus will continue the

        "The Congolese know from now on that it is not the
        death of Kabila that has been sought but that of the
        Congo and of the Congolese people".

This no doubt precisely is the truth.

Outside the Congo, some observers and writers have noted certain
facts. Writing in the bourgeois, in the main rabidly pro-impe-
rialist Belgian newspaper Le Soir on 18 January, Collette
Braeckman asks:

        "Was Kabila the victim of a coup d'état or a settling of
        accounts? At first view, everything indicates it was a
        question of an isolated incident..." [of course always
        the main "story" of the imperialist media everywhere on
        such crimes - RM] "...But the fact that Ugandan sources
        [i.e., some of those of one of the aggressor countries
        - RM] were the first to announce the death of the pre-
        sident might indicate that a commando under orders from
        Kampala (very much an ally of the United States) had
        liquidated the president..."

Another "strange", sinister fact is noted by an anonymous diplo-
mat, interviewed by Jared Israel <Jaredisrael at>, who ma-
nages the website "Emperor's Clothes", as sent in his posting
"A MURDER IN CONGO" on 19.01:

        "The following is an interview with a diplomat associa-
        ted with the British government... We identify him by
        the initials 'DB'.

        Jared: Let me read you a dispatch from the January 17th
        'New York Times':

        'President Laurent Kabila of Congo, who deposed one of
        Africa's great dictators but then brought his country
        into even worse disarray, was shot and killed today,
        diplomats and associates said.

        The government's minister of interior, Gaetan Kakudji,
        one of Mr. Kabila's closest allies, went on state tele-
        vision to say that the president himself had ordered
        the curfew, suggesting that he was still alive.

        But in Washington, a senior administration official
        said the United States has received several reports
        from credible sources that Mr. Kabila had been assassi-
        nated. "Our operating assumption is that he is dead,"
        the official said.

        Isn't this rather extraordinary? First, we have the
        'Times', which is the closest thing to an official U.S.
        government newspaper, condemning Mr. Kabila in the first
        sentence of a news story - blaming him for "even worse
        disarray". And then you have the U.S. government insis-
        ting the man is dead when the Congo government says he
        is critically wounded. Is this normal diplomacy?

        DB: It is highly unorthodox. When a head of state is the
        target of an assassination attempt foreign governments
        refrain from making announcements until the government
        itself releases an official statement. They don't imme-
        diately declare: "He's dead! He's dead!" Let alone "This
        dictator is dead!" And the fact that Belgium, the U.S.,
        the United Kingdom, Uganda and Rwanda, which are the two
        aggressor states in Congo, the fact that all these go-
        vernments jumped on this situation crying, "He's dead!
        He's dead!" at the very least betrays their desires;
        they hope it's true.

        It raises the question: why would they commit this type
        of breach of diplomatic etiquette? What else is invol-

        If you consider the month of January, it is a very im-
        portant time for Congolese people, for their national
        prestige and honor. January is when they celebrate the
        anniversary of their liberation from colonialism. It is
        also the month when [anti-imperialist Prime Minister -
        JI] Patrice Lumumba was assassinated. It has a great
        psychological impact for this assassination attempt to
        occur at this time.

        And then these premature declarations from the West and
        pro-Western African leaders - it all strikes at the mo-
        rale of the Congolese. [At least trying to do so - RM]
        The country is bogged down in a civil war [no, is being
        subjected to a most massive foreign invasion - RM]. Now
        another leader from Lumumba's generation, a man who
        identified with Patrice Lumumba during the 1960s is at-

In fact the very next day, 17 January 2001, was the 40th anni-
versary of the murder of the Congolese liberation leader Lumum-
ba in 1961, and countrywide commemorations were being planned.

Concerning the point in time of this assassination now, once
again and in the present, incomparably more acute situation,
with the imperialist-controlled aggressors occupying one-half of
the DR Congo since two years back, subjecting the people in the
entire country to extreme hardships but being unable to break
their resistance, the abovementioned l'Avenir editorial, signed
"J. Diana G.", also notes and comments:

        "16 January, that was not only the day before the anni-
        versary of the assassination of Lumumba, but also only
        a few days before the changing of the adminstration in
        the United States of America. One cannot but find con-
        nections between the outrage on Kabila and the ap-
        proaching of the inauguration date of George W. Bush.
        The assassination of Lumumba also had connections with
        the changing of power in the USA."

This certainly merits reflection. Whether or not the turning
over of power in the USA just now, by one group of international
exploiters, oppressors and war criminals to another of the same
kind, is one factor behind this cowardly crime or not, a number
of observations make it clear: The forces of imperialism, and
of US imperialism in particular, are those who ultimately - in
whatever direct or more indirect way will turn out to be the
case - lie behind it.


The Congolese have done and are doing what in the eyes of the
miserable small mobs of imperialists, still powerful enough to
hold most of this planet in their grips, is an insufferable af-
front to themselves: They have dared to cast off the yoke of
international exploitation, or to start casting it off, and to
start building up a state actually ruled by the people - in
practice, not one of the type which in reality, behind all
"nice" words, is ruled by these mobs or their muppets.

This already was the "cardinal sin" of the Congolese in the
years 1996-98. Such things had hardly been taking place any-
where in the world any more, in a period of several decades.
The rebellion and the state development of the new Congo in a
certain way meant the setting up of an example - again - to
the peoples of not only one enslaved continent.

Imperialism, the rule of the world by some miniscule but well-
organized and well-armed cliques of exploiters in a few "rich"
and (relatively) highly-developed countries, this means that
some two-thirds to three-fourths of the population of the en-
tire globe are to be kept as extremely low-paid wage slaves,
with one-tenth to one-fortieth of the wages or salaries of the
likewise exploited working people in the imperialist countries
themselves. The giant extraprofits extracted by this is what
constitutes even the main basis of the entire so-called world
economy of today.

The Congolese people's in practice not accepting this any more
was and is the reason for that largescale aggression against
their new state, the DR Congo, which started in August 1998,
continues today and will continue for a long time to come, an
aggression supported or in practice condoned by every "rich"
state in the world and by the so-called United Nations. Will the
imperialists offer them peace? They will offer no peace to any
people in Africa, Asia, Latin America or East Europe unless that
people capitulates completely and accepts their demand on them
to remain as objects of extreme exploitation. The Congolese
people have not done this but are resisting the aggression and
the attempts at subverting the entire country and perhaps carve
it up. Therefore they have now been offered the murder of their
president too.


There are some indications that the assassination of L-D Kabila
on 16 January was part of an even bigger plot by the main impe-
rialists and some muppets of theirs, one to stage a coup d'état
in Kinshasa, in order to break the resistance of the Congolese
to the ongoing aggression after all.

One report, by a group of Congolese patriots in Canada, the
GLAC, of 20 November last year, which has now again been cited
and which the GLAC has stated has received some confirmation,

        "The American and Belgian governments prepare a fatal
        blow against the government of President Laurent-Désiré
        Kabila in the Democratic Republic of the Congo to ter-
        minate the regime and to implement the dislocation of
        the Congo by the end of February 2001.

        From January 2001, the political situation in RD Congo
        would deteriorate through attacks, uprisings or attempts
        at a coup d'état, events which would announce the un-
        avoidable execution of the plan....

        According to [one] source, last October, the American
        government decided that 'Kabila has to leave 'and this
        'as quickly as possible' very likely before 'next April'

The correctness or incorrectness of this information certainly
is difficult to judge on, as is that of the parallel one brought
by C. Braeckman in her abovementioned article on 18 January:

        "On the other side of the Atlantic, and no doubt else-
        where in the West, a scenario of the disappearance of
        Kabila has being talked of since several months back;
        it envisages to bring to Kinshasa the [so-called - RM]
        mediator Masire and his team, which are on stand-by in
        Botswana, and place the country under UN tutelage...."

But some recent "strange" statements indicate too that things
in that direction may have been planned. The Belgian foreign
minister, Michel, on 17 January was not only likewise strangely
"well-informed" about L-D Kabila's in fact being dead; he also
talked of the possible dispatch of Belgian helicopters to Kin-
shasa "in case the situation there should deteriorate" - pur-
portedly "to evacuate Belgian citizens".

And one habitual reader of the abovementioned Le Soir, for in-
stance, Zen Kaadel <Kaadel at>, later noted on the mailing
list congokin_opinions how that Belgian paper went on and on
about the "disappointment" of some people in that country that,
after this assassination, there precisely was *no* unrest in
Kinshasa, neither on the part of people in general nor on that
of members of the armed forces. "Surprisingly", there was no
looting or armed violence in that city, as had often been the
case in connection with dramatic events in earlier decades.


If there was an attempt at a coup d'état, as is probable, it
certainly did not succeed. The Congolese government on 17 Janu-
ary appointed Joseph Kabila, son of L-D Kabila and likewise a
patriot and liberation fighter, interim head of that government.
After the death of his father had been confirmed, J. Kabila was
appointed to assume the permanent responsibilities as head of
the government and the army.

In the statement of the government of the DR Congo on 18 January
announcing that President L-D Kabila had passed away despite all
efforts to save his life, it was said i.a.:

        "To our army, to our police, to our security forces, the
        Public Salvation Government hereby informs them that the
        President of the Republic, Mzee Laurent-Désiré Kabila,
        left the following testament for their attention.

        Firstly, maintain your discipline and remain calm and
        serene, particularly at this time of war and aggression.

        Secondly, protect the population and ensure the safety
        of people and property.

        Thirdly, defend the integrity of the Democratic Republic
        of Congo.

        Fourthly, cast the aggressors off the national terri-

Coounterattacks against the aggressors precisely are continuing
too, under the new leadership of the DR Congo.


On this, there still is very little official information.

The defence minister of the DR Congo, Godefroid Tcham'lesso, on
18.01 said, of the direct aggressor states, Uganda and Rwanda:
"They ordered the attack." (According to a Lusaka report the
next day.) But there are no details of what occurred, or only
various unclear stories about it.

Very justifiedly, Zen Kaadel (cf above), writing to the list
congkin_opinion, has called for a clarification on some open
questions in connection with this assassination and has announ-
ced his own intention to seek the truth on this with the help
of others, ending his 18.01 posting on this with:

        "All I can tell you at the moment is that this was not
        an isolated act, as a certain press would like to have
        you believe. As soon as you start putting the pieces
        together, you will understand that everything was very
        carefully planned, most certainly, together with foreign

[Continued in part 2/2]


UNITE! Info #144en: 2/2 The foul murder of L-D Kabila
[Posted: 22.01.01]

[Continued from part 1/2]


In connection with this assassination, people all over the world
have been able to witness a spectacle of a kind which otherwise
has probably not been seen or heard since the heyday of the Nazi
fascits and their quislings here in Europe, more than 50 years

A large number of more or less well-known, or infamous, repre-
sentatives and/or agents of imperialism, including international
press organs, are openly trumpeting out their great satisfaction
with this assassination of the president of the DR Congo, in
the first place, and also their disappointment, in the second
place, that it did not bring such "results" as they had hoped

Here are some quotes, with brief comments:

The rejoicing, or the hopes, of the more or less official press
organ of the US imperialists, the New York Times, already has
been noted in a quoted comment above.

A report from Kampala:

        'Uganda government officials yesterday regretted the
        assasination in Kinshasa of president Laurent Kabila
        but said he was "very problematic and a major roadblock"
        to peace in the Congo. Army commander Maj. Gen. Jeje
        Odongo said, "It is sad he died, but it is also true
        that he was problematic in all attempts to search for

Of course! Isn't it clear to all that Uganda, one of the direct
aggressors against the DR Congo, with troops occupying large
part of that country, *this* state is "not" "problematic" nor
any "roadblock" concerning peace in the Congo! Its military, the
ones directly carrying out this crime - an act of aggression
stamped precisely as a crime ever since the Nuremberg trials
and in all international charters such as that of the UN etc
etc - of course are not either! It's the one who has been
leading the defence against this crime who has been "the prob-

Or in plain words: "If I come to slaughter you, and you dare
defend yourself, you become a problem!"

>From the ruling clique of Rwanda, and from the miserable mup-
pets of theirs and of the Ugandan reactionaries, the so-called
"rebels" in the DR Congo, most bitterly hated by the people
everywhere, the same kind of statements have come too. This is
not very surprising.

The Ugandan National Political Commissar reportedly said:

        "It is Uganda's hope that whoever replaces Kabila will
        not be as intransigent as he was."

That figures too. If you're out to invade and subjugate a
country, you don't want that country's leader to be "intran-
sigent", to call for the people to defend itself. You want him
or her to be "nice" and capitulate. The quality of intransi-
gence you want only in yourself, as aggressor and criminal.

Similar statements have come not only from the direct aggres-
sors, their armed muppet cliques and some persons in the DR
Congo itself who pretend to be part of a "democratic, unarmed

Ever since the beginning of the AFDL uprising in late 1996, and
continuing after its victory and the founding of the new DR
Congo on 17.05.1997, Laurent-Désiré has been subjected to ex-
treme vilification by the international imperialist media,
something which speaks well too for his qualities as leader of
the people and which is now continuing also after his assassi-

And against Joseph Kabila, such propaganda has started at once
too, only with the difference that in his case, the various
direct and indirect aggressors have not agreed on whether to
say that he is "too intransigent" or practically the opposite,
"too inexperienced", for their liking.

Another report:

        '... the very fact of Kabila's assassination could
        bring ... - in a more optimistic reading - a new
        leadership more interested in peace and the gradual
        normalisation of relations with neighbouring countries
        [i.e., the aggressor ones - RM], the 'Financial Times'
        [UK] reported on Thursday.

        Kabila's death gave rise to the possibility of "a major
        shift" in the DRC conflict, according to the independent
        [no doubt *very* "independent"] US-based intelligence
        consultancy Stratfor. Joseph Kabila had been named as
        the acting head of government but the evidence indica-
        ted that, for the moment, other senior government of-
        ficials may be running the country, it said.'

This last, repeated by others too, again indicates disappoint-
ment of the imperialists' that the assassination plot had "so
far not been as successful as hoped for".

The Belgian foreign minister Michel, has said, as quoted by Le
Soir on 19.01:

        "the shock [of the assassination of L-D Kabila]...may
        bring a momentum favourable to negotiations [with the

Nelson Mandela, former president of South Africa, according to
a Reuters report on 19.01 said that he

        "... hoped the assassination of the Congolese President
        would be a route to peace in the country."

Thus, imperialist aggressions, and murder of the defender's
leaders if the aggression does not succeed at once, are openly
being declared to be on the order of the day in the world.

People in all countries, not only in Africa, indeed should note
such statements and be warned by them.


The abovementioned editorial of the newspaper l'Avenir, Kin-
shasa, also rightly said:

        "It is not by accident that the Congo is the only
        country in the world whose territorial integrity and
        sovereignty are not protected by the international

        The question one puts to oneself is that of whether by
        killing the nationalists, you can finally prevent the
        peoples of the third world from loving their country.
        The African nationalist leaders, one of whom was [L-D]
        Kabila, never have demanded anything else than that the
        managing of their countries' riches be left to them-
        selves, rather that eternally kneeling for aid.

        Nkrumah is dead, Lumumba, Sankara and many others are
        dead too. But those who combated them or who weaved
        anti-nationalist ideologies also are dead. Killing
        people in order to smother an idea has never been a
        solution. Because an idea cannot be killed. When you
        bury it, it germinates and produces fruits. This is
        why there will always be Lumumbas, Kabilas, no matter
        what kind of killing machinery is put into action."

The invaders today are occupying one-half of the territory of
the DR Congo, are plundering it to the utmost, committing mas-
sacre after massacre and subjecting the people in the entire
country to extreme hardships. According to the International
Rescue Committee, in June 2000, this aggression, in practice
flagrantly condoned and supported by all the "rich" states in
the world and by the United Nations, had already cost the lives
of some 1.7 million people. Valiant resistance against it con-

All the main international media since long are being very
silent about this aggression, pretending that it is not taking
place at all. On those rare occasions when this war is mentioned
by these media, then they repeat that blatant lie that what is
taking place is a "rebellion", which certainly is not the case.

Very much does the Congolese people today need the help and
support of the peoples all over the world.

In the DR Congo, there takes place an important struggle against
an enemy which is common to all peoples, international imperia-
lism. Any successes for the enemy in that struggle will mean
increased opportunities for those forces for continuing their
crimes elsewhere. Successes for the Congolese people will mean
less pressure by the exploiters and oppressors on the peoples in
other countries.

FÖRENA ER! Info en/de/fr/es/se series:

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Postal address:

Rolf Martens
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