Belgium Workers Party on Kabila assassination

Charles Brown CharlesB at
Wed Jan 31 21:54:10 MST 2001

Two million Kinoans pay homage to Kabila

          By Ludo Martens (chairperson, Workers Party of Belgium)

          Jan. 22, 2001 - Congo President Laurent Kabila's death was the
          end of a conspiracy prepared long in advance. That's the
          conviction of the majority of the population around Kinshasa who
          were asked. It was certainly not by chance, a friend told me,
          that this assassination took place at a moment when the Congolese
          could foresee victory against the aggressors that were ravaging
          and destroying their country.

          In effect, Washington, which had given a green light to their
          Rwandan and Ugandan clients for a month-long war, found
          themselves in an impasse after two and a half years of
          occupation, barbarism and pillage. The Congolese people had
          reinforced their determination to push the aggressors out and
          never again permit imperialism to call the tune in Congo.

          The United Nations Security Council had affirmed many times since
          April 9, 2000 that Congo was the victim of an aggression by
          Rwanda and Uganda. According to official figures, there have
          already been more than 3 million deaths in the eastern parts of
          Congo due to the aggression and the ensuing war. The U.S. could
          not continue this genocide for much longer.

          In addition, Kabila had begun a dialog with all the Congolese
          forces in the opposition who had at least a minimum of a
          patriotic sensibility. Washington's strategy to carry out a
          parliamentary coup d'Etat against Kabila while the
          inter-Congolese dialog was going on was itself about to collapse.
          Then the U.S. government played its last card by activating their
          agents in Kabila's immediate entourage.

          On Jan. 16, at 1:45 p.m., one of Kabila's bodyguards fired three
          fatal shots.

          Arrival in Kinshasa

          I had reached Kinshasa late the night before the assassination.
          In the evening of the next day, the leadership of the Workers
          Party of Belgium (PTB), fearing the worst, asked that I return
          immediately to Belgium. Exactly the same sentiment reigned in
          Kinshasa's neighborhoods; the army would tear itself apart, there
          would be killings. This same population considered
          [pro-imperialist Congo politician] Tshisekedi's comments from
          Brussels as truly criminal provocations.

          Kabila's body was still warm when Tshisekedi ordered from
          Brussels his troops to resume their political activities and to
          fight on because "liberty does not come of its own, it is taken"
          Wednesday, Jan. 17, students influenced by the demagogy of the
          UDPS and MPR [Congolese parties that opposed Kabila], had almost
          provoked clashes that would have lit the dynamite.

          The complicity between a certain so-called "democratic"
          opposition on one hand and Washington and its Rwandan-Ugandan
          aggressors on the others, once again came out into the open.
          Since Aug. 2, 1998, this complicity has characterized the war
          waged by pro-imperialist forces against the Congolese nationalist

          New authorities keep the peace

          One can say that the population in its overwhelming majority was
          overjoyed that the new authorities who replaced Kabila had
          succeeded in maintaining calm; even more, that they had prevented
          even the smallest incident.

          Here in Kinshasa, certain people asserted that the assassination
          was an individual act, an unhappy dramatic incident. This is
          hardly believable.

          According to information published in the press, the bodyguard
          who committed the crime was not in service that day. He had
          nonetheless arrived in the Marble Palace in military dress and
          stayed there a long time. A woman from the presidential guard had
          given him a revolver with a silencer.

          To slip a revolver with a silencer into the presidential palace
          already points to a high degree of organization. The killer was
          able to enter the office where Kabila was, along with his
          assistant director Mota, without having been searched by the
          guard and without passing through a metal detector. After
          committing the murder, the assassin was killed, when he could
          have been shot in the legs and kept alive for interrogation. The
          head of presidential security was killed in equally obscure

          Immediately after the murder, an official government communiqu?BR>
       asserted that the killer was dead and that "no doubt we will
          never discover those who gave the orders."  The entire population
          believes that there had to be a conspiracy there with vast

          Along the highway to the airport, the Kinoans who observed the
          funeral march were aggressive toward Europeans; "It's you who
          ordered the Assassination." I saw a white journalist at the
          People's Palace, his face covered with blood, protected by 15
          police officers who had rescued him from an angry crowd.
          Yesterday, I also faced verbal attacks of the nature: "It's you,
          the whites"; but there was almost always someone in the area who
          recognized me from the times I had commented on the political
          situation on television and who explained then that not all the
          white people were anti-Kabila.

          Aware observers were also astonished to hear the announcement on
          the day of the crime that General Kayembe, vice minister of
          defense, should have killed Kabila. Those who know the man affirm
          that he is one of the best trained officers, a nationalist
          through and through, who fully supported the ideas of the
          president. It was apparently the Agency Belga that had spread
          this wild rumor, seen here as an incitement to kill Kayembe.

          The Zimbabweans, who also understood it this way, immediately
          took him under their protection.

          Excuse for intervention

          Observers asked themselves if the hidden forces who were behind
          the assassination, by pushing for the physical elimination of
          Kayembe, hoped not only to make the army fall apart, but also to
          provoke violent clashes between Katangans and Kasaians, as in
          1992. Kayembe comes from Kasai. That would give the necessary
          pretext for a U.S.-French-Belgian military intervention.

          President Kabila was the brain and the heart of the resistance
          against the U.S.-Rwanda-Ugandan aggression. He directed the army,
          the government, diplomacy and the Committees of Popular Power.
          His assassination was aimed at bringing down the entire structure
          of the new Congo and bringing about complete anarchy. The
          declaration of Belgian Foreign Minister Louis Michel, on the
          evening of Jan. 16, affirming that he had reliable information
          that Kabila was dead, are now considered here as an attempt to
          arouse the popular mood and provoke anarchy.

          The Congolese authorities, completely set back by the events,
          needed time to take measure adequate to avoid dramatic collapses.
          The great fear was that the army would divide into factions that
          fired bullets and shells at each other. Belgium's chief diplomat
          must have known very well that if Kabila was dead and the
          Congolese government hesitated to announce it, they had good
          reasons for doing so. It had to avoid an explosion of
          disturbances of all sorts. According to certain aware observers
          of the scene, Belgium had acted as if it wanted exactly these

          According to certain information still to be confirmed, a group
          consisting of Mpoyo, Kazadi, Olenga and several others who were
          close to Kabila, after having reviewuated the situation, proposed
          that Joseph Kabila;Laurent Kabila's son and a general in Congo's
          armed forces--take over the command. The Angolans and the
          Zimbabweans, who have reinforced in a significant fashion their
          military presence in Kinshasa, supported this proposal.

          At the moment when the first news of the eventual death of
          comrade Kabila reached us, I was with several Congolese friends.
          One of them immediately said, "If he is dead, it is necessary
          that a military officer take the power, if not we risk a
          catastrophe." Comrade Lwetsha is the head of the armed forces. A
          faithful among the faithful, his age no doubt did not permit him
          to assume the supreme authority. Those who took the
          responsibility of?proposing Major General Joseph Kabila, head of
          the army, have estimated that with any other officer there would
          have been a greater risk that the situation would slip out of

          Patrice Lumumba, the first leader of Congo, was killed in 1960
          and there has never been in Congo an investigation into this
          conspiracy that had vast ramifications either in Congo, Belgium
          or the United States.

          The population here will not accept that the same thing happens
          with Kabila's assassination. This too is a sign of the changes in
          the times. The people in the streets can not understand at all
          how, in the first official communication from the government,
          Sakombi said nothing about the necessary investigations to
          discover the real killers who remain in the shadows. A student
          said to me: "If an American is killed by a terrorist anywhere in
          the world, the United States affirms that it will not rest before
          identifying and arresting the guilty party. But here someone
          assassinates the president, and there seems to be no will to get
          to the bottom of the affair."

          One hears everywhere: "We have to know who is involved, who is
          behind it, if not the same gang will commit other murders."

          For the last three years, although the imperialist powers have
          spread the most poisonous lies against Kabila and Congolesec
          nationalism, they have failed to grasp the psychological
          transformations that have taken place here among the population.

          Lumumba had been assassinated, his body disappearing in acid and
          the population unable to express its angry feelings. Guerrilla
          leader Pierre Mulele had been killed in a barbarous fashion, no
          one able to see his body or publicly demonstrate their support
          for his revolutionary struggle.

          Like Lumumba and Mulele, Kabila has been denigrated as a
          "genocidal killer," "dictator," ?quot;bandit," but although these
          lies may have been swallowed in the West, here they have been

          2 million demonstrate their anger

          The agents of the imperialist powers;the leaders of the MPR and
          the UDPS, etc. thought that their day would soon come. But
          yesterday the people held a demonstration of its nationalist
          spirit unprecedented in Congo's history and of which every
          Congolese will remember until their last day.

          Two million Kinoans went into the streets to cry out their anger
          and indignations at all the lies and all the crimes committed by
          the U.S.-Rwanda-Ugandan plot against Congo. I was at the airport
          to receive Kabila's mortal remains. We followed in an automobile
          a route of more than 12 miles across the entire city, from Njili
          from Mount Ngaliema to Kinshasa.

          Everywhere there was an immense crowd, children who cried, adult
          men whose eyes filled with tears, women who cried out in pain.

          Three days ago, I argued with a friend who is a model;she comes
          from Equator Province;who believed that Kabila had made the
          population suffer too much, that Tshisekedi would do better. I
          ran across her yesterday. She told me that she and her mother had
          cried aloud at home, because, all the same, "Kabila was good, he
          truly loved his country, he wanted us to be independent."

          From the auto, I filmed the crowds gathered along the route. We
          could see for an hour the compact groups of people along the
          streets, the young people who filled Boulevard Lumumba. I'll send
          the photos tomorrow to Belgium so that the friends can see for
          themselves the massive support of the population for the
          nationalist values that Kabila represented. Just to see these
          pictures will assure you that what you learned in Europe about
          the Congo has almost nothing to do with the truth here on the

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