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Africa Congo (Essay Sample)


describe in details the Congo region in Africa from the belgian occupation to present-day civil war.


Africa Congo
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College Affiliation
Africa Congo
Belgium, a European country, gained its independence from the Netherlands in the year 1831. During this period, Belgium was under the rule of king Leopold 1. After thirty four years in power, Leopold one was succeeded by his son, who assumed the title Leopold the second. During this time, European countries were all competing for power and the need to colonize Africa arose. As European countries acquired colonies in Africa, Leopold the second was not left out. He sent Sir Henry’s expedition to explore the Congo region in 1876. The exploration led to the colonization of the Congo region. Though the region was many times larger than Western Europe, Leopold ruled and made the whole region his own entity. He subjected the natives to injustices and inhuman acts to respect and observe his orders. The Congolese were not considered while making decisions as they were seen to be incapable of nothing or less humans (Nzongola-Ntalaja, 2002).
Many Congolese lost their lives as they tried to resist the atrocities, hostility and brutal rule of Leopold. Those who were arrested were killed. Their heads, hands and legs were chopped off from the rest of their body and they bled to death. By the1890s, the British press started their exclusive investigation on King Leopold and brought to light his brutality against humanity. Even after this report was made public, there were no stiff measures that were taken against the king until late 1908 when he was forced to handover power to the Belgium state (Nzongola-Ntalaja, 2002).
Immediately Belgium assumed control from the dictator, slight changes were felt by the natives. Power shifted from the evil to the lesser evil. Schools were created; railways and airports were also constructed to facilitate easy transportation of crops and minerals. Though all this was evident in Congo, the lives of locals and whites were totally different. The natives had nothing to be proud of. They were disrespected, forced to work in plantations as slaves and did not have any right whatsoever as human beings. But on the contrary, their counterparts, the whites, enjoyed the best of everything that Congo could offer. They lived in paradise where everything was in abundance. Their children attended good schools, which were well equipped unlike the native ones, which were poorly equipped and sometimes there were no schools at all (Nzongola-Ntalaja, 2002).
Decisions concerning Congo came from Brussels, the capital city of Belgium. The natives were not involved in decision making concerning their country. They were neither directly nor indirectly involved in running the affairs of their own country. The inequities experienced by the natives made the Congolese elite to organize demonstrations to oppose the Belgium rule. They used the civil unrest to destabilize Belgium imperialists. These Congolese elite did not stop at anything short of freedom for the Africans and their nation at large (Nzongola-Ntalaja, 2002). They had suffered a lot in the hands of the whites and therefore, they wanted fundamental changes in governance. This suffering created a common problem to all Congolese. Therefore, a sense of nationalism emerged. They were willing to lose their lives for the sake of their country’s future. Their determination forced the Belgium rule to disintegrate hence paving way for the gaining of independence in the year 1960 and a young Congolese – Patrice Lumumba – became the first elected president. His tenure was characterized by chaos and uprisings here and there. Congolese were disappointed by Lumumba’s government as they expected things to change drastically hence resulting to chaos. This chaos and uprisings led to his assassination (Witte, 2001). After the assassination of Lumumba, a coup was staged and Mbutu, who was the military general by then, came into power. Every Congolese believed Mbutu would liberate their country from chaos and the increasing poverty. He promised to bring peace to the region and reduce the rebellious Katanga region by performing “ethnic cleansing” against the Kasai, the minority. As years progress...
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