One may ask where the relation between the two issues is.
Or what does this have to do with the Rwandan president Paul Kagame storming out of an international mini summit on Democratic Republic of Congo organised in New York at the occasion of the UN Annual General Assembly.
In the first instance of iPhone 5 one has the world of multinational corporations and the sense of humanity in the face of women’s plight in a deliberately destabilized Democratic Republic of Congo.
And in the second there is evidence of arrogance against the international community from the part of these conglomerates businesses working through leaders like Kagame who enable them easy access to cheap raw materials in their chains of production.
There was this facts finding in the ravaged Eastern Congo where the involved
team of probably Western experts came up with a recommendation of providing women with a mobile phone, – of course an ordinary mobile phone is a lot less worth than an iPhone 5 -, to call the local police for intervention in case of any attack.
Can this be an eye-opener on the ignorance of the reality on the ground from certain cycles? But let’s not venture in assessing the effectiveness of Congolese institutions responsible for citizens’ security and safety.
Instead, provided that this month the global electronic company and brand Apple has launched its newest gadget iPhone 5 on the market, let’s look at the connections between the demand of prized electronic gadgets and humanitarian catastrophes their production is linked with particularly in Democratic Republic of Congo.
Public frenzy for electronic gadgets
Despite some technical problems in displaying locations, within only 3 days of its launch on Friday 21 September 2012, Apple had managed to sell 5 million devices.
In early morning of the launch there were long queues of hundreds waiting fans of the gadget at Apple’s Regent Street branch in London.
People wonder how many of those million fans around the world have a clue of the links between their product and the suffering of millions of human beings, particularly women being raped in the thousands, thousands miles away.
To solve the Congolese crisis, millions of Apple’s fans and other manufacturers of electronic gadgets need to be educated on the role they play in perpetuating the plight of people they don’t know and seem not to care about in their pursuit of personal satisfaction.
And this is one of the roles of activists, journalists and other voices who are raising awareness on the crisis. They need to mix with these gadgets’ fans during launches of new products, educate, and distribute information on facts that need to open people’s eyes on their responsibilities.
Western mainstream media deliberately hide any link that their governments and multinational corporations might have with the suffering of millions of Africans.
Each time the blame is focused on corrupt and incompetent African leaders. And the same media does not ever highlight the significant role that for example aid agencies which are extensions of Western foreign policy departments play in such processes. This does not of course excuse the responsibility of recipients.
Back to the situation in DRC, despite the fact that over the years UN reports have pointed out the involvement of multinational corporations in illegal exploitation and plundering of DRC mineral resources, Western media never stress strongly their level of guilt – if any -, in the ongoing humanitarian crisis in the region.
Human casualties of the current situation in DRC can objectively be viewed as equivalent to the plight of Black African slaves of past centuries who were necessary to the well-beings of the masters of the civilized world of the time.
They ultimately die for a greater cause: so the civilized world can get its necessary and useful gadgets to pursue its dominant position as long as possible.
Useless international meetings
The last in the series of such meetings was organised on 27 September 2012 by UN General Secretary Ba Ki-moon.
Participants invited to the meeting were top representatives of 30 governments, all key stakeholders in different ways to the crisis in Eastern DRC.
What emerges from the discussions is a sense of uselessness of these meetings.
People who have closely monitored the Congolese crisis over the years know well that more than 8 million individuals [Black Africans] have died.
They were a direct and indirect consequence of wars that Museveni of Uganda and Kagame of Rwanda have engineered in the Great Lakes region for the last 25 years.
And the tally is on the rise with the ongoing crisis created with M23. All those years, these two presidents did not act alone. They still have strong connections among world making decisions’ structures. They are sponsored particularly by Washington and London.
Despite some strains in the unconditional support reserved to these leaders, the fundamentals of the relationship which evolve around access to strategic minerals and geopolitical interests have not changed.
This explains for example the reason US representation at UN was strongly against pointing at Rwanda as the external support of M23 in the report of UN Group of Experts on Democratic Republic of Congo, back in June this year.
There is a sense of conspiracy against populations of the Great Lakes region of Africa, and particularly of Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda and Uganda.
The more one thinks about prevailing situation, the more a conviction of a deliberate long term strategy of maintaining a status quo enabling continuous easy access to resources takes shape in people’s minds.
Like the recent meeting in New York on the crisis, other initiatives such as the U.S. law aimed at tackling the trade in “conflict minerals” in DRC, undertaken to solve it or reduce its impact appear ill-thought in their premises since they ignore to address the root cause of the problem, which lies with the dictatorships ruling in Kigali and Kampala.
End of Apartheid as an example
It’s an open secret that the West continues to lead the accepted global opinion in many respects through its mainstream media and institutions which shape what the general public think rightly and or wrongly to be the only truth around.
Through that understanding, the lives of millions of Africans who continue to be wasted in Rwanda and Democratic Republic of Congo and the whole Great Lakes region appear not to be considered worthwhile.
One can only conclude to a concerted racism towards the concerned populations who are being decimated by warlords turned into presidents but supported by their masters in Washington, London and Brussels for economic and political interests.
ANC of Nelson Mandela fought against South Africa Apartheid system for decades. From the 6Os an international movement against the racist institution started to raise globally awareness on its inhumane nature.
The campaign of boycott against South African institutions and their products reached its peak with the release of ANC leaders in early 90s.
But more than anything else, it was the financial pressure that South African capitalists and their partners elsewhere, – those benefiting from Apartheid -, that forced them into negotiations with ANC.
They went on the negotiation table to preserve their business interests. Unless the Congolese crisis becomes an issue of international concern from everyone around the planet who cares about humanity of others, there is little that will change in the suffering of millions of citizens of the Great Lakes region.
Countries and multinational groups benefiting from the status quo in the Congolese crisis need to be forced by the international general public to remove total support to Kagame and Museveni who are its root causes.
In the last quarter of a century, these two leaders in Africa have been more devastating than has been Apartheid during its era.