Congolese youth are pursuing a sublime and dignified social justice struggle in the heart of Africa. They are calling on people of goodwill throughout the globe to stand with them as they seek to transform the social and political landscape of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The youth make up the majority of the over 70 million Congolese. The median age is 18 years old.
The immediate challenge facing the youth is a recalcitrant tyrant in Joseph Kabila who refuses to leave power even though the country’s constitution called on him to step down on December 19, 2016. However, Joseph Kabila refuses to leave power per the country’s constitution. He has demonstrated a willingness to kill, jail and torture defenders of the country’s constitution in order to hold on to power. Over the past two years, the regime’s security forces have unleashed a withering onslaught on non-violent, pro-democracy activists:
January 2015 – Killed = 44; September 2016 – Killed = 50, Injured = 107, Arrested = 406; December 2016 – Killed = 34, Arrested = 270.
Leading up to and since December 19, 2016, the Kabila regime has for all intents and purposes occupied major cities with police, military and tanks in key locations in strategic cities throughout the Congo. Agents of the state are particularly pervasive on university campuses to spy on and turn in student organisers to the state security forces.
In the face of the Kabila regime’s brutal repression and widespread crackdown, the youth have stepped up their courageous, creative resistance. Their resistance is not solely against a repressive regime but also against the system that put that regime in place and helped to maintain it.
The youth are fighting for a better society with proper education, healthcare, jobs, clean water, electricity, security, freedom of speech and assembly and the opportunity to fulfill their God-given potential.
The current system with its foreign backers have prevented the youth and Congolese in general from realizing their aspirations and living a decent humane life. Understanding clearly, that Congo’s challenge is both internal and external, Congolese youth are appealing to people of goodwill throughout the globe in the spirit of one of Congo’s independence hero and first democratically elected Prime Minister, Patrice Emery Lumumba, who said:
Stand in solidarity with Congolese youth in their pursuit of peace, justice and human dignity in the heart of Africa.