Last week I went through my bible and came across a story that is quite similar to that of Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) since 1996. The bible’s story tells a strange “Star” that was followed by specialists in “Astronomy”; that is, they were able to divine the meaning of lighting stars. These men were coming from the east and went to Egyptian King to get informed about the new-born King as was expressed by the star. When these specialists went wrong into translating the star’s message, the latter goes missing till they left King Herod’s palace. It is afterward that the stars appeared again and led these men until they reached Bethlehem. The star was the only guide that led them to where was born the new King. True or false, it depends on someone’s level of believing and you can check the reference if needed (just drop a word to get it).
In the practical case of DRC since 1996, it refers to a “Star” that led a man from the Dares-Salam suburbs to the DRC statehouse. No matter how strong you may be in guerillas, it is fair to guess that after 20 years of interruption a dream from Hewabora to the statehouse in Kinshasa was going dark. The interruption does not question his individual capacity to rule over a country, especially for someone who has spent roughly the same period into Eastern DRC bushes. It rather highlights how unachievable were becoming his dreams. Surprisingly, imagine a late evening or earlier morning when the man has received a phone call telling him to revive his dreams. Unconceivable and it sounds to me the phone call would still meaning the same dreams into darkness. Fortunately or not, the man got guided by the “Star” to the statehouse within a period of 7 months; making real his long-time dreams to rule over a country of 2,345,410 Km2 in the heart of Africa.
It doesn’t matter if the “Star” appears before the man woke up or if the “star” found the man walking toward the statehouse and started to guide him. Obviously, witnesses had seen these two working closely together to the extent that they ended up sharing strategic top positions of leading the country. The sharing did not count for feeble legal framework for one of the two to occupy such post. The story differs from that one I have read in a sense that within few months, the “Star” and the head of the state fell out, making the “Star” to find and drive others into another journey to the same statehouse again. The second journey started in 1998 and in 4 years roughly, it propelled other men and women to the likely same functions. A quite number of people who followed the “Star” managed to share a large portion of top level posts in the country during the 2002 Sun City inclusive agreement. It remains a mystery to explain how these ones also fell out with the guiding “Star” as behind them, few weeks ago, there has been a boiling mood to overthrow them. A third journey toward the Kinshasa’s statehouse took place again alongside the same “Star”.
The third journey ended in a mixed blessing where some went into safe house while others managed to share another portion into military and political structures. It happened that some were granted to have control over military structures in North and South-Kivu. Really speaking, no one could have gained such privilege to occupy military positions without being backed by the “Star”. Additionally, without taking into consideration rules and international laws, being backed allows people to be appointed despite their background. However, it is quite normal in DRC to get any top level appointment without checking your background and hence having top officials with crimes in their hands. Nevertheless, parties agreed to create such military structure for the sacrifice of peace in Kivu.
Considering the background of the new military leaders from the third journey, the shared appointments are equally interpretable as statehouse position. Nonetheless, the peace never lasted again and the country enters into a fourth journey toward Kinshasa’s statehouse. It was a time to call in again men and women into the journey led by the same “Star”. Even though the journey is turning into unexpected events where some are dropping off into safe houses or surrendering, I still feel that the “Star” has the ability to light, convince and seduce based on his experience on the ground and the long list of unsolved socio-economic grievances. You can disagree and upbraid the least journey-keepers because you haven’t ever met that “Star”.
NTANYOMA R. Delphin
Twitter Account: @delphino12