jeudi 28 octobre 2010

The Curse of Mr. H.M. Leopold II Roger Casement to Floribert Chebeya ... or The curse of H.M. Leopold II and the tragic fate of the defenders of human rights in Democratic Republic of Congo.

The pioneer of human rights in Congo is David Roger Casement. Born September 1, 1864 at Sandycove, a small village on the eastern coast of County Dublin in Ireland. Orphaned at age ten years, he was raised by friends of his family in Ulster.
         He has nineteen years when he was posted as commissioner of a ship of the Elder Dempster Shipping Company Limited which provided the Antwerp-Boma, before getting hired as a volunteer of the Association Internationale du Congo (A.I.C.).
         At the service of "Bula-Matari" Henry Morton Stanley (1841-1904) and accompanies him to find the German Jew doctor, Eduard Carl Oscar Theodor Schnitzer, aka "Emin Pasha (1840-1892)”.
         After working for the colonial administration in Nigeria and South Africa, he served as British consul to the Congo Free State (CIS) August 20, 1900.
         In March 1903, he discovers the horrors of state agents Independent after visiting the villages of martyrs of Bolobo, Bobangi, Lokolela and Irebu in Upper Congo. "I had fallen, he writes, on a secret society of assassins headed by a king."
         His mission report published in the British "Parliamentary Papers" reports of villages depopulated and equally decimated by the atrocities of the agents of the Anglo-Belgian India Rubber Company (A.B.I.R.) that the spread of trypanosomiasis. His report was described as "woefully convincing" by the British Foreign Minister, Lord Lansdowne, Henry Charles Keith Petty-Fitzmaurice (1845-1927).
         In December 1903 he mets Edmund Dene Morel (1873-1924) with whom he founded on January 25, 1904, the “Congo Reform Association (C.R.A.)”, whose role in the collapse of the Congo Free State was crucial.
         The owner of the Congo Independent State, H.M. Leopold II was deeply affected and did publish falsehoods despite the report of the first governor of the Congo Free State, Baron Ernest Joseph Francis Marie Dhanis (1862-1909): "I am ... absolutely stunned there were assassinations, murders, massive fines imposed on the natives who did not bring rubber, arrests and detention of women and children being starved in prison. (...) I only speak of things seen or admitted by the head of post-charge of the natives. "
         July 24, 1904, under pressure from his peers, King Leopold II creates reluctantly an international commission of inquiry "impartial" that could prove the innocence of the officers of the CIS and the A. B.I.R..
         It leads to suicide of Acting Governor General, Paul-Marie Costermans, (nicknamed "Leopard-Gondoko" whose name will be assigned later to the town of Bukavu) March 9, 1905 and the resignation of Secretary of State of the Congo Free State, Van Eetvelde Edmond (1852-1925).
         "I'm tired of being contaminated with blood and mud," he wrote to his colleague from the inside.
         After the publication of the Official Bulletin of the Congo Free State on November 5, 1905, the Belgian Socialist deputies demanded the outright annexation of the Congo by Belgium.
         A humiliation for his venerable owner, who still affirmed on December 10, 1906 in the London Times that "In the treatment of a race composed of cannibals for thousands of years, it is necessary to use methods most appropriate to shake his idleness and make him realize the sanctity of work ".
         When the annexation of Congo Free State by Belgium was imminent, he hastened to incinerate all the archives of the C.I.S.: "I will give them my Congo, but they have no right to know what I have done" he confided to his young aide, Gustavus Stinglhamber dumbfounded at the bonfire.
         In 1906, Roger Casement was awarded the Order of St Michael and St George by King Edward VII ((1841-1910).
         The same year he was assigned as Consul at Santos in Brazil and then Delgao at Mozambique. During his mission at Putumayo in Peru, he defended the Indians, operated by the Amazon Rubber Company (A.R.C.).
         In 1911 he was knighted by King George V (1910-1936).
         He was suspected of homosexuality, then accused of instigating the revolt of the Irish and treason on June 29, 1916.
         He was sentenced to death and hanged at Pentonville Prison in London on August 3, 1916.
         Rehabilitated 49 years after his death, The Irish organized for him, a grand national funeral on 1 May 1965 and a stele was erected to his memory at Banna Strand in 1966.
         In 2010, defenders of human rights in the Democratic Republic of the Congo continue to suffer the curse of King Leopold II, who appears again and again proclaim from beyond "its inalienable right on the Congo, the fruit of his labor."
         A century after his death, the tragic fate of Floribert Chebeya Bahizire (47 years), President of “La Voix des Sans Voix (The Voice of the Voiceless) for Human Rights" and executive secretary of the National Network of NGOs of the Human Rights of the Democratic Republic of Congo (R.E.N.A.D.H.O.C.), tortured and murdered by Congolese police June 2, 2010, is in line for those trying to defend against the abuse of Congolese state. This applies even to those who proclaim loudly that "the riches of Congo must benefit first Congolese to" like Patrice Lumumba (1925-1961).
         When H.M. King Albert II, who was expected to become the viceroy of the Congo in 1955 preparing for her first official visit to Kinshasa, 30 June 2010, the curse of his grandfather who "neither the Congo, nor Belgium were not ready for annexation", and even less for independence, should call the Congolese and Belgians.
         "Sire, they have tranished your Congo”, Thus exclaimed General Emile Janssens, the last commander of the Police Force, in tears at the foot of the monument of H.M. .Leopold II on July 5, 1960 after being drawn on the blackboard: "Before independence = after independence" in front of his troops, stunned then angry. Before fleeing disguised as a corporal in Brazzaville.
         Unconsciously, he came to inaugurate the mutinies, secessions and rebellions that have bloodied the Congo and all the misfortunes that have plagued the country until today.
         Who cares fifty years later? But what is a half-century or a century to a monarch who, on his deathbed, had told the "story time and care to avenge lies forged by the policy?” *
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* For more details: I. KANYARWUNGA N. Jean, République Démocratique du Congo. Les générations condamnées. Déliquescence d’une société pré-capitaliste (Democratic Republic of Congo. Generations condemned. Failed a pre-capitalist society), Publibook, Paris, 2006.

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