DRC: Cartoons satirize Congolese politics

It's been just one month since Congolese President Joseph Kabila named a new government in an effort to quell mounting criticism over his inability to quell rebel violence in the east, and many bloggers remain skeptical about the country's future.

A lot has been written about Congo's precarious situation (see posts by GV author Elia Varela Serra, who has closely followed recent developments), but sometimes a picture is worth a thousand words.

Alex Engwete posts this cartoon, produced by Human Rights Watch, which satirizes Kabila's shutting out of civil society and opposition voices and the tacit support of foreign donors.



(Image by Barly Baruti)

Journalist Cedric Kalonji posts these political cartoons on his Flickr photostream:

Liberté de la presse en RDC by Congo Blog.

Mustached man: “For all the information you need, go to the source”


Girl, left: “MOTHER, the government is in place, but I didn't see your name.  What happened?”
Woman, right: “Ah!  But they forgot Article 14 of the Constitution…”

(Article 14 mandates equal gender representation at all levels, national, provincial and local.)


  • BRE

    Thank you Jen for this update and thanks also to Elia for staying on top of the unfolding crisis in the eastern DRC. It is important to mention the damning report recently released by HRW re: DRC President Kabila’s brutal repression of any political opposition during the past two years of his administration. Such behavior on the part of the ruling government in Kinshasa makes you wonder what in the world were the 2006 democratic elections in the DR Congo for? 5 billion USD$ spent over the past six years to support the UN mission MONUC and 500 million Euros€ spent just on the DRC elections alone___ only in the end to empower the rule of another defacto African dictator and his corrupt regime as they murder their own people and enrich themselves from the profits of plunder.

    What does the following paragraph (auf Franzosich) from Alex Engwete’s blog post mean? Is he accusing the incoming administration of President-elect Barack Obama of secretly planning a partition of the Democratic Republic of Congo? How ludicrous.

    Et les dernières nominations annoncées ou projetées par Obama alignent déjà un casting de très mauvais augure pour la RDC : 1) Hillary Clinton comme secrétaire d’Etat — pour elle, la carte américaine d’Afrique se réduit comme peau de chagrin : l’Ouganda, le Rwanda et l’Afrique du sud (avec, peut-être un crochet par le Ghana) ; et 2) Dr. Susan Rice comme ambassadrice à l’ONU — on se rappellera ici qu’en tant qu’assistante secrétaire d’Etat aux affaires africaines dans le gouvernement de Bill Clinton, Dr. Susan Rice se voulait l’architecte de la partition et de recolonisation de la RDC par l’Ouganda et le Rwanda!

  • Hi Bill. He is referring to U.S. policy toward the Great Lakes region under the Clinton Adminstration, when Rice was Undersecretary for African Affairs:


    (I’m not familiar with this policy and do not vouch for the evidence presented in these links!)

  • BRE

    Thanks for the links Jen, I’ll check them out ASAP.

    Jeffrey Gettleman and Lydia Polgreen of The New York Times have been all over this story for months and months. Gettleman just nailed the problem dead center by clearly showing the “Kigali Connection” to the unfolding crisis, conflict, plunder, and humanitarian disaster in North Kivu. Checkout his December 4th article at the NYT titled “Rwanda Stirs Deadly Brew of Troubles in Congo”.

    You can forget about any “peace talks” with Nkunda and the CNDP representatives in Nairobi next week and don’t expect any concerted actions by the UNSC and MONUC to bring relief from marauding armies and militias anytime soon. This fight is about political and economic control of vast mineral wealth and land in the eastern DR Congo and it is also about revenge___ lots of very bad blood between the Congolese and Rwandans that goes back for decades if not for centuries.

    Rwanda’s President Paul Kagame and his key military chiefs along with his political and business cronies are sitting right at the heart of the crisis in the Kivus. Other players like the FDLR and Mai-Mai militias and DRC President Joseph Kabila with his incompetent and brutal national army and police are at the mercy and whim of President Kagame of Rwanda with his superior military forces, arms and munitions. Take Kagame and his proxy army “out of the picture” and at the same time make it clear to Joe Kabila to get his act together or else (or else what?) then you might have something to work with and build upon in the eastern DR Congo.

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