bongo bongo its the dirty olde democratic republic of congo (DRC)
well, its not that dirty, its actually known the world over for its vast quantities of natural resources. gold, copper, silver, timber, tin you name it, its probably in the congo. no guesses, that this is a country rich in minerals and blessed with mother natures sparkle.
on closer inspection, its rotting from the inside out. its a decaying mess.
formely known as zaire back in the day, this central african country is often confused with its neighbouring country, congo.
they are quite different. there is the democratic republic of congo....
and then the congo...
for one of the worlds richest nations, in terms of its wealth of untapped natural resources,(estimated at $24trillion) the congolese people are amongst the poorest in the world. the average wage is 300 per yr, thats under $1 a day for the majority of the 71 million people who call it home.
now seriously, i know the $1 a day call is hard to imagine, but come on, under a $1 a day, and the majority of the country? get real democratic republic of congo. the so called leaders of this country deserve to be pegged to a stake and left to lie under the congolese sun, then have the vultures have their wicked way with them. beak hook to the left eye ball. howwzzzaaat?
the internal conflict has dragged in neighbouring countries rwanda and uganda. perhaps the most famous are the LRA, Lords resistance Army. the notorious child solider renegade movement. 90% of the children arent there by choice, but that doesnt seem to deter them from snatching new recruits.
there are some great books and even movies on the LRA from children who have escaped and lived to tell the atrocities that were forced to commit. the documentary below is definitely worth a watch, the story is compelling and revealing of the honest truths, shame about the 3 annoying guys that made it. good job, but they just annoyed me.
Joseph Kony, the hunted leader of the elusive LRA is a sicko, a lunatic, an evil person. just watch this interview with him to gauge his mental well being.
who can forget the infamous joseph mobutu, installed by a CIA coup. he was about as good as it gets as a kleptocrat.
in 1998, the second congo war broke out, a war that is often referred to as Africa's world war. it is the worlds most deadliest conflict since world war II. 5 and 1/2 million people killed. staggering. yet most people are unaware of its brutality let only scale.
rape and sexual violence are described by the UN as the worst in the world. the way in which this weapon of war is used is exasperating. women are raped in what could only be described as a public stage, gang raped in front of their families and other villagers, so as to gain the maximum effect possible.
if this is not reason enough for single women travelers to stay away then i dont know what is.
and dont think the army will intervene to help you, they are some of the most aggressive perpetrators. just when you thought help was on the way, you hear that ceremonious chorus of a battalion of zips being unzipped.
when the genocide in Rwanda took place in 94, the hutu militias who carried out the atrocities fled into neighbouring DRC. this gave rise to a renegade band of tutsi fighters who claimed to protect the tutsi poplulation from the still raging hutu death squads.
the reality is, no side is innocent of atrocities. so theres a real chance as a backpacker traversing through this naturally abundant paradise, you may stumble upon some sickos who want to touch you up in front of their mates. not such a cool outcome. avoiding the democratic republic of congo is probably better for your physical and mental health.
before you pack up your backpack and head deep into the democratic republic of congo id advise you think twice about how you value your life.
check out this recent doco on events that have been unfolding....
Congo, the worlds worst place to backpack #10