Early in the morning of Wednesday Goma residents were forced to attend
an M23 rally.
Goma residents I spoke to afterward were mad at the international
press coverage of the rally, especially reports claiming that they'd
attended the gathering out of their own free will or that they were
supportive of the insurgents.
"Maybe those reporters are too young to remember that we also did
'freely' attend Mobutu's coercive rallies," one of my correspondents
The French news channel France24 also produced one M23's so-called
"spokesman" who claimed to be from the Batetela ethnic group, no doubt
in a desperate attempt to show that their movement had a broad appeal
among the Congolese people.
Well, M23 can produce scores of those token "spokespeople" from the
mosaic of all the clans, tribes, and ethnic groups making up the
Congo, the fact remains that the majority of DRC citizens are loath to
their Rwandan-led insurgency.
As one professor of political sciences of Kinshasa University reminded
me today,Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis
Napoleon (1852), in France of the 1850s there were scores of French
citizens that had also supported the very unpopular coup d'etat of
And those who did support that coup were what Karl Marx called in his
seminal "The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte" (1853) the
"lumpenproletariat," comprising at the time:
"Alongside decayed rogues with dubious means of subsistence and of
dubious origin, alongside ruined and adventurous offshoots of the
bourgeoisie, were vagabonds, discharged soldiers, discharged
jailbirds, escaped galley slaves, swindlers, [...], pickpockets,
tricksters, gamblers, pimps, [and] beggars — in short, the whole
indefinite, disintegrated mass, thrown hither and thither [...]."
Had Marx lived in contemporary Congo, he'd no doubt have added the
lineup of shameless political opportunists of the ilk M23 produced for
In the meantime in Kinshasa, anger directed at Kabila and his regime
mounted up a notch when Radio Okapi reported that up to 80 wounded
FARDC soldiers were abandoned at Goma hospital.
Anger morphed into fury when people saw footage on EuroNews and other
media channels of rotting corpses of Congolese troops in the streets
of the provincial capital of North Kivu.
Additionally, the news of the death toll of 4 in the anti-Kabila
student riots yesteday in Kisangani didn't help any bit in improving
the quickly deteriorating situation in the early morning hours on the
campus ground of Kinshasa University where a confrontation with riot
cops was averted at the last minute due to the desperate efforts of
the professors' union, who convinced students to disperse.
At any rate, calls for a declaration of a "state of war" with Rwanda
"Let's enter Cyagungu and see how Rwanda would feel" a student of
Kinshasa University told me this morning.
The news of Kabila palling with Museveni and Kagame in Kampala and
Entebbe further exercised lots of people in the streets of Kinshasa.
There's everywhere talk of a "balkanization conspiracy" against the
Congo masterminded by the United States and the International
Community qua MONUSCO, whose proxies are Rwanda and M23.