DR Congo: Protesters Targeting Western Embassies Tear Gassed

    DR Congo: Protesters Targeting Western Embassies Tear Gassed
    Photo: Per-Anders Pettersson/Getty Images News via Getty Images (Nov 3. 2010)

    The Facts

    • Protests in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) intensified in the capital Kinshasa on Monday as riot police fired tear gas to disperse demonstrators burning tires and US and Belgian flags near Western embassies amid the escalating conflict in the country's eastern regions.

    • Protesters took to the streets outside the US and French embassies after attacking staff and vehicles of the UN Peacekeeping Mission in Congo (MONUSCO) on Saturday. Some threw stones and tried to destroy the surveillance cameras in one of the US embassy offices.


    The Spin

    Pro-establishment narrative

    Public anger in Kinshasa is directed at the West and its alleged support for Rwanda, yet it's the US that recently stepped up diplomatic efforts to ease tensions between Kinshasa and Kigali, calling on both sides to abandon their reliance on rebel groups. Washington is aware that a possible war would not only exacerbate the humanitarian crisis but also jeopardize its efforts to detach the DRC from China to gain greater access to its resources. Washington is ready to mediate and it is up to both countries to seize the opportunity to end the suffering.

    Establishment-critical narrative

    The crisis in Congo did not develop in a vacuum but is the result of a long legacy of colonial robbery, violence, and exploitation that continues to this day, albeit by different means. Congo and Rwanda are being played off against each other by the West to secure control of the country's vast natural resources. The destabilization caused by Kigali-backed rebel groups such as the M23 is the perfect means to achieve this goal. The people of Congo know very well that it is the greed of powerful Western corporations that is ultimately responsible for their plight.

    Nerd narrative

    There's a 58% chance that the DR Congo will experience a civil war before 2036, according to the Metaculus prediction community.


    Establishment split

    CRITICAL

    PRO

    Sign up to our daily newsletter