Is the civil war in the Congo about to restart?

Kinshasa is the centre of Congolese cultural life and politics. Its glitzy hotels and restaurants are where the money looted from the rest of the country is spent. It boasts grandiose architecture (including an enormous Chinese-built parliament) and some of the best-dressed people in the world (known as sapeurs, or members of the Society for the Advancement of Elegant People). It is also filthy and lawless. The buses are known as “spirits of death”. The potholes are the size of buses. Traffic is regulated by gun-toting cops who will happily pull a motorist out of his car and beat him up in broad daylight.

The city is one of the least connected in the world. The airport on the English channel island of Guernsey, with a population of 63,000, handles more passengers than Kinshasa’s. Perhaps one in 20 Kinois has a formal job. Nonetheless they pay dearly to live in the metropolis. A room in a slum, without dependable electricity or clean water, can go for $100 a month.

That is from The Economist, the whole article is superb, one of the best I have read this year, with virtually every paragraph full of interesting points.  Don’t forget that the Congo War(s) of 1998-2003 were the bloodiest since the Second World War.


Merkel & other EU virtous souls stand ready to open doors when this happens.

If the Economist doesn't even know that Guernsey isn't part of England why should I believe a word it says about some remote country?

Oops, did I say "country"? Perhaps I should have said "shithole".


but the polite term is "Schumerhole."

Good catch. Guernsey is a bailiwick independent of the UK.

If you don't read the Economist you could uninformed. If you read it, you could be misinformed. .


I subscribe but would like another dead tree publication. I remember the years when the Economist was right of centre, which it is only barely now.

Any recommendations?

I think you are reading it as an English "channel island" when you should be reading it as an "English channel" island.

To read it that way, Noumenon, "channel" would be "Channel".

Yeah, it's written "channel" not Channel. We know it's English but have no idea what channel it is in. Why should I read the Economist if they don't even know what channel Guernsey is in?

They describe it as an 'English channel island', not as a part of England.

In what sense is it English? You don't imagine, for instance, that English common law applies, do you?

The "English channel' is a geographical feature. The islands nestle in the channel. This isn't that difficult.

Galveston isn't Mexican?

Nope, the geographical feature is the English Channel.

Whoa, so all this inane commentary is because the Economist didn't capitalize a 'C'? Jeez...

No, the commentary is because of the suspicion that the piece was written by some journalist who can't even get an elementary fact right.

Guernsey is a Channel Island located in the English Channel. The nuances of the political relationship between Guernsey and the U.K. are not really the point of the article...

'The airport on the English channel island of Guernsey, with a population of 63,000, handles more passengers than Kinshasa’s.'

And undoubtedly more passengers worth at least 100,000,000 dollars/pounds/euros. It would not be a surprise if the same would apply to airports of just about every island tax haven compared to Kinshasa.

Let Paul Kagame annex the country and watch DRC thrive. Everyone would recognize this as the best solution if the global community didn’t have a irrational anti-Tutsi bias.

The Economists is at their best when they ignore the U.S., not that their reporting on and insight about the U.S. is negligible (they are the only outlet offering somewhat decent attention to the U.S.), but that the subject, the U.S.A., is so dreadful and boring.

Especially in recent years, a lot (most) of their US stuff seems either wrong or misfocused or biased. But if when they write about something that you have direct knowledge of they are wrong why do you imagine that when they write about something like the Congo they are more accurate?

I bet they believed in Russian interference in the American election of 2016!

Why would 2016 be any different than any post WWII election? We know that they have funded various environmentalist groups for years to interfere with our elections. No different than all the elections we've interfered with.

Either we accept that they do interfere or we stop our own and prosecute them for theirs. We'll probably do the former.

"And if we were going to push for an election," Clinton went on, "then we should have made sure that we did something to determine who was going to win."

How funny. Many of you claimed in 2016 or 2017 that "Russian meddling" was fake news or even derangement.

You have adjusted your priors!

Now you say "this is fine." Shame.

(I wonder if TMC is even aware that his answer that Putin's troll farm wants him to give?)

Russian interference? Seems now that the facts are coming out, that Clinton Cash paid for Russians lies in the Steele Dossier, and that the only successful Russian organized rally was anti-Trump, collusion doesn't matter anymore.

I guess we all get an education now, in which apologists will beclown themselves in which way.

Michael Crichton's "Murray Gell-Mann Amnesia Effect".

Re: the Economist

I posted a request like this higher up.

Can anyone recommend a dead tree magazine that is a little more to the right of the Economist? I already read the Guardian, Bloomberg and the New Yorker. Thanks.

City Journal and the Claremont Review aren't bad.

There’s a telling sentence in the article : “ Mobutu didn’t pay his troops. “ You have guns “ he told them. “ You don’t need a salary “

I believe this would be described in the West as "vibrant multiculturalism".

Or one of the reasons to have a revolution -

Civil Asset Forfeiture, same thing

Had Africa continued to be European colony, it would be much more developed.

In most African territories, the European population consisted of a small and transient population of civil servants and soldiers, with some missionaries as well. With some others (e.g. the Congo) there was an additional population of those associated with the mining sector. It was only in the East African highlands and in swatches of Southern Africa that you had a colonial population. In Kenya, the colonists amounted to < 1% of the total and in Angola, Rhodesia, and Mozambique they were < 5% of the total (though owned a much larger share of the land). It was only in South Africa and South West Africa where the white, Coloured, and Indian populations broke into double-digit shares.

Why did you post this? I can't tell if you think you're adding unnecessary information to Panda's statement or attempting to refute it or what.

"Africa" was never a colony. "Africa" is a continent. Individual African territories were dependencies. Some of those territories were colonies as well. This isn't that difficult.

Are you constantly debilitated by your pedantry? It's clear, since a large majority of Africa had been colonized by various western nations, that we understood he was speaking concisely about the well known fact that you feel like you needed to point out.

If you did not understand Art Deco’s intention, which you reduce to either pendantry or unnecessary information, you could have asked him.

This question applies only if you think the independence of those countries was not the consequence of falling empires.

In the specific case of Congo: what if the Belgian empire had not collapsed?

"Kinshasa is the centre of Congolese cultural life and politics."

No mention of ethnic restaurants in strip malls?

Africans are genuinely devoid of the virus of conspicuous cosmopolitanism. They get there are enough reasons to fight with your neighbors you don't need to import social friction.

That goes along with being very poor.

Actually, there's tons of Chinese and Indian restaurants in most African countries.

Don’t forget that the Congo War(s) of 1998-2003 were the bloodiest since the Second World War.

I wouldn't trust the accounting which claims 5 million deaths.

Much of Africa bumps and grinds along. One can wager it would have been better for Africa had Britain, France et al cut loose their dependencies piecemeal over a 4 decade period rather than the pell-mell exodus that did take place, had Britain and France been able to bear the economic drain. Still, most of the continent has a longer life expectancy and more literacy than it's ever had and as much in the way of real income as it's ever had. There are slices of the continent where a trusteeship of indefinite duration might have been a better idea for the broad public therein, and the Congo's one.

You know, the article has a nice chart that refutes this. GDP per capita is half what it was in the 1960s

GDP per capita is half what it was in the 1960s


"...who will happily pull a motorist out of his car and beat him up in broad daylight."

Like you've never thought about that yourselves.

Why doesn't Wakanda just take over the Congo?

cuz there's two of them--confusing. Numbers be hard.

Because Wakanda is for Wakandans (Wakandians?).

If you like to read more about the Congo, I can highly recommend the book written by David van Reybrouck 'Congo: The Epic History of a People'. Brgds Ard

"The Epic History of a People": are they really a people? What about the perpetual complaint that African borders include multiple peoples?

>Don’t forget that the Congo War(s) of 1998...

Already forgotten. For some reason the media found it far too Inconvenient to be mentioning any genocides during that particular administration.

Didn't fit the narrative, you see.

Sounds like O Brasil, a few years ago, before President Temer began making his wise reforms, which will surely make O Brasil the country of the future again..

Sapeurs comes from French slang saper, to dress. The acronym is a later retrofit.

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