ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Kongo : Heart of Darkness

The same brutality and violence that had enabled his accession to power four years ago in 1997 marked the end of Laurent Kabila as strongman and ruler of the Democratic Republic of Congo. There are conflicting reports whether his assassin, a bodyguard, operated on his own or as part of an attempted army coup; other reports insist the assassination was the result of the ethnic tensions that have for long defined Congo’s history. Among Congo’s major ethnic groups are the Luba, Mongo, Kongo, Lunda and Kasai. There are besides certain Sudanese groups in the north (the Azande, Mangbetu, Banda and Barambo). More than 200 languages and dialects are spoken in the territorial entity identified as Congo.

The same brutality and violence that had enabled his accession to power four years ago in 1997 marked the end of Laurent Kabila as strongman and ruler of the Democratic Republic of Congo. There are conflicting reports whether his assassin, a bodyguard, operated on his own or as part of an attempted army coup; other reports insist the assassination was the result of the ethnic tensions that have for long defined Congo's history. Among Congo's major ethnic groups are the Luba, Mongo, Kongo, Lunda and Kasai. There are besides certain Sudanese groups in the north (the Azande, Mangbetu, Banda and Barambo). More than 200 languages and dialects are spoken in the territorial entity identified as Congo.

The power vacuum has for the present been hastily plugged by ensuring the succession of Kabila's son, Joseph. But Congo which, for the best part of its recent history, has been plagued by civil wars and immense devastation, now faces a situation of multiple uncertainties in which the chances of peace can be termed remote at best. Since independence Congo's population has had to contend with mass killings, destruction and poverty, with large numbers rendered refugees, huddled in makeshift camps in neighbouring countries, the first victims of every turn in the endless civil wars.

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