Liberating Congo, reform in Sudan, and a tour of Africa (E339)
Sixty years have elapsed since the Congo ceased to be the Belgium Congo and became an independent African state – and an extremely wealthy one at that. But just seven months after winning independence from Belgium in 1960, its first prime minister, Patrice Lumumba, was murdered. Many people believe that Lumumba was one of the greatest leaders Africa has seen – or would have become so, had he lived. But some were not prepared to give him that chance. It’s one of the murkiest of conspiracies, involving the Katanga Province and the dark agents of the American, Belgian and British intelligence service. A man who knows a good deal about the Congo is Ludo De Witte. A sociologist and writer, he has written widely on the Congo, as well as having researched two television documentaries about that country. In the week marking six decades since Congo’s independence, he joined us on Sputnik.
This week also marks the end, a year ago, of Sudan’s 30-year dictatorship. In a violent crackdown by the security forces in the early days of the insurrection, more than 100 were killed and over 700 wounded. Nonetheless, President Omar al-Bashir was removed from power and a transitionary government was put in his place. Today, the people are back on the streets and demanding the promised reforms, which have yet to materialize. Is this a pattern, that once the media moves on, reform programs stall? It’s a familiar story in many countries, but particularly in Africa. So, we take a tour of the continent with British-based Sudanese journalist Ahmed Kaballo, and ask, “Is there any good news originating from Africa?”