Congo

related books by Stanley Meisler:

Some Reflections on the Congo

Some Reflections on the Congo

Some Reflections on the Congo

Some Reflections on the Congo

Some Reflections on the Congo

May 23, 1997
May 1997

Some Reflections on the Congo
In the "good old days" of the late 1960s, when Zaire was known as the Congo and its leader did not yet call himself Mobutu Sese Seko Kuku Ngbendu waza Banga (the all-conquering warrior who, because of his endurance and inflexible will to win, will go from conquest to conquest leaving fire in his wake), the United States proudly had the huge, unwieldy, volatile country wrapped around its little finger...

Black Africa

Black Africa

Black Africa

Black Africa

Black Africa

August 1, 1972
August 1972

Black Africa
Ten years ago, I left New York on a dark, snow-lashed night and stepped down the next day into the morning glare of Dakar, in Senegal. It was an exciting, expectant time for the newly independent countries of Africa. Since that moment in Dakar, I have spent most of the last decade in Africa. Those ten years did not transform a gullible fool into a mean and narrow cynic, but I feel more critical, more doubtful, more skeptical, more pessimistic than I did in 1962. I still feel sympathetic and understanding. But I have learned that sympathy and understanding are not enough. Africa needs to be looked at with cold hardness as well. There have been more disappointments than accomplishments in Africa in the ten years. Two events — the Nigerian civil war and the assassination of Tom Mboya — struck like body blows at the sympathies of an outsider. The war was probably the greatest scourge in black Africa since the slave trade, and it was largely self-made. Murder cut down the man who seemed most to represent all that was modern in new Africa, and it was probably done for the glory of tribal chauvinism. On top of this, the decade has produced a host of other unpleasant events...

The Congo

The Congo

The Congo

The Congo

The Congo

March 1, 1971
March 1971

The Congo
There are two ways of looking at the Congo. The first is to compare it with the past, and marvel. Once in turmoil, fractured, tearing apart, projecting images of brutality and savagery, the Congo these days is a reasonably calm, quiet, secure, and united country of 20 million people. A visitor can go almost anywhere without fear. The authority of President Joseph Desire Mobutu reaches almost everywhere. Considering the Congo’s history, these are remarkable achievements. The second way of looking at the Congo is to put aside the past, take the Congo for what it is today, and despair. The Congo is exhibiting some of the worst traits of independent black Africa — corruption, waste, elitism, luxury, grandiosity, and neglect. The government can build what the Congolese call the world’s second largest swimming pool, but it refused, for more than a year, to pay the bills to transport to the Eastern Congo U.S. relief food for children afflicted with kwashiorkor, the disease of advanced malnutrition. The public treasury spends millions of dollars for monuments and parades but no money to build a road from the farms of Kivu Province to their port on the Congo River. At a time when other African leaders, like President Julius Nyerere of Tanzania, are trying to infuse their people with self-reliance, austerity, and honesty, Mobutu is rushing the Congo the other way...

Congo - The Mercenaries Change Sides

Congo - The Mercenaries Change Sides

Congo - The Mercenaries Change Sides

Congo - The Mercenaries Change Sides

Congo - The Mercenaries Change Sides

December 25, 1967
December 1967

Congo - The Mercenaries Change Sides
The white mercenaries of the Congo, now in rebellion, have humiliated black men everywhere in Africa, and by doing so shattered some of the self-confidence that Africans need to run their affairs well. Moreover, some Africans have struck out at whites to assuage this humiliation, and the beatings and killings have torn relations between white men and black men over the continent. These are terrible consequences. Yet it is pointless to condemn these confused, aimless and distorted men. Their role in the Congo was created by others. The rebellion of the mercenaries was the legacy of an attempt by the United States Government to stage-manage the unmanageable Congo. Using them worked for a while; then they flew out of hand. Why blame them?...

Lessons from Katanga

Lessons from Katanga

Lessons from Katanga

Lessons from Katanga

Lessons from Katanga

January 23, 1963
January 1963

The Daily Register (Red Bank, NJ)
Lessons from Katanga
The Katanga crisis is over. What are the lessons? Several American experts on Africa agree the world has learned that an effective United Nations can do a better job at ending trouble than a big power rushing in by itself. "One of the chief lessons", Prof. Carl. G. Rosberg, Jr. of the University of California said today, "is that the UN Secretary-General can act as an independent and effective agent in solving major disputes if he has a reliable body of supporters". Rosberg, a political scientist specializing in African affairs, was one of several experts in American universities, the State Department, and Congress, contacted by the Associated Press and asked: "What are the lessons of Katanga?"...