The Democratic Republic of Congo and Foreign Intervention Research Paper by Taylor

The Democratic Republic of Congo and Foreign Intervention
An exploration of the Democratic Republic Congo's long history with foreign intervention.
# 153944 | 0 words | 0 sources | 2012 | US
Published on Jul 08, 2014 in History (African) , History (European - 19th century) , European Studies (General)

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From the Paper:

"The Democratic Republic Congo has a long history with foreign intervention. William Easterly states in his book The White Man's Burden, that "after five centuries of European violence, slavery, paternalism, colonialism, exploitation, and aid to prop up bad rulers after independence, the Democratic Republic of Congo is an extreme example of why the West's successive interventions...have not worked out well." From the colonial period to after independence, oppressive governments and foreign intervention have irreparably damaged the country. Economic performance decreased and endemic poverty increased, since the installation of President Mobutu SeseSeko, in the Democratic Republic of Congo as a result of multiple factors. Debt has increased, export market shares have declined, foreign direct investment has gone elsewhere, and reliance on foreign aid and support has increased. The inability of both Western powers and surrounding countries in Africa to stay out of the internal conflicts of the Democratic Republic of Congo shows the lack of benevolence in their motives. It is this foreign intervention, combined with internal struggle, which created the depressing economic, political, and social conditions in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
"Colonized in the late nineteenth century by the Belgians, the Congolese endured oppressive rule that stripped their country of natural resources and abused the human population. Belgian intervention did not end with the Congo's independence in 1960. Additionally, unlike other colonial powers such as France or Great Britain, the Belgians did not promote a local elite or offer opportunities for the Congolese population to govern themselves. For example, the Belgians trained Africans to perform menial tasks such as driving trains and operating steam shovels, but did not train any as engineers or civil servants. In addition, only approximately thirty Congolese had university degrees, and few had any political experience. Therefore, when the former Belgian Congo became the Congo Free State, widespread mutiny and political distrust occurred.
"Belgian intervention is of particular importance during the independence of the Congo Free State. On June 30, 1960, the former Belgian Congo received independence and became the Congo Free State. However, the euphoria of independence soon developed into civil unrest and mutiny. The Congolese army was in shambles, leading to a mutiny within which prompted military intervention by Belgian paratroopers. This intervention, meant to suppress the mutiny, only increased civil unrest, and although Patrice Lumumba, prime minister at the time, attempted to remove the Belgian paratroopers, the Belgians refused to cooperate and leave."

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