A pro-Kabila poster in the small town of Kindu.
Democratic Republic of Congo - No reprieve for Congo
Which future for the country?
Photos: Bruno Zanzottera
On 19 December 2016 Joseph Kabila, the president of the Democratic Republic of Congo, finished his two presidential terms limited by the country's constitution, but refused to resign. He has not yet communicated the date of the elections to the nation. The population is fed up, and the country is increasingly militarised: there are many forms of dissent and tensions are increasing in different regions of the country, for example in Central Kasai where thousands of people have already died, and in Northern Kivu, where citizens have been tormented by a conflict that has lasted years. Kabila is obsessed with power, which is also dictated by the economic interests he derives from a nation rich in raw materials: in fact, the DRC is a treasure chest of gold, coltan, diamonds, cassiterite, silver, copper, cobalt... This wealth generates abuses of power, infighting and strong opposition in a state as large as Western Europe. The economy is on its knees and there are increasing numbers of displaced citizens fleeing the war zones: they pour into the slums of Kinshasa, which now has almost 12 million inhabitants, or travel to refugee camps and neighbouring countries. The health situation is also worrying, since access to medical care is impossible for many. Meanwhile, the great Congo River continues to flow majestic and elephantine, connecting the remote villages of the forest whose population is mainly supported by fishing and, not infrequently, dies of measles, cholera, malaria and malnutrition. However, the indomitable strength of the DRC is in its people who work hard for a better future; they have created exciting initiatives such as musical bands formed by disabled persons or groups of engineers who design robots to direct traffic in the capital's streets.

Text by Valentina G. Milani