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

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Quiet Flows the Blood

Why is the world, including India, silent about the neocolonial plunder of the Congo?

One of the greatest genocides of colonialism was the halving of the population of Congo during the 23-year rule (1885-1908) of the Belgian monarch Leopold. Historians estimate that anywhere between eight and 22 million people were killed when Congo was the private farm of this one man. In 1908, control over Congo was shifted from Leopold’s person to the Belgian state but the colonial plunder continued till the country was granted independence in 1960.

A century has flowed by since the end of Leopold’s Congo but the flow of blood has not ceased. The Great Lakes region of Africa– eastern parts of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Rwanda, Burundi, Uganda and also Tanzania and Kenya – has seen some of the most violent conflicts of the past decade. Conservative estimates of the deaths in the DRC alone, in 1998-2003, total about5.4 million people, while in neighbouring Rwanda close to a million more died during the Tutsi genocide of the mid-1990s. No war since the end of the second world war has claimed so many lives.

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