Monday, July 2, 2012

Kabila's Unenthralling Independence Day Speech

Two months after the mutiny/rebellion began, threatening the territorial integrity of his country and pushing 200,000 people off their homes, Kabila has finally spoken out about it. The occasion: The Congo's 52nd Independence Day. 

To say that his speech is not exactly an exercise in Churchillian rhetoric would be putting it mildly. But what's most remarkable is his refusal to name Rwanda as the aggressor.

NOTE that his speech starts at the 50 second mark. Watch out at the beginning: the sound is awfully loud. (There's a word for this volume control issue among TV control room people, but I forget what it is. Help, anyone?)

Here's the money quote (my own rough translation--want a good one, hire Berlitz):
Our independence day is usually cause for celebration. Not this year. Manipulated by obscure forces, internal and foreign, our country is plunged into violence once again in North Kivu. This violence distracts us from the task of reconstructing our country and is forcing thousands of our citizens into precarious, life-threatening situations. I want to assure our co-citizens thus uprooted of our solidarity and support. On behalf of country, I want to say their  are our prirority and their security has no price. Whatever it takes we will pay. We will defend our country, and plant a tree of peace. We have diplomatic, political, and military actions underway, and they are reinforced with with humanitarian assistance.... I congratulate and salute our military forces for their sacrifice as they work to push our enemies out of our country. They will have the support of all of the institutions and the people of the entire country.
Our troubles in the east will not distract us from the other obstacles that confront us.  We will pursue vigorously pursue 5 chantiers and democratization of our country....

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