Op-Ed / / 05.05.22

Wilson Center Article: America’s Past and Present Collide in the Democratic Republic of Congo

Note: This article was originally published in the Wilson Center’s Wilson Quarterly and was written by Floribert Anzuluni, Senior DRC Policy Advisor to The Sentry, and Brad Brooks-Rubin, Senior Advisor to The Sentry.


America’s Past and Present Collide in the Democratic Republic of Congo

DRC resides at the nexus of the great power competition and the climate crisis. Can the U.S. help secure its future while supporting democratic reforms that help the Congolese people?

Though few may realize it, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and its people are deeply connected to America’s early history and eventual status as world super power. A significant percentage of the human slave trade in the 17th and 18th centuries originated from the DRC, as did the rush for rubber and other key minerals that fueled technological innovations in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The DRC provided uranium that powered the nuclear bombs dropped in World War II, and was the center of Cold War proxy battles that led to the assassination of a key political leader and subsequent installation of a brutal dictator, which the CIA was accused of helping to facilitate. Multiple armed conflicts in Eastern Congo stemmed from a drive for minerals that propelled the electronics revolution of the early 21st century. The Congolese people and the country’s resources have been at the center of all of it. Tens of millions of Congolese lost their lives from the brutality, violence, and conflicts connected to these and other events…

Read the full article on the Wilson Quarterly website.