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コンゴとアフリカの過去を振りかえ、それらの現状と今後を考えた上で、次の行動へのきっかけになることを願っています。
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それにしても本当に驚きです。コンゴの大統領選挙が2日前に迫ってきているのにもかかわらず、日本のメデイアはまだそれについて報道をしていません。ちなみに「コンゴ 選挙」でgoogleをすると、未だに前回(2006年)の選挙に引っかかる状態。。。一体日本のメデイアは何をしているのでしょうか。シリアやエジプトが大変な状況にあるのはわかっていますが、コンゴは大変戦略的な国(アフリカで2番目に面積が広く、フランス語圏国としてフランスに次いで2番目に人口が多く、天然資源が豊富なために125年以上にわたって大国(日本もそれに含まれている)による「資源の呪い」が続き、しかも第二次世界大戦後最大の犠牲者数(600万人)を生んでいる紛争がまだ続いている)で、選挙関連で多くの不正と人権侵害が起きています。
「今の若者は内向きになって・・・」と言う大人が多いのですが、日本のメデイア(フリーを除く)が重要でないニュースを取り上げたり、時事問題をきちんと分析をせず単純化したまま報道するから、若者の思考力に悪影響を与えているのではないでしょうか(もちろんそれだけが要因とは言えませんが)。日本のメデイアの皆さん、しっかりして下さい!
 
さて、日本政府はコンゴの選挙にどのような支援をしているのでしょうか。
外務省のHPによると、「選挙サイクル支援計画(7,700万円を供与額とする無償資金協力)」であり、「本年11月に予定されている大統領・国民議会選挙において,選挙への参加,無効票の回避などを通じて選挙人の意思が正しく選挙結果に反映されるよう,有権者に対する選挙啓発活動用のポスター,ステッカー及び横断幕や選挙管理員に対する教育用マニュアルを供与するものであり,この計画への協力により,公正で透明性・信頼性の高い選挙が実現され,同国の民主化プロセスが促進されるものと期待されます。また,この協力は,アフリカにおける平和の定着を支援する観点からも大きな意義を有するものです。」
 
http://www.mofa.go.jp/mofaj/press/release/23/11/1107_08.html
 
うーん、日本政府は、選挙の教育用マニュアルが平和の定着に導くと本気で考えているのでしょうか。そもそも出馬している候補者に問題があるのに、公平で透明性の高い選挙は100%期待できません。先日もブログで紹介しましたが、今回は387人にレープを犯したことがある民兵のリーダーといった候補者を紹介しましょう(Al Jazeera)。コンゴでは「不処罰文化」があるから、犯罪者が簡単に出馬できるんですね(このような不処罰文化があるのはコンゴだけでなく、日本もそうなのだが。。。)。そしてもう一つの記事(南アのSAPA)には、南アでコンゴの大統領選挙の投票用紙が印刷されたのですが、その投票用紙が在南ア・コンゴ人の間で配布されているという内容です。
 
Al Jazeera: Wanted Congo rebel leader holds public rally
Ntabo Ntaberi Sheka, accused of orchestrating mass rape campaign in DR Congo, stages election rally as police look on.
 
 Crowds gather to hear Sheha address an election rally in eastern DRC  [Azad Essa/Al Jazeera]
Walikale. Democratic Republic of Congo - A national assembly candidate charged with organising the mass rape of 387 people has staged a campaign rally in the eastern Congolese town of Walikale.
Ntabo Ntaberi Sheka, running for one of two seats in the Walikale district of the North Kivu province of the DRC, held the rally on Thursday in full view of police, the Congolese army and within three kilometres of a UN peacekeeping base.
Sheka leads a faction of the Mai Mai armed group operating in the surrounding rainforest and an arrest warrant for crimes against humanity has been issued by Congolese prosecutors over his alleged involvement in the mass rapes across 13 villages in the Walikale district in mid 2010.
Standing on an abandoned flat bed trailer lying in the centre of the town, and dressed in blue military-style fatigues, aviator sunglasses and a green straw hat, Sheka told Al Jazeera that he was not a military commander, but a politician, trying to protect the interests of his people.
"If I am guilty of all of these [rape] crimes, why then are all these people here to support me?" he asked, standing between amid a phlanx of bodyguards.
Sheka, when probed about the probability of arrest, said that "the people" would come to his rescue and defend him in the event of authorities acting on the warrant.
"Just you try it [arrest me] and these crowds will beat you," he said
 
'Outrageous'
Human rights groups have condemned Sheka’s participation in this year’s election and called for his immediate arrest.
Anneke van Woudenberg from Human Rights Watch told Al Jazeera that it was "outrageous that Sheka could simply walk into Walikale in full view of the police and hold a rally".
Van Woudenberg said that the very fact that Sheka is standing in the elections with such severe charges lodged against him, brings together the vast myriad of problems facing the DRC, including impunity, blood minerals, the proliferation of weapons and gender violence.
Sheka might just be one of 19,000 candidates vying for 500 legislative seats, but his inclusion is symbolic of the scant regard for the rule of law.
"His participation in the elections and continued freedoms do little to end impunity and won’t bring peace to the country," she said.
Sheka was named in a UN report released in July 2011 that documented the rapes of at least 387 civilians in a devastating rampage of violence between July 30 and August 2, 2010. The UN alleges that Sheka's Mail Mai faction were one of three armed groups directly involved and Sheka was one of the leaders with command responsibility.
 
Support
The crowd took over the city centre, blocking the main street beneath the old, fractured town hall as supporters and passerbys, climbed trucks and searched for a close up view of the proceedings. Despite the rain, hundreds gathered with enthusiasm, some under colourful umbrellas standing in puddles of mud, as Sheka went to address them.
"You have to forgive us," Sheka said, “We are coming from the jungle and don’t have the loudspeakers to address you.
“I am the president of the political wing of a militia group … and we will solve your problems,” he said to wide applause.
Support for Sheka in Walikale is chequered, with locals mostly unwilling to openly speak about their political alliances, fearing reprisals. A local source explained that many residents still see Sheka as defending the community from marauding foreign fighters from Rwanda.
But a local teacher from Walikale told Al Jazeera that Sheka had caused enough damage to people’s lives and that he would not support him, while a mobile phone vendor sitting just metres from rally said that Sheka ought to be apprehended for his crimes.
 
‘Cannot be traced’
Earlier, Sheka emerged from a set of red stonewalled buildings behind a school and marched in the rain with around 100 of his fighters, carrying rocket-propelled grenades and AK 47s into the town. His supporters promptly joined the march singing songs and beating plastic containers in a bid to create a ruckus ahead of his address.
The rally came after days of confusing events that left UN and political analysts speculative of the shifting relations between the Congolese army and Sheka's Mai Mai faction.
On Wednesday, Jonathan Chuma, Walikale’s sector commander, told Al Jazeera that Sheka had entered the town and was in the hands of government forces, but clarified that “he was not under arrest” despite the warrant.
 Sheka's rallies have attracted hundreds of people ahead of the elections[Azad Essa/Al Jazeera]
Chuma provided no other details and asked Al Jazeera not to film around the school complex which fed further speculations of ongoing negotiations between the two sides.
When approached on Thursday at the school complex about Sheka’s whereabouts, Chuma said that the rebel leader had "disappeared" and that they "cannot trace him".
But within an hour, Sheka emerged from the complex, and marched with his entourage of fighters and supporters into town.
The rally continued despite the torrential rains that continue to swamp the eastern DRC. Poorly built sand tracks are flooded, and the UN was forced to cancel flights on Thursday due to poor visibility.
The UN stabilisation mission MONUSCO are racing against time to transport election material to offices across the country, after materials arrived late in Kinshasa.
Walikale, a remote region with North Kivu in the eastern DRC is considered one of the hotspots during these elections as government forces and armed groups continue to battle it out in the forests. The region is known for significant gold, diamond deposits, attracting rival groups to compete over territory.
The DRC is scheduled to hold its second presidential and legislative election since 1960 on November 28. Joseph Kabila, the incumbent president is tipped to be re-elected though analysts are warning that key opposition candidates Vital Kamerhe and Etiene Tshedekedi should not be underestimated.
 
Sapa: DRC 'ballots' doing rounds in Johannesburg
 
South Africa has emerged as a key part of the battleground for the November 28 elections in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) -- from the printing of ballot papers (some of which appear to be on the streets of Johannesburg) by Robert Gumede's 4 Rivers Trading company -- to the provision of air support by the South African National Defence Force for the delivery of the ballot papers.
 
DRC opposition leader Etienne Tshisekedi, was in the country for three weeks in November, while agreements between DRC President Joseph Kabila and President Jacob Zuma for the Grand Inga Dam project were signed just ahead of the highly-contested elections.
 
Through a spokesperson, Gumede, the controversial billionaire businessman who has been embroiled in a legal battle with the department of home affairs over a R2-billion tender, said he could not speak about the printing of the DRC ballots because of "signed confidentiality agreements".
 
But a source close to 4 Rivers Trading confirmed the company won the tender to print the ballots on November 4. They were printed in the Western Cape, Eastern Cape, KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng.
Although the source would not reveal the cost of the tender, the DRC's 2006 ballots, which were also printed in South Africa, by Ren-Form, was $50-million (R400-million). But those elections were on a smaller scale than the present one.
 
This year, 32-million registered voters will make their mark at more than 63 000 polling stations to vote for 11 presidential candidates, including Kabila and Tshisekedi. There are also more than 18 000 parliamentary candidates who are running for 500 National Assembly seats, which means some of the ballot papers consist of 56 A4 pages. The overall cost of the elections has been reported to be $1.2-billion.
 
It seems that some of the ballot papers are in the hands of members of the Congolese community in Johannesburg. The Mail & Guardian has seen two presidential ballot papers and two pages of the National Assembly ballot papers, which appear to be authentic. But attempts to confirm their authenticity with the Commission Electorale Nationale Indépendante, the DRC electoral commission, were not successful by the time of going to print.
 
The DRC ambassador to South Africa, Bene M'Poko, dismissed the possibility. "The reason we came to South Africa to print the ballots is because we trust the country's security," he said. "No one will have that ballot paper at this point, not even the chairman of Commission Electorale Nationale Indépendante or me."
 
He accused Congolese citizens distributing what he termed the "fake ballots" of working for Tshisekedi to tarnish Kabila's name.
Vincent Tohbi, the Kinshasa head of the Electoral Institute for Sustainable Democracy in Africa, said the electoral commission appeared to be "doing their best" to deploy the materials. But he understood that, although all the ballot papers should have been in the DRC by Thursday afternoon, many would not have reached some of the more remote areas. Friday was the deadline for all material to be delivered to their stations.
 
"The serious logistical challenges of the electoral commission are the same as they were from the start," said Tohbi.
 
Minister of Defence and Military Veterans Lindiwe Sisulu, who visited Kinshasa last weekend, told the M&G that South Africa was not aware, until last Sunday that the DRC electoral commission was struggling. "When we got here we realised that they have bigger problems. They can't transport ballots to 210 sub-hubs from the 13 hubs that South Africa was asked to deliver to."
 
The defence force deployed seven aircrafts this week, in addition to the four that were already on the ground, to assist with transportation.
 
While Tshisekedi was in South Africa, from October 21 to November 10, he held an "economic summit", which was hosted at the Rosebank Hotel by a group called Africanised. A source close to the Tshisekedi camp in South Africa confirmed that the veteran opposition leader also met Mathews Phosa, the ANC treasurer. But attempts to reach Phosa and to get confirmation from both the department of international relations and the ANC were unsuccessful.
 
Some are questioning the timing of an agreement to kick start the estimated $8-billion to $10-billion Grand Inga Project on the Congo River, which has been under discussion for years. It was finally announced on November 11, the day after Tshisekedi left the country to return to the DRC.
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コンゴ民主共和国(コンゴ)やルワンダといったアフリカ大湖地域を中心に、アフリカでの人道支援や紛争・平和構築を専門としています。
過去にリベリア、南ア、ソマリア、タンザニア、ルワンダ、コンゴなどで国連ボランテイアや国連難民高等弁務官事務所職員(UNHCR)として活動。南アの大学院でコンゴ紛争について研究し、2007年―2008年には、コンゴ東部でUNHCRの所長として勤務したこともあり、その経験を活かして現在アドバカシ―に力を入れています。
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