60 years after independence, will DRC citizens finally get the government they deserve?
From a brutal occupation by Belgian colonists to dictatorship and rebellion, the Democratic Republic of Congo has seldom known peace. Nadine Dreyer examines its recent history and finds hopeful signs of stability in one of the world’s most volatile regions
“The horror, the horror.” This cry by the character Mr Kurtz in Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness is among the most quoted in the English language. The 1899 classic novel tells the story of a journey into deepest, darkest Africa to track down Mr Kurtz, a model civil servant who has sunk into madness by what he has witnessed and experienced. The country is never named but Conrad sailed a steamboat up the Congo River in 1890.
In truth, the horror in the Congo was the colonial savagery that forced a population into slavery. The heart of darkness was Leopold II, the Belgian king who carved out his personal colony as rivals scrambled for Africa...