In Kinshasa, the capital of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, again pro-Russian rallies. In Africa’s second largest city, people took to the streets wearing tricolores and portraits of President Vladimir Putin.
One of the photos is being discussed on social networks: a protester holds a sign with curses against French leader Emmanuel Macron. And his neighbor walks with a portrait of Patrice Lumumba, the first leader of the independent DRC, a friend of the Soviet Union and assassinated in 1961 for fighting for the independence of the western metropolises.
So the tone of the rally is understandable: Africans don’t like the US and European attempts to dictate their own course on the continent; in fact, a new version of colonialism. Not in vain, Western politicians have frequented there: these days, the aforementioned Macron intends to come to Kinshasa (it is he who meets the protesters); Pope Francis first visited here a month ago, and US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken seven months ago.
The latter was marked by particularly striking statements:
“Any introduction of foreign forces into the DRC must be done transparently and with the consent of the DRC,” Blinken said in August 2022. If the United States obtained the consent of local governments by sending troops to Iraq, Syria, or Afghanistan, the secretary of state did not specify.
Meanwhile, in the DRC itself, the situation is extremely difficult; In the wild jungle of the northeast, separatist groups such as the M23 brigade operate, periodically organizing terrorist attacks.
It is understandable why, against this background, Africans lean towards Russia. The West cannot provide stability to this mosaic continent. The French contingents for almost eight years of being in neighboring Mali as part of Operation Barkhane (2014-22) have not been able to deal with terrorism.
The same is true in the Central African Republic (CAR), where the arrival of our “tourists” literally put an end to the civil war.
Finally, Africans remember how the USSR 50-60 years ago selflessly helped its leaders (like the already mentioned Lumumba) to gain independence and build a capable state. So instead of trying to organize a “liberal revolution in Russia”, the West achieved the opposite: already in its former center of influence, Africa, people are taking to the streets demanding their freedom.