Over the past week, it was hard to find an article published in a major international press outlet not looking at the build-up to today’s presidential elections through the lens of fear and/of violence. With the exception of a few, most foreign journalists didn’t make it outside of Kinshasa (citing logistical problems). People did get killed in the Congolese capital on Saturday, and in Lubumbashi today, but the way this violence creeped into the international headlines clouds the calm and smoothness of the election process in other parts of the countries, as reported by Congolese citizen journalists on their blogs, in their local papers, or on their Facebook pages. Congo is more than two cities. Other journalists tackled it from afar: The Financial Times, for example, is reporting the #DRC elections from Nairobi? That’s 2 days driving to Kinshasa.

For reports by local journalists outside Kinshasa, read Now AfriCAN (North Kivu), Local Voices (Bunyakiri, South Kivu), Mutaani FM (also in Kivu), Radio Okapi (MONUSCO’s website and radio channel) and Le Congo. (If you want images and reports from Kinshasa other than the foreign ones, there is Lingala Facile.) And when the votes have been counted by the end of the week, refocus on what’s happening outside the Congolese political theatre. Change won’t come from the government. Most Congolese realized a long time ago. Ask the rapper Alesh. In the video and song below he calls out the country’s politicians “qui concoctent dans le noir” [plotting in the shadows] and urges his fellow countrymen (“all heirs to Patrice Lumumba”) to wake up: “Instead of growing old with analysis, I dare to obstruct those who dream of paralyzing [Congo].”

Further Reading

Beyond the headlines

Recent violence across the Eritrean diaspora is being instrumentalized by populists. But the violence is a desperate cry for attention and requires the Eritrean opposition to seize the moment for regime change.

Action required

Held in Nairobi this month, the inaugural Africa Climate Summit is an important step for the continent’s response to climate change. Still, the disasters in Libya and Morocco underscore that rhetoric and declarations are not enough.

The strange non-death of Bantustans

That South African political parties across the spectrum were quick to venerate the politician and Zulu prince Mangosutho Buthelezi, who died last week, demonstrates that the country is still attached to Bantustan ideology.

Shifting the guilt

Even though Israeli novelist Agur Schiff’s latest book is meant to be a satirical reflection on the legacy of slavery and stereotypes about Africa, it ends up reinforcing them.

Banana Republics

Western leftists are arguing among themselves about whether there will be bananas under socialism. In Africa, however, bananas do not necessarily represent the vagaries of capitalism.