August 21, 1998: Kabila has trampled on the Interests of the Masses

Interview made by the journal "Rote Fahne" with Roger Shambuyi Kalala, at present at Goma, the Democratic Republic of Congo. Kalala is member of the leading committee of the new rebellion movement RCD (Rassemblement congolais pour la démocratie) There he is the responsible person for «mobilization», i.e. for the political organization and information of the masses. He could be contacted on 21st of August and was asked for the actual situation in Congo. The interview took place before the massive military intervention of Zimbabwe and Angola.



Rote Fahne: What are the reasons for and the aims of the rebellion?


Shambuyi Kalala: The aim of the rebellion is mainly the rectification of the deviations in the leadership of the movement of rebellion. These deviations could no longer be rectified by peaceful means, because Kabila opposed this rectification and tried to prevent it by force.

Kabily has more and more imitated fascism and allied himself with reactionaries and even fascists, mobutists and elements like the UFERI (fascist forces from Katanga region - the red.), while on the other hand he has persecuted revolutionary and democratic forces. Within the movement of the AFDL and the state leadership he organized nepotism, appointed members of his family and friends to leading positions, even if they have been absolutely incompetent. Arbitrary acts and corruption have become common practice once again. This led to a complete disorganization and plunged the country into a catastrophe. In order to master the situation he intensified the repression. People were arbitrarily put under arrest. This brought about a regression to the starting point of the movement of rebellion. The situation was not yet the same as under Mobutu. There was an opposition also within the AFDL and the leadership, which was however more and more suppressed by Kabila. I myself was suspended from my functions for three times and arrested for two times. But Kabila created a situation of uncertainty with respect to his foreign relations as well. Friendly countries have seen themselves threatened by his alliance with the fascists. He is even collaborating with the fascists from Ruanda. The aim of the rebellion is to rectify this situation and to take the road of democracy which will enable the progressive and revolutionary forces of the people to express themselves as well. The rebellion wants national unity. The program of the movement of rebellion must be restored. Production must get under way for the benefit of the people and has to get rid of nepotism and vested interests.


Rote Fahne: What part do the masses play in the rebellion?


Shambuyi Kalala: At first the rebellion was initiated by people who were in the leadership and the army. The masses are grasping more and more what is going on. They agree completely with the demands of the rebellion. But they first must gain the confidence that the rebellion is in the interest of the people. The mobilization of the people is under way. The rebellion is trying to enlist the support of people, to collect donations and at the same time to discuss with the masses and to convince them.


Rote Fahne: What kind of structure does the front have?


Shambuyi Kalala: It is movement which is composed of various forces. These are mainly progressive, democratic forces having different views. But right-wing forces are joining it as well. But the fact that I have been entrusted with the political organization in order that the people is represented characterizes the balance of power. It is decisive that the people at grass roots level are participating actively, exert control and determine the direction. Many more campaigns are necessary. This has just started. The rebellion does exist only since one week. The masses must still grasp its objectives. At the beginning it was possible to take the road of the national revolution together with Kabila. But then he started his terror. Now all issues are discussed and settled democratically.


Rote Fahne: Do you reckon with a long-lasting conflict or is there a development that it will soon be resolved?


Shambuyi Kalala: There is no real war. The development is progressing at a very fast rate. And the intervention of neighboring states will hardly change this. It is in the first place important that the people comprehend its situation. In Kinshasa the situation is not quite simple. There we have comrades, but they must act cautiously. Kabila has called on people to kill everybody who is against him. We cannot tell how long he will be able to hold out. But I think it will not be for a long time.


Rote Fahne: What part does the intervention of other states play?


Shambuyi Kalala: To my opinion the intervention from outside will not change very much nor will it help Kabila. It is may impression that the African states which have send soldiers in support of Kabila have the intention of hampering the development and entering into negotiations rather than bringing about a military solution. China too will not save Kabila. It is possible that China pursues its social-imperialist interests and tries to get a base there. Yet, they mainly have business relations with Kabila. He pursues his petty-bourgeois and petty-minded interests. The main concern of the neighboring African states, Ruanda and Uganda as well, is that the region remains peaceful.


Rote Fahne: What kind of reactions of the imperialist states USA, Belgium etc. you are expecting?


Shambuyi Kalala: I do not attach much importance to those reactions. In a crisis situation there is always a great international interest. But Kabila is no special friend of them. The decisive factor is the people on which we must focus our attention.


Rote Fahne: Will the imperialists not feel themselves forced to undertake something in a situation where the people is mobilized and fighting for its liberation?


Shambuyi Kalala: That is true, but at the moment I cannot make out an imminent danger. In the first place, we must help the masses to understand their situation. Kabila has trampled on their interests. The reality is misrepresented when one is maintaining that the Mobutists are fighting Kabila. In reality Kabila is taking the road of Mobutu. Of course, there are very different forces within the resistance movement, but no Mobutists.


Rote Fahne: How can the struggle be supported?


Shambuyi Kalala: It is important to take action against the distortions and to make it clear to people that that the aims which the rebellion is pursuing are justified and that the people is committed to them.

Conditions must be created in which the people can organize itself and build up its organizations.


Rote Fahne: How will you organize public relations? What kind of communications are there available?


Shambuyi Kalala: The international communication channels are scarcely organized. We live like in the Middle Ages. I hope that this will change soon and I will inform you as soon as possible


Rote Fahne: Do you have a special message for your international friends?


Shambuyi Kalala: Yes. It is important that the comrades support the rebellion. They must know, that the progressive words of Kabila do in no way conform to reality. The movement paves the way for the democratic discussion about the further development. This is of great significance and must be supported, even if quite different political currents are represented in it and their declarations do not sound very revolutionary. The revolutionary forces must have the opportunity to organize themselves.

Regards to all the comrades!


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