Today I bring you tidings of great joy. Who among us hasn’t lain awake at night, bathed in sweat, tortured by the thought that the population of the Congo might be in terminal decline? Their rich civilisation destroyed, an end to the stream of refugees who have so enriched our own societies. The very thought of which is just unbearable.
What would have driven your fears? Well as you know, things have been a bit dodgy in the Congo since they achieved ‘independence' there. According to Wikipedia, the earliest inhabitants of the Congo, were generally hunter-gatherers who lived in the forests. Strangely enough, they don’t point out that, eh, the current inhabitants of the Congo are also hunter-gatherers who also live in the forests. Anyway, despite a population which is apparently ‘friendly, hard-working and resilient’ they haven’t exactly done a South Korea in terms of progress.
In fact the whole country has been one seething mass of fighting and warfare since ‘independence’. Which is surprising given how friendly the people are supposed to be. And this brings me to the nub of my story. Unimaginable numbers have succumbed to either direct killing or starvation. According to the Beeb ‘The International Rescue Committee says 45,000 people are dying every month in the central African state - a total of 5.4 million dead over the past decade."
And it’s not just the number of deaths, but also the nature of the atrocities. "The disturbing stories that have come out of the Congo defy imagination: women and young girls being raped by militia men in front of their families; rape victims ranging from as young as six months to as old as 83 years; women and girls faced with unwanted pregnancies and raped intentionally by men known to have AIDS. Says Dr. Sese Mukwege, (who was awarded the UN Human Rights Prize in December 2008 for his humanitarian work), “attacking women, the bearer of life, with this level of terror, I believe it has nothing to do with sexual desire. I think it’s about destabilizing society, trying to destroy society and bring about its complete destruction."
That’s bad, but the good news is: Despite this incredible death toll, the country’s population continues to increase. Despite being raped, starved and beaten, these ‘resilient’ Congolese women continue to breed at a rate that’d put any self-respecting rabbit to shame. Why would this be? Maybe they want lots of kids to share in the delights of Congolese living? Or maybe, despite all the problems, could it be that there’s never a shortage of food.
Yes indeed. The country’s staple diet (pygmies and children) are still in plentiful supply. This from Australia’s The Age. ‘Militiamen grilled bodies on a spit and boiled two girls alive as their mother watched, UN peacekeepers have charged. The report said: "In one corner, there was already cooked flesh from bodies and two bodies being grilled on a barbecue and, at the same time, they prepared her two little girls, putting them alive in two big pots filled with boiling water and oil."
Not everybody’s cup of tea, but I suppose needs must. The only problem on the horizon is that the supply of pygmies, that favourite of the sophisticated Congolese palate, is beginning to tighten. Lightly roasted female pygmy beats shank of missionary any day, apparently, and just as with the roe of the sturgeon, demand now exceeds supply. But the important point is, we are not about to run out of Congolese.
Ok, sarcasm off. Seriously, what sort of a species are the so-called humans who infest that ‘country’? (What I've listed above only skims the surface of the atrocities. A simple Google search will reveal the extent of the unimaginable atrocities that the people there visit on one another there –where Conrad called the Heart Of Darkness). Yet we allow vast numbers of them immigrate to the west. Apparently there's a ‘thriving’ Congolese community in Ireland.
Dear God - do we really expect such people to change their nature if we give them a house, schooling and other forms of welfare? Under a thin veneer of civilisation, they’re still the same people. And they will be for generations to come. As the Chinese, Japs and Arabs crack up laughing at our stupidity and gullibily.