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African   Histories

The   African   Sickness

Zaire, the toy of Mobutu

Zaire is the most corrupt Earth country, is the world the other way around, where you must have more precautions against the police and the military who against the thieves, since these to only will rob you whereas those can liquidarte by simple to please. 30 years of implacable dictatorship of Mobutu have affected deeply all the vital levels of the zaire6nos. The geography of the east of Zaire is marked by the lakes and the mountainous chain of the Ruwenzori, that crosses it of north to the south; this last mountainous chain lodges gorilas of mountain, in extinction danger, although the last years the population has grown thanks to the national creation of parks like the one of Virunga and the persecution of the furtive hunters, jointly with international programs of protection to gorilas of mountain. Zaire obtained his independence in 1960, but attempt had to confront in his first years serious problems like of secession of rich province mineral of Katanga in north and of Kasai in the south, or rebellions of army, which they were squashed by colonel Joseph Mobutu, who in 1965 took the power, assuming the name of Mobutu Sese Seko in 1972. The enormous ethnic diversity, with more than 200 tribes and 250 dialectos, in addition as large as the country, 3 times the one of Spain for a population of 40 million, makes difficult their government, since Mobutu has concentrated the local government of the 21 provinces, who was very independent, in only 8 provinces, that in addition depend for everything to the central government in Kinshasa. 30 years after the taking of being able by Mobutu, the economic and political situation of Zaire is of total chaos; suspiciously, the considered personal fortune of Mobutu approaches the post of the enormous external debt of the country, although its present situation is very precarious, since there is lost the support of the United States, that during these years has had to Mobutu like an ally against the socialist experiments of Tanzania and other countries of the zone. The political and economic interests in the zone are enormous, and France supports to Mobutu not to lose its influence the United States in front of. Nevertheless, it seems that France bets by a losing horse, since Mobutu, patient of cancer and with its lost credibility, sees like its army of troops badly prepared, that has not been receiving its wage for years and that lack modern war material, runs militarily with the tail between the legs before the advance of the guerrilla army of Kabila, supported by Uganda and Rwanda, and mainly politically by the United States. What is very doubtful is that more than probable victory of Kabila it takes the democracy to Zaire since in half that it controls of the country has suppressed to the political parties and their file of reconverted Marxist, enthusiastic in the 70 of the Chinese system and norcoreano, they put its credibility democratic in prohibition; the great American multinationals have bet clearly by him, even before their victory, already the tejana company American Fields has signed a contract of 1,000 million dollars for the creation of a mixed company of mining operation. In order to avoid problems, we decided to let the truck in the Ugandan part of the border, since our objective, the National Park of Virunga, where they are gorilas of mountain, only is to 10 km of the border. For that reason, we take of the truck the basic equipment of camping for 2/3 days, and after crossing the border without problems because the guide has slid a bill of 10 dollars with the passports, we contracted the services of porteadores to take the tents; when we see that many of them are children who do not arrive at 10 years, we got infuriated ourselves and we commented that we would not have to allow this, but once again the real economy reigns and if we did without their services, that day they will not gain a dollar with which to feed its families; of all ways, the vision of children loading with fardos of 15 kg or knapsacks that arrive to them until the knees affects to me deeply. The route we partially made it in closed night, and it seems impossible to me that these barefoot children, loaded with heavy bulks, can be moved with as much agility and without encountering continuously as passes us to the others. The night becomes dark, rather black like the jet, and I guide myself following these small fantasmales shades that slide like cats by the jungle. We arrived at the camping exhausted and in my case with an ankle twist of putting pié in a hole that I have of course not seen; I am worried because within one week I am going to raise the Kilimanjaro and this demands an optimal physical state. The following morning wakes up alleviated to me inasmuch as the ankle hurts less to me, has been a simple twist and not esguince as it feared. The light of the day allows us to appreciate all the beauty of the place in which we are and that the previous night we crossed in the complete dark, since we are surrounded by beautiful mountains, are the spurs of the chain of the Ruwenzori or Monta6nas of the moon, one of the most fascinating and enigmatic places of this planet, and at the same time more inaccessible because its high humidity index, with more than 320 days of rain to the year turn to these mountains of more than 4000 meters of altitude into skating tracks on mud which they make difficult his exploration enormously; in them the biologists have found species only and, in general, any plant has the size double that in other parts of the world. The senecios reach here up to 12 meters of height, and lobelias 1 meter; the grass can get to grow 50 cm. In a day. Some summits permanently are covered by the snow, since the mount Stanley has 3 tips that surpass the 5,000 meters and other 7 are higher than the Mont Blanc The forests of the Ruwenzori have the greater density of vegetation of the globe; the tile roof that only forms the maze of leaves and lianas lets pass 10% of the light, which partly explains the gigantismo of its flora, also caused by the continuous protective mantle of the clouds that protects it of rays ultraviolet of the sun. Another reason is in that the great fires that take place at the dry time in African savannahs produce a great amount of ash that is deposited in glaciers and several months later it falls in rain form when these melt. The fertilization of the plants does not make the butterflies, since these altitudes they cannot survive; they are soui sleeve, a bird of the family of the nectarínidos ones, those that make the fertilization thanks to their long tips. The Ruwenzori is a vital element of the ecological balance of the zone, that at time of rains it retains as a sponge the enormous amount of spilled water that in another case would cause floods, releasing it at the dry time in the lake Albert, source of the Nile Albert, avoiding the droughts that would cause hombrunas. How wonderful natural balance!

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