OPEN LETTER TO THE SECRETARY-GENERAL AND TO THE MEMBERS OF THE CHINESE COMMUNIST PARTY
SUBJECT: DENIAL OF THE ODIOUS DEBT OF THE REPUBLIC OF CONGO TO THE PEOPLE'S REPUBLIC OF CHINA
Congo Brazzaville, by the greed of its leaders, fell into the trap of an "odious debt" contracted with the People's Republic of China and is today unable to honor its commitments to the place of international partners, but especially towards the Congolese people. To this must be mentioned the highly criminal and kleptocratic character of the Brazzaville regime, totally corroded by corruption, and whose incompetence in matters of state management has always been indisputable.
In the aftermath of independence, in the context of the East/West Cold War, Congo Brazzaville, under the leadership of Presidents Alphonse Massamba Debat and Marien Ngouabi had sealed a privileged partnership with China that had allowed us to build a productive sector significant in the agri-food, textile, river transport etc.China won the respect and friendship of the Congolese.
Since then, the world has become a global village, China, the great economic power that we know and the Congo, under the leadership of Denis Sassou Nguesso, has sunk into the worst of the kleptocracy; without China, until the last few days, withdraws to the partnership China/Congo the benefit of the status of "pilot country" which plunged us into the worst of bankruptcies, sealed by an"unsustainable debt".
This "unsustainable debt" can not be honored without seriously compromising our country's ability to fulfill its basic human rights obligations; such as education, drinking water and electricity supply, health care, the provision of decent housing, and the provision of public infrastructure and programs for economic and social development . Will the China of Deng Xiaoping, the father of modern China, take such political and historical responsibility?
In 2016, following the illegal change of the Constitution of 20 January 2002, in October 2015 and the rigged early election of 20 March 2016, General Denis Sassou NGUESSO, whose mode of operation has been for more than 40 years, using force to impose itself on the Congolese has gradually become isolated on the international scene. His electoral coup led to a deep indignation of democratic powers and Congolese and African civil societies.
To break this isolation, the General Denis Sassou Nguesso will decide to put an end to the little autonomy which the Congolese foreign policy maintained, vis-à-vis the People's Republic of China, while speaking on the waves of CCTV to the the day before the arbitration of Case No. 2013-19 between the Republic of the Philippines and the People's Republic of China stating that:
"The Republic of Congo also supports China's position on the South China Sea, and will coordinate closely with China on international affairs."
-Meeting between President Xi Jinping and Denis Sassou Nguesso
DE FACTO CONGO BECOMES THE FIRST CHINESE COLONY OF AFRICA.
This irresponsible conduct of Congolese diplomacy in a space as sensitive as the conflict in the South China Sea is likely to exacerbate military tensions in Southeast Asia and profoundly undermine peace.
In the wake of this alignment, the Congo went so far as to contradict the United Nations decision in favor of the Philippines by recognizing China's sovereignty over this sea and encouraging African countries to follow this step, thereby undermining the impartial system. and equitable conflict resolution imagined for this dispute by the United Nations.
Returning to power in 1997 in the wake of a bloody coup that claimed nearly 400,000 victims, and necessitated the invasion of the Republic of Congo by the Angolan army, General Sassou Nguesso returned to crooked economic actors, from the People's Republic of China among others, as during his first time in office.
For more than 20 years, unscrupulous Chinese companies have carved out the lion's share in disregard of the environment and the interests of the Chinese and Congolese peoples.It is in this context that a Chinese trader from Hong Kong, Patrick Shu Fai To, will be named Honorary Consul of Congo in Hong Kong. It will pave the way for an intensification of the illegal timber trade, to the People's Republic of China and introduce the dignitaries of the Congolese regime to the Asian financial centers.This action favored the establishment in the Congo of the 88 queensway group, a consortium of corrupt Chinese investors.
The irresponsibility of General Sassou Nguesso led him once again to conclude improbable financial agreements with the Chinese Government.
Today, the Chinese debt of Congo Brazzaville amounts to more than 80% of its GDP and has only served to satisfy the whims of an irresponsible family, ever more insatiable, and to maintain by mass murder a regime incapable of bringing harmony, development and prosperity to the Congolese population.
It is in this context that the power of Brazzaville, which is struggling to reach an agreement with the International Monetary Fund, is once again seeking a saving support from the People's Republic of China.
This"unsustainable debt" is "odious" and We, Congolese, refute it because it has been contracted illegally, for nearly two decades by notorious corrupt policymakers, and the inappropriate projects it has funded bear the following characteristics: :
- "Loser-Loser" for the Congolese people who are sinking into unbearable misery and the Chinese people whose image in the Congo is continuously deteriorating and thus bears the responsibility for this misery with the dark label of the neo-colonizer.
- "Win-win" for the corrupt / corrupt Chinese and the family of the Congolese dictator, Denis Sassou Nguesso who use some of these loans to afford the outrageous fame of the life of monarch.
- Unproductive and stained bribes because the infrastructure and planned projects (twelve presidential residences, a new Parliament, unnecessary sports infrastructure today abandoned, a center of international conferences etc ...) by the power of Brazzaville, accompanied and supported by the Chinese Government are totally inappropriate and disconnected from the local social reality and the real needs of the Congolese people (health, jobs, education, training, entrepreneurship, ecology, well-being ...).
- Destructive for the environment with the release into the nature of toxic products that contaminate the rivers and farmland of the villagers (Agil congo).
This Chinese debt promotes illegal and criminal exploitation environmentallyforest species, resulting in the destruction of the ecological lung of the Congo Basin and many local environmental disturbances (Deija Group) or, very likely, global.Chinese companies are not obliged to respect the rules of international environmental organizations in terms of preservation of biodiversity and are protected by the Congolese authorities who benefit from them through fictitious companies and hidden accounts based in China (Brilliant Ventures Asia Limited).This debt is at the origin of the illegal expropriation of landowners for the installation of aSpecialEconomicZone(SEZ) with an opaque content (Coidic company).
Debt vis-à-vis China has intensified corruption.The numerous independent reports and surveys published in recent years by international organizations have uncovered large-scale smuggling of public funds, aid from the international community and illegal exports of natural resources, all orchestrated by the Congolese authorities on behalf of the country in sole benefit of the Sassou family and very often in the direction of the People's Republic of China.
All these elements are thedirect consequence of the total opacity of an"odious debt"that the Congo, as a State, in the interest of its people, the first victim of these occult agreements, is no longer able to repay.
Congo's overexposure to Chinese debt, US $7 billion, must be understood as an abandonment by the regime's dignitaries of Western offshore financial centers deemed too demanding and restrictive in terms of transparency, but also an outright renunciation of any responsibility against a people they terrorize.
The reluctance of Western financial centers against mafia regimes, like that of Congo Brazzaville, is the consequence of their strong penchant for the Chinese partnership whose rules of transparency favor the great international corruption to the detriment of the brother peoples Chinese and Congolese.
The Congolese people can not continually accept to serve as a stepping stone to the imperialist interests of the one and totalitarian of others.
The Chinese Government must take the measure of its responsibility in the undermining of its cooperation because of the corrupt authorities of Congo Brazzaville and the growing resentment of the African populations towards its diaspora established in Africa;and that only genuinely fair, equitable and fraternal cooperation will enable the perpetuation of peaceful relations with Africans and especially with the Congolese people.
The responsible civil society and the political class of the Republic of Congo, opposed to all unconscious, criminal and irresponsible policies against the Congolese people, through this open letter, recall that the requirements of transparency and the fight against corruption , whose Chinese Government has made the ambassador under Xi Jinping's mandate, can not limit itselves to the mere physical borders of China and complacency towards African kleptocratic systems such as that of Congo Brazzaville.
We welcome the openness shown by the Chinese Government in the negotiations with the IMF, as part of the debt of the Republic of the Congo resolution, but sincerely and amicably believe that the Chinese Government must align with the real aspirations of the Congolese people.
Our requirements to come out of this immoral and destructive spiral are:
The absolute transparency, without delay and the freezing of all the assets of Congolese dignitaries based in China
The prosecution of all Chinese firms involved in corruption cases in the Republic of Congo and the cancellation of related debts.
Transparency vis-à-vis the representative bodies of the IMF and Congolese civil society of all agreements, contracts and other conventions established in partnership with the Congolese authorities.
The cancellation of all current or future contracts tinged with corruption concluded by the power of Brazzaville illegitimately in the name of the Congolese people.
The suspension without delay of military and police cooperation with the Congolese Government led by persons suspected of crimes against humanity
Unambiguous support to the release of political prisoners and the opening of a peaceful transition.
Done at Paris on April 28, 2019
For the Congolese people,
The coordination of the Sassoufit Collective