The Real Rebels of Congo

2012, Military and War  -   29 Comments
Ratings: 5.88/10 from 25 users.

The Real Rebels of CongoThis documentary uncovers perplexing survey of the Congo's myriad resistance groups. Besides the fragmented Lord's Resistance Army, the Democratic Republic of Congo is also home to militant groups such as the Mai-Mai, the Raia Mutomboki, and the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda. But the greatest threat to regional stability could very well be a group known as M23.

Led by Bosco Ntaganda, known by his troops as the Terminator, M23 mostly consists of Congolese Tutsis who defected from the army last April after alleging that the government in Kinshasa had violated peace accords signed in 2009.

The battle between M23 and government troops has raged so wildly that the United Nations has been forced to divert troops and resources sorely needed elsewhere in the country in order to get the government in Kinshasa a fighting chance.

These ethnic and geopolitical tensions are, in turn, exacerbating an already raging fight between local militias to control the illicit mining of cassiterite, wolframite, and coltan.

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29 Comments / User Reviews

  1. Mack Niccolo

    Mike, he would appear to be more qualified than you. soooo......

  2. Mike

    Did I just watch a documentary on the violence and revolution in Congo hosted by a 20 year-old sophomoric, emo graduate student and his art department buddies?

    Furthermore, is this kid seriously acting like he knows what's going on, much less what should be done?

    Who is he, what makes him qualified to even give his opinion?



  3. JPVan

    Unrelenting misery in the Congo since Leopold II slaughtered millions over a century ago. And no sign that even 1% of the population now finds itself in a secure and decent environment. At the end of the day a close look at NGOs and intergovernmental organizations like the UN will reveal that 90% or more of resources ostensibly dedicated to this good cause or any other are being skimmed. I don't say that lightly, but after thousands of hours of research. Beware of wolves in sheep's clothing.

  4. jacobella

    VICE...What happened to Ben Anderson???

  5. Sam Miller

    This was disappointing within minutes.

    Normally I like Vice's documentaries, but the blatant ignorance of the guy reporting turned me off watching the rest of the documentary. Ignorant to a large presence being the most important tool in a peacekeepers arsenal, he talks about policing the locals. Then when he complained about kidney punches and gut shots, he seemed oblivious to the body armour that everybody was wearing and helping to make their ride a little more comfortable.

    The last point might seem petty, but by now I had no faith in their integrity to report anything accurately and bailed. Hope the next one's better Vice!

    1. john ng

      i also found the reporter super super annoying, but at the end of the day, he did his job and exposed flaws in they system which is what a doco should do. Even though he should have been more grateful, i felt like he was useful in that way.

    2. Sam Miller

      I apologise, as I obviously didn't make it through to the end and may have missed some of what he discovered. What were the flaws he exposed?

  6. Itolduso

    To delight in war is a merit in the soldier,l a dangerous quality in the Captain and a positive crime in the statesman. ~ George Santayana

    Methinks our politicians are criminals!

  7. docall18

    Yawn..... such a sanctimonious bore

    1. DigiWongaDude

      @docall18 ...Yeah I can see how it might appear that way. But it ain't. Or could it be... you that has a chip on their shoulder? (as your commenting has implied) I guess we'll see soon enough.

    2. docall18

      The title had me expecting a bit of shooting, violence etc. He didnt even meet the rebels! The only violence was the banging he was complaining about while he was passenger in the UN vehicle. Plus he comes across as a complete jerk

    3. DigiWongaDude

      @docall18 Pfffft...I had wondered if you were referring to me. Phew. I agree with you. The little upstart can't look his interviewees in the eye (see the part where he's asking about why they didn't bury the bodies), and they mock him for not having a clue of the realities based on the ignorance of his question. The fact that it wasn't edited out says even more. have to give the guy some credit for having the balls to put his scrawny ass over there at least, even if that was far from the real action, and hurt his back in the UN vehicle.

      "Blood Coltan" does a much, much finer job, but isn't so up to date.

  8. BeardHero420

    This "makes me sick" attitude causes something inside me to itch every time I hear it. Take away the privileged lives most of us have been leading since our first breath of air and say, maybe, we were born in the DRC (or Liberia, Somalia, Burma, Pakistan, Afghanistan, etc.). You would have grown up around people who kill for what they want/need.

    With that said, I of course don't agree with the rape and murder of an entire continent nor do I believe in the just cause of any of the multiple warring factions in the DRC. But in a land fraught with poverty and hunger, cursed with an abundance of used European and Eurasian weaponry, and loaded with an lifetime supply of NATO 7.62...Facebook or not, rare earth minerals or none, and Kony or no Kony, the war will be fought regardless. Your values don't amount to a damn thing in the end, do they?

    1. DigiWongaDude

      @ BeardHero420: I'll take on this one, since it appears to be for me anyway? I grew up in South Africa from age 11 to 21, during apartheid and was privileged to be on the streets for the arrival of Nelson Mandela from his incarceration on Robyn Island. But as one of the 'privileged whites', I was filled with shame and disgust. This formed my values of tolerance and rejection of indifference. When I left, I found intolerance and indifference at the heart of most of the world's social problems - from individual relationships to entire nations. To say my values don't amount to a damn, I can only quote Mahatma Gandhi "Be the change that you wish to see in the world."

  9. DigiWongaDude

    Maybe in the future we will become more civilised. Private security firms will have their own fleets of drones...for hire. Phone makers will have a 'Drones for Coltan' App and the killings and profit from DRC can be much more precise and streamlined and humane, so we can all sleep easier at night...sighing about how tragically terrible the social political economic situation of those poor africans has become - why can't they just be more like us?

    I want to know what we are going to do for these poor people we have raped and killed and destroyed in our name "the western civilisation", beginning long, long before Rwanda. It seems to me that we won't and can't do much reconcilliation give them ALL guns and let them sort/shoot it out, is the order of the day.

    When the dust settles over the minerals, we'll send in some convoys and build a school, and plant some flags. Makes me sick to my stomach!

  10. Sieben Stern

    so, who exactly is arming these groups? where do you get weapons from in the middle of the jungle?

    1. loox42

      As always... Russian arms are being used. Either Romania, Russia, or China... ak's and RPK's are russian origination. Russia is also fueling the Syrian civil war (both sides). They like to be war profiteers

    2. DigiWongaDude

      @loox42 ...Don't forget about their MK47's ;-/

    3. DigiWongaDude

      @ Sieben Stern ...of course, if you help some rebel force to power, then you have some 'favours' you can call in when they get there. Looking at the resources/raw materials available in DRC, plenty of places will be happy to be their weapon sponsors. They just don't like to talk about their 'charity'.

  11. DigiWongaDude

    A Controversial Take on DRC COLTAN (not diamonds)...
    [in addition watch "Blood Coltan" if you haven't already, as much of this doc is to do with that, namely the fight for control of the resources of the Congo]

    "Capitalism is a powerful, wild beast. It cares for nothing but our demands and its own hunger for profit. Socialism puts a leash around its neck in an to attempt to control it. Control it, but not tame it, since it's wild power is what drives our progress. It doesn't like its leash, making it cunning and as slippery as a snake. It's a mistake to control it at all, but we are afraid to set it free." – DigiWongaDude.

    Ban the trade from the DRC and it will slip in to neighbouring countries and be picked up from there. That is the impact central planning (Socialism) has when it interferes with Capitalism. In fact as soon as anything tries to interfere with profiteering, things get worse: people lie and use more drastic methods to achieve their aims, because profits are under attack:

    The commodity trader in Belgium says shrugging his shoulders, "With such a long line of trades, it's impossible to know or check where it's all coming from." - clearly defensive and not constructive! [see "Blood Coltan" on TDF]

    The corporation hierarchy of our global economy is a pyramid. It is what it is. On the one hand that hierarchy makes it all too easy to disassociate the top from the bottom (the wild side of the beast). It even makes plausible denial in the company's best interest when defending against any form of centrally planned impositions (the wild side, on a leash).

    But that hierarchy is also an opportunity to change the market in the fastest way possible: directly at the top where the competition is greatest, affecting everything underneath.

    As long as those minerals are in demand, nothing will stop the killing - just as we won't stop buying, using or desiring the devices that use them. The demand will cease the moment the capitalist corporations (not us) find methods of improving the devices to work without the use of these minerals. Innovation is best approach to solving these issues. Indeed if innovation is 'restrained', the suffering will only be prolonged.

    The profit potential for making the first device that no longer needs these precious, deadly minerals will drive the force of change we need. We need the beast set free.

    Innovation and demand is why we have dolphin friendly tuna, energy efficient light bulbs, and how hydrocarbon-free cars of the future will reach our driveways. This is Capitalism working as intended.

    Finally, the innovative changes will not end the problems in the Congo, just as consumer culture did not start them. They are exacerbated by consumer culture, but not created by them. The beast is a wild beast after all.

    1. wald0

      Yeah, the only problem is the beast never knows when to stop. In fact it stops for nothing- and I mean NOTHING. After all, whats the suffering and death of a few housand people when profit is at stake? Who cares if we destroy the planet and waste precious non-renewable resources in the process, just keep making that profit. Profit drives innovation, never mind that 99.9999 percent of that innovation takes place in trivial areas like snack cake design or shampoo marketing for the express purpose of getting ppl to consume more snack cakes and shampoo. Lets ignore that fact though and concentrate on your claim that the only ppl that can solve this problem are the very people who created it, capitalist corporations. You say when they design a device that no longer uses these minerals it will solve this problem, I agree- but why would they design such a device? Where is the profit motivation to do so? Innovation is very expensive and risky and generally takes place on the outside margins of a bell curve- that is, when a corporation is either failing and has nothing to lose or when they are swimming in profit and have nothing to lose. And even then innovation follows market demands, if consumers don't clearly express a desire for a decice that doesn't use these minerals and a willingness to pay for such innovation the corporation is not signaled to do anything but maintain the status qou. Now if the consumer isn't even aware that ppl are dieing over these minerals or that the collection of them in some way harms the environment, or if they aren't aware the minerals are even in the device how do they signal the corporation? In other words this wonderful world of self regulating markets require a few prerequisites you guys always seem to over look. 1- All consumers must stay correctly informed of all the different operations of every corporation- that is manufacturing, marketing, waste disposal, right down to how they transport raw materials and finished goods. 2- for one to be possible all corporations have to be one hundred percent transparent, which kind of complicates copy right and proprietary ownership. 3- All consumers must understand the science of how these different operations potentially effect the environment, our health, etc. 4. Consumers must make rational decisions based on market signals, i.e. they must be able to identify where the best value for the least money is and respond in a rational therefore predictable way. Now we know this is not how consumers act, we have countless studies proving this. We also know that coporations are driven by the short term need to show a profit every three months in the quarterly, not by the long term interest of the greater population or economy. This was proven just recently by the housing bubble, which was inflated with short term interests and the illusion of tranferring ultimate responsibility elsewhere- as if the economy wasn't globally intertwined.

    2. DigiWongaDude

      Waldo, you are right, right, right. I can't fault a word. There is a but, and I will post more later. Thanks for the very decent response, you could have ripped me to pieces and you refrained. Kudos

    3. annieeem

      I am going to look into this more and become better informed, but, what struck me about your note was the bottom line-“Follow the Money”
      We are but fodder for the wealthy


    yes...worth watching; yet disturbing because it leaves me wanting to know whether M23 are the real peacemakers or not.

    Sure resources were moved, but if peace is truly breaking out I say hail to the Morrocans and other African forces. Dis the UN as many commonly do in this selfish world, but this could not have been brought to us without them.

    On another less important note...Dan looked funnier and way out of place than he normally is in these pieces. A French speaking interviewer could have improved the context and content immensely.

    1. wald0

      "Dis the UN as many commonly do in this selfish world, but this could not have been brought to us without them."

      There are many good reasons to "dis the UN...", as you say. In my opinion it has become simply another corrupted, bloated, ineffective bureaucracy. When they go after Bush and Cheney for their obvious war crimes or Isreal for their obvious violation of international law- then i'll take them seriousely. Right now they seem to only exist in order to facilitate and ligitimize whatever the West and Isreal wants to do to the rest of the world.

  13. dmxi

    one of 'vices' worth watching........thumbs up & fingers crossed for the people who have to indulge these violent crimes performed against them.

    1. DigiWongaDude

      @ dmxi: "...for the people who have to indulge these violent crimes performed against them." - that must have taken you ages to type?

    2. dmxi

      @digi.........just as long as you need to fix that perm to your hat?