Free and incisive. She takes herself so seriously that she puts on love of her country, Congo for the advancement of society. Odette Babandoa Etoa, paraphrasing Ms BECHON, who said that “conflicts would be avoided and peace saved if the well-being of the people and the improvement of living conditions were the main objective of governments, Is peace the absence of war? Reflection.
At the end of an outing held on September 21st, during the celebration of the International Day of Peace, at the Monusco facilities located at Camp Utex, right next to the French Embassy in La Gombe, Odette Babandoa, acting both intellectual and citizen, appeals to the political class. For her, “the eradication of impunity, equitable sharing of national wealth, improved access to justice, protection of vulnerable persons, freedom of expression and demonstration, and above all, , political alternation through a reliable democratic system would thus be essential elements for maintaining peace and stability “. For, in her opinion, “whatever the problem which divides and disturbs peace in this way, dialogue, as far as I am concerned, will always remain a way par excellence to guarantee peace, by smoothing out differences. Some might fear today this word dialogue, because it has betrayed and deceived much in the Congo, but the problem is rather in the how.
How can we talk today about the peace of the Congo?
“In seeking to repair, in the Constitution itself, the breach which has freed all the demons of war, protest, division, and so on. It is a dialogue that will take place directly with the people, the primary sovereign, the only one who has the final say, above whom there is only God. Even by a referendum of Yes or No in a Third mandate, I believe that the people are mature enough to answer this question which, moreover, will have the merit of finally uniting the forces alive to change. And, at least, we will no longer bypass the real question, to finish, again and again, always at the starting place. Peace is, therefore, a commitment of all! “, She argues, mordicus.
For the most part, this iron lady who once served as Minister of Transport, Mzee Kabila’s memorable time, was accompanied by a touch of law and politics. Most recently, in another free forum entrusted to Prosperity, she expressed herself, without hesitation, on the necessity, for the whole political class, of undergoing a rejuvenation which would, without any doubt, exorcise all the avatars at the root of all the brakes that the country has faced so far. To better read her analysis, below, any wise mind would fully learn from it, to better understand the issues and challenges of peace that are those of R & D. Congo of yesterday, today and tomorrow.
IS PEACE THE ABSENCE OF WAR?
STATEMENT BY Ms ODETTE BABANDOA ETOA, ON THE OCCASION OF THE INTERNATIONAL DAY OF PEACE 21 SEPTEMBER 2017
Ladies and gentlemen,
Distinguished guests in your titles and qualities,
Allow me first of all to thank the organisers of the present event organised on the sidelines of the International Day of Peace, for the honour given to our modest person by associating us with the intellectual but eminently socio-political exercise of this day.
The subject on which we were asked to focus our intervention on this day is the short question: “IS PEACE THE ABSENCE OF WAR? “
As you will realise, this is an interrogation which divided doctrinaires in the past and which will continue to divide the intellectuals especially since peace and war are a prior revealed to be two antagonistic and at the same time relative.
In order to answer the above question, as part of the present intervention, which we want to concise out of respect for your time, we refrain from plunging back into doctrinal quarrels.
However, in order to arrive at a concrete answer, our reflection will be pragmatic in order to lead to a factual and observable conclusion.
Thus, we will first define the terms PEACE and WAR; we will then see how peace and war can either be excluded or joined, depending on the contexts and finally, we will verify whether the current situation of our country corresponds to peace or war with regard to the respective definitions of the two concepts .
II. DEFINITION OF CONCEPTS
According to the Hachette dictionary that we have been able to consult, the concept PEACE is the equivalent of concord and describes a situation characterized by the absence of conflict between people; it reflects the situation of a country that is not in a state of war.
According to Hachette, this is about tranquility, the tranquility that nothing disturbs, the absence of agitation, the state of calm, quiet and restful.
WAR, as a political concept, is the situation of armed conflict between nations, states or social groups; war is here synonymous with hostility, struggle. In other words, it is a question of the state of the conflicting relations which are regulated by an armed struggle, with a view to defending a territory or a right, or to conquer it, or to make an idea triumph. Thus we can speak for example: – Of the civil war which is an armed struggle between citizens of the same country. -From the war of religion or religious wars, holy war, armed struggle between supporters of different religions, etc …
In the sense of the two definite terms, we can now ask ourselves whether peace is the absence of war.
Ladies and gentlemen,
One can not go into depth of our reflection without citing a prominent thinker of the 17th century by the name of De Baruch Spinoza, a Dutch philosopher who concluded that “Peace is not the absence of war but rather a virtue, a state of mind, a will for benevolence, trust, justice “.
We agree with this conclusion and our statement below will establish it.
Indeed, it is tempting to think that peace is the absence of war, that is to say, a conflict between several states or groups of individuals. Where there is no violence of war, it can be said that peace reigns. But this approach is very negative, because it is not because there is no conflict that people live in peace. Peace presupposes much more than that: the will to have a destiny with others, the feeling of happiness born of the community and especially social justice.
Sociologically, peace refers to the friendly understanding of all individuals who make up a society. It does not imply the absence of conflict, but a systematically calm and measured resolution of any consequent difficulty in community life, mainly through dialogue.
As a practising lawyer and a political actor in our country for almost two decades, and as a privileged observer of the socio-economic and political situation of the Democratic Republic of Congo, we can say that there is peace has long ceased to reign in our nation.
The jolts that our country has experienced and continues to experience are such that it is perceptible that we live the state of war, understood here as a situation of conflict between human groups; a situation dominated by hostility and struggle between members of the national community.
The increasing number of armed groups, the numerous incursions by armies from neighbouring countries into Congolese soil, the ever-increasing number of internally displaced persons, political instability with its consequences, including demonstrations and repression, economic activity with its cohort of misfortunes among which unemployment, the low state budget, inflation, the loss of the purchasing power of households etc. are factors which maintain and aggravate a situation of permanent hostility and struggle within national borders.
In addition, ladies and gentlemen,
We are convinced that even if, fortunately, all the aforementioned misfortunes resulting from armed conflicts and hostilities of all kinds were to disappear, PEACE would reign only if the supporters of political power were determined to to eradicate poverty by promoting social justice through a healthy and republican management of the State.
It was in this context that Cyrille Rolande BECHON asked the question: “What would be the difference between a child killed by a bullet in an armed conflict and another killed by starvation or lack of care because the money would have been confiscated by a regime? “
Indeed, here as elsewhere, as long as the State does not provide every citizen with a minimum of decent living conditions and the prospects for a better future for everyone and for all, PEACE understood as tranquillity, no disturbance, no agitation, a quiet and restful state of calm can not be applicable to the personal level of each Congolese, even less at the collective level.
Peace can by no means be guaranteed by the presence of one man, but by the presence and good faith observation of the texts by all those who compose a community.
The forum which gathered the girls and sons of the Congo in 2001 to return to it, had the merit of having given birth, thanks in particular to the valuable accompaniment of the international community, at the time erected even as an institution. (CIAT), the forum had yielded a good agreement that could guarantee peace. Unfortunately, the great pillars of this agreement had been quickly destroyed. Among other things,
the imperative necessity of a genuine national reconciliation between the sons and daughters of the country for a political and democratic game, sanitized by the old demons of the dictatorship, and where each and every one had to regard as his own and legitimate those in power, the whole happens in a healthy climate, respecting the texts that guarantee peace to all.
Alas, to this day we are light years of genuine national reconciliation of the sons and daughters of the Congo.
In the Christian Scriptures, as the Protestant Congolese scholar demonstrates, Professor Theologian MEME, the rupture of the dialogue between Cain and his brother Abel had opened the door to death and then to the fear of Vengeance, an infernal cycle of violence, which only engenders violence, and even wandering.
We conclude this presentation with this advice from Mrs BECHON in the following terms: “Conflicts would be avoided and peace saved if the well-being of the people and the improvement of their living conditions were the main objective of the governments.
The eradication of impunity, the equitable sharing of national wealth, improved access to justice, the protection of vulnerable persons, freedom of expression and demonstration and, above all, political alternation through a system democracy would therefore be essential elements for maintaining peace and stability. “
Whatever the problem that divides and disturbs peace, dialogue, as far as I am concerned, will always remain a way par excellence to guarantee peace, by smoothing out the divergences. Some might fear today this word dialogue, because it has betrayed and deceived much in the Congo, but the problem is rather in the how.
How can we talk today about the peace of the Congo? In seeking to repair, in the Constitution itself, the breach that freed all demons from war, protest, division, and so on. It is a dialogue that will take place directly with the people, the primary sovereign, the only one who has the final say, above whom there is only God.
Even by a referendum of Yes or No in a Third mandate, I believe that the people are mature enough to answer this question which, moreover, will have the merit of finally uniting the forces alive to change. And, at least, we will no longer bypass the real question, to finish, again and again, always at the starting place.
Peace is therefore, a commitment of all!
This is, Ladies and Gentlemen, Distinguished guests, the content of the reflection we had to share with you that day.
Peace in the Democratic Republic of Congo
Thank you for your attention.