By Roseline Souebele
Today, the youth in the Republic of the Congo are crying. We have lived so long under a dictatorship that we wonder if we will ever live without it. Our minds were forged under the dictatorship, our education finds its basis in dictatorial rule. Corruption and despair make us struggle to find the strength we need to survive. While Americans have lived through eight different presidencies since President Jimmy Carter – each president with different policies – in the Republic of the Congo, during the same period of time, we have suffocated under the same demonic regime, and we have seen all who opposed the regime fall. We no longer know how to trust. Families embark on the Mediterranean and give up their lives fleeing the hell in which the dictators have placed them, in the hope of finding a new heaven on the other side.
The month of March was a month of sacrifice and mourning in my country. We have lost eminent personalities killed by the dictatorship who sacrificed their lives for their people because they were ready to reverse the curve of history. In the recent presidential election on March 21, 2021, one of the major opponents of the dictatorship – one we will call a prodigal son, who returned not for the father but for his brothers – died. He was killed and taken away by the dictatorship – disappeared. I cry for my people, my children, and my family because the country is very much like a bomb made of anger, that could explode at any moment, because the people have had enough.
The country mourns the disappearance of one of its sons. I mourn the peace that eludes my country. The internet and all other forms of communication are cut off, and the military deployed in more vulnerable areas. There is a saying – a devil you know is better than an angel you don’t know. I am wondering if that is still true? Please help us advocate for the lives of those who are still hoping that there is a better tomorrow, despite all the misfortune.
Roseline Souebele lives and works in Portland