Don’t miss Dan Snow’s History Of Congo at 9pm, Wednesday October 9 on BBC2
“It’s one of the most tragic yet important countries on the planet,” he assures us. “[We can] learn about us as humans. Congo’s anarchy is happening now, but the same has happened in Europe, even in Britain, albeit centuries ago. One day, if we make bad choices, it might happen again.”
To create this powerful documentary, Snow’s team built bridges over streams, flew into bush airstrips, and took dugout canoes down the Congo River, crossing no-mans-land between rebel and government forces. “We wanted to explore the history that has made this country what it is,” he says as he explores how colonialism, slavery and corruption have torn apart this verdant country.
The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is the size of Western Europe, blessed with resources that ought to make its 70 million inhabitants very wealthy.
Yet it sits at the very bottom of the UN Human Development Index and for a generation has reliably been the worst country on earth in which to be born.
It’s the rape capital of the world, as tragically women and girls daily experience the barbarism of rape used as a weapon of war
The Congolese people he meets are utterly pessimistic about their nation’s future. They tell a joke about evil men in hell being allowed a phone call by the devil. Saddam Hussein and Hitler pay a lot of money to call Iraq and Germany, but Mobutu is allowed to phone the Congo for hours at little cost. Why? “We’re in hell. Congo is a local call.”
Thank God for this brave film; pray its going out will have a great impact and inspire more to get involved in praying and working for regime change and the healing of Africa’s broken heart. We can’t keep blanking out this blot on our planet