So here I sit on my air conditioned, free wi-fi equipped express bus to downtown, loking at the new bluebonnets blooming in the median and getting ready to teach my morning classes. Today's topic is the two-party system in American politics, what an anomaly that is in the global scheme of things, and that the reason it has endured for so long is that we have single-member districts and winner-takes-all elections.
The irony that I am talking about these things and enjoying such luxury while others sit in office buildings in Kinshasa for another twenty-four hours of listening to shots and waiting does not escape me.
It shouldn't be surprising. It was pretty clear last week that the tension would overflow into violence soon. It's just that there was so much hope. So much hope that maybe, just maybe, Congo had found a way to solve problems through politics rather than violence. Hope that it might be possible to form a government that takes a wide variety of interests into account, rather than just looting every possible resource for its own benefit. That hope, it seems, is in serious doubt.
That said, here's an update on what happened while we on this side of the Atlantic were sleeping:
- The government has accused Bemba of treason and is trying to arrest him.
- Bemba either is or is not still in the South African embassy.
- The airport is closed.
- Radio Okapi confirms that the government has taken back control of Gombe.
- No word on whether the Nigerian ambassador has been evacuated for hospital care.
- Students and teachers at the Belgian school had to spend the night at the school, along with 90 pupils from the French school. My friends' children are at the Belgian school; please say a prayer for them and their parents.
My bus is about to arrive at our destination. I'll try to post more in a bit.