Rallying youth to Move DRC FoRwaRD
Nothing as Before movement led by activist Carbone Beni is working for positive social, political and economic change in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Congolese pro-democracy activist and human rights defender Carbone Beni is working to engage more young people in shaping the political future of the Democratic Republic of Congo.
In February 2021, Beni launched via video a platform called “Nothing as Before,” calling on Congolese youth to stand up and work together for positive changes in the DRC.
The co-founder of the Filimbi citizens’ movement says that group and the Lucha youth movement were important in the 2018 election of Felix Tshisekedi as DRC president. “Nothing as Before” seeks to focus their energy and momentum.
“It will be our philosophical foundation and our source of motivation and action,” says Beni. “We have the moral responsibility to ensure that what we have fought for is done in the way we intended.”
Beni, 35, spent time as a political prisoner during the term of former DRC president Joseph Kabila. He is encouraged by Tshisekedi’s leadership so far. “The President of the Republic is a born patriot who has known the vagaries of the opposition,” says Beni. “We fought together for a time.” Positive Developments
Beni sees Tshisekedi’s recent separation from the Kabilaera FCC-CACH coalition as a positive sign. “The President now has free rein to move forward. He is aware of the hope he has raised in Congolese hearts. He will not let anything stand in the way of improving the well-being of his compatriots. The next three years will be decisive.”
Another Tshisekedi promising and Mike advance Hammer, is the U.S. communication Ambassador to between the DRC. The ambassador has expressed the United States’ interest in hearing directly from the Congolese, and in partnering to advance peace and prosperity in the nation. “It is imperative for the Congo that this partnership with the U.S. is concrete and palpable, so that its Congolese beneficiaries will feel the benefits,” says Beni. Interests of People Come First
Beni has long spoken out on behalf of whistleblowers. “It is important to protect those do a civic duty by denouncing any hindrance to countries’ laws and rules,” he says. “They are an echo of the call for good governance.” “Just as we encourage any good initiative for the interest of Congo and the Congolese, we condemn manipulation of young Congolese, and conduct that does not respect our laws,” Beni says. He was among those leading the plea for sanctions against Israeli billionaire Dan Gertler for extensive corruption over mining deals in the DRC. “We had hoped to see Mr. Gertler begin to respect our expectations of transparency and good governance when he was granted a license by the U.S. Department of State. However, that license has since been revoked.”
“Nothing as Before” reminds everyone that today’s Congo wants to move forward, says Beni. “We are determined to put the interests of the Congo and the Congolese people above all else, so that things change. Anyone who is motivated to do things differently than before will be called a true patriot, and the Congo will be better off as a result.”