EYES ON EUROPE
INTERVIEW FILIMBI FILIMBI (WHISTLE IN SWAHILI) IS A MOVEMENT OF CONGOLESE ACTIVISTS THAT PROMOTES ACTIVE CITIZENSHIP OF YOUNG CONGOLESE AND ENCOURAGES DIALOGUE BETWEEN YOUTH AND SOCIO-POLITICAL ACTORS. THE MOVEMENT WAS OFFICIALLY LAUNCHED ON MARCH 2015, AT A PRESS CONFERENCE IN KINSHASA. THIS CONFERENCE IS HIGHLY SYMBOLIC FOR THE MOVEMENT BECAUSE IT WAS INTERRUPTED BY A POLICE INTERVENTION. MEMBERS SUFFERED ARBITRARILY ARRESTS, PERSECUTIONS AND MANY OF THEM ARE STILL IN PRISON WHILE OTHERS HAVE BEEN COMPELLED TO FLEE THE COUNTRY. EYES ON EUROPE (EOE) CONDUCTED AN INTERVIEW WITH TWO MEMBERS OF FILIMBI WHO ARE IN EXILE IN BELGIUM. FLORIBERT ANZULUNI AND YANGU KIAKWAMA DISCUSSED WITH EOE JOURNALISTS ABOUT CITIZENSHIP.
MOHAMED FAHMI AND JOHN MOSILO ARE MASTER’S STUDENTS IN EUROPEAN STUDIES AND INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS (ULB).
Eyes on Europe: What kind of movement are you? Filimbi : The Filimbi movement aims to improve the lives of Congolese citizens and to express the despondency that exists within the Congolese society. We want to ensure better living conditions for our children that is why we want the Congo to have functional public institutions as schools, hospitals, etc. We want to reduce socio-economic inequalities and allow all Congolese citizens to thrive in their own country. EoE: What is citizen participation? F : We believe that a citizen participation requires full consciousness in terms of citizenship and democratic engagement. People must know their rights to be able to act on various levels of the state. When citizens will be completely aware of their rights and capacities, they will be able to participate in the shaping of public policies through gathering. We can speak of citizen participation only when every man and women will participate in the policymaking process. EoE: You defend the idea of democracy in Congo, if one day your project does come true, how do you imagine it? The same as in Europe? F : The political system that best represents citizen participation is obviously democracy. The decision
must be in the hands of the majority, it is necessary that citizens gather to participate in the shaping of public policies. We do not believe in a European democracy or an African democracy, democracy is a general concept that can adapt to social realities. EoE: Do you think that the EU can help you achieve your goals? How? F : The EU is one of the main partners of the DeVÀ>ÌV ,i«ÕLV v Ì i } , ® >Ì `vviÀiÌ levels. Thus, it is obvious that the EU could take part in the conduct of public affairs, directly or not. The answer is yes, the EU has a part to play in DRC, but ÜiÕÃÌ`iwiÌ >ÌÀi`i«i`}Ì iÃiVÌÀ° For instance, the EU took part in the shaping of Congolese public affairs when the European Parliament adopted a resolution in favor of the release vÀi` >Õ>>`9ÛiÃ>Ü>L>>]ÌÜ }lese activists, members of Filimbi and Lucha movement. Even if our brothers are not yet released, this decision had a true impact on Congolese policymakers. An important message was sent, not only in form but also in content, it said “the future of DRC depends on how you are dealing with social movements, simply because if you constrain these movements that means you do not share our values and you prevent your country of moving forward”. « The EU has a part to play in DRC ».
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