Discussed in the Congolese Assembly, the bill on "Congolity" is at the heart of a lively controversy. Observers fear disastrous consequences.
In the Democratic Republic of Congo, the proposed law on "congolity" has been controversial for two years. The text stipulates that access to the functions of president and other sovereign functions will be exclusively reserved for Congolese with no foreign parent. What relaunch the debate on nationality. And worry. The head of the United Nations Mission in the DRC (Monusco), Bintou Keïta, believes that this piece of legislation could, if passed, have "potentially dangerous consequences".
Carried by Noël Tshiani, the bill on "congolity" could initially allow Felix Tshisekedi to dismiss opponents during the next presidential election. In particular Moses Katumbi. But above all, other examples in Africa make us fear the worst: the law on "congolity" could cause a terrible xenophobic drift.
It is not the Ivorians who will say the opposite: “Ivorianness” provoked, for almost a decade, in the early 2000s, violence linked to this concept which appeared in the last century. But it was Henri Konan Bédié who, in 1994, brought it up to date. In the midst of an economic crisis, Côte d'Ivoire quickly swung into xenophobia, marginalizing workers from Burkina Faso and even Mali.
However, like “congalité”, “ivoirité” was a positive concept. "In theory, it was not a question of nascent xenophobia, but of encouraging a new national sensibility, distinct from the feeling of traditional ethnic belonging and having to correspond to a new level of identity, that of the nation-state, recognized since 1960 by the international community under the name of Ivory Coast”, summarizes François Gaulme. But in reality, xenophobia has developed, with the increasingly marked rejection of Muslims and people from the North.
The DRC is warned. “This bill will establish a division between the Congolese who will be born of a Congolese father and mother and the others. This is a flagrant violation of the Constitution. Indeed, this one, in its letter and its spirit, insists on the equality between all the Congolese and prohibits any form of discrimination between the latter”, thus warns the political scientist Jean-Claude Mputu.