The Best of the Best: Congo News

Some of the zaniest stories that have come out of the Congo in the past years. Thanks to Michael for some of these recommendations; please write in if you have your own favorite Congo story.

1. The Congo space program: A must see. I’m so glad the Congolese government is investing money in sending rats into outer space. It makes the war in the East tolerable to know that Congolese rodents are in orbit. http://current.com/items/90729107_congolese-space-program-a-great-success.htm

2. The Great Congo Penis Theft – Former Reuters correspondent Joe Bavier wrote this gem up. I think it was one of his most widely seen stories (this in the middle of a war in the eastern Congo), http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSL2290323220080422

3. The Zidane interview – I don’t know where this guy came from, but he manages to steal the show from Zinedine Zidane. http://www.eteignezvotreordinateur.com/interview-tres-exotique-de-zidane-au-congo/

4. Row over rat claims two lives
Apr 04 2008 04:05:58:497PM A violent row over a giant rat has led to the killing of two militiamen in the DRC’s Nord-Kivu province, a radio station has reported. Kinshasa – A violent row over a giant rat led to the killing of two Mai Mai militia members in the Democratic Republic of Congo’s Nord-Kivu province, Radio Okapi reported on Friday. One of the militiamen caught the huge rat, valued for its tender flesh, in a field when a fellow patrolman shot and killed him to get the animal, the UN-sponsored radio station reported. The head of the group of Resistant Congolese Patriots (Pareco) then “gave orders that the murderer be tortured” and the man “died as a result of his injuries”, according to the news report. The radio identified the disputed beast as a giant Gambia rat, an African animal that measures up to 75 centimetres long and is bred for food in some countries. The Gambia rat also has such a fine sense of smell that it has proved a useful ally in detecting anti-personnel mines. Initial work in using rodents for mine clearance was backed by the Belgian Directorate for International Co-operation and a non-commercial agency, APOPO, works jointly with Tanzania’s Sokoine University of Agriculture on the project.5. Finally, the rumors are making the rounds in Kinshasa that Kabila’s chief of staff Adolphe Lumanu tried to lay the moves on the Canadian ambassador outside the president’s office and that the Canadian government is demanding an apology. Lumanu allegedly accused the ambassador of making the first move. If this is true, it might make the top ten list.