Sovereignty of the Congo

834 Words4 Pages
“There is no Congo” by Herbst and Mills questions the concept of the Congo’s sovereignty. This essay will show that there is in fact juridical sovereignty but there is little to no empirical sovereignty and because of this, the Congo can be referred to as a ‘quasi-state’ but can’t be considered as a non-state, which is contrary to the theory of the afore-mentioned article. According to Merriam Webster, sovereignty is the autonomy or indefinite power a ruling party has over a state. In ‘There is no Congo’, Herbst and Mills argue that the Congo doesn’t exist. The article suggests that the Congo has no empirical sovereignty. This means that the central Congolese government has little or no control over society. Also, the country is not unified. This article argues that despite being recognized internationally, the Congo is equally poor and it’s neighboring states tend to not recognize it’s sovereignty as it is then easier for them to exploit the Congo’s natural resources (Herbst & Mills, 2009:1). The article concludes that the Congo doesn’t exist on these terms. However, it only proves that the Congo is a failed state. It doesn’t include the fact that the Congo does qualify as a state due to the fact that it upholds juridical sovereignty. Due to the history of the Congo, which did not encourage a unified culture, the Congo has tenuous empirical sovereignty. This lack of unity can be attributed to the artificial borders drawn up by the European colonists. The ‘Scramble for Africa’ resulted in colonists dividing up the African continent, not keeping in mind different ethnicities or the complication of the different chiefdoms and rulers. During this time, different ethnic groups were forced to live in the same areas where they had no relation to one another yet the colonial rulers expected them to unite and adopt a national unity. This therefore created many
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