Technology experts count costs of DRC war

drc_war.jpgTECHNOLOGY experts are counting the cost of war in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) which has led to the destruction of mobile phone bases and telecommunications sub-stations in the country.

Jose Kalle, an information technology expert based in Katanga, the eastern part of the DRC, told in Nairobi, Kenya on Wednesday while on transit to Paris, France, that telecommunications infrastructure continued to be damaged in the fighting that is unlikely to end any time soon following the recent collapse of talks to bring peace to the troubled areas.

“Vandalism of mobile and telecommunications systems is another serious issue of concern. I would like to believe that the rebels, who are behind the destruction of technology equipment such as telecommunication stations, satellites and telephone lines, should be prosecuted once the war comes to an end.

“Well, at the moment the world and the international community are only interested in talking about human life alone, but the other most disturbing issue is that of the destruction of mobile and telecommunications infrastructure in my country (DRC),” he said.

Kalle, who runs businesses specializing in information technology in Katanga and Kivu, said those behind vandalism were doing such “barbaric acts” to fix the government of President Joseph Kabila.

“It would have been better if the warring political parties had directed their energies in fighting between themselves and leave out essential communication base stations. Such kind of barbaric and reckless vandalism is deplorable. Destroying telecommunications base stations is like destroying the future of our children,” he said.

The continuous destruction of information and technology infrastructure in the DRC comes a week after peace talks chaired by UN special envoy and former Nigerian president Olusegun Obasanjo hit a dead end as the rebel and government representatives failed to reach a ceasefire agreement in Nairobi.—