Dr. Livingstone, I Presume?

BBC News reports that researchers from University of London have deciphered a previously illegible letter written by missionary David Livingstone in 1871. As far as I can tell, the research team used ghosts (spectral imaging technology) to analyze the letter, which was written in the torn out pages of a book while Livingstone was stuck in Bambarre, in modern-day DRC. In it, Livingstone criticizes the slave trade, saying:

If our statesmen stop the frightful waste of human life in this region and mitigate the vast amount of human woe that accompanies it they will do good on the large scale and cause joy in Heaven.

And, in honor of the Congo’s 50th anniversary (which fell on Wednesday), here is some recommended reading:
  • Resource Consulting Service’s brand new report on the mineral trade, which is a great antidote to the recent resurgence of “blood cell phone” hysteria. If you’ve got some extra time, I also recommend the previous report “Beyond Conflict.” (hattip Texas in Africa)
  • Joe Bavier’s article drawing parallels between current DRC leader Joseph Kabila and long-time dictator Mobutu Sese Seko. I’m officially awarding Joe three Lucky Charms red balloon marshmallows for writing a full three page article about the Congo on a subject other than rape, lions, or coltan. (hattip alert reader Lauren)
  • Jason Stearns’s post earlier this month at Congo Siasa on struggling to conceptualize the current era in Congolese politics.

Kate Cronin-Furman

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