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ⓘ Article 15 (Democratic Republic of the Congo)




                                     

ⓘ Article 15 (Democratic Republic of the Congo)

Article 15 or article quinze is a humorous idiom in the Democratic Republic of the Congo which expresses the need for people to fend for themselves. Originating during the Congo Crisis and popularised under the Zairean regime, it references a fictional provision of the 14-article constitution of the secessionist state of South Kasai which was said to read Debrouillez-vous. The phrase is applied to mean that the state will not help people or that public officers have freedom to fend for themselves. In a 1976 speech, Mobutu Sese Seko encouraged the civil servants to "steal a little cleverly". After the fall of Mobutu, the article is invoked to explain corruption and petty theft.

Article 15 plays a prominent role in Congolese popular culture, such as the Congolese rumba song "Article 15, oyebi yango" 1963 or "Article 15 Beta Libanga" 1985.

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