AMANI ITAKUYA II – Call for Submissions

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After 25 diverse and rich contributions last year, the Amani Itakuya essay series embarks on her second edition. Here is to the call for submissions in English and French. Please share widely and participate! NEW DEADLINE – 20 January 2015 (version française ci-dessous) AMANI ITAKUYA II – Call for Submissions With Eyes Wide Open & … Continue reading

Kinois Crystal Balls: Elections, Census, and Constitution

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With about two years left until the end of President Kabila’s current mandate, pre-electoral rumblings in Kinshasa, DRC in general, and the outside world have gained extraordinary momentum in the past couple of months. Jason Stearns (on census and on constitution), Manya Riche & Kris Berwouts recently published a couple of very helpful and illuminating … Continue reading

Towards a Genealogy of Armed Actors in eastern Congo

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Is it possible to establish a genealogy of the armed actors that have been roving around eastern Congo over the past two decades? The first, immediate answer is – no. The spatio-temporal topography and evolution of myriad militias and other groups already appears confusing and complex when looking just at a simple, fixed point in … Continue reading

Misinformation and Misdirection in Beni’s ADF Attacks

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Anonymous guest blog  On the morning of November 6, a petrol bomb was thrown in a residential quarter of Beni town, North Kivu. The bomb injured no one, and from a military perspective was a small and ineffective deployment of violence. Senior UN military analysts dismissed it accordingly. However, the bombing, which forms part of … Continue reading

Congo’s immobilised demobilisation programme

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Yesterday, various Congolese media reported the surrender of ‘Gen.’ Justin Banaloki (also known as ‘Cobra Matata’), military leader of the Ituri-based Front de Resistance Patriotique d’Ituri (FRPI). FRPI is one of the most long-standing militias in eastern Congo, created as early as in 2002 among the Ngiti community around German Katanga, allying to the Lendu-centred … Continue reading

Mapping Armed Groups in Eastern Congo – 4th Edition

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Regular readers may have noticed that this website features a mapping of armed groups in eastern Congo which is periodically updated and refined (three times a year). Today, the 4th edition of this complicated and always unfinished exercise goes online and adds to the yet existing mappings. As stated repeatedly in the lengthy disclaimer necessary … Continue reading

Argumentative techniques in the ‘conflict minerals’ debate

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The Enough Project, one of the major lobbyists in favour of Dodd Frank Section 1502, has gathered 27 other signatories to co-publish another reply (after 28 Congolese Kivutian civil society organisations and PACT) to the open letter published by 72 Congolese and international stakeholders in September 2014 (For further details, see – among many others … Continue reading