Congo, Elections, and the West: Try Again, Fail Again, Fail Better?

Sourcing from myriad inspiration such as Burkina Faso (ousting of Blaise Compaoré) or Nigeria (transition from Goodluck Jonathan to Muhammadu Buhari), discussions over constitutional rule and term limits, have gained increasing traction in Africa’s Great Lakes where Burundi just lived through contested polls and elections are scheduled in Rwanda, Uganda, and the Democratic Republic of … Continue reading

Ihula & Rumangabo attacks overshadow DRC-Rwanda rapprochement on FDLR

Last week came with a remarkable diplomatic sign as Congo’s defence minister Aimé Ngoy Mukena (replaced yesterday in DRC’s most recent post-G7 cabinet reshuffle) met with his Rwandan counterpart James Kabarebe to discuss bilateral matters in Kigali. FDLR, the Rwandan militia surviving in eastern Congo for over 20 years and emanating from 1994’s genocidaire troops … Continue reading

In eastern Congo, armed mobilisation more fractionalised but no less

Eastern Congo’s security dynamics have often been described as cyclical and, besides the evergreen remnants of genocidal FDLR militia, the post-M23 era is seen as a détente in regards to armed mobilisation. But a closer look reveals that since late 2013, the number of armed movements has even increased, even if no single actor is … Continue reading

With or without elections, the electoral period has begun in Congo

The political earthquake that is the (self-)exclusion of the so-called G7 (a group of political heavyweights around Olivier Kamitatu, Pierre Lumbi, Kyungu wa Kumwanza, Charles Mwando Simba and other former government allies) marks the definite begin of an electoral period no one knows whether it actually will end with elections or not. After weeks of … Continue reading

Amani Itakuya II: Conclusion

Concluding remarks: On the emergence of essayists Jason Stearns   Over the past month, Amani Itakuya has published twenty five essays about the conflict in the Eastern Congo, a majority of which were penned by Congolese. In conclusion, it is worth thinking about the space that these essays have carved out. Political and social debate … Continue reading

AIII #24: The ‘Gomenyi’ borderland: “It’s not always all about war”

The ‘Gomenyi’ borderland: “It’s not always all about war” (picture provided by the author) Stéphanie Perazzone   As noted in a wealth of political science literature and journalistic accounts dealing with eastern Congo, the province of North-Kivu as a whole and its chef-lieu Goma, are sadly known as the scene of continued socio-political violence, which … Continue reading

AIII #22: Do the arts have a role to play in peacebuilding in Eastern Congo?

Do the arts have a role to play in peacebuilding in Eastern Congo? (picture by the author) Nadia Fazal In Goma, the slogan ‘art for peace’ has become mainstream in almost all arts-based activities (music festivals, theatre productions, dance competitions, film projections), including well-attended festivals such as Peace One Day and the Amani Festival. What … Continue reading

AIII #18: Re-engaging the Global: An Account of the Political and Economic Roots of Conflict in DRC

Re-engaging the Global: An Account of the Political and Economic Roots of Conflict in DRC (picture by the author) Marta Iñiguez de Heredia In the last few years there has been a shift in thinking about the roots of conflict in the DRC. From a focus on mineral wealth exploitation, the debate has shifted to … Continue reading

AIII #17: Why should the Government of the DRC prioritize SSR over DDR Programs?

Why should the Government of the DRC prioritize Security Sector Reform (SSR) over Disarmament, Demobilization, and Reinsertion (DDR) Programs? Mahaut de Talhouët Many articles have been written on the linkages between SSR and DDR, and how success in one of these fields is a prerequisite for success in the other. Research has also highlighted the … Continue reading

AIII #16: Du recours à la constitution d’une milice tribale, un moyen illicit de la protection des communautés en conflits

Du recours à la constitution d’une milice tribale, un moyen illicit de la protection des communautés en conflits Juvénal Twaibu En général, la question de la paix et la sécurité à l’est de la République Démocratique du Congo (RDC) demeure une épineuse préoccupation de tout acteur épris de bonne volonté et impliqué dans la recherche … Continue reading