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

AIII #14: The social minefield of gold digging in Kamituga, South-Kivu

The social minefield of gold digging in Kamituga, South-Kivu (picture by the authors) Nik Stoop, Janvier Kilosho Buraye, and Marijke Verpoorten Artisanal and Small-scale Mining (ASM) is one of the most important livelihood strategies in DRC. A (gu)estimate by the World Bank puts employment in the artisanal mining sector in the range of 0.8 to … Continue reading

AIII #12: The Congo and its Rock

The Congo and its Rock (article picture: Sisyphus, circa 1870 by Sir Edward Coley Burne-Jones, Tate Britain, provided by the author) Chris Davey In the uncertainty of post-World War Two Europe, Albert Camus describes a political landscape not too different from our contemporary one where we continuously reincarnate victims and executioners. In fact, Camus describes in Neither Victims Nor … Continue reading

AIII #10: Amani Ilikuwa (Peace was): Rethinking the bounds of ‘conflict’

Amani Ilikuwa (Peace was): Rethinking the bounds of ‘conflict’ Rachel Sweet   Stories of conflict in Congo are full of narrative complexities. The multiplicity of armed groups past and present, transnational economic networks, and local land disputes form basic entrées into accounts of the conflict. A host of interventions, including demobilization programs, oversight of resource … Continue reading