“Playing for Change, Singing for Peace” – A music festival in eastern Congo

Guest post by Timo Mueller, a Goma-based researcher, photos and videos courtesy Amani Festival In a region beset by violence, a music festival is a rare feat. This past weekend, more than 35,000 visitors from the Great Lakes Region of Africa and beyond visited the city of Goma in the Democratic Republic of Congo to celebrate … Continue reading

Quelques ingrédients du succès d’Amani (Festival)

Guest blog by Jean-Benoît Falisse, outreach and communications manager of the Festival Amani 2015 Il y a différentes façons de répondre à la question “quelle est la plus importante ressource de la République Démocratique du Congo?” Pour la plupart des observateurs, c’est sans aucun doute ses riches ressources naturelles : cuivre, cobalt, diamant, or, coltan et … Continue reading

Ayiti. A thought and a retrospective.

Today marks the fifth anniversary of the disastrous earthquake that countless people and hopes in Haiti, a country that has not had an easy stand even before it was struck by such unthinkable catastrophe. It has been almost five years too, that I have not been there myself, so I am not going to give … Continue reading

AMANI ITAKUYA II – Call for Submissions

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

PACT reply to the open letter on ‘conflict minerals’

In the following op-ed, the NGO PACT that is involved in implementing the iTSCi traceability scheme in eastern DRC and neighbouring countries respond to the open letter on ‘conflict minerals’ published in September 2014. The following text represents the authors’ opinions only and may or may not reflect this website’s editorial line.   A conflict-free … Continue reading

28 North Kivu civil society organisations reply to the Open Letter

Please find below, in French, a reply to the earlier published open letter on so-called conflict minerals. It was co-ordinated by Prince Kihangi, a well-respected and experienced expert and signed by 27 other representatives. While we do not agree with all points raised and refute certain allegations, we are immensely pleased to see a further … Continue reading

How John Kerry could help bring peace to Congo (…by questioning constructed and patchy arguments)

Once more, a disingenuous op-ed on eastern Congo comes up with a brittle bricolage of little evidenced clichés. On MSNBC, Mr. Prendergast and Mr. Lezhnev (for whom I have highest personal respect, which does not exclude the possibility to scrutinise their claims in a critical manner) try to give advice to the John Kerry and … Continue reading

Understanding conflict in resource-rich post-colonial states

Understanding conflict in resource-rich post-colonial states The need to overcome simplistic narratives based on natural resource exploitation (first published at African Arguments / written with Joschka Havenith of Cologne University) Diamonds and Rubber in Sierra Leone, oil in Angola and Sudan, tantalum and gold in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, copper in Zambia, the … Continue reading

Thoughts on Rwanda… (and genocide)

Exactly 20 years ago this evening, a plane was shot down over the hills of Kigali. At that time I was much too young to do analysis or research, let alone to board a plane to be on spot. So I cannot actually imagine how it must have been that day and the following 100. However, … Continue reading

Reconfiguring the state in eastern DRC: fixing the unfixable?

(first published on openDemocracy on 3 April 2014) Two decades on from the Rwanda bloodletting, conflicts still simmer in neighbouring DRC. While their success remains mixed,  international agendas of state- and peace-building heavily impact on everyday life and the ‘governing of the ungovernable’. Among the most visible examples, the UN stabilisation agenda through its peacekeeping mission … Continue reading