Rift Valley Courses 2016

In roughly, two months, the Rift Valley Institute – a London- and Nairobi-based non-profit think tank – will launch yet another series of its annual ‘field courses’, intense one-week summer schools on three of the institute’s core areas of research: the Horn of Africa, the Sudans, and the African Great Lakes region. The Great Lakes course … Continue reading

The new Security Council resolution 2277 on MONUSCO

A few hours ago, the UN Security Council has unanimously adopted – under Angolan presidency – its resolution 2277 extending MONUSCO’s mandate for another year (the 17th) and outlining the grand lines of UN politics on the Congo for the coming twelve months, a period arguably to be marked by heavy contestation at various levels. … Continue reading

Tit-for-tat violence spreads in southern Lubero

2016 has begun with little calm in North Kivu as reports over the Miriki massacre made the headlines in early January. Since November 2015, FARDC-led Sukola II operations marked an effective military campaign against FDLR in North Kivu (the South Kivu string of operations ended very quickly in mid-2015 and ever since, FDLR are reported to … Continue reading

Dialogue Politics – Kinshasa is set for a long electoral cycle

‘There will not be any elections before 2018 or 2019’, a taxi driver told me in Kinshasa, the very same day the OIF released a sobering audit on the state of the voter registry. The report has a lavish laundry list of things to do to establish an up-to-date and credible ‘fichier’ (doublettes, deceased, first … Continue reading

Crisis in Burundi: Carnage on the ground and chaos in the media

Roughly 3 months after the contested re-election of President Nkurunziza for a third, arguably unconstitutional term at the helm of the state, the political crisis and violent repression have grown chronic. Throughout the past months – starting as early as in April – cyclical outbursts of violence, including numerous killings and abductions, have spread fear … Continue reading

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

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 #25: The Potential of Coffee in eastern Congo

The Potential of Coffee in eastern Congo Baraka Kasali   The global academic and journalistic narrative about Congo has been filled with sexual violence, conflict minerals and an alphabet soup of armed groups identified by a corresponding alphabet soup of acronyms.  Yet the motors of insecurity should not only be interpreted in terms of physical violence and political instability. Another set of acronyms—ONC … Continue reading