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

Peaceland – A review of Séverine Autesserre’s latest book

Peaceland – Conflict Resolution and the Everyday Politics of International Intervention A review of Séverine Autesserre’s newly published book Recently, a Congolese friend of mine taught me how to use condoms to clean your shoes before going out. On average, it takes three condoms per shoe and you come out classy within a few minutes. … Continue reading

No more M23. The end of an era? And what’s next?

Few hours after the first rumours (initial public source seems to have been North Kivu governor Julien Paluku) announced the capture of Runyoni and Cyanzu by UN-backed FARDC troops (Mbuzi, the third hill under M23 control during the last week has been taken some 24-48 hours before). On November 5 early in the morning, the … Continue reading

Notes on the panoply of armed movements in the Congo

Given the multitude of armed groups operating in Democratic Republic of the Congo’s (DRC) eastern provinces, it is not always very easy to identify their objectives, leaders, and backers. Among numerous publications, the Rift Valley Institute’s Usalama Project provides some of the best analyses for the major groups, individuals, their history, motivations, and political reasonings. … Continue reading

Eastern Congo’s recent troubles: who pulls the strings, what is at stake, and why do things happen?

Considered an overview, this piece combines a wide range of events, observations, and consequent thoughts on the current situation in the eastern DRC. Focussing on M23 rebels, DRC government, and the UN mission it will also take into account main other dynamics and actors. (This article originally appeared in African Arguments, http://africanarguments.org/2013/09/05/eastern-congos-recent-troubles-who-pulls-the-strings-what-is-at-stake-and-why-do-things-happen-by-christophe-vogel/) An accumulation of events … Continue reading

The drama of post-colonial governance in contemporary African politics

Today’s global discourses feature a large variety of thoughts relating to current governance in many places in the world. In an age of globalisation and concurrent modes of governance, statehood, administration, and society organisation have emerged. The African continent, despite its massive variety of political culture and governance modes, prominently shows up as a place … Continue reading

Writing experiment: Trying an everyone’s read of Congo…

… in less than 1500 words, reducing complexity as much as possible without skewing facts. All that, to favour readability with the aim of making the below essay comprehensible for whichever reader with or without preexisting Congo knowledge. Disclaimer: My last articles have sparked an interesting amount of critique, most of which was favourable from … Continue reading

Does Congo confusion transform into communication chaos?

Today has been marred by Congo coverage of its most confuse way. Time to wrap up things: Yesterday saw MONUSCO’s announcement of a security zone and the concomitant (possible) first deployment of the new Force Intervention Brigade (FIB) of UN peacekeeping mission MONUSCO. A few facts to clarify a profusion of information and disinformation: The security zone … Continue reading

Is MONUSCO’s intervention brigade up to show some teeth?

This noon, MONUSCO, under its new force commander Dos Santos Cruz, MONUSCO announced a countdown of 48 hours, to end Thursday, 1 August at 4pm Goma time, for all “individuals who are not members of the national security forces and who carries a firearm” (sic!). According to the MONUSCO communiqué,  a currently defined “security zone” largely includes … Continue reading

Thin-skinned quarrels: MONUSCO and humanitarian action in the Congo

(FIRST PUBLISHED BY AFRICAN ARGUMENTS AT: http://africanarguments.org/2013/07/18/thin-skinned-quarrels-monusco-and-humanitarian-action-in-the-congo-by-christoph-vogel/) Last week, medical humanitarian organisation Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF/Doctors Without Borders) published an op-ed in Congolese newspapers, underlining the need for humanitarian actors to operate in line with neutrality, impartiality, and independence – the humanitarian principles as defined by the International Committee of the Red Cross. The concrete example … Continue reading