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

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 #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

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 #23: Nord Kivu : Par un dialogue franc, la paix est possible à Pinga

Nord Kivu : Par un dialogue franc, la paix est possible à Pinga Cosmas Mungazi Par manque d’un médiateur neutre, les conflits ont persisté dans la zone de Pinga. Des ressortissants de cette cité ont été réunis à Goma par une organisation internationale pour la recherche d’une paix durable. Heureusement un acte de cessation des hostilités … Continue reading

AIII #21: Repenser la réinsertion des anciens combattants pour construire la paix à l’Est de la RDC

Repenser la réinsertion des anciens combattants pour construire la paix à l’Est de la RDC (photo par l’auteur) Umbo Salama Plusieurs organisations ont soutenu le processus de désarmement, démobilisation et réinsertion (DDR) des anciens combattants. Avec des financements des organismes internationaux ou du gouvernement congolais, ce processus a connu trop des ratés. En Avril 2004, … Continue reading