At the crossroads? The scission of FDLR

DSC_2216

What has for long been a fragile cohabitation full of tension inside FDLR finally seems to have reached an ultimate breaking point. Congruent reports suggest the breakaway of a substantial part of a group that hitherto maintained its position as the single most important non-state armed movement in eastern Congo. What do we know about … Continue reading

Main takeaways of the new Group of Experts report

DSC_1311

This year’s final report of the UN group of expert monitoring the Democratic Republic of the Congo has just been released As in previous years, it contains a lot of important and relevant information on current developments in the country. In terms of armed groups, FDLR and ADF are under increased scrutiny like in previous years, … Continue reading

Courts and technocrats in Congo?

IMG_3281

Over the last few weeks, Congo’s embattled political arena has seen a gradual shift of issues outside the playgrounds of pre-electoral competition and into the – in parts more shadowy – world of legal and technocratic procedures. On May 11, the Constitutional Court of the DRC expressed its verdict over the question whether or not … Continue reading

Mujyambere’s arrest & the politics of tackling FDLR

IMG_3474

Early last week, the chief of staff of the FDLR’s main military wing, FOCA, Brig.-Gen. Leopold Mujyambere (also known under the following aliases: Petrus, Achille, Musenyeri) was arrested when he was allegedly on his way back from Zambia into the thick forests of Northern Masisi – where many of the militia’s key leaders and troops … Continue reading

Mining cooperatives (Suluhu Working Paper 1)

IMG_3550

(ENGLISH BELOW) Comme de nombreux observateurs intéressés le savent, il n’est toujours facile de démêler la dynamique complexes politiques, sociales et économiques dans la région des Grands Lacs de l’Afrique, en particulier en République Démocratique du Congo (DRC/RDC). Dans cette région, marquée par les conflits récurrents et l’insécurité, un travail minutieux et à long terme est souvent … Continue reading

Tensions abound in Masisi

IMG_0377

Much attention on the Congo was monopolised by continuous debates over the mounting pre-electoral controversies in the past few weeks.  At the same time, a set of events much more immediately impacting the lives of many Congolese went largely unnoticed outside local media and the notable exception of one Reuters report: in northern Masisi territory … Continue reading

Rift Valley Courses 2016

IMG_3716

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

DSC_1311

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

The dogged persistence of the FDLR

Lake Kivu 2010

(written with Chrispin Mvano, and first appeared with Congo Research Group) In the eastern Congo, it is difficult to keep up with the plethora of armed groups and their continuing recombinations, reincarnations, and conversions. Over the past two decades of conflict in the eastern Congo, the military landscape has changed dramatically. One group, however, has persisted … Continue reading

“Just let us fight, and the war will end” (Review)

kongo2-e1388141530927

(appeared first with African Arguments here)   Over plates of bugali and cups of hot tea, Justine Brabant met with countless militants across the Kivu regions and asked them questions as straightforward as: Why do you fight? Writing about the eastern DR Congo is no easy feat, and many of those who have tried in the past … Continue reading