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

Congo’s immobilised demobilisation programme

Yesterday, various Congolese media reported the surrender of ‘Gen.’ Justin Banaloki (also known as ‘Cobra Matata’), military leader of the Ituri-based Front de Resistance Patriotique d’Ituri (FRPI). FRPI is one of the most long-standing militias in eastern Congo, created as early as in 2002 among the Ngiti community around German Katanga, allying to the Lendu-centred … Continue reading

Masisi meanders…

It has been relatively quiet again for a couple of months in North Kivu’s Masisi territory – at least considering the frequency and amount of reports and news out in the wires. But as often before, this goes without prejudice to the fact Masisi remains sort of an epicentre in over two decades of cyclical … 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

Third and revised mapping of armed actors in eastern DRC

With a slight delay, a new version of the armed actors mapping has now been launched and can be found here & here respectively. At a first glance, it does not entail major changes, but a closer look shows how recent military operations (especially those involving MONUSCO’s Force Intervention Brigade) have impacted on the region’s conflict landscape. … Continue reading

MONUSCO’s Force Intervention Brigade: un état des lieux

Roughly 16 months ago (in March 2013), the United Nations has strengthened its peacekeeping mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo – MONUSCO – with a robust force to “neutralise armed groups”. In sequence to waves of criticism MONUSCO has experienced for its passive stance during the capture of Goma by M23 troops, the … Continue reading

Elections in Congo. Yes, but which, when, and how?

Amidst the publication of a (partial) electoral calendar by Abbé Malu-Malu, head of DRC’s Commission Nationale Eléctorale Indépendante (CENI), discussions over the country’s upcoming round of polls once more flared up. On this issue, Kris Berwouts and Manya Riche have provided a nice detailed backgrounder for African Arguments this week. In general, most of the … Continue reading

The FDLR demobilisation gamble reloaded

With apologies for intermittent posting over these months, a few musings on the current FDLR situation with demobilisation ceremonies happening in both Kivu provinces. On 30 May and 9 June, respectively, FDLR organised the demobilisation of a larger number of combatants in Kateku/Buleusa (Walikale territory, North Kivu) and Kitogo (Mwenga territory, South Kivu). The locations roughly … Continue reading

Seeking Justice in DR Congo’s Conflict: Can War-Crimes Trials Overcome Violence and Build the Rule of Law?

Guest post by Milli Lake   (© Milli Lake) On 20th November, 2012, over 130 women and girls in eastern DR Congo were raped and sexually assaulted by members of the Congolese armed forces. The incident occurred after hundreds of soldiers from the national army were driven out of the provincial capital of Goma by the … 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