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The Nduma Defence of Congo (NDC) and its offshoot, the NDC-Renove (NCD-R), are among the oldest armed groups in Eastern Congo, one of more than a hundred that operate in the region. After its 2008 creation, it grew into the group with the largest territorial control in the region. The NDC eventually served as a proxy for Congolese and Rwandan forces, notably in fighting the FDLR. It also set up governance structures, including taxation systems, a police force, and means to control mining revenues and trade. These security governance structures will need to be purged of corrupt leaders and patronage networks.
There are at least 120 armed groups in the Eastern DRC who contribute to prolonged insecurity there. The violence they have perpetrated has displaced millions of civilians. The armed groups display a diversity of interests and objectives. Their proliferation is the result of 25 years of protracted conflict over land and resources, over political and customary power, all compounded by foreign interference. Military elites have become deeply invested in the conflict and the economies that it produces, making this a crisis of governance. The Congolese state is the point of entry for reform.
The DRC's general elections originally scheduled for December 23, two years overdue, face serious credibility challenges. The repercussions of a faulty vote could further dampen the prospects for improved security and stability in the region and erode democratic norms across the continent.
Joseph Kabila seeks to maintain the status quo as the Democratic Republic of the Congo enters a transition amid growing instability.
The DRC’s ongoing political crisis is straining local peace agreements forged after the Second Congo War, threatening wider instability.
The DRC’s political crisis has galvanized and revived many of the estimated 70 armed groups currently active in the country, making the nexus between political and sectarian violence by armed militias a key feature of the DRC’s political instability.
The Democratic Republic of the Congo mining sector is booming but more than $750 million in mining revenues have disappeared between 2013 and 2015. The taxes, paid by mining companies to state coffers vanished into Gecamines, the country’s dysfunctional state-owned mining company and various tax agencies. This investigation finds credible evidence that at least some of the funds ended up in accounts linked to President Joseph Kabila himself, his family, and corrupt networks with links to the regime.
The Africa Center for Strategic Studies has compiled a selection of its analyses that identify the roots of the crisis in the DRC and priorities for reestablishing stability and progress toward a democratic transition.
Part 1. The DRC appears to be on a slow-motion path to tragedy. After 15 years in office, President Joseph Kabila will fulfill his term limits in December, but he has avoided organizing elections. Instead, he seems intent on holding onto power indefinitely.
Moscow is trying to gain influence in Africa without investing in it, a strategy that can only gain traction if certain African leaders see Russia as a means to validate their own hold on power regardless of popular will.
Conflict continues to drive Africa’s record levels of population displacement. Africa’s 36 million forcibly displaced persons represent 44 percent of the global total.
The seeming rapid deterioration of security in the eastern DRC and resurgence of M23 are an outcome of longstanding regional rivalries between Rwanda and Uganda.