The DRC’s ongoing political crisis is straining local peace agreements forged after the Second Congo War, threatening wider instability.
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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.
Regime Cash Machine: How the Democratic Republic of the Congo’s Booming Mining Exports Are Failing to Benefit its People
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.
Setting Fire to Your Own House; Crisis in the Kasai: The Manipulation of Customary Power and the Instrumentalization of Disorder
Unlike conflicts in eastern DRC where regional actors support non-state armed groups, the Kamuina Nsapu crisis in the Kasai region is a domestic insurgency that results from both the central government’s neglect and its manipulation of traditional clan affairs. The government’s response to the crisis has been heavy-handed—the result of Congolese officials seeking to gain favor with Kinshasa—and has minimized the possibility of a peaceful solution. Efforts at demobilization of combatants and prosecution of abuses by the Congolese military have been non-existent, a further sign of the perceived neglect by the state that helped spur the conflict. The politicization of the conflict along ethnic lines is a troubling sign ahead of elections scheduled for December 2018.
The growing share of Africa's urban residents living in slums is creating a further source of fragility. However, integrated urban development strategies that link local government, police, the private sector, and youth are strengthening social cohesion and enhancing stability.
Regional considerations have always played a prominent role in South Sudan’s security landscape. Indeed, the country was born from a regional fissure between what are today Sudan and South Sudan. This schism has been subsequently shaped and influenced to varying degrees by all of South Sudan’s neighbors. These dynamics have continued with the country’s descent... Continue Reading
Introduction Decades of conflicts in South Sudan have eroded the separation of roles and mandates between the political class and security actors, leading to a deliberate and disastrous convergence. One of the results of this entanglement is that security agencies have become central to politics, as have politicians in military and security matters. As a... Continue Reading
Program materials for the Africa Center's 2018 National Strategies to Prevent and Counter Violent Extremism in Africa program. Click here for syllabus, readings, and slides.
Conflicts in Africa often reflect a breakdown of peace agreements that have been methodically dismantled by politicians intent on evading checks on power while oversight is weak. Vigilance is vital as early progress is not a guarantee of long-term success.
Program materials for the Africa Center's 2017 National Strategies to Prevent and Counter Violent Extremism in Africa program. Click here for syllabus, bios, readings, and slides.