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.
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Joseph Kabila seeks to maintain the status quo as the Democratic Republic of the Congo enters a transition amid growing 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.
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 deployment of Chinese security firms in Africa is expanding without a strong regulatory framework. This poses heightened risks to African citizens and raises fundamental questions over responsibility for security in Africa.
The surge in COVID-19 cases in India, spurred by a more transmissible variant and complacency, provides a stark warning to African populations to remain vigilant to contain the pandemic.
The integration of justice initiatives within conventional security efforts can mitigate conflict, improve societal resilience, and build a stronger culture supportive of the rule of law.
A preponderance of COVID vaccine myths is causing many Africans to forego vaccinations at a time when new, more transmissible coronavirus variants are spreading across the continent.
(This article originally appeared as a chapter in "Russia Strategic Intentions White Paper," Strategic Multilayer Assessment (SMA) publication series, NSI, May 2019.)
Russia has significantly expanded its engagements in Africa in recent years. These engagements often take the form of propping up embattled and isolated autocratic leaders of countries that are rich in natural resources. The United States can draw a distinction with Russia’s destabilizing role by pursuing a positive engagement strategy in Africa. The United States must avoid the Cold War trap of competing with Russia for the affections of corrupt, autocratic leaders in Africa, however, as such a policy would be disastrous for Africa while not advancing US interests.