Joseph Kabila’s attempt to circumvent constitutional rules on term limits and stay in office has triggered an upsurge in deadly violence in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and one of the worst humanitarian crises on the continent. In North and South Kivu, an estimated 120 armed groups are currently operational, up from 75 just 6 months ago. Some of them are now coalescing around a political agenda of a transition without Kabila, complicating a fragile political situation with no immediate solution. To advance understanding of this complex situation, 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 making progress toward a democratic transition.
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.
In an interview with the Africa Center, John Katunga, senior advisor on the DRC’s peace processes, discusses the importance of sustained engagements by both citizens and external actors if negotiations are to lead to a stable transition.
Part 1: A Looming Calamity in the Democratic Republic of the Congo
Part 2: The DRC’s Oversight Institutions: How Independent?
Part 3: The Role of Civil Society in Averting Instability in the DRC
Part 4: Are the DRC’s Security Sector Institutions Helping or Impeding Political Reform?
Part 5: The Role of External Actors in the DRC Crisis
This series provides an analysis of the ongoing challenges to the democratic process in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and how various actors and institutions will shape the outcome.
Laura Seay of Colby College discusses the political crisis in the DRC and what it means for the future of good governance and the rule of law there.
African leaders have tried many different ways to evade term limits in recent years. The tack taken by Joseph Kabila is particularly straightforward—and brazen. He is simply avoiding holding elections for his successor altogether.
After two decades of decline, Africa has seen an upswing in armed conflicts in recent years. Today, Africa endures more intrastate conflicts than any other region of the world. While Africa has only 16 percent of the world’s population, it is home to 52 percent of the world’s armed conflicts.
Between March 2016 and December 2017, there will be at least 52 presidential and parliamentary elections in 38 countries in sub-Saharan Africa. With memories of the intense violence following the elections in Kenya (2007), Zimbabwe (2009), Côte d’Ivoire (2010), and Nigeria (2011), many international and regional institutions have become more focused on understanding the motivations.
This presentation provides a historical look at the Democratic Republic of the Congo and an examination of management and exploitation of natural resources and the intersection of natural resources, stability, conflict, and security.
Raymond Gilpin, the Africa Center’s Dean of Academic Affairs, testifies before the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee on “Prospects for Peace in the DRC and Great Lakes Region.” Others panelists include diplomats Russell D. Feingold, Roger Meece, and actor/director/activist Ben Affleck.
Efforts to reform the security sector requires broad engagement from government leaders, the military, and civil society. There must likewise be a commitment from donors to look for long-term gains rather than for short-term results. This presentation highlighted lessons learned from the security sector programs in Burundi, the Central African Republic, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
Discussing the modern United Nations and African Union peacekeeping operations environment, Ambassador Roger A. Meece, former head of the UN Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO), suggested that peace operations need to integrate traditional peacekeeping with peace enforcement and peacebuilding if they are to be successful.
Joshua Marks discusses the complexities of and challenges for U.S. foreign and national security policy in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
Africa Security Brief
More than 50 peace operations have deployed in Africa since 2000, including multiple African-led or hybrid African Union/United Nations initiatives. The frequency of these deployments underscores the ongoing importance of these operations in the playbook of regional and multilateral bodies to prevent conflict, protect civilians, and enforce ceasefires and peace agreements.
Africa Security Brief
Despite numerous peace agreements, Africa’s Great Lakes region has been in various states of conflict for the past two decades. The contributions and shortcomings of some of the most significant previous peace initiatives, however, offer vital lessons as to how to mitigate the local level tensions, national political dynamics, and competing regional interests that have led to recurring outbreaks of violence.