Democratic Republic of the Congo

DRC CENI headquarters

Photo: Monusco.

Joseph Kabila’s attempt to circumvent constitutional rules on term limits to stay in office has threatened the trigger prolonged instability in the Democratic Republic of the Congo while undermining efforts to establish viable democratic institutions. 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 progress toward a democratic transition.

Interview

Prospects for Peace in the DRC

By the Africa Center for Strategic Studies, February 17, 2017

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.

Spotlight Series

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

By the Africa Center for Strategic Studies, 2016–17

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.

Video

Governance and Peace Building in the Democratic Republic of the Congo

By Laura Seay, November 7, 2016

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.

Spotlight

Changing the Political Calculus

By Joseph Siegle, October 12, 2016

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.

Spotlight

Intrastate Conflicts Fuel Refugee Movements

By the Africa Center for Strategic Studies, June 20, 2016

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.

Spotlight

Africa’s Electoral Landscape: Concerning Signals, Reassuring Trends

By Dorina Bekoe, May 16, 2016

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.

Video

Natural Resources in Africa Case Study: DRC

By Mvemba Phezo Dizolele, August 20, 2015

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.

Senate Hearing

Prospects for Peace in the DRC and Great Lakes Region

By the Africa Center for Strategic Studies, February 28, 2014

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.

Video

State and Human Security in Central Africa: Governance and Security Challenges

By Thierry Vircoulon, December 12, 2013

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.

Video

Peace Support Operations in Africa

By Roger A. Meece, December 3, 2013

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.

Video

Regional Hot Spots: Central Africa

By Joshua Marks, August 2, 2013

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

Peace Operations in Africa: Lessons Learned Since 2000

By Paul D. Williams, July 31, 2013

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

Unfinished Business: A Framework for Peace in the Great Lakes

By Rigobert Minani Bihuzo, July 31, 2012

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.