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For most of the past three years, the lament of diplomats and human rights activists alike has been summed up by one word: glissement. Kabila does not want to hold elections, as he is term limited, so he plays for time by creating artificial delays. The focus of advocacy was on

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Last Friday, President Joseph Kabila called an impromptu press conference in Kinshasa, during which he spoke for over two and a half hours. My general thoughts below, followed by a fact check of his main points. A few things struck me watching the press conference. First, how at ease the

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Congo SiasaFeatured

Isidor Ndaywel est un intellectuel congolais et l’auteur de L’histoire générale du Congo: De l’héritage ancien à la République démocratique. Il a enseigné et conduit des recherches à l’Université de Kinshasa, à l’Université de Lubumbashi, à l’École des hautes études en sciences sociales (EHESS) et à l’Université Paris I. Il

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Just three weeks after their last protest, Congolese in several major cities (Bukavu, Goma, Mbuji-Mayi, Kananga, Kinshasa, Lubumbashi, and Kisangani, perhaps others) turned out for protests against the government after Sunday mass. The pictures were moving, once again: Barefoot priests leading parishioners, crosses held high, chanting the Lord’s Prayer and

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For a long time, the opposition to President Kabila had a real problem: it looked too much like President Kabila. Many of its leaders––Vital Kamerhe, Moise Katumbi, Pierre Lumbi, Olivier Kamitatu––were allies of Kabila until recently. The main exception to this, Etienne Tshisekedi, is now dead, and his party has

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Congo SiasaFeatured

The stiffest, more urgent challenge to President Kabila’s rule took place in major cities across the Congo today as members of the Catholic Church led protests against Kabila’s refusal to step down. According to the UN peacekeeping mission, 8 people were killed and 123 arrested when police and soldiers opened fire on

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zaidamichael
Congo SiasaFeatured

Today, Reuters and RFI released a simultaneous articles into the killing of Michael Sharp and Zaida Catalan on March 12, 2017. Drawing on the internal Congolese military court documents shared by the United Nations, It exposes the involvement of several government informers in the killing, and raises serious questions about the UN Board of Inquiry that had

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palais
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Congo’s national assembly passed a new electoral law today. While it has become commonplace for pundits to reject anything proposed by the ruling coalition as a tactic to delay elections, we should not throw this particular initiative out with the bathwater. Most of the controversy enveloping the law concerned the « seuil de

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An aerial picture of the MONUSCO camp at the Semuliki river
Congo SiasaFeatured

On Thursday evening, a UN military base on the banks of the Semuliki river in northeastern Congo was attacked. According to initial news reports and conversations with Congolese army (FARDC) and MONUSCO officials, the attackers were wearing FARDC uniforms and attacked a small FARDC platoon next to the base before entering the

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Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe (R) and his Democratic Republic of Congo counterpart Joseph Kabila speak to the media after their meeting at the State House in Harare, November 2, 2009. REUTERS/Philimon Bulawayo
Congo SiasaFeatured

As the tanks rolled down the streets of Harare this week, Congolese social media lit up. President Kabila was rumored to be panicking to see one of his stalwart allies depart. Congolese and foreign observers hoped that Mugabe departure could somehow provide inspiration for Kabila to leave, as well. The person

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