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Congo Siasa

In my continuing series on “What’s for Christmas” blog, today I feature…drones! Yes, folks, that’s right. The Kinshasa government has cut the Gordian knot in the Kivus, slicing through the complexities of natural resources & conflict and has decided: drones are the way to go. A bit of explanation is

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Congo Siasa

Kabila has been on a PR-blitz recently, visiting much of the country, including restive Equateur & the Kasais – both areas favorable to the opposition – and, this week South and North Kivu. In Bukavu this week, he chaired a meeting of the council of ministers and gave a speech

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Congo Siasa

Stop the press, the CNDP (Laurent Nkunda’s former armed group) has a new president! Ok, so it’s not really that exciting. First of all, no one has heard of the guy. His name his Philippe Gafishi, a Tutsi from the Mugogwe clan (same as Bosco Ntaganda), born in Nyamitaba and

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Congo Siasa

Some gossip from within the UN system: 1. Discussions have begun around MONUC’s mandate renewal, led by the French (they are always given the lead on Congo matters in the Security Council). There will be a 5-6 month mandate renewal, as requested by Kabila, and preparations for a drawdown based

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Congo Siasa

I received a lot of comments on my last blog posting – thanks for this. Interestingly, some of my human rights friends (Congolese and foreign) were glad that I put this up. “Violence has engulfed our entire society,” one wrote from Bukavu, “we need to focus on the whole thing

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Congo Siasa

There has been another flurry of opinion pieces this past week on sexual violence in the Congo. On CNN, John Prendergast and Sasha Lezhnev put none too fine a point on it: “Rape and murder, funded by cell phones,” was the title of their online piece. In the Washington Post,

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Congo Siasa

On the heels on the recent UN report on support to armed groups in the DRC (which can be found here), there is more and more debate about “due diligence.” This term is being flung around liberally, including in the recent US House of Representatives bill, without exact definition. But

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Congo Siasa

MONUC’s latest report to the Security Council said it would like a shorter mandate – 6 months instead of a year – and will submit a plan for draw-down by 30 June 2010, Congolese independence day. This is a reaction to Kabila’s request for such a plan. It’s a bit

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Congo Siasa

What is going on in Dongo, a small fishing village on the Ubangi river in the northern Equateur province? On October 30th, a gang from the Enyele community attacked Dongo and began hunting down members of the Monzaya community, along with other “outsiders.” They allegedly killed 47 people, including several

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Congo Siasa

As on the momentous occasion of the third anniversary of President Kabila’s inauguration, I interviewed Guillaume Lacaille from the International Crisis Group about the direction the government is taking. Guillaume was recently in Kinshasa to take a closer look at the electoral process – it isn’t looking very good. Why

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