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Congo Siasa

The UN Group of Experts report was leaked to the press today. The experts have spent the past 9 months investigating how various rebel groups in the Congo get financial and military support. Some of their main conclusions: 1. The operations against the FDLR have failed to dismantle the organization’s

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Congo Siasa

As in Goethe’s fable of the sorcerer’s apprentice, it seems like the rebel groups of North Kivu keep on splitting among themselves, creating new rebel groups that are ever harder to control. (Watch out for a Fantasia version of Kivutian politics, to be released soon). It is becoming clearer and

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Congo Siasa

Yesterday, the US congressman Jim McDermott (D-WA) unveiled legislation he will introduce in the U.S. House of Representatives today to help stop trade in conflict minerals in the Congo. His initiative was applauded by many advocacy groups, including the Enough Campaign, Human Rights’ Watch and Global Witness. This is good

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ORWANDA_P1
Congo Siasa

The German police finally arrested Ignace Murwanashyaka, the president of the FDLR, on charges of being involved in a terrorist organization. This is very good news. Ignace had been living in Germany since the 1980s when he came to the country to study. He got a PhD in economics, married

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Masisi_North-Kivu1
Congo Siasa

There are increasing worries about the return of the Congolese Tutsi refugees in Rwanda. UNHCR officials have indicated off the record that they are alarmed by “the complete lack of transparency in the return of refugees.” They confirm that some 12,000 may have returned to the Congo in the past

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(FILES) A picture taken on January 11, 2009 shows the leader of the rebels and chief of staff of the National Congress for the Defence of the People (CNDP) General Ntaganda Bosco at his mountain base in Kabati, 40km north west of the provincial capital Goma. Dissident commanders from the main rebel group in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo declared on January 16, 2009 an end to the conflict in the troubled region.  The renegade rebels led by Bosco Ntaganda also vowed to pave the way for displaced civilians to return to their homes and allow rebels to join the army.   AFP PHOTO/ LIONEL HEALING
Congo Siasa

What is going on within the CNDP, only last year the strongest rebel group in the region? A few days ago, the head of the CNDP, Desire Kamanzi, resigned, leaving a leadership vacuum at the head of the movement/party/ex-rebel group. But the vacuum was to a large degree there already.

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Congo Siasa

A quick check on key upcoming events related to the DRC: 1. The upcoming meeting of the Paris Club, a group of creditor counties, is likely to approve a major debt cancellation package for the Congo in the summit starting on 18 November. The debt cancellation could be as high

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Congo Siasa

I just got a brief post-game analysis of the Equateur elections from two separate MLC officials who are usually pretty reliable. They put their failure down to three reasons: 1. The MLC picked a poor candidate – Jean-Lucien is not very popular or charismatic, but he was Jean-Pierre Bemba’s choice.

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Congo Siasa

Is this the death of the MLC? Not quite yet, put there was something of a death rattle this past week. The first was the election of Jean-Claude Baende as governor of Equateur with 60 of the 108 votes in the provincial assembly, defeating the MLC candidate Jean-Lucien Busa. An

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Congo Siasa

Today, Jennifer Anniston and Courtney Cox announced that they were going to campaign for Congolese women by urging electronics companies in the United States not to buy “conflict minerals” from the Congo. Ben Affleck, Angelina Jolie, Robin Wright Penn, Joel Madden, Javier Bardem, Dayle Haddon, Emile Hirsch and Mia Farrow

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