A blog on Congo, its politics and tribulations. Edited by Jason Stearns.
Yesterday, the International Contact Group on the DR Congo met in Stockholm. It’s a regular meeting of the body, which includes most major donors involved in the Congo––US, UK, Belgium, Germany, France, EU, Sweden, South Africa, and the Netherlands––as well as the United Nations. There is rarely any press coverage of
Congolese Prime Minister Matata Ponyo is famously bullish about the economy: ““If we do 7.7 percent this year, what will prevent us doing 9 percent next year?” The answer, it turns out, is the world economic slump. And it comes at the worst possible time for the ruling government, which
Yesterday there was a “debate” (i.e. mostly an opportunity to read speeches) at the UN Security Council on the prevention of conflicts in the Great Lakes region. On the critical issues of elections in the DRC, take a look at the differences in statements between the major western powers: The
Today, the Congo Research Group is publishing the preliminary results of its investigations into the massacres around the town of Beni in northeastern Congo . The report is the result of months of fieldwork by five experienced researchers. We interviewed 110 sources, including 36 eyewitnesses and numerous self-confessed participants in
A week ago, UN peacekeepers struck a deal with the Congolese government to restart joint operations against the Rwandan FDLR rebels. It seemed to be a victory for the UN, whose efficiency in the East has been hampered by poor relations with its Congolese counterparts. Military collaboration had ceased since January 2015,
Before the holidays, it seemed that President Joseph Kabila had his back against a wall. Having taken too long to decide on a a succession strategy––do I stay and change the constitution? do I leave? who could guarantee my interests?––many of his allies defected, including the most presidentiable of them.
So much uncertainty hangs over Congolese political life at the moment, its protagonists can be forgiven for looking for signs from above. On Christmas, some believed they found one: In Pope Francis’ urbi et orbi message from St Peter’s Basilica, he said: We also pray for peace and concord among the peoples of
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon has a Congolese dilemma. After having been marginalized politically for years in the Congo, the UN now has the opportunity to play a critical role in navigating the upcoming battle over President Joseph Kabila’s succession. For months now, President Kabila has been preparing a national dialogue to
There have been months of speculations in the Congo about how President Joseph Kabila will approach his own succession. According to the current constitution, he has to step down in December 2016. It is fairly clear, from various public statements (Emmanuel Shadari here, Alain-André Atundu here), as well as private comments, that members of
A week ago, we published a map of armed groups in the Kivus, along with an essay on the recent trends on the conflict. In sum, we argued that armed groups are more numerous, less linked to regional dynamics, and less likely to be used as bargaining chips to obtain