A blog on Congo, its politics and tribulations. Edited by Jason Stearns.
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
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
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
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.
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
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.
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
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
The UN envoy to the Great Lakes, Olusegun Obasanjo, announced today that he was scaling back his mediation efforts in the region, saying “the situation has been dramatically transformed.” He pointed to the rapprochement between Kigali and Kinshasa, the arrest of Laurent Nkunda and the integration of most of his
Is Kimia II worth it? Consider the following figures that I got my hands onto today: A MONUC official told me the monthly human rights balance for the Kimia II operations today. In the month of October, the Congolese army killed 70 civilians, raped 20 and committed 54 other abuses