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Congo Siasa

A blog on Congo, its politics and tribulations. Edited by Jason Stearns.

Congo Siasa

The following is a Q & A with a military analyst who has extensive experience in the DR Congo. For professional reasons, he couldn’t give his name. Q: Is MONUC’s mandate adequate for the challenges they face? A: There is nothing wrong with MONUC’s mandate. MONUC has a clear mandate

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Congo Siasa

Further to a posting from a few days ago, I’ve tried to summarize the amount of donor aid going to the DR Congo. In the budget proposal for 2010, the Congolese government is counting on $2,1 billion in donor aid from abroad, constituting around 48% of the budget. For the

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Congo Siasa

There are some pretty simple steps we could do to get rid of the FDLR that do not involve the massive displacement of 900,000+ people. Let’s talk about the FDLR Diaspora. Several prominent members of the FDLR, including its President Ignace Murwanashyaka, Vice-President Straton Musoni (both residing in Germany) and

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Congo Siasa

There are two birthdays coming up that should be of interest. There is, of course, the 50th anniversary of Congolese independence coming up in June 2010. General Denis Kalume, the former interior minister, and the renowned Congolese historian Isidore Ndaywel have been nominated to lead the committee organizing the festivities.

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Congo Siasa

It was a bit anti-climactic when, two days ago in the steamy lakeside town of Baraka (South Kivu), the rebel leader Yakutumba Amuli officially ended his insurgency and joined the Congolese army. After years of being in the headlines (at least, the MONUC internal report ones), he only pitched up

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Congo Siasa

There’s been some noise in the past week about the unsolved murder of Albert Prigogine (aka Ngezayo), a wealthy Goma businessman (and nephew of Russian-Belgian Nobel laureate Ilya Prigogine) who was shot in broad daylight in Goma on 13 March 2008. The lawyers hired by the Ngezayo family gave a

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Congo Siasa

Check out this video made by the Virunga national park promoting the use of biofuel briquettes to replace charcoal. As a reminder, charcoal is a hugely profitable business for armed groups in the Kivus – every year around $20 million in charcoal is consumed in the Goma area alone, 80-90

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Congo Siasa

Quiz: Which country has invaded the Congo several times over the past year, allegedly to get its hands on natural resources? Which country is obsessed with the possibility that the Congo could become host to a dangerous rebel insurgency? For those who only voted for Rwanda, you get one point,

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Congo Siasa

It is easy to think that all is quiet in the Kivus, if only because international news agencies rarely pick up much of the news there – it’s hard to get a novel, interesting spin on the “7 dead, five houses burned to the ground, eleven goats stolen” kinds of

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Congo Siasa

One of the beauties of democracy is that it is difficult to control from the center. Institutions such as provincial assemblies and the national parliament become difficult and costly to control or buy-off. One sometimes wonders, however, whether in places like the Congo these institutions are fighting for the people

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