A blog on Congo, its politics and tribulations. Edited by Jason Stearns.
I was talking to a Congolese (opposition) parliamentarian today about the 2010 budget, which has just been submitted by the government. He said that it does not include a budget line for local elections, so he doubts that they still intend on holding them. I checked and couldn’t find a
The detente between Kigali and Kinshasa has caused a lot of jubilation amongst diplomats. After all, the rift between the two countries that was a main driver of the Congo conflict since 1998. The arrest of Laurent Nkunda in January and the integration of thousands of CNDP soldiers in the
I just now got around to taking a look of the Congo’s budgetary performance for the first trimester of the year (it was published on the budget ministry’s website several months ago.) Altogether, it was a dismal period, as the global financial downturn hit the commodity markets hard. The government
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
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
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
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.
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
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
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