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