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I was in Washington this past week to participate in a brainstorming session on the Congo at the State Dept. I was asked to give a 5 minute presentation on what US policy should be – here it is, in an expanded version. Feedback is, as always welcome. The overwhelming

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Talk of changing the constitution and electoral law in the Congo is now mounting, with the national assembly debating the issue and parties tallying their members’ votes to see whether they can win the vote. Yesterday, Congo’s Catholic Cardinal Monsengwo came out in opposition to one of the more controversial reforms, which

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Elections will trump everything else in Congolese politics in 2011. Joseph Kabila will have to fight for his survival. He is vulnerable in much of the country, even in his Kivutian heartland. The fight will be all the more difficult if his main challengers – Tshisekedi, Bemba (or whoever he

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As required by last year’s Dodd-Frank bill, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has come out with proposed regulations for US companies trading in minerals from Congo and surrounding countries. I have not read the whole bill – the 113 pages did not fit into my packed Christmas schedule – but a few

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Congo Siasa is back after the Christmas vacation. There was not much action in the Congo during the holidays – as opposed to previous years, when there had been LRA massacres and CNDP offensives. The short-staffed UN mission (many officials go away on vacation at this time of year) breathed

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A quick news roundup before I go offline for a few days. Guy de Boeck has an article on CongoForum asking some questions about preparations for the elections – among other things, he points out that the constitutional revision has been put on the agenda of the national assembly without

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Just when you thought the US didn’t care about the Congo (see last post), the US Treasury has named a prominent Kinshasa company as part of a financial network channeling funds to Hezbollah. They have placed Congo Futur, a company involved in manufacturing, trade and real estate throughout the Congo,

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Congo Siasa spoke this week with Tony Gambino about US policy towards the Congo. Tony has been engaged on the Congo for 31 years, since he was a Peace Corps Volunteer in rural South Kivu and in Kisangani. He was the Mission Director of USAID to the DR Congo from

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Tomorrow is a hugely momentous day for the Congo. TP Mazembe, a soccer team from Lubumbashi, will face off with Inter Milan in Abu Dhabi for the title of best soccer club in the world. It is hard to understate the importance of this event, not just because this is

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Some stories to watch: Vital Kamerhe left for a tour of the East of the country immediately after launching his UNC political party on Tuesday. On Wednesday, he was in Goma, where a melee broke out between police, his supporters and people who turned out to stone his convoy. Given the

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