DR Congo
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DR Congo

Electoral gamble fuels protests in Kinshasa and elsewhere

(Italic paragraphs added on January 25 and 26) As the Congolese government moves on to finalise changes in the country’s electoral law, a series of demonstrations and concomitant clashes between opposition and police forces have unleashed in Kinshasa (and other towns like Goma and Bukavu) over the past couple of days. Media and human rights … Continue reading


Ayiti. A thought and a retrospective.

Today marks the fifth anniversary of the disastrous earthquake that countless people and hopes in Haiti, a country that has not had an easy stand even before it was struck by such unthinkable catastrophe. It has been almost five years too, that I have not been there myself, so I am not going to give … Continue reading


Multiple surrenders of commanders cast a big blow on Raia Mutomboki

As international media focuses attention on a – finally – looming military offensive against the Rwandan FDLR rebels (Simone Schlindwein has a very recommendable backgrounder on this), the increasing series of surrenders in sequence to FARDC operations against various factions of Raia Mutomboki is remarkable (for two concise backgrounders on what Raia Mutomboki is – … Continue reading


A dead deadline? January 2015 and the FDLR are still around

Roughly a week ago a much debated disarmament deadline passed for the Forces Démocratiques pour la Libération du Rwanda (FDLR), the infamous rebel outfit that regroups the remnants of certain Rwandan genocide culprits that ventured into eastern Congo as ex-FAR and interahamwe two decades ago. While political rhetoric has been strong and the internet-based propaganda … Continue reading


AMANI ITAKUYA II – Call for Submissions

After 25 diverse and rich contributions last year, the Amani Itakuya essay series embarks on her second edition. Here is to the call for submissions in English and French. Please share widely and participate! NEW DEADLINE – 20 January 2015 (version française ci-dessous) AMANI ITAKUYA II – Call for Submissions With Eyes Wide Open & … Continue reading


Kinois Crystal Balls: Elections, Census, and Constitution

With about two years left until the end of President Kabila’s current mandate, pre-electoral rumblings in Kinshasa, DRC in general, and the outside world have gained extraordinary momentum in the past couple of months. Jason Stearns (on census and on constitution), Manya Riche & Kris Berwouts recently published a couple of very helpful and illuminating … Continue reading


Towards a Genealogy of Armed Actors in eastern Congo

Is it possible to establish a genealogy of the armed actors that have been roving around eastern Congo over the past two decades? The first, immediate answer is – no. The spatio-temporal topography and evolution of myriad militias and other groups already appears confusing and complex when looking just at a simple, fixed point in … Continue reading


Misinformation and Misdirection in Beni’s ADF Attacks

(This is an anonymous guest post by a researcher who spent two years working in the DRC) On the morning of November 6, a petrol bomb was thrown in a residential quarter of Beni town, North Kivu. The bomb injured no one, and from a military perspective was a small and ineffective deployment of violence. … Continue reading


Congo’s immobilised demobilisation programme

Yesterday, various Congolese media reported the surrender of ‘Gen.’ Justin Banaloki (also known as ‘Cobra Matata’), military leader of the Ituri-based Front de Resistance Patriotique d’Ituri (FRPI). FRPI is one of the most long-standing militias in eastern Congo, created as early as in 2002 among the Ngiti community around German Katanga, allying to the Lendu-centred … Continue reading

GA Mapping IV 3

Mapping Armed Groups in Eastern Congo – 4th Edition

Regular readers may have noticed that this website features a mapping of armed groups in eastern Congo which is periodically updated and refined (three times a year). Today, the 4th edition of this complicated and always unfinished exercise goes online and adds to the yet existing mappings. As stated repeatedly in the lengthy disclaimer necessary … Continue reading


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