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Reshuffle in the Congolese army – cui bono?

On September 18, DRC’s president Joseph Kabila – shortly before heading off to the 69th session of the UN general assembly – finally announced a major round of rotations with the Forces Armés de la République Démocratique du Congo (FARDC), the country’s national army. This reshuffle features a few remarkable changes, both in personnel and … Continue reading

Peaceland – A review of Séverine Autesserre’s latest book

Peaceland – Conflict Resolution and the Everyday Politics of International Intervention A review of Séverine Autesserre’s newly published book Recently, a Congolese friend of mine taught me how to use condoms to clean your shoes before going out. On average, it takes three condoms per shoe and you come out classy within a few minutes. … Continue reading


‘Conflict Minerals’ – An Open Letter

Over a few months, we have been working on de-mystifying the discourses on so-called “conflict minerals” in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and to constructively but critically assess the policy response these discourses have provoked so far. The outcome is a letter signed by 70 Congolese and international observers. In the following paragraphs, first published with … Continue reading


Trouble all over – where is Raia Mutomboki heading to?

Later this year, I am going to have a peer-reviewed article in the Annuaire des Grand Lacs, but the situation on the ground develops as quickly and unexpectedly that it asks for a current overview – in particular the set-up of this ‘franchise’ as Jason Stearns coined it, will already be outdated massively upon publication … Continue reading

GA Mapping III 7

Third and revised mapping of armed actors in eastern DRC

With a slight delay, a new version of the armed actors mapping has now been launched and can be found here & here respectively. At a first glance, it does not entail major changes, but a closer look shows how recent military operations (especially those involving MONUSCO’s Force Intervention Brigade) have impacted on the region’s conflict landscape. … Continue reading


Annual Salaam Kivu International Film Festival (SKIFF) takes on its 9th edition

(written by Gaius Kowene, Goma-based freelance journalist and Timo Mueller, researcher in Goma; additional reporting and editing by Christoph Vogel, editor of http://www.christophvogel.net) The 9th edition of the Salaam Kivu International Film Festival (SKIFF) will take place in Goma, in the east of Congo from 4-13 July. SKIFF is a 10-day festival that regularly brings … Continue reading


MONUSCO’s Force Intervention Brigade: un état des lieux

Roughly 16 months ago (in March 2013), the United Nations has strengthened its peacekeeping mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo – MONUSCO – with a robust force to “neutralise armed groups”. In sequence to waves of criticism MONUSCO has experienced for its passive stance during the capture of Goma by M23 troops, the … Continue reading


Elections in Congo. Yes, but which, when, and how?

Amidst the publication of a (partial) electoral calendar by Abbé Malu-Malu, head of DRC’s Commission Nationale Eléctorale Indépendante (CENI), discussions over the country’s upcoming round of polls once more flared up. On this issue, Kris Berwouts and Manya Riche have provided a nice detailed backgrounder for African Arguments this week. In general, most of the … Continue reading

DR Congo 2009

Le massacre de Mutarule – Analyses préliminaires

(avec Josaphat Musamba Bussy) Représailles contre les voleurs des vaches, règlement des comptes, ou haine inter-ethnique ? La journée du 7 juin 2014, le territoire d’Uvira assiste à un massacre des congolais plus de 30 personnes, certains fusillés, mais la plupart hachées comme des bêtes sauvages, à des incendies des maisons alors qu’ils étaient en … Continue reading

Lake Kivu 2010

The FDLR demobilisation gamble reloaded

With apologies for intermittent posting over these months, a few musings on the current FDLR situation with demobilisation ceremonies happening in both Kivu provinces. On 30 May and 9 June, respectively, FDLR organised the demobilisation of a larger number of combatants in Kateku/Buleusa (Walikale territory, North Kivu) and Kitogo (Mwenga territory, South Kivu). The locations roughly … Continue reading


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