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The Landscape of Armed Groups in the Eastern Congo

The Landscape of Armed Groups in the Eastern Congo Jason K. Stearns & Christoph Vogel Disclaimer: The earlier mapping projects on this website have now been transferred as part of the Congo Research Group, a project of the Center on International Cooperation at New York University. (FOR THE FULL REPORT WITH HIGH-RESOLUTION MAP CLICK HERE) … Continue reading


Dialogue Politics – Kinshasa is set for a long electoral cycle

‘There will not be any elections before 2018 or 2019’, a taxi driver told me in Kinshasa, the very same day the OIF released a sobering audit on the state of the voter registry. The report has a lavish laundry list of things to do to establish an up-to-date and credible ‘fichier’ (doublettes, deceased, first … Continue reading


Crisis in Burundi: Carnage on the ground and chaos in the media

Roughly 3 months after the contested re-election of President Nkurunziza for a third, arguably unconstitutional term at the helm of the state, the political crisis and violent repression have grown chronic. Throughout the past months – starting as early as in April – cyclical outbursts of violence, including numerous killings and abductions, have spread fear … Continue reading


Congo, Elections, and the West: Try Again, Fail Again, Fail Better?

Sourcing from myriad inspiration such as Burkina Faso (ousting of Blaise Compaoré) or Nigeria (transition from Goodluck Jonathan to Muhammadu Buhari), discussions over constitutional rule and term limits, have gained increasing traction in Africa’s Great Lakes where Burundi just lived through contested polls and elections are scheduled in Rwanda, Uganda, and the Democratic Republic of … Continue reading


Ihula & Rumangabo attacks overshadow DRC-Rwanda rapprochement on FDLR

Last week came with a remarkable diplomatic sign as Congo’s defence minister Aimé Ngoy Mukena (replaced yesterday in DRC’s most recent post-G7 cabinet reshuffle) met with his Rwandan counterpart James Kabarebe to discuss bilateral matters in Kigali. FDLR, the Rwandan militia surviving in eastern Congo for over 20 years and emanating from 1994’s genocidaire troops … Continue reading


In eastern Congo, armed mobilisation more fractionalised but no less

Eastern Congo’s security dynamics have often been described as cyclical and, besides the evergreen remnants of genocidal FDLR militia, the post-M23 era is seen as a détente in regards to armed mobilisation. But a closer look reveals that since late 2013, the number of armed movements has even increased, even if no single actor is … Continue reading


With or without elections, the electoral period has begun in Congo

The political earthquake that is the (self-)exclusion of the so-called G7 (a group of political heavyweights around Olivier Kamitatu, Pierre Lumbi, Kyungu wa Kumwanza, Charles Mwando Simba and other former government allies) marks the definite begin of an electoral period no one knows whether it actually will end with elections or not. After weeks of … Continue reading


Amani Itakuya II: Conclusion

Concluding remarks: On the emergence of essayists Jason Stearns   Over the past month, Amani Itakuya has published twenty five essays about the conflict in the Eastern Congo, a majority of which were penned by Congolese. In conclusion, it is worth thinking about the space that these essays have carved out. Political and social debate … Continue reading


AIII #25: The Potential of Coffee in eastern Congo

The Potential of Coffee in eastern Congo Baraka Kasali   The global academic and journalistic narrative about Congo has been filled with sexual violence, conflict minerals and an alphabet soup of armed groups identified by a corresponding alphabet soup of acronyms.  Yet the motors of insecurity should not only be interpreted in terms of physical violence and political instability. Another set of acronyms—ONC … Continue reading

Perrazone Goma 2014 zoom in

AIII #24: The ‘Gomenyi’ borderland: “It’s not always all about war”

The ‘Gomenyi’ borderland: “It’s not always all about war” (picture provided by the author) Stéphanie Perazzone   As noted in a wealth of political science literature and journalistic accounts dealing with eastern Congo, the province of North-Kivu as a whole and its chef-lieu Goma, are sadly known as the scene of continued socio-political violence, which … Continue reading


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