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Abstract: This paper examines the challenges facing the protracted crisis in the Democratic Republic of Congo as they relate to the international response in eastern DRC, with a particular focus on the relationship between humanitarian assistance, early recovery and stabilisation.
It argues that supporting recovery in DRC requires flexible, risk-tolerant programming. All actors involved need to carefully consider the relationship between assistance, security and recovery, and move beyond simplistic assumptions about how peace and stability can be fostered and encouraged. For humanitarians, there is no time like the present to discuss how to pursue principled humanitarian action and advocate for the protection of civilians, amidst the complex interaction of aid, politics and security.
Abstract: Conducted in the framework of the European Commission program to "Support to peace and stabilization in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo", this study aims to better understand the role of civil society in peace-building. Based on the results of field research, the study identifies more than 150 organisations. The report describes the peacebuilding sector and the challenges the actors are facing, and provides a detailed and documented analysis of some local peace initiatives, focusing on key methodologies: Mediation, action-research and advocacy. Finally, the study offers recommendations for improving the peacebuilding practices of civil society actors as well as their financial and technical partners.
Abstract: For decades, the trade in conflict minerals has fueled human rights abuses and promoted insecurity in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). The Dodd Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, passed in July 2010, includes a provision that addresses the need for action to be taken to stop the national army and rebel groups in the DRC from profiting from the minerals trade. Section 1502, the Conflict Minerals provision, is a disclosure requirement that calls on companies to determine if their products contain conflict minerals and to report this to the SEC.
This legislation has the potential to make a significant impact on the ground in the DRC; however, there has been considerable misinformation and fear-mongering spread about its requirements and likely impact. This document seeks to clarify some of the most common misconceptions.
Abstract: Crimes under international law, including rape and murder, continue to be committed by the Congolese army and armed groups in the east of the Democratic Republic of Congo following decades of similar crimes across the country, Amnesty International said today.
A new Amnesty International report The time for justice is now; new strategy needed in the Democratic Republic of Congo calls for the reform and strengthening of the country's national justice system to combat impunity that has been fostering a cycle of violence and human rights violations for decades.
"The people of the DRC have suffered war crimes and crimes against humanity - including torture, sexual violence and the use of child soldiers - on an enormous scale and yet only a handful of perpetrators have ever been brought to justice," said Veronique Aubert, Amnesty International's Africa deputy director.
Abstract: Whereas artisanal mining has always been a key economic activity in the region, the Nia-Nia area in the Ituri territory
of the oriental province of the DRC has only recently become a site of importance to the international gold mining
community. As industrial mining in the DRC is often accompanied by socio-economic and political friction,
this report, which is based on in-depth on-site fieldwork, explores the mining activities carried out by international
mining companies and situates them in the socio-political context of the region to assess conflict potentiality and
key markers for development.
In a first section, it situates the Nia-Nia area within the broader political, socio-economic and ethnic context of Ituri,
to indicate that coming to grips with dynamics in Nia-Nia largely requires a unique approach as they are characterized
by tendencies that differ from other places in Ituri.
In a second section, it lays out ongoing mining activities. This report sums up the principal ways in which each international mining company
interacts with the surrounding community, in each case paying specific attention to security dynamics related to its
In a third section, it relates the mining companies’ community engagements and security dynamics to broader political,
socio-economic, and especially ethnic dynamics, to assess the conflict potentiality of the presence of each of
the international mining operations.
In the concluding section, the report explores some possible policy implications. First and foremost, it argues that
the absence of mobile phone communication infrastructure allows for the current situation in which tribal actors
politicize and instrumentalize international mining corporations for their own political, economic, and social interests,
leading to amplified tensions and increased conflict potentiality. By extension, mining corporations and civil
society actors should push for Congolese mobile phone networks to expand their market into the Nia-Nia area. Secondly,
the report argues that information is dually important: one the one hand, mining corporations should inform
themselves about the socio-political and ethnic dynamics of the area when formulating their community
engagement policy, and on the other hand, they should invest more in informing different civil society stakeholders.
Abstract: For more than a decade, research has stressed the importance of the economic dimension of conflict, and of the economic interests of belligerents. Competition among political, military and business actors for the control of mineral resources in the east of the country is being increasingly recognised as a pivotal factor in assessing the causes of instability in the Democratic Republic of Congo. This report is based on a thorough review of all the main literature on the subject since the year 2000. It describes and assesses the different categories of actors and the processes, chains and linkages that are involved in mining and trading of minerals in the Kivu provinces and in the territory of Ituri. It also reveals some of the main gaps in the information on the issue that is needed to develop and refine more effective peace-building strategies by national and international interveners.
Abstract: A host of publications over the last decade have highlighted the important role played by artisanal and small scale mining of coltan, gold and cassiterite in the ongoing conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo, yet there is still little awareness of the modus operandi of the various actors involved in the exploitation and trade of these minerals. It is vitally important that initiatives aimed at reforming the artisanal mining industry are based on a thorough knowledge of the political, economic and social dynamics at the grassroots level. This research report analyzes the trading networks within the mining sector and their links to military, economic and political actors in eastern DRC, focusing on the provinces of North and South Kivu, and Ituri District in Orientale Province.
Abstract: State-building is currently considered to be an indispensable process in overcoming state fragility: a condition characterized by frequent armed conflicts as well as chronic poverty. In this process, both the capacity and the legitimacy of the state are supposed to be enhanced; such balanced development of capacity and legitimacy has also been demanded in security sector reform , which is regarded as being a crucial part of post-conflict state-building. To enhance legitimacy, the importance of democratic governance is stressed in both state-building and SSR post-conflict countries. In reality, however, the balanced enhancement of capacity and legitimacy has rarely been realized. In particular, legitimacy enhancement tends to stagnate in countries in which one of multiple warring parties takes a strong grip on state power. This paper tries to understand why such unbalanced development of state-building and SSR has been observed in post-conflict countries, through a case study of Rwanda. Analyses of two policy initiatives in the security sector – Gacaca transitional justice and disarmament, demobilization, and reintegration – indicate that although these programs achieved goals set by the government, their contribution to the normative objectives promoted by the international community was quite debatable. It can be understood that this is because the country has subordinated SSR to its state-building process. After the military victory of the former rebels, the Rwandan Patriotic Front, the ruling elite prioritized the establishment of political stability over the introduction of international norms such as democratic governance and the rule of law. SSR was implemented only to the extent that it contributed to, and did not threaten, Rwanda’s RPF-led state-building.
Abstract: The purpose of this paper is to shed light on the historical relation between conflict and land tenure in Rwanda, a country that experienced a harsh civil war and genocide in the mid-1990s. The victory of the Tutsi-led rebel, Rwandan Patriotic Front - RPF - at that time triggered a massive return of refugees and a drastic change in land tenure policy. These were refugees who had fled the country at around the time of independence, in 1962, due to the political turmoil and persecution (the "social revolution") and who shared the background of the core RPF members. The social revolution had dismantled the existent Tutsi-led political order, compelling many Tutsi families to seek refuge outside their homeland. Under the post-independence rule of a Hutu-led government, the Tutsi refugees were not allowed to return and the lands they left behind were often arbitrarily distributed by local authorities among Hutu peasants. After victory in the mid-1990s civil war, the newly established RPF-led government ordered the current inhabitants of the lands to divide the properties in order to allocate portions to the Tutsi returnees. Different patterns of land holding and land division will be explained in the paper from data gathered through the authors' fieldworks in the southern and eastern parts of Rwanda. Although overt resistance to land division has not been observed to date, the land rights of the Tutsi returnees must be considered unstable because their legitimacy depends primarily on the strength and political stability of the RPF-led government. If the authority of RPF were to weaken, the land rights will be jeopardized. Throughout Rwandan history, in which political exclusion has often led to serious conflict, macro-level politics have repeatedly influenced land holding. Promotion of an inclusive democracy, therefore, is indispensable to escape the vicious circle between political instability and land rights.
Abstract: Politics, Religion and Power in the Great Lakes Region covers the political, religious and power relations in the contemporary Great Lakes States : Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Tanzania, Kenya and the Sudan. The work is important because of the nexus between these countries’ shared present and past - their political, socio-economic, cultural and historical aspirations. In terms of regional cooperation, they are the countries, save for the DRC and the Sudan, which form the current East African Community.
The book reflects on the complex dynamics and strategies of the ensuing power struggle, bringing forth a unique set of fascinating revelations of patterns of primitive capital accumulation, resistance, human rights violations and the political compromises between traditional enemies when confronted by a common (foreign) enemy. A critical analysis of the political distortion the region suffered brings to light the relevance of these divisive tools on the current trends in the African countries, drawing inferences from the African Great Lakes Region (GLR).
The study highlights how the conflicts were finally resolved to avert a serious war, thus bringing about new reforms. This history is instructive to the contemporary reader because of the frequent skirmishes caused by ethnic and religious differences, political and territorial conflicts as well as resource and leadership disputes in the GLR.
Abstract: Africa’s Great Lakes region has known conflict for a considerable period of time, and this has been met with several initiatives aimed at managing the situation in a sustainable way. One such initiative was the Multi-country Demobilisation and Reintegration Programme (MDRP), led by the World Bank, from 2002 to 2009. The initiative, which looked at selected countries in the Great Lakes, focussed on the demobilisation and reintegration of former fighters, with the main objective being to improve the livelihoods of affected communities. Despite the challenges that the MDRP encountered, the programme realised a number of successes and brought to the fore numerous lessons learned. It is these lessons that this monograph has sought to document, with the hope of contributing to the better planning of similar programmes in future. The monograph uses case studies of the Central African Republic and the Republic of Congo to illustrate how the MDRP was implemented, while Liberia is included as a control case.
Abstract: Informal mining and illicit trading of minerals has long been associated with violent conflicts in the Kivu provinces of eastern Congo. Coltan from the Kivus became particularly well known around the world at the turn of the century because of its use in the manufacture of mobile phones. Gold, which has soared in value as a result of the global financial crisis, also comes in significant quantities from these provinces and the adjacent district of Ituri. The sites in the Kivus and Ituri are now well known and have been mapped. Much less is known about mining sites in the adjacent provinces. This report, based on several months of field research carried out for International Alert by the International Peace Information Service (IPIS) and local partners, identifies mining sites in northern Katanga, in the province of Maniema, and in the district of Bafwasende. The report traces the main means of transport and the export routes that operate mainly though the commercial centres of Bukavu, Goma and Butembo. This information is an important addition to international knowledge about significant quantities of minerals that, although they are traded through known centres actually originate much further afield.
The report is built around three chapters: the first examines mining activity in Northern Katanga;
the second looks at Maniema territory on the east bank of the Congo River; and the third surveys
the mining sector in Bafwasende and Mambasa territories in Orientale Province.
Each chapter follows the same structure. In a first section, the mineral resources of the area in
question are discussed. In a second, the most important mines are presented. The third section
deals with the mining sector: the traders, transport, mining companies, etc. The fourth section
examines human rights violations, and the involvement of armed groups and the Congolese
national army in mining areas.
Abstract: International interest in the Democratic Republic of Congo is waning at a time when hundreds of thousands of Congolese continue to be displaced by ongoing violence. This shift risks squandering the substantial investments made towards peace and stability in the DRC and leaves internally displaced people vulnerable to further violence and suffering. Continued political and financial support by the U.S. and other donor governments is still essential to address both the root causes of the problem and emergency needs – all the more so in the context of November’s elections.
Donor governments should press for key changes to help protect people from harm and to reduce the appalling gaps in assistance for displaced people. Pressuring the Congolese government for effective reforms of the security sector will decrease the growing insecurity caused by efforts to reconfigure the Congolese national army. Hundreds of thousands of internally displaced people can receive more effective assistance and protection if humanitarian funding is increased and if UNHCR reallocates its resources appropriately. Finally, important efforts to address horrific incidents of sexual violence must receive continued support, as should wider protection needs of women and communities.
Abstract: Each year Oxfam undertakes a far-reaching survey of unheard, conflict-affected people in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo. Three-quarters of the 1,705 people polled in 2011 said that they felt their security had not improved since last year. In areas affected by the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA), this figure rose to 90 per cent, with communities telling Oxfam that they felt abandoned, isolated, and vulnerable.
Communities everywhere painted a grim picture of continued abuse of power by militias, the Congolese army, and other government authorities, wearing away their livelihoods and ability to cope.
Abstract: What role do women play in statebuilding? How do statebuilding processes affect women's participation? Support for statebuilding has become the dominant model for international engagement in post-conflict contexts, yet donor approaches lack substantial gender analysis and are missing opportunities to promote gender equality. This paper presents findings from a research project on the impact of post-conflict statebuilding on women's citizenship. It argues that gender inequalities are linked to the underlying political settlement, and that donors must therefore address gender as a fundamentally political issue.
Abstract: This paper compares the protection of civilians strategies of three different UN peacekeeping operations: the United Nations Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo [MONUC, since 2010 the United Nations Stabilisation Mission in the DRC – MONUSCO]; the hybrid African Union - United Nations Mission in Darfur; and the United Nations Mission in Sudan that was drawn down in early 2010 and replaced by a new UN mission in Southern Sudan.
Abstract: The present report by the United Nations Joint Human Rights Office deals with the human rights violations, including mass rapes, committed against civilians in the villages of Bushani and Kalambahiro, in Masisi territory, North Kivu, on 31 December 2010 and 1 January 2011.
Based on the investigations undertaken into these violations, in particular during the missions in Bushani and Kalambahiro from 17 to 19 January 2011 and from 2 to 4 February 2011, the UNJHRO can confirm that men in uniform identified by various sources as soldiers of the Armed Forces of the Democratic Republic of Congo (FARDC) submitted 47 women, including one minor, to sexual violence, including rape, abducted two civilians, and inflicted cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment on 12 others civilians. They also looted at least 100 houses and three buildings and set on fire or destroyed at least four houses.
While a preliminary judicial investigation was opened on 13 January 2011 by the military prosecutor’s office at the Cour militaire opérationnelle (CMO) of North Kivu and despite an order issued by the same authority on 10 February 2011 requesting that the commanders of the FARDC battalions, that were stationed near the villages attacked, be made available, it was not until March 2011 that FARDC officers were interviewed by the military justice. The limited cooperation between the FARDC and the military justice is impeding the efforts to fight impunity in cases of serious violations of human rights, particularly sexual violence.
The UNJHRO is concerned by the threats of reprisals against the inhabitants of the villages attacked due to the denunciation of the violations they suffered. Several months after the events, they are still living in permanent insecurity, hiding in the forests or neighbouring towns.
This report contains recommendations to the authorities of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), MONUSCO and humanitarian partners, in particular with regard to the protection of civilians in these villages, the type of assistance needed by the victims and the measures to be taken to ensure that the alleged perpetrators of these violations be brought to justice.
Abstract: This paper identifies the factors linked to cross-country differentials in growth performance in the aftermath of social conflict for 30 sub-Saharan African countries using panel data techniques. Our results show that changes in the terms of trade are the most important correlate of economic performance in post-conflict environments. This variable is typically associated with an increase in the marginal probability of positive economic performance by about 30 percent. Institutional quality emerges as the second most important factor. Foreign aid is shown to have very limited ability to explain differentials in growth performance, and other policy variables such as trade openness are not found to have a statistically significant effect. The results suggest that exogenous factors ("luck") are an important factor in post-conflict recovery. They also highlight the importance in post-conflict settings of policies to mitigate the macroeconomic impact of terms of trade volatility (including countercyclical macroeconomic policies and innovative financing instruments) and of policies to promote export diversification.
Abstract: Background: Despite the serious consequences of conflict for reproductive
health, populations affected by conflict and its aftermath face tremendous
barriers to accessing reproductive health services, due to insecurity,
inadequate numbers of trained personnel and lack of supplies. Family
planning is often particularly neglected.
Methods: In six conflict-affected areas in Sudan, northern Uganda and the
Democratic Republic of Congo, household surveys of married or in-union
women of reproductive age were conducted to determine baseline measures
of family planning knowledge, attitudes and behaviors regarding
contraception. Health facility assessments were carried out to assess baseline
measures of family planning services availability. Data were double-entered
into CSPro 3.2 and exported to SAS 9.2, which was used to calculate
descriptive statistics. The studies’ purposes were to guide program activities
and to serve as a baseline against which program accomplishments could be
Results: Knowledge of modern contraceptive methods was low relative to
other sub-Saharan African countries, and use of modern methods was under
4 percent in four sites; in two sites with prior family planning services it was 12 percent
and 16.2 percent. From 30 percent to 40 percent of women reported they did not want a child
within two years, however, and an additional 12 percent to 35 percent wanted no
additional children, suggesting a clear need for family planning services. The
health facilities assessment showed that at most only one-third of the facilities
mandated to provide family planning had the necessary staff, equipment and
supplies to do so adequately; in some areas, none of the facilities were
prepared to offer such services.
Conclusions: Family planning services are desired by women living in crisis
situations when offered in a manner appropriate to their needs, yet services
are rarely adequate to meet these needs. Refugee and internally displaced
women must be included in national and donors’ plans to improve family
planning in Africa.
Abstract: The descriptions of sexual violence reported
in this document will never accurately
reflect the reality on the ground. The incidences
and massacres recorded here are only the visible
tip of a systematic, generalized and very
broad based phenomenon, the true extent of
which can barely be measured. Many victims
have fallen silent forever, an unknown number
of survivors will not speak of these crimes for
fear of being rejected, repudiated, or stigmatized,
and only a few, too few, dare to speak out
and break the silence.
Sexual violence in the Democratic Republic of
the Congo did not end in 2003. The
proliferation of armed groups, the attraction of
natural resources, the trafficking of arms and
ore, the inability of the Congolese state and the
international community to put a halt to the
various conflicts, the thirst for power and the
deterioration of the social fabric have all contributed
to placing the women, men and children
of this country in an inextricable situation
While sexual violence in the DRC is not a new
phenomenon-its roots can be found in the
long entrenched treatment of women as inferiors
and the abuse of power by the various
echelons of power, including within the
family. It reached an unparalleled level
between 1996 and 1998, during the first and
second wars of the DRC.
The scale of sexual violence during these conflicts
calls for multiple responses. However, no
progress can be sustained if effective strategies
for reparation and battling against impunity are
not adopted. In whatever way the DRC government
chooses to fight impunity, it must send a
very clear message that sexual violence will no
longer be tolerated. The international community
must also assume its responsibilities.
The search for truth, the definition of responsibilities,
and the acknowledgment of crimes
are necessary for reconciliation and social
Abstract: Mass atrocities are organized crimes. Those who commit
genocide and crimes against humanity depend on third
parties for the goods and services—money, matériel,
political support, and a host of other resources—that
sustain large-scale violence against civilians. Third parties
have supplied military aircraft used by the Sudan Armed
Forces against civilians, refined gold and other minerals
coming out of eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo,
and ensured a steady flow of arms into Rwanda.
Governments seeking to prevent atrocities cannot afford a
narrow and uncoordinated focus on the perpetrators of
such violence. Rather, an effective strategy must include
identifying and pressuring third-party enablers—
individuals, commercial entities, and countries—in order to
interrupt the supply chains that fuel mass violence against
The first-ever Director of War Crimes, Atrocities, and
Civilian Protection on the National Security Staff recently
convened a meeting that appears to initiate an
interagency structure to coordinate atrocities-prevention
initiatives across the government. The Administration has
an opportunity in the newly initiated structure to activate all
of the U.S. government’s resources to institute an
atrocities-prevention policy that goes beyond responding
to individual crises. This structure should incorporate a
systematic approach to disrupting enablers and should
ensure that all possible tools are developed and used to
counter these complex crimes. The intelligence
community and the Department of the Treasury, along
with the Departments of State and Defense, are key to
successfully tackling third-party enablers of atrocities.
Abstract: This report provides an overview of the CSIS study series examining the risks of instability in 10 African countries over the next decade. The 10 papers are designed to be complementary but can also be read individually as self-standing country studies. The overview draws on common themes and explains the methodology underpinning the research. The project was commissioned by the U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM). The papers in this series are not meant to offer hard and fast predictions about the future. While they sketch out some potential scenarios for the next 10 years, these efforts should be treated as thought experiments that look at how different dynamics might converge to create the conditions for instability. The intention is not to single out countries believed to be at risk of impending disaster and make judgments about how they will collapse. Few, if any, of the countries in this series are at imminent risk of breakdown. All of them have coping mechanisms that militate against conflict, and discussions of potential “worst-case scenarios” have to be viewed with this qualification in mind.
Abstract: The paper investigates the effect of child malnutrition on the risk of mortality in
Burundi, a very poor country heavily affected by civil war. We use anthropometric data from
a longitudinal survey - 1998-2007. We find that undernourished children, as measured by the
height-for-age z-scores - HAZ - in 1998 had a higher probability to die during subsequent
years. In order to address the problem of omitted variables correlated with both nutritional
status and the risk of mortality, we use the length of exposure to civil war prior to 1998 as a
source of exogenous variation in a child’s nutritional status. Children exposed to civil war in
their area of residence have worse nutritional status. The paper finds that one year of exposure
translates into a 0.15 decrease in the HAZ, resulting in a 10 percent increase in the probability to die
for the whole sample as well as a 0.34 decrease in HAZ per year of exposure for boys only,
resulting in 25 percent increase in the probability to die. We show the robustness of our results.
Food and income transfer programs during civil war should be put in place to avoid the longterm
effects of malnutrition.
Abstract: In eastern Democratic Republic of Congo
(DRC), rebel groups and senior commanders of
the national army are fighting over and illegally
profiting from the country’s minerals sector.
These groups, responsible for mass rape and
murder, enrich themselves through international
trade. This report, based on recent findings of
the UN Group of Experts and Global Witness’s
research over the past year, discusses this crisis.
Our report looks at the measures that are
needed to end the “conflict minerals” trade
– and to ensure that eastern Congo’s mines help
rather than hinder development.
Cracking the conflict minerals trade requires
rapid action by companies and governments
alike. Companies need to comply with the due
diligence standards set by the UN Security
Council and those being finalised by the
Organisation for Economic Cooperation
and Development (OECD). Governments
– including major powers such as the UK, US
and China – need to make sure that this is being
done. International aid donors to the Great
Lakes region must start using their influence to
ensure that governments in Congo and Rwanda
start facing up to their responsibilities.
Abstract: The links between conflict and the extraction of a given resource
are not always so clear-cut, however, and a country's resource
wealth does not necessarily lead to violent conflict, as the
examples of Norway and Canada, but also Botswana and Chile
show. Yet resource-rich countries do appear to be more
susceptible to conflict than the resource-poor. This risk seems to
be greatest when resource extraction accounts for a substantial
proportion (around 30%) of GDP1: in other words, in countries
which are largely dependent on the export of primary commodities
such as metal ores, oil and gas. This does not apply to
countries with major oil fields and a small population, such as
Brunei, Dubai and Kuwait, which can use the substantial revenues
generated by their oil exports to purchase social peace.
Yet in most resource dependent economically poor countries in
Africa, Latin America and Asia, resource extraction is linked to
conflict. So the question is this: which role do natural resources
play in conflicts?