March 30, 2012 The African Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes
Despite receiving much attention in literature, the ongoing conflict North Kivu has yet to be systematically studied with respect to its impact on environmental security. This paper seeks to contribute toward filling this gap. The paper argues that, notwithstanding natural factors such as volcanoes - and social ills caused by poverty, unemployment, and underemployment - environmental insecurity in North Kivu is caused by the 'relative scarcity' of land. The land crisis is aggravated by land ownership systems, demographic pressure, unregulated migrations and related identity disputes, short-sighted state policies and involvement by neighbouring polities; all of which set the state for cyclic violent conflicts. In order to break this vicious circle, the article calls for the emergence of a strong and brave political leadership in the Democratic Republic of the Congo as well as in the region, capable of establishing political, social and economic policies conducive to addressing the roots of the problems....
Background: The conflict in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo [DRC] is the deadliest
since World War II. Over a decade of fighting amongst an array of armed groups has resulted in
extensive human rights abuses, particularly the widespread use of sexual violence against
Interpretation: Rape results not only in physical and psychological trauma, but can destroy
family and community structures. Women face significant obstacles in seeking services after
rape. Interventions offering long-term solutions for hyper-vulnerable women are vital, but
lacking; reintegration programs on SGBV for women, men, and communities are also needed....
October 27, 2011 University for Peace // UPEACE Africa Program // Africa Peace and Conflict Journal
The prevailing explanations of peacebuilding failures tend to emphasize economic interests and
cultural and political aspects. Peace education and recognition of local tensions and understandings
of conflict and peace are, however, necessary components for building an enduring peace.
The Democratic Republic of the Congo’s transition from war towards peace and democracy
demonstrates the need to address micro problems in extending local, regional, and national security.
Involvement by local peoples in peace work and peace education are an appropriate
methodology of peacebuilding in war-torn societies to bring about the personal and systemic
changes necessary for securing sustainable peace....
October 26, 2011 Intervention // War Trauma Foundation
In situations of protracted armed conflict such as in sub-Saharan Africa, there exists a strong tendency to describe rebel violence as a senseless war of 'all-against-all'. This 'Hobbesian' violence [a theory that people have the fundamental right to pursue selfish aims but will relinquish those rights in the interest of the common good] is often illustrated by the sight of drugged and gun-toting youths engaged in the harassment of innocent civilians. Their sole motivation appears to lay in the benefit of organized plunder. However 'senseless' it may appear, the violence still has its functions. It is used to foster strategies of political control, and has an important identity and social dimension. This article explores both the political and socio-psychological functions of violence in the rural areas of the Democratic Republic of Congo [DRC]. The analysis focuses on the provinces of North and South Kivu and on Ituri, where the authors have carried out extensive field research. Their analysis will be developed in particular regard to the current demobilisation and reintegration efforts that are carried out within the scope of the 'transition' process in the DRC, but which so far have seen limited results. Finally, the authors will explore some alternative methods to rethink war trauma and the rehabilitation of ex-combatants in [former] conflict areas such as the DRC....
October 20, 2011 Intervention // War Trauma Foundation
The African Great Lakes Region has been impacted by various wars since 1990. Although peace agreements are now in place, the region is still unstable and recovery is very slow. As a result, there are large numbers of refugees and internally displaced people, often severely traumatized by war, in the region. Most are living in degrading circumstances, which contribute to escalating incidences of alcohol and drug abuse, domestic and sexual violence, child abuse, prostitution and sexually transmitted diseases. A climate of fear, suspicion and hatred between ethnic groups also needs to be addressed in order to rebuild trust, reciprocity and a sense of social values, and belonging to a network. This applies to groups within the countries, as well as to the relationships between countries, such as Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Burundi, Rwanda, Tanzania and the DRC have similar social groups influencing each other. The issue of armed groups and refugees is therefore a cross border problem requiring networking and working together towards solutions....
December 9, 2010 Center for Strategic and International Studies
The CSIS Africa Program and Oxfam America host the launch of a new report by Oxfam America "No will, no way: US-funded security sector reform in the Democratic Republic of Congo." The event had the panelists Tara Gingerich, Oxfam America, report co-author; Tom Dempsey, Specialist Master, Deloitte Consulting LLP; Dr. Julie Chalfin, Africa Bureau Office of Regional and Security Affairs, U.S. Department of State; and Richard Downie, Deputy Director and Fellow, CSIS Africa Program. This event was moderated by Jennifer Cooke, Director, CSIS Africa Program....
December 6, 2010 Wideangle // Public Broadcasting Service
Welcome to a new podcast series with our host, Amy Costello. Each week, Amy will be talking to people who have responded creatively to the plight of women living in conflict zones.
For our first episode, we go to the Democratic Republic of Congo, a region that has been called the “rape capital of the world,” with some 200,000 cases of sexual abuse documented in the past 12 years in Eastern Congo alone. The Harvard Humanitarian Initiative is trying to better understand where, when and why sexual violence is happening in Congo.
Jocelyn Kelly, a Research Coordinator for the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative, has interviewed local rebels in Eastern Congo, to try and understand why soldiers perpetrate these crimes against women. Dr. Julie VanRooyen is a gynecologic surgeon and Fellow at the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative. She is documenting the ways that women respond physically and psychologically to rape and sexual abuse....
This video tells the story of the people from Katako-Kombe province in the center of the Congo. After years of war and crisis, the situation is gradually improving there. But people have received almost no help to rebuild their communities. This is why Refugees International is calling on the UN and aid agencies to act now and provide the residents of these communities with the assistance and tools they need to rebuild their lives.
This video tells the story of the people of South Kivu -- in the east of the Congo. After years of war and crisis, people are returning from exile in Tanzania and trying to rebuild their lives. Refugees International is calling on the US government and the UN to make greater investments in basic services, like education, health care and food security to help people rebuild their communities and restart their lives.
January 24, 2011 Governance and Social Development Resource Centre
This report provides an overview of some of the recent academic, policy and practitioner literature on conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). It focuses on literature produced since mid-2007, when the DFID Strategic Conflict Assessment was published. It is also limited to an assessment of the English language literature. The report highlights a number of key issues and emerging trends relating to each of the four main categories of conflict-related issues (security, political, economic, social).
There have been a number of important trends in the literature. First, the period since 2007 has seen the emergence of high quality, in-depth scholarly analysis of the recent conflict, which has provided a better understanding of the dynamics of violence as well as peace and peacebuilding (Auteserre comments). Second, there has been a greater focus in the literature on the micro-level dynamics of conflict (Auteserre 2009, Turner 2009, Marriage 2010). Third, there has been a more sustained focus on the regional dimensions of conflict (Lemarchand 2009, Reyntjens 2010). Fourth, an emerging body of literature has been critical of existing donor peacebuilding and statebuilding interventions. The main criticisms include a neglect of local conflicts (Marriage 2007, Turner 2009, Auteserre 2010), a failure to understand the dynamics of local conflict (Baaz & Stern 2008, Marriage 2010) and a failure to examine the role of warlords and their international supporters (Beswick 2010)....
In Iraq, the official withdrawal of the last U.S. combat troops, nearly nine years after the invasion, was quickly followed by a political crisis. Authorities issued an arrest warrant for the country’s top Sunni politician, Vice President Tariq Al-Hashimi, accusing him of running death squads.
Tension remained high after November’s flawed presidential and parliamentary elections in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Continued violence and repression by security forces claimed at least 30 lives. Incumbent president Joseph Kabila was sworn in for a second term on 20 December, despite international observers finding that the results “lacked credibility”.
Relations between Sudan and South Sudan deteriorated further. Tension over the status of Abyei continued, with UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon calling for the withdrawal of both sides’ armed forces, while the two countries’ militaries clashed in the disputed territory of Jau.
In Senegal, President Abdoulaye Wade showed no signs of reconsidering his candidacy for a controversial third term. Clashes between ruling party and opposition supporters left one dead and several injured.
In Nigeria a spate of violent attacks by militant Islamists Boko Haram left at least 100 dead and 90,000 displaced. President Goodluck Jonathan declared a state of emergency. In Guinea-Bissau an attempted coup by renegade soldiers on 26 December left at least two dead. The navy chief, former army chief, and a number of politicians suspected of orchestrating it have been arrested.
Tensions between Pakistan’s government and military leadership escalated as the Supreme Court began its probe over a memo last May requesting U.S. help to avert a military takeover.
In Afghanistan bomb attacks by Pakistani Sunni militants Lashkar-e-Jhangvi in Kabul and Mazar-i-Sharif killed 84 people on the Shia holy day of Ashura. Relations with Pakistan remained strained, as Pakistan’s boycott overshadowed the Bonn conference.
At least fifteen people were killed and 100 injured in Janaozen in western Kazakhstan on 16 December as government forces clashed with a crowd including former oil workers, who have been on strike for 6 months.
Bosnia avoided an intensified political crisis as leaders of the six main political parties agreed to form a government at the end of the month, ending fourteen months of deadlock after the October 2010 elections.
The Democratic Republic of Congo’s presidential and parliamentary vote went ahead on 28-30 November, after a campaign marred by violence and amid allegations of rigging and mismanagement. Political rallies were banned in the wake of election-related clashes in Kinshasa on the eve of polls, and sporadic reports of violence emerged, including from Lubumbashi and West Kasai, during voting. In Burundi state troops clashed with the recently formed Forces for the Restoration of Democracy; the government reported 18 rebels killed.
Relations between Sudan and South Sudan deteriorated further this month. On 9 November the Sudanese Armed Forces reportedly launched cross-border airstrikes on Maban County in South Sudan’s Upper Nile State, and a day later bombed Yida refugee camp in Unity state, killing 12. Late-month negotiations between the two sides failed to achieve a settlement on contentious oil and transitional financial arrangements. Both Sudan and South Sudan also grappled with internal instability.
In Syria violence continued, with the regime’s brutal crackdown ongoing, elements of the protest movement increasingly militarised, the conflict internationalised and the Arab League’s attempt to end the bloodshed running aground. Tensions continued to rise in Kosovo. Late month violence in the north between international KFOR troops and ethnic Serbs who are barricading customs gates with Serbia left dozens injured.
NATO airstrikes on two Pakistan military border outposts left 24 Pakistani soldiers dead and U.S.-Pakistani relations in tatters. Islamabad swiftly condemned the attacks, requesting NATO vacate its airbase in Balochistan and shutting down its supply routes. The incident also damaged already strained Pakistani relations with Afghanistan, with the Pakistani government threatening to boycott forthcoming Bonn talks on Afghanistan.
Myanmar saw further positive developments this month. The announcement by opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi and her NLD party that they will contest seats in forthcoming by-elections marked their return to the political process. On 1 November leaders of Nepal’s four main political parties signed a landmark deal to integrate one third of former Maoist rebels into the national army and give others financial rehabilitation packages, removing a major stumbling block to the drafting of a new constitution. Morocco held the first elections under its new constitution, approved by referendum in July, which devolved some power from the monarch. Following the official announcement of last months’ historic election results, Tunisia’s new Constituent Assembly held its first session on 22 November. The main parties quickly agreed to form a new government, with Hamadi Jebali, the leader of the moderate Islamist An-Nahda party which took over 41% of the vote, assuming the post of prime minister.
The first stage of parliamentary elections in Egypt took place at the end of November. The polls, the first since President Hosni Mubarak was toppled in February, were mostly peaceful despite deadly protests earlier in the month against the interim military leaders who replaced Mubarak....
November 30, 2010 Forced Migration Review // University of Oxford // Refugee Studies Centre
Collection of short articles.
The Democratic Republic of Congo is unfortunately
synonymous with its dreadful past and its terrible
present, despite its beauty, complex history and unachieved
potential. Locked not only into its own internal troubles
but also into those of the African Great Lakes region, it has
provided more than enough material on forced migration,
violence and political quagmires to fill this issue of FMR.The historical and immediate causes of displacement
are covered here. Also discussed – perhaps more
importantly – are the ways in which displaced people
experience those causes and their effects: the loss of
livelihood and community, of stability and security. The
possibilities for return, also covered here, are heavily
constrained by the immediate forces that caused the
displacements, as well as by longer-term and more deeprooted
political and historical factors. The widespread
and brutal sexual violence found amidst the general
violence in DRC is particularly shocking, eliciting
outrage as well as attempts to find ways to curb it and to
protect girls and women, and boys and men, from it.
While the articles contained in this issue of FMR make
grim reading, they also offer glimmers of hope for better
outcomes, at least potentially, alongside analysis of
how and why these things have been happening....
Five actual or potential conflict situations around the world deteriorated and none improved in April 2010. Soldiers and protesters clashed in Bangkok in the worst violence to hit the Thai capital in almost two decades. Turmoil also shook Kyrgyzstan where President Kurmanbek Bakiyev was ousted in a violent rebellion. Unrest grew amid weeks of protests against painful utility price increases and popular discontent with the corruption that characterised Bakiyev’s rule. April also saw heightened tensions on the Korean Peninsula after the sinking of a South Korean ship in late March. 46 people were killed when the ship was hit by what investigators now say was most likely an external explosion. North Korea has denied involvement and South Korea has so far avoided directly blaming its neighbour. The security situation also deteriorated in India, where Maoist insurgents killed 76 paramilitary troops in their most deadly attack in decades, and in the Democratic Republic of Congo, where rebel activity and clashes with government soldiers destablised several provinces across the country’s east and north west. CrisisWatch identifies a Conflict Risk Alert for Sudan after flawed elections which returned President Omar al-Bashir to power. With opposition parties contesting the results, and signs of increased violence in both the South and Darfur, there is now a heightened risk that the situation could worsen ahead of next year’s planned referendum on the South’s independence.
CrisisWatch also warns that mounting political tensions in Nepal could lead to new confrontation between the Maoists and the government....
Who is Bosco Ntaganda? The tense security situation in North and South Kivu provinces in Congo has turned the world’s attention to the infamous Congolese General, also known in the region as “The Terminator.” Incongruously, he’s been called both a war criminal and a lynchpin to regional stability; yet as a member and leader of several armed groups, he has left a bloody trail across the eastern Congo.
Most shockingly, juxtaposed against scenes of violence, mass rape, and civilian displacement is the comfortable, privileged life Ntaganda once lead in the capital of North Kivu. For years he thrived in Goma, dining in the finest restaurants, occupying a luxurious villa just yards away from the Rwandan border, and moved with impunity as he raked in a fortune from exploitation of the region’s illicit minerals trade—all within sight of the world’s largest peacekeeping mission.
Until recently he was a member of the Congolese Army, however, under still murky circumstances Ntaganda along with some of his most loyal troops have defected from the Army and retreated to his traditional stronghold north of Goma in the North Kivu province of eastern Congo. These actions have precipitated uncertainty and crisis throughout the region....
August 18, 2011 International Federation for Human Rights
Jean-Pierre Bemba, a national of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), is the leader and Commander-in-Chief of the Mouvement de Libération du Congo (MLC). Prior to his arrest, Jean-Pierre Bemba served as Vice-President in the transitional government in DRC (2003-2006), was a candidate at the second run of the Presidential Elections in 2006 and was elected senator in 2007. Bemba is charged with three counts of war crimes (murder, rape and pillage) and two counts of crimes against humanity (murder and rape). He is the first political personality to be tried by the International Criminal Court (ICC).
At the occasion of the opening of the trial of Jean-Pierre Bemba before the International Criminal Court, FIDH is issuing Questions and Answers on the case....
From rape and domestic violence to lack of healthcare and education, millions of women experience daily peril, but nowhere more than in the five countries a TrustLaw Women expert poll identifies as the world's most dangerous countries to be female in 2011: Afghanistan, Democratic Republic of Congo, Pakistan, India and Somalia.
TrustLaw Women asked 213 gender experts from five continents to rank countries by overall perceptions as well as by six key risks: sexual violence; non-sexual violence; cultural or religious factors; discrimination and lack of access to resources; and trafficking. These info-graphics hone in on some of the dangers cited in the poll for each country....
14 May 2010 - Reports of a dramatic rise in the frequency and brutality of attacks by the rebel Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) from Uganda against civilians in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DR Congo), Sudan and the Central African Republic.
Central African Republic - Between March 20 and May 6, 2010, thirty six people were killed and 10,000 displaced by 10 LRA raids on villages in Haut-Mbormou.
DR Congo - Since December 2008, the LRA have killed more than 1,800 people, abducted 2,500 and displaced 280,000 in Bas-Uélé and Haut-Uélé, the epicentress of the LRA atrocities.
Sudan - An estimated 2,500 people have been killed and 87,800 forcibly displaced mostly in Central and Western Equatoria....
May 19, 2010 International Peace Information Service
The MiMiKi (Militarised Mining Areas in the Kivus) map constitutes a first systematic attempt to clarify the issue of profit by armed groups from the extractive
industry in the east of the DRCongo. The interactive map contains information on the location of mines, the presence
of armed groups at mining pits and a number of other variables. Although most recent analyses written on the issue
point out that the region’s relative mineral wealth is not the primary cause of the armed conflict in the Kivus, its role in
financing armed groups is indisputable. Because of this situation, Western companies buying ores originating from the
Great Lakes region, have been targeted by international NGOs who are asking them to implement a thorough system
of due diligence. In the light of the loudening call for a stricter regulation of the sector, the listing of mining sites in the
Kivus is essential.
The MiMiKi map is a snapshot of the situation as it was in the period May-July 2009. It has to be noted that the MiMiKi map is not yet complete and should be considered as a work in progress. To date,
more than 200 active mining sites are located on the map, including the most important. There are a few remaining
blind spots (areas on which IPIS has no first hand information) on the map....
April 23, 2010 United Nations // Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs // ReliefWeb
This map represents people who are internally displaced by violence perpetrated by various armed groups in the Equateur Province, Bas- and Haut-Uélé Districts, Ituri District and Nord- and Sud-Kivu Provinces as of March 31st, 2010.
A partnership of humanitarian organizations working with community volunteers in South Kivu, eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), has helped demobilize thousands of children formerly associated with armed groups in the province, says the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF).
"Children are the first to suffer from the burden of conflict; they are caught up in violence as victims of sexual assaults; they lose their families and homes as a consequence of constant migration and they are involved in combat as perpetrators of the conflict," Cornelia Walther, UNICEF's chief of communication in the DRC, said.
Walther said 101 children aged between 11 and 17 years were currently in the Centre of Transit and Orientation (CTO) in Bukavu, South Kivu's provincial capital, following their demobilization from armed forces or groups....
With a focus on conflict minerals and natural resource transparency, Sections 1504 and 1502 of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Financial Reform Act are unrelated to the U.S. banking system. Yet they have stirred up controversy. As is often the case with provisions that aim at changing the rules of the game, Sections 1502 and 1504 have pitted stakeholders that support their passage and full implementation against the interests of those that wish to water them down or greatly delay their implementation. Last Tuesday, Brookings and Global Witness hosted an event at the National Press Club to examine the debate surrounding these two provisions....
January 4, 2011 Foreign Policy Magazine // International Crisis Group
Across the globe today, you'll find almost three dozen raging conflicts, from the valleys of Afghanistan to the jungles of the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the streets of Kashmir. But what are the next crises that might erupt in 2011? Here are a few worrisome spots that make our list. [Captions provided by International Crisis Group]
January 15, 2010 International Relations and Security Network
Joseph Kabila, president of the Democratic Republic of Congo, DRC, has made some noises about the need to end the damaging culture of impunity that pervades the country. But, when one sees those accused of atrocities rewarded with senior positions in the military rather than standing trial, it is hard to believe that he is serious.
Impunity is one of the main driving forces behind the ongoing conflict in eastern DRC, and rewarding rather than punishing alleged war criminals sends out a very dangerous message.
It fosters resentment among the victims of atrocities, who deserve to see justice done, and reinforces the belief among rebel commanders that they can operate without accountability for their actions.
Things, however, may be starting to change.
On November 24, the International Criminal Court, ICC, began tackling its second case against former militia leaders from the DRC.
Germain Katanga, the former leader of the Patriotic Resistance Force, FRPI, and Mathieu Ngudjolo, the ex-head of the National Integrationist Front, FNI, are accused of planning the February 24, 2003 attack on the Ituri village of Bogoro, which killed about 200 people and burned much of the village to the ground.
Both men deny the charges, but, even so, the very fact that this case is now taking place at all is likely to send a strong message to rebels who are still operating in the region....
September 17, 2009 Integrated Regional Information Networks // UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
Militia attacks in parts of northeastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) in the past few months are worsening the humanitarian situation there and preventing access to affected populations, says a UN official. The number of internally displaced persons (IDPs) in the zones under militia attack in Irumu Territory, south of Ituri District, has risen from 30,000 to 105,000 in a year, said Jean-Charles Dupin, a senior humanitarian affairs officer with the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) in Bunia, Ituri's capital. "Zones south of Aveba [town], Boga, Bukiringi, Kamachi and Zunguluka remain difficult to access due to insecurity. Any humanitarian interventions there would endanger beneficiaries who are attacked after aid distributions," said Dupin. "NGOs have been forced to evacuate four times in the locality of Gety [south of Bunia] in the last two months... During the day, the displaced population returns to their fields to look for food. In the evening, they return to their places of displacement." A 16 September OCHA update said close to 200 families had fled the locality of Mandibe, 9km south of Irumu, after a militia attack and were seeking refuge in Komanda, 75km south of Bunia. The Congolese army has added to the displacement, according to humanitarian sources....
The Southern African Development Community (SADC) has been in existence since 1980, when it was formed as a loose alliance of nine majority-ruled States in Southern Africa known as the Southern African Development Coordination Conference (SADCC), with the main aim of coordinating development projects in order to lessen economic dependence on the then apartheid South Africa. The founding Member States are: Angola, Botswana, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Swaziland, United Republic of Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe. SADCC was formed in Lusaka, Zambia on April 1, 1980, following the adoption of the Lusaka Declaration - Southern Africa: Towards Economic Liberation. The transformation of the organization from a Coordinating Conference into a Development Community (SADC) took place on August 17, 1992 in Windhoek, Namibia when the Declaration and Treaty was signed at the Summit of Heads of State and Government thereby giving the organization a legal character. The Member States are Angola, Botswana, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland, United Republic of Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe. SADC headquarters are in Gaborone, Botswana. The objective of SADC: Achieve development and economic growth, alleviate poverty, enhance the standard and quality of life of the people of Southern Africa and support the socially disadvantaged through regional integration; Evolve common political values, systems and institutions; Promote and defend peace and security; Promote self-sustaining development on the basis of collective self-reliance, and the interdependence of Member States; Achieve complementarity between national and regional strategies and programmes; Promote and maximise productive employment and utilisation of resources of the Region; Achieve sustainable utilisation of natural resources and effective protection of the environment; Strengthen and consolidate the long-standing historical, social and cultural affinities and links among the people of the Region....
July 18, 2006 Integrated Regional Information Networks
On 30 July, the Democratic Republic of the Congo will democratically elect a new government for the first time in 45 years. This special page provides you with an insight into one of Africa's largest countries; a place of poverty amid natural riches, haunted by conflicts but filled with life and hope.
This section provides information about "conflict diamonds," or diamond trade that fuels conflicts in Africa. Specifically, Global Policy Forum focuses on the situation in Angola, Democratic Republic of Congo and Sierra Leone and Liberia, in which rebels sell diamonds, and use the profits to purchase weapons - deepening the spiral of conflict.
This page explor#es the debates and opinions from the UN, NGOs, the diamond industry, governments, and other parties involved. See also our Dark Side of Natural Resources page. ...
In July 1999, the Lusaka Ceasefire Agreement was signed by the six warring countries (Democratic Republic of Congo, Angola, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Rwanda, and Uganda) and rebel groups in an attempt to stop the civil war. The UN Security Council deployed UN liaison personnel in August 1999 to support the ceasefire. The liaison office became the UN Organization Mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo (MONUC) in November 1999, and in February 2000 it expanded in mandate and personnel. After the assassination of President Laurent-Désiré Kabila in January 2001, his son Joseph Ka#bila assumed power. He has taken steps towards peace and reconciliation. MONUC will supervise the withdrawal and disengagement of the rebel forces. With an area the size of Western Europe, covered by dense tropical forest, the DRC poses a great challenge to the UN. Rich resources also fuel conflict. In April 2001, a UN panel of experts investigated the illegal exploitation of diamonds, cobalt, coltan, gold and other lucrative resources in the DRC. The report accused Rwanda, Uganda and Zimbabwe of systematically exploiting Congolese resources and recommended the Security Council impose sanctions. ...
Insight on Conflict provides information on local peacebuilding organisations in areas of conflict. Local peacebuilders already make a real impact in conflict areas. They work to prevent violent conflicts before they start, to reduce the impact of violence, and to bring divided communities together in the aftermath of violence. However, their work is often ignored – either because people aren’t aware of the existence and importance of local peacebuilders in general, or because they simply haven’t had access to information and contacts for local peacebuilders. We hope that Insight on Conflict can help redress the balance by drawing attention to important work of local peacebuilders. On this site, you’ll be able to find out who the local peacebuilders are, what they do, and how you might get in touch with them. Over half the organisations featured on Insight on Conflict do not have their own website. Insight on Conflict is a project launched by Peace Direct, the UK-based charity that finds, funds and promotes local peacebuilders in conflict areas around the world. Peace Direct wants to change the balance of power and resources between local people and outsiders so that local peacebuilding is central to all strategies for managing conflict....
On March 14, 2012, the International Criminal Court issued the first verdict since it began operations 10 years ago in the case of Thomas Lubanga, a former militia leader from the region of Ituri in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo. Lubanga, whose forces had sought regional autonomy for Ituri, was convicted of conscripting and enlisting child soldiers and using them in hostilities.
April 27, 2012 International Center for Transitional Justice
The conviction of Thomas Lubanga is a milestone for the international criminal justice system established by the Rome Statute, and may make an important contribution to the development and definition of the rights to reparations in international human rights law. Article 75 of the Rome Statute requires the International Criminal Court to 'establish principles relating to reparations to, or in respect of, victims, including restitution, compensation and rehabilitation' for victims of war crimes and crimes against humanity. The court's upcoming decisions involving reparations in the Lubanga case can strengthen the existing recognition by the United Nations through the "Basic Principles and Guidelines on the Right to a Remedy and Reparation", adopted in 2005. As of March 2011, at least 176 persons from the DRC have applied for reparations in either the Lubanga case or others before the court....
Four months after the contested re-election of President Kabila, and two months after the last MONUSCO briefing of February 7, 2012, the Democratic Republic of the Congo was again the topic of a Security Council meeting last Friday. This time, however, the discussion was not about the irregularities that had affected the electoral process but about security sector reform. This “Arria-formula” meeting on “SSR in the DRC” called by France concluded a week of advocacy by a coalition of Congolese and international NGOs around the release of a report “DRC: Taking a Stand on Security Sector Reform.”
The issue is not a new one, and many, including at IPI, have argued that the lack of comprehensive security-sector reform and donor coordination in SSR are the biggest impediments to the creation of conditions that would allow Congolese institutions to effectively take over MONUSCO’s security role, and similar language made it to MONUSCO’s mandate in June 2011 (Resolution 1991). Also, it is not unusual to see a flurry of advocacy efforts ahead of the renewal of the UN DRC mission’s mandate at the end of June every year. What’s new is that this initiative focuses on SSR—with a particular emphasis on defense sector reform (DSR)—and has seen the involvement of many Congolese civil society organizations.
But the key question remains: is the necessary political will of the Congolese government and political cohesion of the international community there this time to make this post-election SSR push work in the DRC?...
The day-to-day reality for ordinary people in the Democratic Republic of Congo includes all of the following: latent insecurity, ongoing military operations, and systematic attacks by armed groups – including units of the Congolese military. The international community has been providing humanitarian assistance to the DRC for over a decade and a half, but the need remains acute. The local UN peacekeeping operation dedicates the majority of its scarce resources to the protection of civilians, and will need to maintain this critical effort for the foreseeable future. Creative protection efforts by the peacekeepers need to be reinforced and supported. Protection monitoring and coordination efforts – led by the UN Refugee Agency – also need to be repaired....
The 2006 elections were a moment of great hope for the DRC, as the country and its people
moved out of the shadow of one of the most destructive conflicts the world has known. The
international community has invested heavily in the years since. Official development assistance
since the end of the post-war transition totals more than $14 billion. External funding makes
up nearly half of the DRC’s annual budget. The UN peacekeeping mission, MONUSCO, costs
more than $1 billion a year. The international financial institutions have buttressed the DRC’s
economy, most importantly through writing off $12.3 billion debt and granting access to IMF
loans. Trade deals, notably the one struck with China5, push the aggregate figure up still further.
Taking stock of progress as the DRC moves through its second post-war electoral cycle is
sobering. Investment has not resulted in meaningful change in the lives of ordinary Congolese. The country is now in last place in the annual UNDP development rankings, 187th out of 187
countries. Despite slight improvements, life expectancy and child mortality are below average
for the region. National income per capita is less than 50 cents a day. The DRC will miss all of its
Millennium Development Goals. 1.7 million Congolese are displaced8, a further 500,000 refugees
outside the country. There are worrying signs of renewed conflict in the East. The investment of
billions of dollars has had little impact on the average Congolese citizen.
The central cause of this suffering is continued insecurity. The Congolese government’s inability
to protect its people or control its territory undermines progress on everything else. An effective
security sector - organized, resourced, trained and vetted - is essential to solving problems
from displacement, recruitment of child soldiers and gender-based violence, to economic
growth or the trade in conflict minerals. This is not a new finding. The imperative of developing
effective military, police and judicial structures has been repeatedly emphasized. Yet, far from
showing sustained improvement, Congolese security forces continue posing a considerable
threat to the civilian population rather than protecting them10. The recent allegations of an
army Colonel leading his troops to engage in widespread rape and looting of villages near Fizi
in 2011 underscores the fact that failed military reform can lead to human rights violations.
The military – the Forces Armées de la République Démocratique du Congo (FARDC) - has
been accused of widespread involvement in the most serious human rights violations. Police
corruption is endemic, and almost any form of judicial protection out of reach for the vast
The root of the failure to implement security sector reform (SSR) is a lack of political will at the
highest levels of the Congolese Government. Rather than articulating a vision for Congolese
security and marshaling assistance to achieve it, the Government has instead encouraged
divisions among the international community and allowed corrupt networks within the security
services to flourish, stealing the resources intended to pay basic salaries or profiting from
exploitation of natural resources. Unless this is changed, sustainable reform will be impossible.
The investment made by Congo’s partners could be wasted, and Congo’s people will continue to
Enough 101 is a new series intended to provide a contextual background for understanding the complex issues that the Enough Project works on and that large communities of advocates care about.
Enough focuses primarily on several long-standing conflict areas in Central and East Africa: Sudan and South Sudan, eastern Congo, and areas affected by the Lord’s Resistance Army. Each conflict has its own history, combatants, set of acronyms, and opportunities for solutions. Enough 101 will distill that information into understandable posts for activists new to the blog, information-seekers curious about our work and conflict areas, or long-time followers who want a refresher on the issues and actors.
Every Tuesday we’ll post a new 101 blog on Enough Said, covering topics ranging from the histories of the conflicts to the legal terminology relevant to the atrocities and crimes committed. This collection of posts is an introduction—it is specifically geared towards beginners but can be helpful to even the most informed reader....
Human Security Research is a monthly compilation of significant new human security-related research published by academics, university research institutes, think-tanks, international agencies, and NGOs.
Articles in this issue:
MEDIATION: UN Mediation and the Politics of Transition after Constitutional Crises
LOCAL PROTECTION: Local to Global Protection in Myanmar (Burma), Sudan, South Sudan and Zimbabwe
POLICE REFORM: Policing in Palestine: Analyzing the EU Police Reform Mission in the West Bank
UGANDA: "The Dust Has Not Yet Settled": Victims' Views on the Right to Remedy and Reparation: A Report from the Greater North of Uganda
REBELS AND GOVERNANCE: The CNDD-FDD in Burundi: The Path from Armed to Political Struggle
NORTHERN IRELAND : Progressing Good Relations and Reconciliation in Post-Agreement Northern Ireland
HORN OF AFRICA: Impact of Conflict on Pastoral Communities' Resilience in the Horn of Africa: Case Studies From Ethiopia, Kenya and Uganda
YEMEN: “No Safe Places”: Yemen’s Crackdown on Protests in Taizz
SOMALIA: The Kenyan Military Intervention in Somalia
CRIMINAL VIOLENCE: In Transit: Gangs and Criminal Networks in Guyana
DDR: Rumours of Peace, Whispers of War: Assessment of the Reintegration of Ex-Combatants into Civilian Life in North Kivu, South Kivu and Ituri, Democratic Republic of Congo
AFGHANISTAN: Fleeing War, Finding Misery: The Plight of the Internally Displaced in Afghanistan...
Human Security Research is a monthly compilation of significant new human security-related research published by academics, university research institutes, think-tanks, international agencies, and NGOs.
Articles in this issue:
CLIMATE CHANGE: Livelihood Security: Climate Change, Migration and Conflict in the Sahel
MIDDLE EAST: The Saudi-Iranian Rivalry and the Future of Middle East Security
HORN OF AFRICA: Critical Factors in the Horn of Africa's Raging Conflicts
COMBATANTS: Learning How (Not) to Fire a Gun: Combatant Training and Civilian Victimization
EAST AFRICA: Land, Livelihoods and Identities: Inter-Community Conflicts in East Africa
HUMAN RIGHTS: Guantánamo: A Decade of Damage to Human Rights and 10 Anti-Human Rights Messages Guantánamo Still Sends
DR CONGO: Stabilising the Congo
UNITED NATIONS: UN Integration and Humanitarian Space: An Independent Study Commissioned by the UN Integration Steering Group
LIBYA: Holding Libya Together: Security Challenges after Qadhafi
EDUCATION: The Battle for the Schools: The Taleban and State Education
GOVERNANCE: Electoral Democratisation in Post-Civil War Guinea-Bissau 1999-2008
TERRORISM: Beyond Bin Laden: Future Trends in Terrorism...
In a much-cited recent article, Obermeyer, Murray, and Gakidou [2008a] examine estimates of wartime fatalities from injuries for thirteen countries. Their analysis poses a
major challenge to the battle-death estimating methodology widely used by conflict
researchers, engages with the controversy over whether war deaths have been increasing
or decreasing in recent decades, and takes the debate over different approaches to battledeath estimation to a new level. In making their assessments, the authors compare war
death reports extracted from World Health Organization [WHO] sibling survey data
with the battle-death estimates for the same countries from the International Peace
Research Institute, Oslo [PRIO]. The analysis that leads to these conclusions is not
compelling, however. Thus, while the authors argue that the PRIO estimates are too low
by a factor of three, their comparison fails to compare like with like. Their assertion that
there is “no evidence” to support the PRIO finding that war deaths have recently
declined also fails. They ignore war-trend data for the periods after 1994 and before
1955, base their time trends on extrapolations from a biased convenience sample of only
thirteen countries, and rely on an estimated constant that is statistically insignificant....