Democratic Republic of Congo

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Comment, JUL/AUG 2014
Stephen R. Weissman

Newly available evidence shows that the CIA engaged in pervasive political meddling and paramilitary action in Congo during the 1960s -- and that the local CIA station chief directly influenced the events that led to the death of Patrice Lumumba, the country's first democratically elected prime minister.

John Prendergast

Africa's bloodiest conflicts are not new, but they have never been more linked than they are today. Traditional peacemaking efforts have largely failed to grapple with that reality.

Jason Stearns

At the end of October, the Congolese government finally defeated a serious armed rebellion. Congo owes its victory to its more capable army — and Rwanda's decision to end its involvement.

Essay, Sept/Oct 2013
Jason Stearns

The devastating conflict in Congo continues not just because of failures on the part of the Congolese and Rwandan governments but also because outside powers have bungled their response. They have focused on supporting the Congolese government when they should be using their aid as leverage to get officials in Kinshasa and Kigali to stop resorting to politically motivated violence.

Peter Eichstaedt

Bans on conflict minerals mined in DRC were supposed to help pacify the region, which has been torn by fights over control of lucrative mines. Instead, they have made militias such as M23, which captured and then lost the eastern Congolese city of Goma this month, more desperate and violent.

Mareike Schomerus, Tim Allen, and Koen Vlassenroot

With more than 70 million views, KONY 2012 has achieved its aim of reaching a mass audience. But the film is a quintessentially American fable printed on an African canvas, one that will turn out to be a brief diversion, just a bit of Internet chatter.

Mvemba Phezo Dizolele

The European Union spent more than a half billion dollars to underwrite Congo's first nationwide election in 2006. That election was not perfect, but it led to economic and political progress. As the country goes to the polls today, however, those gains risk being squandered.

Letter From,
Michael J. Kavanagh

Rwandan troops have pulled out of eastern Congo. Will peace fill the vacuum they left behind, or is a new front in a long war on the horizon?

Essay, May/June 2008
Séverine Autesserre

Although the war in Congo officially ended in 2003, two million people have died since. One of the reasons is that the international community's peacekeeping efforts there have not focused on the local grievances in eastern Congo, especially those over land, that are fueling much of the broader tensions. Until they do, the nation's security and that of the wider Great Lakes region will remain uncertain.

Essay, Fall 1978
Crawford Young

Karl Marx once wrote that history always repeats itself, the first time as tragedy, the second time as farce. Zaïre in 1978 appeared an apt illustration of this aphorism, except the sequence was inverted; farce preceded tragedy. The 1977 invasion (hereafter Shaba I), from Angolan bases, of 1,500 raiders of the Front National pour la Libération du Congo (FNLC), lineal descendants of the old Katanga gendarmes, had the appearance of comic opera. They swept through southwestern Shaba with almost no resistance, then inexplicably stopped at the gates of the rich prize of Kolwezi, to evaporate with few armed encounters before the Moroccan-reinforced Zaïre Army.

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