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The Right Way to Build Peace in Congo

Elections Are Not the Only Way Forward

In “What the Uproar Over Congo’s Elections Misses”(March 1, 2017), I argue that Congo’s violence has many causes beyond the country’s political crisis, so it is misguided to focus on elections as the main solution to Congo’s troubles. Local actors and bottom-up peacebuilding can also help stop the fighting. Jason Stearns, Koen Vlassenroot, Kasper Hoffmann, and Tatiana Carayannis reject this argument and suggest instead that only elections and top-down institutional reforms can solve Congo’s problems (“Congo’s Inescapable State,” March 16, 2017). Because global, regional, and national tensions drive the ongoing violence, they argue, local, bottom-up conflict resolution is …

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