With the 2016 presidential elections approaching, tension in the Democratic Republic of Congo is increasing. President Kabila is nearing the end of his second term and political manoeuvring within the government to create conditions for a third term is mobilising popular opposition, testing the country’s fragile democratisation and stability. International pressure is now vital to find a peaceful way forward.
01 April 2016
Political crisis continued with no significant progress toward dialogue, and elections planned for Nov increasingly likely to be delayed. Electoral commission (CENI) 18 March said it could not organise ...
A new consensus and strategy are urgently needed to tackle the numerous, brutal armed groups in eastern Congo and to save the February 2013 Peace, Security and Cooperation Framework (PSCF) in the Great Lakes region.
The Framework Agreement signed by the UN, African organisations and eleven countries and the deployment of an intervention brigade in North Kivu are positive steps, but conflicts in the Kivu region of the Democratic Republic of the Congo also require a bottom-up approach aimed at improving intercommunal relations and restoring peace at the local level.
The fight against entrenched armed groups in eastern Congo such as the ADF-Nalu needs to switch from a military to an intelligence-based approach. The full briefing is only available in French.
The Kivus region of eastern Congo again faces escalating violence, including by a rebel force acting as a proxy of neighbouring Rwanda. To stop the repetitive cycle of rebellion and avoid large-scale killing, donors and African mediators need to move from crisis management to conflict resolution with the right set of pressures on Kigali and Kinshasa.
The technical preparations for the presidential and legislative elections scheduled on 28 November and the beginning of the electoral campaign in the East of Congo have generated suspicion that risks developing into a crisis of confidence in the whole electoral process.
Faced with the dilemma of respecting the constitutional deadline and organising botched elections, or ignoring that deadline and sliding into a situation of unconstitutional power, the Congolese authorities have chosen the first option.
The attempt by Congo and Rwanda to end the deadly conflict in eastern Congo by a secret presidential deal and military force is failing and must be changed fundamentally by the Kinshasa government and the international community.
State building in the Democratic Republic of Congo is at risk of failing without a new impetus to support democratic consolidation in 2010.
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Urgent Media Release: DR Congo: Saving the Elections
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DR Congo: As Electoral Campaign Starts, Congolese and International NGOs Call for Urgent Measures to Prevent Escalating Violence
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4 April 2010: A multimedia presentation on the renewed violence in DR Congo's North Kivu province, featuring an interview with Arica Program Director Francois Grignon, a timeline, interactive maps, and historical background.
La crise au CongoNov 2008: François Grignon, Directeur du programme Afrique de Crisis Group, analyse la crise actuelle en République démocratique du Congo.
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DR Congo: Saving the Elections
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Conflict Risk Alert: DR Congo
27 Jan 2009
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6 Jan 2013
Interview (in French) with Thierry Vircoulon, Project Director, Central Africa.
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20 Dec 2012
Presentation (in French/Dutch) to the Foreign Affairs Committee of Belgium with introduction by Thierry Vircoulon, Project Director, Central Africa.
L'enjeu des négociations de Kampala : Comment sortir du cycle des rébellions ?
12 Jan 2013: Thierry Vircoulon, Directeur du projet Afrique centrale, discute les solutions possibles pour améliorer la crise dans les Kivus, DR Congo.
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