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Democratic Republic of Congo

CrisisWatch Democratic Republic of Congo

Unchanged Situation

Authorities extended state of siege amid ongoing violence in east; appointment process of electoral commission reached impasse. In North Kivu province’s Beni territory, armed group Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) 5 Aug reportedly killed eight in Mbingi village; 14 Aug reportedly killed at least 14 and injured nine in Kikingi village. Also in Beni, clashes between armed forces and ADF 22-23 Aug left at least nine civilians, one soldier and eight ADF dead in Katanga village; suspected ADF 27-28 Aug killed at least 19 in Kasanzi-Kithovo village; next day reportedly killed three in Oïcha. In Ituri province, suspected ADF fighters 2 Aug killed at least 16 civilians – who had been taken hostage weeks earlier – near Idohu village. Following U.S. designation of ADF as Foreign Terrorist Organization in March and Kinshasa’s first attendance to ministerial meeting of Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS in June, U.S. special forces 13 Aug arrived to support establishment of national counter-terrorism team and evaluate protection capabilities of Gramba and Virunga national parks in east; special forces 17 Aug reportedly deployed to Rumangabo base, Virunga park, North Kivu. MPs 17 Aug and Senate next day approved sixth extension of state of siege in east despite no improvement in security, and as provincial deputies, whose mandates were suspended, denounced shrinking political space and rising human rights violations under state of siege. President Tshisekedi 6 Aug appointed former rebel Tommy Tambwe Ushindi as coordinator of disarmament, demobilisation and reintegration programme. Appointment sparked outcry over Tambwe’s role in rebel movements in late 1990s and early 2000s; Nobel Peace Prize winner Denis Mukwege 11 Aug denounced move as encouraging “armed groups to wait their turn in the bush”. Meanwhile, formation of electoral commission stalled as National Assembly’s mid-Aug deadline to submit approved list of candidates to Tshisekedi passed without progress. Notably, eight religious groups mandated to appoint commission’s chair mid-Aug failed to reach consensus; six of them, which are smaller groups, 19 Aug named Tshisekedi-ally and electoral expert Denis Kadima as candidate, which remaining two groups, including influential Catholic Church, immediately opposed.
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Reports & Briefings

In The News

16 Jul 2020
Tshisekedi has been forced to cooperate with Kabila's Common Front for Congo (FCC) coalition and they have been in a standoff ever since. Al Jazeera

Nelleke van de Walle

Deputy Project Director, Central Africa
30 Jan 2020
[The Allied Democratic Forces in DR Congo] have a very brutal way of killing the civilians and they don’t differentiate. They kill women, children, men. The Irish Times

Nelleke van de Walle

Deputy Project Director, Central Africa
28 Jan 2019
[President of DR Congo] Tshisekedi's swearing-in is often sold as selling out democracy in favor of stability. But it’s pragmatic and based on developments on the ground. VICE

Hans Hoebeke

Former Senior Analyst, DR Congo
1 Feb 2018
The [DR Congo] regime wants to hold on to power, but does not have the legitimacy or the strength to push this through. IRIN

Hans Hoebeke

Former Senior Analyst, DR Congo
7 Dec 2017
We have a date [for DR Congo's presidential election], and it is technically feasible to organise [them] for the end of next year. Whether it is politically realistic is another question. Financial Mail

Hans Hoebeke

Former Senior Analyst, DR Congo
7 Dec 2017
There is evident concern of growing instability and a frustration [in DR Congo] at the political blockage that is fueling popular frustration and the spread of violence in the country. New Europe

Richard Moncrieff

Former Project Director, Central Africa

Latest Updates

Report / Africa

République démocratique du Congo : en finir avec la violence cyclique en Ituri

En Ituri, depuis fin 2017, une nouvelle période de violence ravive les rivalités entre Hema et Lendu et affecte les autres communautés. Le gouvernement du président Tshisekedi devrait obtenir la reddition des milices lendu et encourager le forum quadripartite à mettre ce conflit d’ampleur régionale à son ordre du jour.

Also available in English
Event Recording / Africa

Avoiding Conflict in DR Congo’s Mining Heartland (Online Event, 13th July 2020)

Online Event to discuss International Crisis Group's report "Mineral Concessions: Avoiding Conflict in DR Congo’s Mining Heartland".

Report / Africa

Mineral Concessions: Avoiding Conflict in DR Congo’s Mining Heartland

Copper and cobalt are the Democratic Republic of Congo’s two biggest exports. Artisanal miners often dig for these riches on lands licensed to large companies, sometimes prompting violent state intervention. The government should instead foster better ways for citizens to share in the mineral wealth.

Also available in Français
Commentary / Africa

De-escalating Tensions in the Great Lakes

President Tshisekedi’s plans for joint operations with DR Congo’s belligerent eastern neighbours against its rebels risks regional proxy warfare. In this excerpt from our Watch List 2020 for European policymakers, Crisis Group urges the EU to encourage diplomatic efforts in the region and Tshisekedi to shelve his plan for the joint operations.

Briefing / Africa

Averting Proxy Wars in the Eastern DR Congo and Great Lakes

Three Great Lakes states – Burundi, Rwanda and Uganda – are trading charges of subversion, each accusing another of sponsoring rebels based in the neighbouring Democratic Republic of Congo. Outside powers should help the Congolese president resolve these tensions, lest a lethal multi-sided melee ensue.

Also available in Français, Português

Our People

Onesphore Sematumba

Analyst, Democratic Republic of Congo and Burundi