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 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.
Renewed oil interest in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) could nurture communal resentments, exacerbate deep-rooted conflict dynamics and weaken national cohesion.
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.
To make an end of the brutal Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) once and for all, national armies, the UN and civilians need to pool intelligence and coordinate their efforts in new and creative ways.
State building in the Democratic Republic of Congo is at risk of failing without a new impetus to support democratic consolidation in 2010.
The deal struck by the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Rwanda for renewed military and political cooperation is an important step forward, but is not sufficient to bring peace to the Kivus. Their five-week joint military operation did not produce significant results against the Rwandan Hutu rebels.
The risk of renewed violence in Ituri is limited today by the presence of the UN Mission in the Congo (MONUC), the dismantling of the majority of armed groups and the local population’s war weariness after years of suffering and destruction.