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De-escalating Tensions in the Great Lakes
De-escalating Tensions in the Great Lakes
Report 185 / Africa

布隆迪: 日渐深化的腐败危机

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尽管建立了反腐败机构,布隆迪仍面临着日益深化的腐败危机,可能危及其建立在国家支持和外资推动的发展和经济增长为基础的和平。自2005年以来掌权的执政党奉行“新世袭主义者”政策,导致布隆迪在国家治理方面的排名降至国家最低,减弱了其对于外国投资者的吸引力,也破坏了与捐助国的关系,并助长了社会不满情绪。而更令人担忧的是,新世袭主义正逐渐损毁冲突后建立的国家机制的可信度,破坏前图西族和新胡图族的精英之间的关系,削弱执政党内的凝聚力。执政党的领导层经常被卷入腐败丑闻。为改善公共治理,布隆迪当局应该“言行一致”,大刀阔斧地遏制腐败。民间社会应该积极发挥其监督作用,组织动员群众反对腐败,而捐助者应该将良好的治理放在首位。

自1966年布隆迪成为共和国后,主要由图西族精英进行的政府俘获一直是政治的中心问题,而不公平的财富分配则加剧了冲突。虽然1993至2003年的内战没有危及图西族的政治和经济垄断,但却增加了腐败并促进了各民族寡头政治的崛起。

2005年,布隆迪保卫民主力量(CNDD-FDD)开始执掌政权,该党不但希望将政权从图西族转至胡图族手中,而且希望能够改善治理。新当局誓要抗击腐败,并建立相应的国家结构来达到此目的。然而,第一波涉及保卫民主力量要员和政府官员的腐败丑闻冲淡了人们对更公平的财富分配的希望。

除了公务员制度政治化,执政党还控制了公共部门及其资源,并觊觎着私营部门,正试图将其控制延伸至银行业。执政党还干扰私有化进程,阻挠对商业环境的改进。在这样一个小型经济体中,政府始终担当着重要角色,公共和私有资源的垄断使和平建设进程脱离轨道。

总统带头抗击腐败,以改善布隆迪日渐下滑的国际形象,应对无处不在的腐败对于占国家财政预算一半的外国援助的影响。他推出了“零容忍”运动,为良好治理规划了国家战略。然而,由于没有明确核心问题 ,这项运动注定要失败。解决腐败问题的办法不是去“说正确的话”,“成立正确的机构”和“建立正确的法律框架”,而应是变革破坏善治的权力关系。

实施善治的国家战略包括所有抗击腐败所必须的技术要素:改良的法律框架、公民有获取信息的途径、独立的监督和监管机构、非政治化的公务员管理者、透明的招标程序和公务员招聘,以及自然资源行业的改革。

现在缺失的是一个清晰的政治议程。民间社会组织应该组织大规模群众运动抗击腐败,通过反腐论坛的建立,将私营部门、乡村组织和大学召集起来。他们也应该进行独立的公民调查和评估,对政府的反腐表现详加审查。捐助者应该将反腐列为优先事项,如果治理毫无改善就要重新考虑他们对布隆迪的捐助。现在,反腐议程已经纳入进行善治的国家战略并成为了公共政策,剩下的就取决于民间社会和捐助者如何为实施反腐创造条件。

布琼布拉/内罗毕/布鲁塞尔,2012年3月21日

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.

This commentary is part of our Watch List 2020.

Since assuming office in early 2019, the Democratic Republic of Congo’s (DRC) president, Félix Tshisekedi, has stressed his determination to dismantle the dozens of Congolese and foreign armed groups blighting the troubled east of the country. He has also prioritised repairing ties with neighbouring states, which have historically both backed and fought against rebels in the eastern DRC over various cycles of war in the last two decades. Today, tensions are again mounting among the DRC’s neighbours – between Burundi and Uganda, on one hand, and Rwanda, on the other – potentially compounding the country’s security challenges. Alongside Tshisekedi’s diplomatic efforts to calm tensions, he has floated plans to invite these three neighbours to deploy their armed forces into the DRC to conduct joint operations with Congolese forces against rebels. Yet insofar as tensions among those countries remain high, such operations could pave the way for them to step up support to allied groups even while fighting rivals, and thus fuel proxy warfare. Civilians in the eastern DRC are likely to suffer most.

In line with its December Foreign Affairs Council conclusions that lay out the EU’s plans for re-engagement with the DRC, and to help President Tshisekedi de-escalate regional tensions, the EU and its member states should:

  • Reinforce the International Contact Group for the Great Lakes region, an informal gathering comprising the UN (including both the UN’s special envoy to the Great Lakes and the head of its mission in the DRC, MONUSCO), the U.S., the African Union and South Africa, as well as the EU and several European states that are important donors in the region, such as Belgium, the UK, Germany, France, the Netherlands and Sweden. The EU and European governments could designate senior EU and other European ministerial appointees to fill the group, over and above the working-level desk officers who normally tend to participate.
  • Use the increased clout this would bring to push for a mechanism whereby each of the three neighbours airs allegations against states they believe are backing armed groups in the DRC and supports the charges with evidence. Allegations can then be investigated by the UN Group of Experts and the Expanded Joint Verification Mechanism of the International Conference of the Great Lakes Region (the ICGLR comprises regional states and is a guarantor of a 2013 regional peace agreement; its joint verification mechanism and the UN expert group already have mandates to investigate claims of support to armed groups). Their findings could inform diplomatic efforts to de-escalate tensions among neighbours and end their backing of insurgents in the DRC.
  • At the same time, encourage President Tshisekedi to shelve, at least for now, his plan for joint operations with neighbours’ security forces.
  • Offer financial and technical support for the national disarmament, demobilisation and reintegration (DDR) process, to ensure that Congolese militias linked to foreign rebels operating in the eastern DRC have a safe pathway to giving up their fight.

Security Challenges

In recent months, eastern DRC-based foreign insurgencies have escalated attacks on both the Congolese army as well as soldiers and civilians in neighbouring countries. The Burundian, Rwandan and Ugandan presidents are all rattling their sabres in response, accusing one another of proxy warfare.

On 4 October, DRC-based fighters killed fourteen people in Kinigi village in Rwanda’s Musanze district. Rwandan authorities blame the Forces démocratiques de liberation du Rwanda (FDLR) rebels. They say the FDLR is working with another DRC-based rebel group, the Rwanda National Congress (RNC), which they allege is run by one of President Paul Kagame’s former generals. They also say both the FDLR and the RNC enjoy Burundian and Ugandan support. In a speech, Kagame vowed to retaliate against anyone seeking to attack Rwanda.

After the Kinigi killings, fighters crossed into Burundi from the DRC to launch two separate deadly attacks. Burundian RED-Tabara rebels, whom Burundian officials say are backed by Rwanda, claimed the first attack. No one claimed the second, but Burundian President Pierre Nkurunziza, recalling Kigali’s support for mutineers in a 2015 coup attempt, blamed Rwanda for both attacks, alleging that Kigali supports RED-Tabara. Ugandan officials, for their part, assert that Rwanda is collaborating with the Allied Democratic Forces, a rebel movement with roots in Uganda that is implicated in dozens of massacres in the Beni area of North Kivu since 2014.

Rwandan and Ugandan officials continue to trade accusations that each is plotting to destabilise the other.

Rwandan and Ugandan officials continue to trade accusations that each is plotting to destabilise the other. Both governments have purged their security services of suspected traitors. Rwanda has now also closed a main border crossing into Uganda, suffocating trade between the two countries. Meanwhile, Burundi and Rwanda have dispatched troops to their mutual border while Uganda has deployed troops to its western frontier facing North Kivu. Should these tensions heighten, they could fuel more proxy fighting in the eastern DRC, further threatening regional stability.

Recognising the dangers, Tshisekedi invited Rwanda and Uganda for talks in July and August hosted by Angolan President João Lourenço in the Angolan capital Luanda. They culminated in a memorandum of understanding, signed on 21 August, in which both countries promised to halt “actions conducive to destabilisation or subversion in the territory of the other party and neighbouring countries”. In addition to these diplomatic efforts, the DRC president floated plans that would involve the armed forces of Burundi, Rwanda and Uganda conducting joint military operations with Congolese forces against insurgents in the eastern DRC. Absent political de-escalation among the neighbour governments, such operations could pave the way for all three to ratchet up support to proxies opposing their respective rivals. The eastern DRC could again become the arena for a multi-sided melee.

Calming Regional Tensions

In its latest Foreign Affairs Council Conclusions on the DRC in December 2019, the EU asserted its readiness to redefine its relationship with the country. This comes after relations between Brussels and Kinshasa cooled at the tail end of Kabila’s presidency, when the EU sanctioned some of his top henchmen in late 2018. President Tshisekedi has expressed an increasing willingness to work with Brussels even as the EU renewed sanctions in December 2019 against twelve of the fourteen Kabila-era officials. In particular, the EU could help de-escalate regional tensions and lessen neighbours’ support to foreign armed groups while contributing to pathways to surrender for Congolese fighters allied to such groups.

The immediate priority is to encourage President Tshisekedi to reinvigorate diplomatic efforts to calm tensions among DRC’s neighbours.

The immediate priority is to encourage President Tshisekedi to reinvigorate diplomatic efforts to calm tensions among DRC’s neighbours while putting aside, at least for now, plans for those neighbours to conduct military operations in the eastern DRC. The EU’s best bet for pressing for an approach along these lines would be to increase its influence in the International Contact Group for the Great Lakes, the informal group to which it and a number of European states belong. Brussels and other European capitals should commit more senior officials both to the contact group itself and to liaising with the group and with regional governments. Together with the UN special envoy to the Great Lakes, Xia Huang, who has recently been instrumental in bringing together the Burundian, Congolese, Rwandan and Ugandan intelligence chiefs to discuss their deteriorating relations, the EU should use its weight in the group to prioritise the need for a political solution to tackling foreign armed groups in the eastern DRC.

Such a solution could entail Xia encouraging the three states to lay out their allegations and evidence of support by their rivals to armed groups in the DRC. He could share all information received with the UN Group of Experts and the Expanded Joint Verification Mechanism of the International Conference of the Great Lakes Region. The evidence provided by regional states, and investigations conducted by the expert group and joint verification mechanism, could collectively inform diplomatic efforts to halt or diminish support to DRC-based insurgents.

By financially and technically supporting the national DDR process, the EU can also back Tshisekedi’s priority of tackling the plague of Congolese armed groups. Congolese insurgents, many of whom are sucked into alliances with more powerful foreign armed groups, often lack an alternative in the absence of a fully funded DDR program. Under Kabila, the Congolese authorities gave only limited resources to DDR. Several donors pulled out, frustrated by Kinshasa’s lack of commitment to funding a national program. Despite the uptick in attacks in the east, there are signs that some fighters are placing greater hope in Tshisekedi’s presidency and expressing greater desire to surrender. MONUSCO’s new mandate, adopted at the end of December 2019, encourages the DRC’s government to appoint a senior coordinator to lead the DDR effort. The EU could consider supplying this person with the necessary funding and expertise to carry out the mandate.