Democratic Republic Congo Essay

Democratic Republic Congo Essay-88
However, despite these agreements, and elections in 20 (both won, amidst allegations of vote-rigging, by Joseph Kabila (Tull, 2018: 172)), violence and insecurity has continued to ravage eastern DRC, specifically the provinces of Ituri and North/South Kivu.This violence takes place between a multitude of armed groups and government/UN forces, and has involved considerable atrocities against civilians (over 680 civilians killed between October 2014 and September 2016 alone in a series of massacres (HRW, 2016)).

However, despite these agreements, and elections in 20 (both won, amidst allegations of vote-rigging, by Joseph Kabila (Tull, 2018: 172)), violence and insecurity has continued to ravage eastern DRC, specifically the provinces of Ituri and North/South Kivu.This violence takes place between a multitude of armed groups and government/UN forces, and has involved considerable atrocities against civilians (over 680 civilians killed between October 2014 and September 2016 alone in a series of massacres (HRW, 2016)).

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Concerned about a lack of commitment from the DRC government in bringing the Hutu genocidaires to justice and protecting Tutsis, Rwanda (aided by Uganda) invaded the DRC in 1996 leading to a bloody conflict which became known as ‘Africa’s World War’ (Ibid: 417-437).

In August 1999 the Lusaka Ceasefire was signed, ending the immediate conflict, and a peace accord emerged between Rwanda and the DRC in July 2002, followed by an agreement between the 11 main Congolese parties in December 2002 to commit to a formal transitional period and the subsequent implementation of democracy (Berdal, 2017: 8).

Finally, I argue that the UN’s strategy furthermore not only overlooked the role of the FARDC as a significant spoiler, constraining its effectiveness in the management of spoilers, but UNFIB’s actions in collaboration with the Congolese army facilitated its spoiling behaviour, making its overall effect negative.

Spoilers Stedman’s definition states that ‘spoilers’ are “leaders/parties that believe peace emerging from negotiations threatens their power, worldview or interests, and use violence to prevent it” (1997: 6).

February 2013 between the government of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), led by President Joseph Kabila, and 11 regional countries as a renewed commitment to ending the violence in eastern Congo, and progressing with a liberal peacebuilding project of democratisation and state reform (Stearns, 2013: 107).

This essay focuses on the effectiveness of the UN’s strategy to manage the key spoilers undermining the peace process by engaging in, and supporting, acts of violence against civilians and government/international forces.

In this essay I argue that the UN failed to correctly identify and categorise the main spoilers in the DRC, instead choosing to pursue an overly simplistic, unidirectional process of management which focussed solely on methods of coercion, using UNFIB to combat the ‘total outside’ spoiler of M23.

This failed identification and categorisation of the Rwandan government and the FARDC as spoilers, meant that in practice the UN pursued a policy constructed to deal with only one spoiler, ignoring the harmful impact of others seeking to disrupt the peace process, and rendering UNFIB highly ineffective.

Spoiler 1 – Rebel Groups I argue that a significant spoiler to the PCSF are the heterogeneous rebel groups excluded from the official peace process.

These groups, which include (amongst others) the M23, the FDLR and various self-defence forces known collectively as the ‘Mai-Mai’ (Fuamba et al, 2013: 225), pursue multiple complex, often contradicting agendas, such as the recognition of longstanding issues surrounding land and citizenship for both Tutsis and Hutus (Autesserre, 2010).

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