The Democratic Republic of the Congo: A Case Study of War and Failed Peace

by

Alex Chestnut

June, 2020


Introduction

The First and Second Congo Wars from 1996-1997 and 1998-2003 respectively, have often been considered by historians to be Sub-Saharan Africa’s World Wars. These conflicts have had repercussions on The Democratic Republic of the Congo such that it has not yet fully recovered in the modern era. Each of these respective conflicts experienced sweeping peace agreements with large international participation, and each peace agreement subsequently ended in failure. The Democratic Republic of the Congo is Sub-Saharan Africa’s largest geographic country with the most significant deposits of natural resources in the region, yet it ranks 52nd out of 54 countries in GDP per Capita by the International Monetary Fund’s annual World Economic Outlook. [1] In addition, the country maintains one of the lowest Freedom House scores in both political rights and civil liberties. [2] Analyzing these peace agreements in conjunction with unique factors to the DRC such as; brutal colonialism, ethnic fracture, and corruption, can provide insight into areas of success and causation of failure in these conflicts.

Colonialism’s Lasting effects on Peace and Stability

It is essential to ground any discussion of modern history in the DRC on study of colonial rule and the vast generational repercussions it placed on the society. Belgian rule of the Congo was markedly brutal leaving deep scars upon the society. Belgium, and its King Leopold II, viciously abused Congolese people creating a society of slavery where the populace was afraid to oppose his role.[3] Leopold believed he could unite the Congo which was deeply divided between Catholic and secular ideologies through French and Flemish traditions including forced language transition. [4] He created a private military group known as the Force Publique which terrorized Congolese laborers forcing extraction of resources. The Force Publique is known to have killed or tortured the families of workers to instill enough fear suppressing any inklings of rebellion.[5]

Belgium ruled the Congo as its official African colony from 1908 until it finally gained independence in 1960. In the latter half of its rule, Belgium instituted policies of urbanization, economic development, educational reform, and an expanded healthcare system.4 However, the colony was still designed to generate wealth for its colonizer leading to forced labor and exploitation.

The Congo experienced 83 years of direct colonial rule which has formed deep transgenerational trauma that exists to this day. Generational trauma is the theory a society or group of people can inherit the pain and suffering of their ancestors subsequently internalizing emotional attachments and generating psychological identity to their ancestor’s trauma.[6] Analysis of modern day conflicts in this region must utilize this theoretical concept to interpret some level of causation. It is evident that decades after the fall of colonial rule, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and its people still harbor emotionally traumatic experiences and real societal scars from occupation. Crisis of identity permeates throughout all levels of the society, leading Congolese peoples to turn to violence multiple times throughout history as they lack proper recourse to repair their cultural traditions.

Zaire and Mobutu

The Belgian-Congo officially gained independence on June 30, 1960, declaring itself the Republic of the Congo and holding democratic elections. Patrice Lumumba was elected as the first Prime Minister of the newly independent nation and Joseph Kasa-Vubu was elected President. However, political chaos quickly ensued later known as the Congo Crisis. This constituted a five-year period from 1960-1965 of political instability and civil wars within the country that saw the nation divided into three parts. Kasa-Vubu led the most powerful political party Alliance des Bakongo (ABAKO) and quickly dismissed Lumumba from his position as Prime Minister to gain power. This chaos allowed Joseph Mobutu who had been declared the head of the Army by Lumumba to forcibly remove Lumumba from office where he was subsequently executed in 1961 by an American and Belgian backed execution squad of Belgian nationals. Utilizing the resulting power struggle between Tshombe and Kasa-Vubu, Mobutu instituted a coup resulting in his sole leadership.[7] It is important to note that this power struggle was a proxy-war between the United States and the Soviet Union in the Cold War, with further foreign influence and destabilization efforts on both sides.[8]

Mobutu renamed the country to the Republic of Zaire in 1971. His rule was initially met with widespread support as he generated peace and stability for the newly formed nation. The stability and African nationalism of Mobutu’s regime veiled the severe corruption, widespread human rights violations, political repression, and rampant clientelism that defined his rule.[9] Mobutu faced immense amounts of pressure internally in the 1990s which ultimately forced him to flee the country during the First Congo War in 1997.

Mobutu’s regime is synonymous with corruption, becoming an illustrative example of a trend that has swept through sub-Saharan Africa in subsequent years. Corruption, cronyism, and clientelism were so widespread during this period that their effects have destabilized the state in modern times. While the subsequent wars are the result of a variety of factors, it is undeniable that the extreme corruption of the Mobutu regime created a country which was perfectly situated to experience violent conflict and massive societal upheaval.

Rwandan Genocide

War may have always been brewing in The Congo, but the aftermath of the Rwandan Genocide acted as the official powder keg to spark the conflict. The civil war saw the Tutsi and Hutu ethnic groups engage in a four-year long struggle for control of Rwanda. Extremist factions in the Hutu government eventually gained power and enacted a genocide against Tutsi, Twa, and moderate Hutu in the country. Approximately 500,000 to 1 million people were slaughtered by the Hutu in just 100 days from April 7th, 1994 to July 15th, 1994. The Rwandan government quickly collapsed following the genocide as the Tutsi RPF forces won the Civil War by July of 1994.[10]

The victorious RPF formed a government ousting the Hutu and declaring intent to persecute those responsible for the genocide. By 1996 approximately two million Hutu’s had poured into The Congo fleeing repercussions of the War. They set up refugee camps along the border that housed hundreds of thousands of Hutus.[11] These camps were effectively controlled by the former Hutu regime and military including those who had orchestrated the genocide. These individuals plotted a return to power in Rwanda and a re-ignition of conflict. Zaire provided support and sanctuary to these leaders and by 1996 Hutu military forces were launching steady attacks on Rwanda.           

The resulting wars known as the First and Second Congo Wars, or “Africa’s World War” are directly correlated with ethnic tensions that had been brewing for generations in the region. Deep hatred between Hutu and Tutsi exploded into all-out war pitting nine countries and numerous rebel groups against one another in brutal, often chaotic, combat from 1996-2003. Unweaving this complex web of alliances, ethnic groups, and political objectives can provide significant insight into the successes and failures of the resulting peace agreements in both conflicts.

First Congo War

In 1996 with support from Rwanda, Uganda, and Burundi, Laurent Kabila led anti-Mobutu forces in capturing large swaths of territory in Eastern Zaire. During this march, Rwandan forces massacred an estimated 200,000 Hutu refugees.[12]

Kabila’s AFDL (Alliance of Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Congo) acted as the figurehead for this conflict, but the war was ultimately of Rwanda and Uganda’s making. Zaire proved too weak to oppose the alliance of AFDL, Rwanda and Uganda who took the capital of Kinshasa in 1997, as Mobutu fled the country. Kabila declared himself President in May of 1997, changing the name of the nation from Zaire to the Democratic Republic of the Congo and violently cracking down on opposition. [13]

Second Congo War

Regional alliances collapsed in 1998 as Kabila ousted Rwandan and Ugandan military allies whom he had relied upon to retake The Congo just a year earlier. Kabila turned away from his Tutsi allies, closely embracing the Hutu who are a smaller ethnic subgroup of the larger Bantu speaking peoples who make up an estimated 80% of the DRC.[14] Rwanda subsequently provided military support to the Banyamulenge Tutsi a small ethnic group in Eastern Congo, utilizing ethnic tensions in the region to invade the country. Rwanda, Uganda, and Burundi subsequently launched a successful offensive into The DRC capturing large areas of land in the eastern part of the Country.[15]

The DRC allied itself with Zimbabwe, Namibia, Chad, Angola, and Sudan, as well as Anti-Ugandan and Anti-Rwandan militias such as the LRA or Lord’s Resistance Army and FDLR or Democratic Forces for Liberation of Rwanda. A chaotic conflict ensued; with rebel groups often splintering and switching sides as a brutal guerrilla war continued for five years with mass atrocities across the conflict.[16]

Peace Agreements

The UN subsequently responded by facilitating the development and implementation of four peace agreements. The Lusaka Agreement created the first brief ceasefire in 1999 and was built upon following the end of the War in 2003. The Sun City Agreement, signed in April of 2002, provided a framework for governance in the Democratic Republic of the Congo formalizing democratic institutions and elections.[17] The Pretoria Accords signed July of 2002 subsequently created the first peace deal between Rwanda and the DRC, requiring dismantling of Hutu militias and the Rwandan withdrawal from the DRC.[18] Finally, the Luanda Agreement signed in September of 2002 created peace between Uganda and the DRC as Uganda agreed to also withdraw troops from the DRC.[19]

These peace agreements formalized an end to the conflict but have not resulted in the end of violence. While the State actors no longer engage in direct conflict Rwanda, Uganda, and the DRC all are actively backing rebel groups who continue the fight to this day. In addition, in 2002 just months after peace agreements were formalized, an estimated 60-100,000 Bambuti pygmies were massacred by Congolese backed groups.[20]

Lusaka Agreement

The first attempt at peace came in 1999 as the UN sent diplomats who created the Lusaka Ceasefire Agreement which was signed by the 6 major warring nation states in the region. The UN then deployed 5,000 peacekeeping troops to monitor the ceasefire agreement. However, a large flaw quickly appeared in this agreement as they did not account for the rebel groups who continued the conflict as they were not given a seat at the negotiating table.[21]

Terms of the cease-fire as addressed in the executive summary are: “cessation of hostilities, establishment of a joint military commission (JMC) comprising representatives of the belligerents, withdrawal of foreign groups, disarming, demobilizing and reintegrating of combatants, release of prisoners and hostages, re-establishment of government administration and the selection of a mediator to facilitate an all-inclusive inter-Congolese dialogue. The agreement also calls for the deployment of a UN peacekeeping force to monitor the ceasefire, investigate violations with the JMC and disarm, demobilize, and reintegrate armed groups.”[22]

Critics of the cease-fire often cite the slow deployment of peacekeeping forces and corruption of Laurent Kabila as the key elements that prevented the successful cessation of the conflict. The terms of the agreement are quite effective in de-militarizing and preventing continued conflict. If this agreement were to have been implemented successfully it could have paused hostilities potentially saving thousands of lives and allowing time for conflict practitioners to work towards a long-standing agreement.

Laurent Kabila’s assassination opened the door for renewed interest in the Lusaka Agreement as peacemakers believed his son Joseph Kabila was amenable to the terms and provisions.[23] They alleged Laurent Kabila felt threatened by the Lusaka Agreement as it would destroy his power over the country.[24] The international body failed to address the ethnically driven nature of the conflict as they singularly focused on the political elite. The Lusaka Agreement is the first to demonstrate the clear lack of understanding on the part of international actors in accepting the fractured nature to such a conflict as they instead chose to apply practices of mediation that are acceptable in other less fragmented parts of the world. Peace attempts in this conflict display a trend of lack of comprehension for the unique challenges posed by a large-scale conflict in the Congo region.

Unfortunately, this agreement did not address any of the primary factors that led to conflict and the continuation of hostilities. This was clearly a strategic choice as the international community believe that a pause would give them time to prevent the re-ignition of war, but ultimately history has shown that concrete efforts to address the root causes were required to develop an effective cease-fire. In a war such as this, all sides must be included in a peace process or else it will ultimately end in failure. The UN’s oversight in excluding rebels from the peace process, combined with the weak provision of the Agreement itself, lead to the ultimate continuation of conflict.

The Sun City Agreement

The Sun City agreement is unique in that it set forth to unite conflicting elements within The DRC by creating a unified government. The provisions of this agreement sought to create a positive and transformative political climate for a country that had experienced massive political upheaval over multiple decades. The ensuing negotiations were designed to facilitate dialogue within the country and create an effective democratic system. This has ultimately failed as the Democratic Republic of the Congo continues to be one of the worst offenders on personal and political rights in Africa.

This agreement as its provisions were rather simplistic and designed to transition a conflict-government to a stable post-conflict State. It contained three articles designed to coalesce the fragmented political parties in the Congo which included; re-enforcing the provisions of the Lusaka Agreement, institution of a transitional government, and acknowledgement of the international community’s role in the peace process.[25] While the agreement contained 36 additional adopted resolutions by the parties involved, these all seek to support the three articles contained in the document. The resolutions are far more encompassing in their scope and nature; however, the problem lies with the overarching guidelines of the agreement. The political fragmentation in the DRC included parties backed by rival State actors, extremists, corporations, ethnic groups, and criminal enterprises. In simply instructing these parties to form a government and follow the Lusaka Agreement, the UN failed in its responsibility as mediator to institute sweeping political change. The agreement reads as more of a pat on the back for their effort than a document seeking to formalize a post-conflict State.

Freedom House provides an extremely effective in country report of a State’s political rights and civil liberties. It ultimately assigns a score out of 100 based upon these factors. In its 2019 Freedom in the World Report the organization provided the DRC a score of 15/100.[26] This is one of the lowest scores in their report proving that the Sun City agreement was ultimately ineffective in establishing lasting democratic institutions with political and civil liberties. The Sun City agreement proved to be far too simplistic for the complex and chaotic nature of political realities in the DRC.

 A successful agreement would have assigned concrete political procedures and democratic election protocols, quickly enacting these upon the conclusion of the Second War. Instead of simply re-affirming a past agreement and suggesting transitional democratic elections, the UN should have instituted strict rules to be enforced by a multi-national coalition of democracies and regional states. Fight for political power was a core factor that lead to both Congolese Wars. In failing to properly address the inevitable political power grab that would develop following the end of the War, the UN failed to develop an effective agreement. The Sun City agreement has very few redeemable qualities when examined.

Pretoria Accords and Luanda Agreement

The Pretoria Accords set forth to create a permanent peace agreement between Rebel groups and the DRC. Similarly, the Luanda agreement intended to establish permanent peace between Uganda and the DRC. These agreements have both been successful in preventing formalized combat and are held in high regard amongst foreign governments and institutions such as the United Nations. They are heralded as successful peace processes that ended the conflict ushered in peace across the sub-continent. However, while the successes of these peace processes should be studied and built upon, they did not completely solidify an end to conflict in the region. Each agreement lacked concrete provisions to enforce peace, allowing for continued violence across the country. The DRC has since devolved into a proxy for multiple conflicting parties utilizing non-state actors to continue the conflict over ethnic and resource-based grievances. However, it has not resumed full-scale war proving the limited success of both agreements.

Pretoria Accords

The Pretoria Accords or Global and Inclusive Agreement on Transition in the Democratic Republic of Congo as it is tilted by the UN sought to “provide a power-sharing formula and transitional arrangements until elections are held” but was really the driving force behind peace between the DRC and Rwanda. Participants in the agreement included; the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the Congolese Rally for Democracy (RCD), the Movement for the Liberation of the Congo (MLC), the Congolese Rally for Democracy/Liberation/National Movement (RDC/ML), the Mai-Mai, and civil society. Interestingly this agreement included the DRC as the only State actor with rebel groups linked to Rwanda, Uganda, and the DRC itself, representing the other parties. Provisions contained within set forth to; end hostilities, formulate transition objectives, implement institutions, set the powers of the three branches of government, and create a military council including all rebel groups. [27]

The Pretoria Accords most successful element was the inclusion of non-state actors involved in the conflict. International peace agreements often exclude non-state actors leading to continued feeling of otherizing for those groups justifying further violence. In his book Making Peace Last, Robert Ricigliano discusses the extreme frustration in the DRC peace process as “one step forward, two steps back”. He and his team of conflict practitioners examined the feedback loop of the negotiation process determined the failures of peace attempts were; “simply working to strengthen the national level negotiations” they discovered that “the real driving force was regional sub-conflict”.[28] This analysis by an expert in the field of sustainable peacebuilding displays the essential nature of focusing on the regional conflicts within the larger War when implementing peace. The Pretoria Accords, while still having flaws, should be built upon as it is the only peace process to focus on these regional conflicts and ensure the participation of all groups involved. The UN made some very successful choices in this process which if expanded in other processes, could have resulted in maintainable peace that works within a systematic peacebuilding process.

If the Accords included a peace process between the States of the DRC and Rwanda, it could have potentially secured peace between these nations. In 2012 the rebel group M23 seized the regional capital of Goma. A subsequent U.S. House of Representative’s Committee on Foreign Affairs investigation in 2015 determined Rwanda had directly controlled the group.[29] This is clear evidence that Rwanda and the DRC continue a proxy war in Eastern Congo that the Pretoria Accords did little to quell. The Peace process may have halted the currently active rebel groups in 2003, however the modern States have continued to sponsor and control new fighting forces as a Cold War-esque conflict exists in the country. The Pretoria process somewhat stemmed the tide of violence between non-state actors but lead to the continuation of the proxy war.

Luanda Agreement

In direct contradiction to the focus of regional conflicts in the Pretoria Accords, the Luanda Agreement focused entirely on peace between the DRC and Uganda. The peace deal included; withdrawal of Ugandan troops from the DRC, state sovereignty, diplomatic cooperation, and social/economic cooperation between nations.[30] This peace process similarly to the Pretoria Accords, is looked upon favorably by the international community as a successful deal that ensured regional peace and stability. It is the direct cause of the cessation of violence between the DRC and Uganda which had been ongoing for decades. The deal certainly has had resounding successes in peace between States but has proved unsuccessful in the regional conflicts around the border between the two nations.

The agreement suffers from the exact opposite successes and failures of the Pretoria Accords; in that it excluded non-State actors leading to continued violence but simultaneously included State actors successfully implementing national peace. Uganda continues to secretly sponsor and control rebel groups in Eastern Congo, but to a lesser degree than Rwanda.

The combined lessons learned in both the Luanda and Pretoria agreements could have been built upon to establish lasting peace between nations and non-state actors. The UN and other foreign conflict practitioners should have formatted each agreement to include the formalized States involved in the conflict, as well as every rebel group.

Future Conflict Resolution

Successes in the peace process in the DRC have been few and far between. The two major successes in the aforementioned peace deals were; the end to formalized State on State conflict in the region, and the engagement of non-state actors in the peace process. However, even these successes are challenged by events in recent years where violence continues to rage on in the eastern part of the country. Future peace deals will need to be massive enterprises tackling the largest issues present in the country and surrounding regions. There needs to be a targeted effort by the international community and the DRC, Rwanda, and Uganda to acknowledge and address the main problems facing each nation to reach a reasonable stage of peace. It is nearly impossible to create an effective peace deal that will solve these issues, however, outlining them creates the possibility to analyze and construct a systematic process to start progress towards this goal.

Corruption and Resource Plundering

The largest intractable source of conflict in the region continues to be the fight for the rich natural resources of the Congo. This has led to the Democratic Republic of the Congo becoming one of the world’s most corrupt states with the leaders in political and military positions trading their power for payoffs. The excellent documentary Virunga which premiered in 2014 provides unparalleled on the ground insight into this problem. The documentary displays evidence of foreign oil companies, mainly SOCO International, plundering Eastern Congo for-profits. The company pays off any corruptible officials that get in their way while simultaneously funding and sponsoring rebel groups to enact violence and instability. They also allegedly attempt to assassinate individuals who get in their way such as Virunga National Park Chief Warden Emmanuel de Merode who was shot in an assassination attempt in 2014. It has also become clear that corporations continue to provide financial support to rebel groups when it suits their interests. SOCO officials are secretly filmed bribing and mentioning illegal acts, while simultaneously supporting the racist neocolonial position that foreign entities should rule over the region.[31] The corporation in the documentary illustrates a microcosm of a greater problem of resource stealing and corruption in the country. Recently this has transformed into state-sponsored resource extraction by entities linked to China who trade the rich resources in the country for economic support projects such as infrastructure.

The film outlines just one region and the natural resource present there. The Congo is so rich in natural resources that it contains various elements desired by foreign entities. These include; precious metals such as diamonds, rare minerals needed in modern technology, and fossil fuels such as oil and gas. Foreign companies and states care little for peace and stability in the region seeking only to extract these resources for profit. Simultaneously many Congolese officials hold immense amounts of power and are easily corruptible leading to the perfect storm of payoffs and bribery. Successful and sustainable peace in the Congo requires these foreign companies to be held accountable for their illegal actions while simultaneously allowing the Congolese people to benefit from the economic prosperity obtainable in the resources and the protection of natural environments where they lie. This would require comprehensive internal and external oversight and the willingness of the UN or other international bodies to prosecute large powerful corporations in international court. The DRC is experiencing cold colonialism as corporate and State entities enact similar policies to Belgian rule in the early 1900s. This is much more difficult to contend with as these groups hide their involvement well but must be countered if there is a reasonable expectation of peace development.

Good Governance and the Rule of Law

The DRC currently lacks comprehensive governance and would need to change for stability and peace. The UN defines eight characteristics leading to good governance in a democratic system including; “it is participatory, consensus oriented, accountable, transparent, responsive, effective/efficient, equitable/inclusive and follows the rule of law”.[32] effective peace deals must to build upon the provisions in the Lusaka agreement to transition the DRC into a stable democracy that contains the listed elements. It must restructure its system to focus on de-centralized local political jurisdictions within a greater centralized national system. Starting small in this way at the local level will allow for the facilitation of dialogue and democratic processes that lead to greater participation and accountability in the country. The DRC must also make transparency a key priority to eliminate corruption as mentioned in the previous section.

Finally, and perhaps most importantly, the Congo must institute a strict and comprehensive legal code that holds all citizens accountable for their actions. The first step in this process should be to institute a universal code of human rights which the country currently lacks. Without this, any legal constitutions would be invalid as individuals can continue violent action disregarding basic human rights. Transition into such a system must begin at the local level as authorities across the country are given leeway to enforce basic laws. This would then ideally transition to the greater legal system, which could institute comprehensive criminal prosecution and a standard legal code. It is important to mention that this legal system must encompass all citizens of the DRC as it is easy for the country to continue systems of corruption, nepotism, and clientelism within a loose legal framework.

In recent years democracy has come under heavy criticism from outside sources who claim that it can lead to continued violence due to its complex and often slow nature. Articles such as: Liberal Peace and Peace-Building: Another Critique[33] and Across the Globe, a Growing Disillusionment With Democracy[34], outline this concept in detail. It is important to note that polls suggest citizens in the DRC still overwhelmingly support democracy, but this may change with a little substantial transformation in coming years. With the rising influence of China, a more authoritarian, potentially communist, ideology may develop in the country. This is certainly not ideal but would likely lead to faster progress in development and economic stability. The more enticing prospect for the Congo is that they utilize their unique strengths and challenges to develop a new system of governance similar to democracy but that is superior in solving the need for rapid growth and development, while respective of the fragmented ethnocultural society in the country. Such a governmental system is difficult to conceptualize and would require the local citizenry’s unique perspectives and expertise to develop. The international community could help guide the country in this regard but could not overtly control the process as it would need to organically develop.

Ethnic Tension

The current trajectory of best practice in the field of Conflict Analysis points towards the idea that competing ethnic groups often engage in conflict due to their “otherizing” of their opponents. These groups form around similarities in socio-cultural practices creating ethnic tenants which when challenged result in conflict. Utilizing psycho-social study, practitioners have often attempted to understand the complex web of relationships that form social groups in order to combat inevitable violence between them.[35] This however has been challenged recently by some practitioners who through study of post-conflict societies discovered a distinct lack of otherizing in conflict. Gearoid Millar describes this a 2012 study of Sierra Leona where former combatants viewed each other as brothers or friends rather than the “other”.[36] It is essential to conduct full studies into the many ethnic groups involved in this conflict to determine their unique psycho-social relationships to one another. Strategies for attempting resolution cannot be suggested and employed until practitioners hold a clearer understanding of this element of the conflict.

Programs and policies must furthermore be constructed to stop retaliation, while addressing the wrongs committed in the conflict. It is important to balance the desire for retribution with forgiveness to build a future societal structure around positive elements of the competing ethnic groups, minimizing the differences that lead to violence. John Paul Lederach stresses the importance of this balance and building relationships through reconciliation by identifying opposing seemingly incompatible ideas, allowing those ideas space to exist, and embracing them. He additionally stresses the importance of truth and justice in this process as he describes “Mercy alone is superficial. It covers up. It moves on too quickly”.[37] Justice cannot exist without mercy however; the ethnic groups will ultimately need to move past their tensions and forgive one another.

This process is difficult to implement. It will take years of hard work and effort on the part of international peace actors, local communities, and governmental institutions; however, it is possible to unify the competing ethnic groups into a stable societal structure that can transcend the conflict between them. It is equally important to remember the rural ethnic groups such as the pygmy people in this process as they cannot be subjected to further ethnic cleansing or hatred by the larger groups within the country.

Conclusion

The Democratic Republic of the Congo presents one of the most challenging post-conflict peace processes in the world. The country’s complex web of political, societal, ethnic, and economic differences creates an extremely fragmented culture with justifiable cause for continued violence by its many groups. The challenges presented here do not cover the full breadth of intricacies involved in this conflict, but they do represent the largest causes of intractable conflict in the region.  With the correct application of new policies, building upon the successes in the peace accords that have come before, and the implementation of some of the suggestions mentioned in this article, it is reasonable to assume the DRC could become a champion of peaceful transition in Africa.


 

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