The Rift Valley Institute's Usalama Project is delighted to announce the launch of the first two reports in a series of publications on armed groups in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). You can download both reports from our website.
The first Usalama report is an account of the origins and trajectory of the new M23 rebellion and its alleged relationship with the Rwandan government. The second report traces the deeper history of conflict in the CNDP's and M23's stronghold, North Kivu province.
From CNDP to M23: The evolution of an armed movement in Eastern Congo
The first report explores the roots of the latest rebellion in the eastern DRC. It also discusses the implications of the rebellion for Rwanda and Uganda, who have been accused by the UN Group of Experts on the DRC and by Human Rights Watch of aiding and abetting the M23. 'Despite the Congolese army's sporadically strong resistance, well-armed M23 soldiers have dealt it several humiliating defeats and are trying to assemble a broad coalition with other armed groups in the region,' says the report author, Usalama Project director Jason Stearns. 'This crisis has the potential to destabilize the eastern DRC, as well as the government in Kinshasa, and has set in motion social and political dynamics that will be hard to reverse.'
North Kivu: The background to conflict in North Kivu province of eastern Congo
The second Usalama Project report describes the historical context of the current conflict in the eastern DRC. The province has been the epicentre of war in the DRC and has generated a multitude of armed groups, with more than two dozen emerging over the past two decades. It was here that the precursors to the Congo wars began with ethnic violence in 1993, and it is here that the most formidable challenges to stability in the country persist today. The report sketches the historical backdrop to these conflicts, describing their social, political, and economic dynamics.
We hope you enjoy these first two reports. The third, The PARECO coalition and Hutu resistance in North Kivu, is due for publication in early December. Further reports on the armed groups of North Kivu, South Kivu, and Ituri will be published at regular intervals during 2013. Please feel free to circulate these reports among colleagues and friends. French versions will follow in late November.