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Helping Congo Help Itself

Or: 'What It Will Take to End Africa’s Worst War'

Once in a while (and obviously not as often as I wished), I read an interesting piece on Congo providing a great insight on a delicate situation.

Jason Stearns‘ article published on Foreign Affairs website is definitely a good one. He writes:

Congo’s problems are complex, but certainly not beyond repair. First, however, it is necessary to diagnose the conflict’s root causes and understand its protagonists’ interests. Although Western media have often taken shortcuts, focusing in particular on the scourge of sexual violence and conflict minerals, a close reading suggests that it is not local warlords and mining companies that are the key players in this drama but the Congolese and Rwandan governments.

Stearns adds:

Congo’s government is not only extremely weak, but it is also beholden to a political logic of patronage that undermines the reform of its own state and encourages the creation of competing armed groups. Meanwhile, the ruling party in Rwanda — in part due to Congo’s weakness and instability, in part due to its own problems — has backed armed groups in the eastern Kivu region of Congo, an area it considers to be its backyard.






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