John Ahere

Perpetuation of instability in the Democratic Republic of the Congo: When the Kivus sneeze, Kinshasa catches a cold

"This paper aims to contribute to a better understanding of the linkage between the conflicts in the Kivus and persistent periodic instability in the DRC. It delves into and critiques post-crisis recovery efforts implemented in the country since the end of the Second Congo War. The DRC has been the source of numerous conflicts over many years. The 1990s saw the country’s peace and security degenerate further, creating challenges that continue to preoccupy the world today. In recent times, the epicentre of the violence in the DRC has been North and South Kivu (the Kivus). The dynamics in the two provinces are complex, causing the Great Lakes region to be characterised by huge human security challenges. The current instability in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) can be traced back to late former President Mobutu Sese Seko’s rule during the late 1980s. The country’s economic depression was exacerbated by the end of the Cold War in 1991, leading to disengagement with the international economic and political system. The paper concludes that, among other strategies, resolving the various conflicts in the DRC depends on understanding the causes of specific clashes, such as those in the Kivus, as this can contribute to the uncovering of sustainable solutions to armed confrontation. The paper offers proposals which, if implemented, could contribute to moving the Kivus, and by extension the DRC, beyond intractability."

The Never-Ending Pursuit of the Lord’s Resistance Army: An Analysis of the Regional Cooperative Initiative for the Elimination of the LRA

“There has recently been heightened concern regarding the activities of the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA), one of the most deadly insurgent movements in Africa. The LRA can best be described as a quasireligious-rebel armed group that began operating in the Acholi region of northern Uganda in 1986, but has now grown into a regional concern due to its expanded activities in the Central African Republic (CAR), the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and South Sudan. In response to the activities of the group, the Africa Union (AU), the United States of America (USA) government and the members of the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR) have jointly decided to address the growing threat that the LRA poses to regional peace and security. Supported by the international community, these actors formed an international military force to eliminate the LRA and its leader, Joseph Kony. Questions have been raised as to whether the response by the international community is commensurate with the threat posed. This Policy & Practice Brief provides a reflective analysis of the existence of the LRA, exploring why the capture of LRA members has been elusive. It critiques current approaches employed to defeat the LRA and makes recommendations on how the proposed pursuit of the movement can be strengthened to increase chances of success. It also emphasises the relevance of the historical underpinnings and legacy of the LRA’s cause, including the regional and international dynamics that inform the involvement of various actors towards ending and resolving the LRA dispute.”

The Peace Process in the DRC: A Transformation Quagmire

"Since the 1990s the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) has continued to be mired in intractable conflicts. Despite the establishment of an elected government in 2006 following the implementation of a series of peace agreements, the country still faces challenges in consolidating peace throughout its territory. The eastern regions of the DRC have consistently experienced high insecurity and repeated incidences of violence, often as a result of interference of neighbouring countries. The recurring episodes of violence in both the eastern and other regions of the DRC indicate that the process of conflict transformation is impeded by deep structural issues in society. These issues must be addressed if peace in the country, and the Great Lakes region, is to be achieved."