Democratic Republic of Congo: An Analysis of the Agreement and Prospects for Peace

After a year of failed attempts by Southern African Development Community (SADC), the Organisation for African Unity (OAU), South Africa and other regional powerbrokers, the six countries involved in Africa's seven-nation war in the Democratic Republic of Congo signed the Agreement for a Cease-fire in the DRC in Lusaka on 10 July 1999. The war has pitched Kabila and his allies, Zimbabwe, Angola and Namibia against a Congolese rebellion backed by Rwanda, Uganda and Burundi since August 1998. The main provisions of the agreement include: immediate cessation of hostilities; the establishment of a Joint Military Commission (JMC), composed of the belligerent parties to investigate cease-fire violations, to work out mechanisms to disarm the identified militias, and monitor the withdrawal of foreign troops according to an established calendar; the deployment of a UN chapter 7 force tasked with disarming the armed groups, collecting weapons from civilians and providing humanitarian assistance and protection to the displaced persons and refugees; and the initiating of a Congolese National Dialogue intended to lead to a "new political dispensation in the DRC".