"On 30 June 2010 the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) celebrated 50 years of independence from colonial rule. At 50, the country is torn between competing and contradictory internal forces as it tries to negotiate a path towards self understanding, internal cohesion and responsible behaviour. At this landmark point in its postcolonial trajectory, the DRC needs to confront the old wounds that are continuing to create new policy challenges in its complex political–economic environment. This briefing addresses some of the salient domestic and foreign policy issues facing the country at this stage, namely the consolidation of borders, the pursuit of territorial integrity, the need to develop governance structures in areas where the state remains weak, and the continuing conflict that is impacting on resource extraction."