The Kivus: The Forgotten Crucible of the Congo Conflict
December 2002 witnessed the signing of a power sharing agreement between Congolese parties under the auspices of the UN Special Envoy, Mustapha Niasse, and South Africa that should lead to finalisation of the Inter-Congolese Dialogue and a transitional government. Yet, it is unlikely that the agreement alone will bring immediate peace. Serious fighting continues in Eastern Congo, particularly Kivu and Ituri Provinces, which have been the main theatres for direct and proxy confrontation between local, national and regional participants in the Congolese conflict since the cease-fire was signed in Lusaka in 1999. The population there is suffering enormously while there is an almost complete absence of international attention. Unless peace-building processes are crafted specifically for the East and made central to the transitional government's program, the headlined political agreements and other peace accords that have been brokered will remain never implemented words on paper.