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Research Report

Cluttered with Predators, Godfathers and Facilitators:: The Labyrinth to Peace in the Democratic Republic of Congo

Emeric Rogier
Copyright Date: Jul. 1, 2003
Published by: Clingendael Institute
Pages: 61
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Table of Contents

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  1. (pp. i-i)

    This paper was prepared for the seminar Rebuilding the Democratic Republic of Congo: Which Role for the Donor Community? organized by the Netherlands Institute of International Relations ‘Clingendael’ (Conflict Research Unit) with the support of the Policy Planning Staff of the Netherlands Ministry for Foreign Affairs on 6 June 2003 at the Clingendael Institute, The Hague. The aim of the seminar was to address the question how, on the eve of the 24-month transition period as foreseen in the Pretoria agreements, the international community and donor countries could help enhance the peace process and contribute to rebuilding the Democratic Republic...

  2. (pp. ix-ix)
  3. (pp. 1-1)

    With a death toll of at least 3.3 million since it broke out in August 1998, the conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has cost more lives than any other since the Second World War.¹ It has also pr oved to be one of the most complex conflicts since the end of the Cold War, as up to nine states have been militarily involved on Congolese territory and at least as many rebel groups have been brought in - some fighting against the Congolese central government with the support of foreign countries, and others combating foreign governments (of...

  4. (pp. 3-13)

    The Congolese territory has been the theatre of two major wars since 1996, which resulted from three sets of causes, each inherited from a distinct period of the Great Lakes/Central Africa region’s history. First comes the legacy of Belgian colonialism, which instrumentalized identity issues and put two groups against each other - the Hutu and the Tutsi - that nonetheless shared the same language, culture, history, social organization and territory. Second, the conflicts in Congo find their roots in the failure of former Zaire, which derived from Mobutu’s patrimonial rule over the country and the manipulation of ethnic differences. Third,...

  5. (pp. 15-32)

    The first year of the conflict was marked by a number of peace initiatives - the very first of which was launched just six days after war broke out - that nevertheless failed to produce significant results.38 These failures resulted from three main causes: first, the rebel groups were not directly involved in the talks; second, the Rwandan regime was long (three months) in recognizing the presence of its troops in the DRC; and third, L.-D. Kabila was inflexible in his refusal to negotiate before the withdrawal of the ‘aggressors’. In addition, it should be remembered that SADC was profoundly...

  6. (pp. 33-42)

    While the inter-Congolese dialogue ended in failure in April 2002 and the peace process seemed to have then reached stalemate, significant developments have occurred since summer 2002, whose concatenation might have outlined a potential way out from the Congolese labyrinth. In July and September 2002 respectively, separate agreements were signed between the DRC and Rwanda (Pretoria I) as well as between the DRC and Uganda (in Luanda), which paved the way for the withdrawal of foreign forces from the Congolese territory. Later, on 17 December 2002, the representatives of the components and entities to the inter-Congolese dialogue finally managed to...

  7. (pp. 43-49)

    In resolving the conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) the involvement of the international community (as represented by the United Nations, Western countries and South Africa) has proved instrumental but at the same time insufficient. Instrumental because without it none of the developments that have occurred since the summer of 2002 would have taken place: international pressure has made the otherwise financially profitable and militarily workable presence of foreign troops in Congo politically unsustainable; similarly, international pressure has pushed the Congolese parties to sit at the negotiating table and conclude a deal, if only to throw the outsiders...