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This week’s front page editor

Adam Ramsay, Editor

Adam Ramsay is a co-editor of openDemocracyUK.

Constitutional conventions: best practice

‘Now, every woman knows she needs to fight violence everywhere’

Congolese activist Julienne Lusenge talks about the struggle to end wartime sexual violence and why she appreciates the MeToo campaign.

The Congolese Government is at war with its people

Six million Congolese have died from conflict-related causes over the past two decades – making the conflict in Congo the world’s deadliest since World War II. 

The DRC’s Joseph Kabila unveils his latest ruse

To avoid another “World War” in Africa, the international community must negotiate with Kabila his own peaceful resignation – before he goes beyond the point of no return.

DRC mining industry is a prime example of how corporate power threatens women’s rights

This is why feminist activists are mobilising behind a proposed international treaty to regulate the impacts of transnational corporations.

DRC: the Moïse Katumbi problem

Kabila’s grasping for straws abroad points to a regime running out of options.

Women as wartime rapists: a new book explores 'the impossible'

Academic Laura Sjoberg argues that our gendered assumptions about sexual violence in conflict limit our understanding of these crimes.

“Women and Children First”: war, humanitarianism, and the refugee crisis

Is a rethinking of laws of armed conflict or international humanitarian law, humanitarian assistance and refugee policy not significantly overdue?

Internally displaced women: social rupture and political voice

Displacement is social as well as geographical. Women’s welfare and survival depends significantly on their social relationships; displacement destroys this resource.

A life of hope lived in defiance of violence: Rebecca Masika Katsuva

“They think when they’re raped that their lives are shattered. But we’d like them to know that it’s not the end of the world" - Rebecca Masika Katsuva. (1966 - 2016)


Papa Wemba of the Society of Ambianceurs and Elegant People

Papa Wemba, star of the third generation of post-1945 Congolese musicians, has died. He exemplified Congo's cultural knack of creating distinctive, non-western ways of defining modernity

A long road ahead: integrating gender perspectives into peacekeeping operations

A spate of violence against women in the eastern DRC shows that there is still a long way to go on effective implementation of the UN Security Council Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security, 14 years after its adoption. 

Lawlessness at Kasumbalesa border impedes regional integration in Southern Africa

Lack of security in the region has led to protests by truck drivers at the Kasumbalesa border crossing between Zambia and the DRC. The SADC has failed to prevent this disturbance to its cross-border trade 

Reconfiguring the state in eastern DRC: fixing the unfixable?

Two decades on from the Rwanda bloodletting, conflicts still simmer in neighbouring DRC. While their success remains mixed, two decades of external intervention and state-building heavily impinge on everyday life.

US policy in the DRC is about interests, not allies

The US cares chiefly about stability in the DRC, rather than promoting Rwandan or Ugandan national interests. Musavuli’s analysis of America’s failure to apply the principles of R2P to the DRC does not take this into account, and understates recent US policy changes. A contribution to the openGlobalRights debate, R2P and the Human Rights Crisis in Syria. Français

A death in the Congo

On 18 August, Tjostolv Moland, a 32-year-old former officer of the Norwegian army, was found dead in his prison cell in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. His strange case highlights the need to develop the DRC's justice system to end a cycle of impunity and violence.

More out of Africa

There is a current global environmental crisis and Africa is part of it. But as aggressive resource extraction ravages the African environmental landscape, can the answer to Africa’s ‘crisis’ lie within?

"We want peace. We’re tired of war"

"If we live violence every day, how can we work for the development of our country so that we can benefit from human rights like other countries and like other women?"  - Julienne Lusenge speaking about her work as a women's human rights defender in the DRC

The humanitarian industry and urban change in Goma

Integrating into the urban landscape, the humanitarian sector has contributed to various processes of transformation in Goma. While creating new opportunities, their presence has reinforced patterns of conflict and competition over the urban political and socioeconomic space.

Panzi hospital: a critical pulse for justice, peace and health

Congo's women survivors, standing in solidarity with Dr Mukwege and his staff at Panzi hospital, have become donors to their own cause and catalysts for deep social change.  Who is standing alongside them and the hospital patients to ensure that their transformative work continues? 

Discussions in Kampala: another political farce

The government of the DRC and the M23 rebel group talk in Kampala. In Uvira, South Kivu, a group of students explain why they see this as a dialogue of the wilfully unhearing. Français.

Les assises de Kampala: une autre farce politique

Le gouvernement de la RDC et M23, un mouvement rebelle, ont se convoqués en Kampala. A Uvira, au Sud Kivu, un groupe d'élèves explique pourquoi ils les considèrent comme un dialogue de sourds volontairement. English.

La prise de Goma et la prolifération de négociations

Comment les profondes divisions de la politique Congolaise ont permis aux rebelles du M23 de prendre Goma si rapidement. English.

The seizure of Goma and proliferating negotiations

How the deep fractures in Congolese politics aided M23's swift invasion of Goma. Français.

Deux semaines chaud a l'est de la RD Congo

Ce vendredi 30 novembre est la date limite fixée par le gouvernement aux rebelles du M23 pour quitter la ville de Goma, dans l'est de la RDC. Un artisan de la paix au Sud-Kivu examine les retombées de ces deux dernières semaines. English.

Two weeks of heat in the east of DR Congo

As the deadline for M23 to leave Goma passes, a peacebuilder from South Kivu looks at the fallout of the past two weeks. Français.

La violence du pouvoir, l'exclusion des civils et le M23

Les pays occidentaux décrivent la violence à l'est de la RDC comme un échec cuisant : des personnes et des événements au Congo (ou au Rwanda) ont provoqué l'échec des processus de paix et de développement. Mais le M23 est le résultat direct de processus qui légitiment la violence du pouvoir. Read this in English.

Violent power, civilian exclusion and the M23

Violence in eastern DRC is portrayed by western countries in terms of abject failure: people or events in the Congo (or Rwanda) have caused peacebuilding and development processes to fail. But the M23 is a direct result of processes that legitimate violent power. Français.

La Crise du M23 et l'histoire de la violence dans l'est du Congo

C'est l'histoire pré-coloniale, coloniale et post-coloniale du Kivu qui a préparé les conditions où les événements récents se sont enchaînés. Comprendre n'est pas justifier: il faut se méfier de l'instrumentalisation que les idéologues font de l'histoire. English

The M23 crisis and the history of violence in eastern Congo

Though triggered by a combination of recent events, the pre-colonial, colonial and post-colonial history of the Kivus sets the stage on which they take shape. Understanding is not justification: beware the instrumentalisation of history by ideologues. Français.

The DR Congo: behind the headlines

The military and political tensions in the contested eastern region of the Democratic Republic of Congo are reinforced by diplomatic failures. A turn towards negotiation and compromise is vital if the area's long-term problems are to be addressed, says Andrew Wallis. 

République Démocratique du Congo: dépasser le cycle de la crise

L'éruption de violence dans l'est de la République Démocratique du Congo reflète l'échec des organisations nationales et internationales sur le long terme, affectant les citoyens de la région ainsi que les communautés de la diaspora européenne. Pour sortir de ce cycle, il faudra s'en prendre aux racines de la violence. Read this in English.

DR Congo: beyond the crisis-cycle

An eruption of militia-based violence in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo reflects a longer-term pattern of failure by national and international agencies. The effects are now being felt among diaspora communities in Europe as well as citizens in the region. The roots of violence must be addressed if the cycle is to be ended, says Andrew Wallis. Français.

On ne peut pas ignorer le lien entre le Rwanda et les rebelles du M23

Beaucoup des facteurs de conflit dans l'est de la République Démocratique du Congo se trouvent à l'intérieur de ses frontières mais une analyse qui ignorerait le rôle du Rwanda ces dernières années ne permettrait pas de démonter le mécanisme des cycles d'insurrection violente. Read this in English.

Rwanda's connection to the M23 rebels must not be ignored

Many of the drivers of conflict in eastern DR Congo lie within its borders, but an analysis that ignores the role of Rwanda in recent years is inadequate to the task of disassembling the cycles of violent insurrection. Français.

DR Congo: the politics of suffering

A rise in violent tension in the east of the Democratic Republic of Congo, across the border from Rwanda, is the latest phase of a conflict unresolved since the Rwandan genocide of 1994. The wider story it tells is one of state failure in the DRC, says Andrew Wallis.

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