Democratic Republic of Congo
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United Nations Security Council Resolution 1820 signals a new movement in the international community to recognize widespread sexual violence against women in conflict as a threat to international peace and security.
The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has enormous economic potential thanks to its rich mineral deposits and vast tracts of arable land. Historically, these resources have been exploited by predatory leaders and a host of subregional actors. The time is now ripe for the DRC to put years of war and economic underdevelopment behind it.
USIPeace Briefing focuses on what the international community can do to promote democracy in the Congo and help resolve or manage tensions between the Congo and its neighbors, particularly Rwanda.
Latest from USIP on Democratic Republic of Congo
- May 13, 2013 | Publication
What should the relationship between governments and the international community be with armed groups, and how might that connection be managed responsibly? USIP Senior Fellow Bruce Oswald explores the matter and the challenges involved.
- May 10, 2013 | Publication
In the wake of a United Nations report on atrocities committed at the end of last year by Congolese government soldiers and M23 rebels, USIP Jennings Randolph fellow Carla Ferstman sees a disconnect between the U.N.’s human rights standards for host government forces and those set for militaries that participate in its own peacekeeping contingents.
- February 25, 2013 | Publication
On February 22, 2013, the U.S. Institute of Peace convened a panel of experts to discuss recent developments in the war and their implications for peace. Raymond Gilpin, director of USIP’s Center for Sustainable Economies, was joined by John Prendergast and Sasha Lezhnev, both from the Enough Project who recently returned from the region, and Adotei Akwei of Amnesty International.
- November 14, 2012 | Publication
Years of brutal conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) continue to cause massive suffering. USIP Jennings Randolph Senior Fellow Carla Ferstman argues why victims of crime, particularly of widespread and systematic violence prevalent in Eastern DRC, are entitled to see their perpetrators prosecuted and how reparations can serve as a catalyst for justice.
On This Page:
- The Current Situation
- Publications and Events (Bottom Left Side)
- Going Forward: USIP Goals in the DRC
- USIP Projects in the DRC
- USIP Media on the DRC
- Weblinks for the DRC
- Get Involved with USIP
On November 28th, 2011 the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is set to hold its second presidential and legislative elections since the country’s independence in 1960. The elections will be held against a backdrop of logistical challenges, deepening poverty and political machinations in the run up to the elections. The elections will also be marked by continuing violence and a significant worsening of sexual violence in the north east, remnants of the more than 15 years of conflict that has plagued the country since the end of the genocide in neighboring Rwanda. This underlying political, economic and social fragility is worsened by the misuse/abuse of the country’s abundant resource wealth (including new oil deposits in the north east), the flourishing war economy, weak state authority, and a culture of impunity and rampant corruption.
The success and results of the elections will have important implications for the stability of the country as well as the stability of the surrounding eastern, central, and southern regions of Africa whose economies, security and politics are intrinsically linked to those of the DRC. A lasting solution will therefore require substantial national, regional and international support to improve governance, reduce corruption, improve civilian security, and create an environment for economic growth and development.
USIP’s partners with local and international partners and focuses on developing conflict-sensitive and viable anti-corruption strategies, delinking mining from violence and crafting innovative solutions to the scourge of sexual violence.
Going Forward: USIP Goals in the Democratic Republic of Congo
- Facilitate conflict management by working with all levels of society to develop a set of recommendations that could delink the mining industry from violence and the war economy;
- Analyze the multifaceted drivers and effects of conflict (including poverty, gender, ethnicity, regional instability and illicit mining);
- Explore innovative approaches that would improve the effectiveness of foreign assistance in the DRC;
- Identify the key causes of weak governance and corruption in the DRC, and provide viable recommendations for lasting peace and human security.
USIP Projects in the Democratic Republic of Congo
- DRC Diaspora Dialogue| A series of meetings geared towards energizing members of the diaspora to contribute more effectively to conflict management and peace promotion in the DRC. Particular areas of emphasis include anti-corruption, economic development, governance and private sector development.
- Countering Corruption in the Democratic Republic of Congo| A project, in collaboration with the African Institute of Corporate Citizenship and EthicSA, to facilitate the development and implementation of anti-corruption code of conduct among the business and local communities. USIP’s focus on conflict-sensitive solutions helped focus the initiative on the reality of challenges facing war-affected economies.
- Gender and Peacebuilding Initiative| A project that coordinates gender-related issues of peacebuilding to contribute to holistic recommendations to conflict resolution. The initiative, headed by Kathleen Kuehnast, reflects the Institute’s commitment to gender awareness in both its analytical and practitioner work on conflict and peacebuilding.
Access Audio and Video from Past USIP Events, for other country and topics view the Sustainable Economies Media Library
- November 2nd, 2010| Trouble with the Congo (Session held during the Women and War Event)
- May 14th, 2010| Responsive and Accountable Leadership for a Peaceful and Prosperous Congo
- March 18th, 2010| Leveraging International Support to Build Peace in the DRC
- October 16th, 2009| Trans-Atlantic DRC Diaspora Dialogue
Access useful information and resources by topical categories on the DRC, including the DRC Government and embassy sites, international NGO's working in the DRC, and other financial and security organizations with useful information.
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