Zaire's Crises of War and Governance

Published: 
April 1, 1997
By: 
David R. Smock

On January 16, 1997, the United States Institute of Peace and the U.S. Department of State cosponsored a one-day roundtable discussion of diplomats, scholars, and nongovernmental organization specialists on the unfolding crises in Zaire-both the complex humanitarian emergency and civil war in eastern Zaire and the ongoing crisis of governmental legitimacy and capacity stemming from a lagging transition to multiparty democracy.

About the Report

On January 16, 1997, the United States Institute of Peace and the U.S. Department of State cosponsored a one-day roundtable discussion of diplomats, scholars, and nongovernmental organization specialists on the unfolding crises in Zaire-both the complex humanitarian emergency and civil war in eastern Zaire and the ongoing crisis of governmental legitimacy and capacity stemming from a lagging transition to multiparty democracy.

The conference was chaired by the chairman of the Institute's Board of Directors, Chester A. Crocker. This report summarizes the discussion and highlights the principal conclusions and policy recommendations offered by the seventy-five participants (a list of the fourteen presenters is provided at the end of this report). To facilitate frank discussion, the proceedings of the symposium were off-the-record; any quotations in this report have been cleared for publication. The views presented in this report reflect those of the participants and the report's author, Institute Program Officer Timothy Sisk; this report is not a statement of the Institute's views, nor is it a statement of official U.S. government policy. Throughout the text, bullets are used to highlight the principal conclusions and policy recommendations of the participants.

For a more extensive and detailed discussion of the crisis in Zaire, see Zaire: Predicament and Prospects, A Report to the Minority Rights Group (USA), by J.C. Willame, et al., published by the U.S. Institute of Peace in January 1997. This publication contains essays on the economic and political structure of Zairian society, a survey of the extent of violence in Zaire and a framework of action for its further arrest, a description of how economic international aid can best be provided, a description of the extent of the refugee problem in Kivu, Zaire, and a chronology of events from 1960 to 1996.

 

April 1, 1997