The last ten days have seen important developments in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC): the end of the DR Congo Catholic Church’s attempts to implement its 31 December agreement, more violence in the Kasai provinces, a new UN Security Council resolution, and a speech by President Kabila announcing the imminent appointment of a new prime minister. How are all these connected?
On 31 December an inclusive political agreement, mediated by the Catholic bishops of DRC (CENCO) was signed between the government and opposition. The agreement stipulates that elections must be held by the end of 2017, and that a national union government should be formed and tasked with getting there.… Seguir leyendo »
The Kamuina Nsapu insurgency arose last year as a locally rooted conflict in the Kasai-Central province of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), but has since gained intensity and is spreading to neighbouring provinces. By January, 216,000 people had been displaced, and more than 400 killed, according to humanitarian sources. In one town, Tshimbulu, at least 84 militia members were killed between 9 and 13 February 2017. Mass graves have been discovered in the area since.
Two recent events have drawn national and international attention to the crisis. In February, videos circulated on social media that appeared to show a brutal army crackdown in Kasai-Central.… Seguir leyendo »
The death of prominent opposition leader Etienne Tshisekedi has deprived the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) of a unique political figure who was at the forefront of the fight for democracy for over three decades.
His loss is a major blow to the main opposition coalition, the Rassemblement, which he led alongside the relative newcomer, ex-Katanga Governor Moïse Katumbi. It also undermines the DRC’s faltering transition and may play into the hands of the ruling majority that has consistently sought to delay elections.
Coming just a month after the signing of a political agreement, which would have put him at the head of an important follow-up committee, his departure robs the opposition of a leader able to combine genuine street-level popularity with an ability to squeeze out political deals.… Seguir leyendo »
High taxes. Harassment by the revenue authorities. Lack of a stable exchange rate. Cheap imports from neighbouring countries. Lower demand.
All these factors and more were cited in a 4 November letter sent by the local Federation of Congolese Enterprises (FEC) to Kongo Central province officials, in western Democratic Republic of Congo. The revealing message was informing the authorities of the forthcoming closure of the Bralima brewery, a major employer in the city of Boma.
The concerns raised echo structural problems expressed by other Congo-based businesses contacted by Crisis Group during the past year in Bukavu, Lubumbashi and Kinshasa as well as by the national FEC.… Seguir leyendo »