Instability in the Democratic Republic of the Congo: Rebel Factions and Neopatrimonialism

Academic, Political Science

 

I. Introduction

In assessing the Democratic Republic of the Congo (hereafter, DRC) and the effectiveness of its governance, a multitude of factors intersect in mosaic fashion, displaying an unstable and decaying state[1]. The scope of this paper will focus primarily on the relationship between the ethno-political factions and the neopatrimonial authority in the DRC and how the interaction of the two has led to the continuation of the DRC’s failing government and issues specifically within its electoral process. To contextualize this relationship, discussions of the DRC’s historical background, regional dimensions, rebel factions, ethnic tensions, exploitation of natural resources, recent elections, electoral process, and competitive authoritarian regime type will substantiate the connection between local, ethno-political tensions, the neopatrimonial government, and the failures of its electoral process. Though this paper may cover a broad range of topics within a governmental assessment of a country, the interrelation of numerous issues within the DRC poses a serious dilemma when focusing on a sole aspect of the successes or failures of its government. Further, since many issues and factors were not included – for instance, state-society relations, service delivery, international relations, economic development, public sector management, and security and justice issues – this governmental assessment runs the risk of oversimplifying complex processes interacting at multiple levels (local, national, and international) in the DRC. Though the interaction of ethnic conflict and political instability might provide the simplest explanation, “that analysis alone is incomplete”[2]. However, contemporary scholarship focuses heavily on the interplay of ethno-political factions as they have been used by the DRC’s neopatrimonial leaders to perpetuate a competitive authoritarian regime that continues to curtail nation-building and the implementation of effective peace processes in the country. Though macro-level transitional processes have been applied to the DRC, scholarship has shown they have been ineffective at conflict resolution; thus, a more contextualized approach that incorporates the local ethno-political actors will better illuminate the DRC’s governmental failures[3]. To conclude, this governmental assessment will provide lessons to be learned from the DRC, lessons the DRC can learn from, and various recommendations to strengthen the DRC’s government.

a. Historical Context

Before the connection between the ethno-political factions and the neopatrimonialism of the DRC can be adequately expressed, a brief historical background is necessary to contextualize the issues surrounding the DRC’s current governmental structure. Despite gaining independence in 1960, the DRC has had a long history of authoritarianism, has experienced “violent conflicts of varying degrees since colonial rule”[4], and political, economic, and social cleavages “at the local level continue to fuel national instability”[5]. Assuming power in 1965, the Zairian dictator, Mobutu Sese Seko, remained in power for three decades and contributed to the unstable and disjointed Congolese nation: “there existed a conglomeration of different groups spread out over an undeveloped region”[6]. The era of Mobutism was characterized by thirty-two years of “despotism, kleptocracy, and immobilism”[7]; by economic mismanagement, the manipulation of ethnic schisms, and the erosion of institutional structures in the DRC; and introduced the DRC to its First Civil War in October 1996. In April 1990, President Mobutu announced the end of his single party rule and the introduction of the DRC (then, Zaire) to democracy, though he remained president until his regime was toppled by Laurent-Desire Kabila and his rebellion in May 1997. Proclaimed as a “liberating hero of the Congolese people,”[8] Kabila was leader of the rebel faction Alliance des forces pour la liberation du Congo-Zaire (AFDL). In the absence of a state and in the context of neighboring civil wars, Kabila and his rebel faction liberated the Congolese people from the rule of Mobutu, though not from tyrannical and authoritarian rule. In August 1998, Kabila’s former allies (Rwanda and Uganda) invaded the DRC in support of anti-government rebels. As Kabila fought with Rwanda and Uganda rebel factions, the DRC was supported by Angola, Zimbabwe, and Namibia. At this time, Zaire was renamed the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Ultimately, Laurent Kabila was assassinated and, “in dynastic fashion,” his son Joseph Kabila became his successor and focused more heavily on democratic reforms and the restoration of peace in the DRC.[9] Though this paper will, for the most part, ignore the national level of analysis, a discussion of Africa’s “network wars”[10] will provide insight for the DRC’s civil wars, ethno-political factions, and neopatrimonialism.

Defined by the current predicament of globalization, the “network wars” of Africa – characterized by the armed conflicts in Sudan, the DRC, Sierra Leone, Angola, and others – exploit the “adaptive power of the network” such that “violent actors have effectively compensated for the decline in state sponsorship”[11]. Across conflict zones in Africa, organized violence has emerged and taken advantage of the opportunities of the global economy “through shadow networks of transborder trade and the cultural and political flows of migrants and uprooted peoples”[12]. This is expressed most notably in the DRC’s Second Civil War (1998 – 2003), which was rooted in ethnic and political conflicts and described as a “’perfect storm’ of interpenetrating conflict processes”[13]. The expansiveness of this civil war occurred due to President Mobutu’s allowance of various paramilitaries and rebel, ethno-political factions to operate in the DRC (then, Zaire), which “created a vortex” involving nine African states and nation-wide destruction. Combined with the DRC’s First Civil War (1996 – 1997), the death toll amounted to approximately 5.4 million[14]. Despite the election of a transitional government (2003 – 2006), the creation of several peace accords, and multiple instances of international intervention, “violence remains a daily existence” in the DRC[15].

The Congolese government has attempted to create peace in the DRC through various peace accords, which attempted to end the Congo wars and create amnesty laws. Though the Lusaka Ceasefire Agreement (1999) ended the First Civil War and encouraged the creation of a national dialogue to discuss political dispensation in the DRC, it ultimately failed since it was a ceasefire agreement lacking a peace agreement[16]. Further, participation in this agreement was restricted to “the government, rebel movements, and opposition parties,”[17] thus excluding the Congolese people from the peace process of their own state. Due to the failure of this first peace accord, a second attempt was made at Pretoria in July 2002 between Rwanda and the DRC to end the Second Civil War; negotiations were made for the removal of Rwandan troops from the DRC and the disarmament of the Hutu militia, Interahamwe. This peace accord was more successful due to Joseph Kabila’s greater interest in peace than his father. At Sun City in April 2002, another peace accord was signed, providing for the integration of DRC’s rival factions and expressing greater focus on Inter-Congolese Dialogue (ICD)[18]. However, at Sun City, ethnic, tribal, and land tensions were not addressed, which increased tensions between the Congolese and foreign armed groups in the region[19]. These peace accords, no matter how well-intentioned, were relatively ineffective at entrenching democratic values into the DRC, since this would require “a more proactive participation of the populace in the peace process and less reliance on the political elite”[20]. These peace agreements actually worked to marginalize civil society groups, reinforced an “ethnicised politics of that state,” and failed to create a more inclusive political environment which would give “agency to a multiple-voiced African political community”[21].

II. Regional Dimensions, Ethnic Cleavages, and Rebel Factions in the DRC

The connection between ethnicity and political instability must not be overemphasized, due to the easy trap of oversimplification and the dismissal of effective governmental assessments. For instance, “while ethnicity is a factor in the manifestation of violence, it is often used instrumentally by members of the political elite who are driven more by personal politics than commitment to any group identity of cause”[22]. Thus, it is not the ethnic qualities of any group, rebel faction, or militia in the DRC that necessarily creates political or state instability; rather, the use of existing rebel factions, militias, or ethnic minority groups is strategic on the part of political elites, both within the DRC and by external states, for the continuation of his own neopatrimonial rule. This next section will discuss the ethnic cleavages and rebel factions of the DRC (and some neighboring states)[23] and their unavoidable intermingling with state political instability, as shown through one possible example: the exploitation of the DRC’s natural resources.

a. Regional Dimensions and Rebel Factions

To fully grasp the ethnic cleavages and rebel factions in the DRC, and their stake in the government, a discussion of the regional dimensions of the state will provide insight. The country is separated among different regions where rebel factions’ activities will be highlighted: the Kivus, the Kasais, Katanga, Equatuer, Ituri, Bas-Congo, and the capital of Kinshasa[24]. Further, Eastern Congo has seen significant instability and violence due to high levels of ethnic and tribal tensions; the four provinces of the Eastern Congo are: Oriental, Katanga, North Kivu, and South Kivu. Though racial and ethnic homogeneity is seen as a prerequisite for a peaceful nation-state, the political elites of Africa (and specifically the DRC) have historically benefitted from the ethnic tensions to ensure their “political survival and the continued accumulation of wealth”[25]. Before issues of the neopatrimonial authority and the authoritarian regime of the DRC are addressed, however, regional clashes of rebel and militia factions must be addressed.

Though more discussion of the DRC’s 2006 election will come later, it is worth noting in this section that a considerable amount of rebel faction clashing occurred in specific regions of the DRC in the aftermath of this election. North Kivu saw clashes between the Congres National pour la Defense du Peuple (CNDP) and the Armed Forces of the DRC (FARDC) where the CNDP claimed to be “protecting the rights of the Tutsi minority”[26]. Also in North Kivu, clashes between the FARDC, Forces Democratiques de Liberation du Rwanda (FDLR), CNDP, and the Mai Mai movement displaced 150,000 people between August and November in 2007. In South Kivu, FDLR and the Mai Mai movement worked together. In Bas Congo, the Bunde Dia Kongo (BDK) clashed with the Congolese security forces, resulting in over one hundred deaths in January and February 2007. In the Oriental province city of Ituri, FARDC was struggling to contain the Front Nationaliste Integrationiste (FNI) and the Forces de Resistance Patriotique d’Ituri (FPRI) militias. In the Maniema and Katanga provinces, the FARDC and the Mai Mai fought. Cross-border incidents between the Rwandan Defence Forces (RDF) and the former FAR/Interahamwe, FDLR rebels based in Congo, occurred. In Northeast DRC, Uganda’s rebel Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) operated in the Garamba Park region, “pillaging, raping, abducting, and killing civilians there and in border areas in South Sudan and the Central African Republic”[27].

Ultimately, local tensions and actors (such as rebel and militia groups) shape the economic, political, and ethnic landscape of the DRC[28]. Though there was a lull in violence before the 2006 election, violence in the Kivus began to escalate again in late 2006 due to the actions of the FDLR and the CNDP. The CNDP was once linked to the DRC government but, in late 2006, operated independently under the warlord Laurent Nkunda[29]. The CNDP and the FDLR fought against each other and the Congolese army for control of regional mining operations.

The intricate network of civilians, rebel groups, and local entrepreneurs in Eastern Congo have an overwhelming effect on the creation of stability processes of conflict and reconciliation in the DRC. With over 30 armed groups in Eastern Congo, the militias are “the primary perpetrators of violence in the eastern DRC”[30]. The activities and interactions of these armed groups throughout Eastern Congo has led to an increased number of displaced persons and human rights violations[31]. Additionally, the DRC as a whole is home to several ethnic groups and tribes; the social significance of traditional leaders and power structures was shown in Mobutu’s regime since much of the land in the country was under communal ownership rather than private or state control[32]. These tribal structures have endured, except for when they were supplanted by power structures that emerged from war. Despite any political changes, ethnic tensions have remained relatively high over the years, and possibly exacerbated in the east where fighting between Nkunda’s pro-Rwandan forces clashed with the “real Congolese”[33].

Rebel factions have been used historically to support political elite figures. For instance, Laurent Kabila’s AFDL launched a rebellion to topple Mobutu; though this regime ended, the rebel faction’s success did not lead to a transition to a democratic rule, but to a regime of Kabila’s authoritarianism[34]. The power remained within the hands of a select few who were loyal to the president. Though this rebel faction were in support of President Kabila, other rebel factions fought the government and its continuation of autocratic rule. On August 2, 1998, the rebel movements RCD (which Rwanda supported in the east) and MLC (supported by Uganda), controlled north and northeast Congo; a stalemate (the Lusaka Ceasefire Accord) was eventually produced whereby the DRC was partitioned among RCD/Rwanda, MLC/Uganda, and the government, with hopes to transition into a democratic government[35].

Fifteen years after the end of the DRC’s civil wars, the DRC is still plagued by violence and disorder, and this is largely due to the persistence of local militias and foreign rebel groups who operate mainly in Eastern Congo “despite MONUC’s efforts at disarmament in line with the requirements of the Peace Accord”[36]. Kabila’s allowance of the FDLR to operate in the DRC against Rwanda, and his regime ties to the Interahamwe rebels, persistently complicate the DRC’s relationships with its eastern neighbors[37]. FDLR and other anti-Rwandan rebel groups continue to create instability in the DRC.

Regarding ethnic cleavages, conflicts between the Banyamulenge (ethnic, Congolese Tutsis), the Interahamwe, and other ethnic groups create conflict and provide the pretext for a Tutsi-dominated regime in Rwanda[38]. The presence of Hutu refugees in the Eastern Congo intensified “simmering ethnic anxieties”[39] in the North and South Kivu as “ethno-territorial ambiguities were reinforced by virulent cultural and xenophobic identity questions”[40]. In the DRC, the influx of over I million Hutu refugees led to questions of citizenship for both the Banyamulenge and the refugees. Ultimately, the persecuted Congolese ethnic Tutsi population joined the Kabila-led rebellion to overthrow the Mobutu dictatorship in 1997. This example shows the intersection of ethnic cleavages and rebel factions, as both are connected to neopatrimonial authority and political instability.

In 2004, a crisis in the Kivu region threatened to entirely dismantle the Transitional government. The government attempted to replace the regional commander of the pro-RCD army in the region. The army revolted, however, and, led by renegade general Laurent Nkunda, the rebel faction gained control of the capital of Bukavu and other towns. Several hundred people were killed and thousands fled; this is just one example of the “setbacks [that] demonstrated the underlying fragility of the security situation and of the peace”[41].

More recently, in April 2002, Bosco Ntaganda – a warlord indicted by the International Criminal Court (ICC) – formed the March 23 rebel movement, or M23, “which has wreaked havoc on North and South Kivu”[42]. President Joseph Kabila could not keep the M23 rebels from seizing Goma, the capitol of North Kivu. ** One of the most direct ways in which local actors and rebel factions exert control and influence over the DRC is through mineral exploitation, which we will see in the next section.

The utilization of rebel factions and ethnic tensions for political means can be seen clearly in the DRC. However, it is necessary to keep in mind that these rebel factions and militias have acted historically to serve the president within patron-client networks (in support of the neopatrimonial rule prevalent in the DRC) and, also, to contest the rule of the president and government[43]. Both actions have contributed to the considerably high levels of instability throughout the DRC’s history. Fighting among the militias is a political security problem since most militias were aligned with the various members of the Transitional Government and “their clashes created tensions in the capital”[44].

b. Exploitation of DRC’s resources

On the basis of primary resources, the DRC should be the richest country in Africa; the resources have never been used for the benefits of the Congolese people, however, and the “lack of political freedom [has been] entwined with severe marginalization from the benefits of resource exploitation”[45]. Between 2000 – 2010, the DRC’s mineral resources were exploited by warring factions[46]. This, however, has been the norm throughout much of the DRC’s history. Transnational networks of economic exploitation have “significantly exacerbated conflict in the eastern provinces”[47] and military factions (like the FDLR and the RCD-G) have remained heavily involved in the illegal mining of DRC’s resources. Militias essentially fight for power over access to mineral extraction sites, such as the Mai Mai – an armed, localized militia, which gained strength in North Kivu due to the chaos that the M23 caused in its controlled access to the mines.

A large number of organizations are involved in the illegal mining of the DRC[48]. Congolese troops and Kabila cooperated with the FDLR in illegal exploitation of DRC’s mines, which lead to rebel faction wars between the FDLR, CNDP, and the government[49]. In the 1998 uprising of the RCD, supported by Rwanda and Uganda, Kabila called on his South African neighbors (Angola, Namibia, and Zimbabwe) for military support; this ultimately created a war between 7 countries and 10 rebel movements. The illegal exploitation of Congolese primary resources was proliferated by Kabila during the DRC’s Second Civil War, as he strategically used the country’s extensive resources to obtain military assistance, in neopatrimonial fashion. While ethnic and economic tensions are certainly drivers of tension in the DRC, the primary friction point is the “patchwork of political leaders who compete for power and control”[50] through patron-client networks, as will be addressed in the next section.

III. Governmental Instability

Since independence in 1960 – and before – the DRC has had a long history of governmental instability. Though influenced by a number of key actors and issues – such as the clashing of rebel factions and militias and the illegal exploitation of the DRC’s natural resources – the DRC’s governmental instability can be addressed through its history of neopatrimonial authorities and its competitive authoritarian regimes. Though there was hope that the Transitional Government, installed in the aftermath of the DRC’s two civil wars (between 2003 – 2006), would successfully navigate the Congolese people from a state of authoritarian and autocratic rule to one of democracy, no such luck occurred for the people of the DRC.

a. Neopatrimonialism

To understand the neopatrimonialism of the DRC, a definition, and explication of its core features and limitations of this methodological approach must be understood. Neopatrimonialism has been described as:

a hybrid regime consisting of, on the one hand, an exterior modern, formal, rational-legal statelike apparatus (the ‘neo’), and on the other hand, a patrimonial spoils network in which centralized elites mobilize political support by using their public position to distribute jobs, rent-seeking opportunities, and resources as personal favors[51].

The concept, drawn from Max Weber’s 1922 discussion of “patrimonial authority” as a form of “traditional authority,” describes a type of authority, not a type of regime[52]. For Weber, the concept of patrimonialism was not synonymous for corruption, bad governance, nor a weak state, though the concept of neopatrimonialism contemporarily focuses on issues of corruption, illegal activities, and the interrelations among state, society, and economy[53]. Simplistically stated, neopatrimonialism is a system of social hierarchy whereby the leaders (patrons) utilize resources to secure loyalty in the people (clients). As the logical of patrimonialism is located in the social relations of precolonial traditions or the “coercive, distortionary, and exclusionary practices of colonial regimes,”[54] neopatrimonialism can be described as “personal rule,” or “big man rule” whereby autocratic leaders retain power and accumulate wealth while relying on the authority of the established social hierarchy.

Core features of neopatrimonialism include: the breaching of legal authority in favor of highly personalistic presidential rule; reliance on patron-client networks for professional and political advancement; the use of state resources to reward the loyal clients; and appropriation of state funds for patrons’ personal use[55]. Central to neopatrimonialism are the patron-client networks, seen most notably in the DRC’s rebel factions. These systems replaced traditional forms of maintaining authority, seen as legitimate to local communities, whereby “parochial identities,” ethnic ties, and communitarianism prevail; checks on state power, such as civil society, face serious challenges within a state characterized by neopatrimonialism.

While the concept of “neopatrimonialism” may describe certain countries’ authority relatively well, scholarship has encouraged understanding the limitations of this methodological approach. Mainly, there are many difficulties in obtaining reliable information on corruption, patronage networks, illicit activities, or “high-level political dynamics”[56]. Thus, there has been a tendency in past scholarship to rely on anecdotal evidence and to overgeneralize: the “African state” as a uniform phenomenon headed by a central neopatrimonial authority.

Despite these limitations, the concept of neopatrimonialism can be utilized to understand aspects of the DRC’s governance. Though many countries – scholarship focuses heavily on specifically African countries – differ in the extent to which they are neopatrimonial, many African leaders since independence have understood the persuasive power of neopatrimonialism and “many have twisted their historic meanings to establish their contemporary legitimacy”[57]. What distinguishes neopatrimonialism in African countries is how it “does not operate in the margins of state institutions, as an illegal and repressed vice,”[58] but it attaches itself to formal political structures and parties. Neopatrimonialism transfers the state, and the nature of its institutions, so that “the formal state becomes a façade of the more powerful informal apparatus of patronage”[59]. A prime example is Mobutu’s Zaire. As the archetypal “big man,” Mobutu justified his dominance by relying on a traditionalist approach:

Nowhere in this continent have there been two chiefs in one village…In Africa, we follow an ancestral policy in which, when a problem arises, we rally around the leader and work out a solution. Zaire is a shining example of this policy in action[60].

In Mobutu’s Zaire, paternal metaphors were prevalent in normalizing his neopatrimonial rule, autocratic regime, and exploitation of the DRC’s resources and the Congolese people. He stressed that the politically-closed authoritarian regime of Zaire had historical roots in Africa and that the unity surrounding a peoples’ leader was crucial to successful African politics[61]. Mobutu was “particularly adept at coordinating patronage,”[62] whereby he utilized the resource-rich expanse of the DRC and its mineral revenues to create and encourage unique forms of corruption and patronage. Further, through patronage rather than the provision of public services, Mobutu “purposefully kept the government factionalized to avoid challenges to his authority”[63]. Additionally, he maintained power through “elaborate payoff networks,”[64] rather than investing in the chronically weak institutions of the state.

Within his neopatrimonial and autocratic regime, Mobutu relied heavily on paramilitaries. For instance, approximately sixty to seventy thousand uniformed troops in the early 1990s belonged to paramilitary troops, and the former Force Publique of the Belgian Era became his private army, though Mobutu could “hardly rely on these decrepit forces to do more than terrorize unarmed civilians”[65]. However, the dictator used his paramilitaries to stifle unrest in the capital. Further, Mobutu’s “Ngbani co-ethnics”[66] were often related to him directly or by marriage and they dominated the security services throughout Mobutu’s regime.

Unfortunately, the change in presidential authority, from Mobutu to Laurent Kabila, to Joseph Kabila has not effectively altered the state of neopatrimonial authority that plagues the DRC. Joseph Kabila’s presidency is, similar to Mobutu’s, characterized by widespread corruption, bribing, intimidation of the opposition parties, and control of the justice system[67]. In many cases, the distinction between types of authorities and types of regimes is blurred, as the two interact to create a decaying state[68].

b. Competitive Authoritarianism

Though the focus of this paper remains on the neopatrimonialism of the DRC, this section is necessary to quickly contextualize the relationship of the two concepts (neopatrimonialism and competitive authoritarianism) within the DRC’s government, as they create a truly unstable state. As a regime type, the DRC’s competitive authoritarianism describes the means by which positions of power are filled in a state and “the degree to which citizens are allowed to participate in that process”[69]. Though attempts have been made in the direction of democratization in the DRC – such as the toppling of Mobutu’s regime in 1997, and the 2006 and 2011 elections – the DRC’s governmental and regime structure still considerably resemble that of competitive authoritarianism. Simply put, competitive authoritarian regimes hold regular, periodic elections that can have a high degree of electoral integrity, but the regime itself does not want to see itself threatened; thus, elections are technically “free and fair,” though there are severe restrictions on the candidates[70]. The definition for competitive authoritarianism put out by Levitsky and Way is as follows:

Civilian regimes in which democratic institutions exist and permit meaningful competition for power, but where the political playing field is so heavily tilted in the favour of incumbents that the regime cannot be labelled democratic[71].

The assessment of the DRC’s electoral arena, the legislature, the judiciary, and the media explicate the current Kabila government as “not purely authoritarian,”[72] since the presence of competition is evident. However, within the electoral arena, Kabila manipulated state resources to “tip the electoral balance in his favor”[73] during the 2006 election. Regarding the media, Kabila used intimidation and arrests to hinder criticisms. Regarding the legislature, Kabila worked to ensure the marginalization of the opposition parties. Regarding the judiciary, the Kabila government “works to undermine the independence of the judiciary indirectly through depriving it of adequate funding”[74]. Thus, the Kabila regime fits the conditions of a competitive authoritarian regime: “while meaningful competition exists, this is violated to such an extent that the political playing field becomes heavily tilted in favor of the incumbent”[75]. The regime type of competitive authoritarianism and the authority type of neopatrimonialism have worked in tandem within past and current DRC governments.

c. Assessment of Elections

As a crucial aspect of governance, elections and the electoral process can be the most manipulative aspect of a government, as the translation of votes into seats leads to the circulation of elites in office[76]. Elections are inevitable turning points in a society: they can reaffirm cultural values or existing regimes, or produce revolutionary outcomes. Further, they are an essential element of procedural democracy in that they give meaning to the notion of citizen equality through the equal counting of each vote cast[77]. Elections have four main purposes that are all being served simultaneously[78]. First, elections are understood to legitimize the government. Second, elections serve a representational function by giving voice to candidates of specific geographic regions, ethnicities, or social classes. Third, elections are agenda-setting in that they express the key issues of a political community. Fourth, elections express “tradition participation” in that they show voter turn-out, the education of the electorate, and the voice of the public[79].

As a crucial element of a state – and specifically one with plans to democratize, such as the DRC – elections provide insight to the stability of the state, as we can assess in the DRC’s 2006 and 2011 elections. Additionally, in “post-conflict” states, elections (such as the 2006 election in the DRC) are crucial for the peace-building process[80]. Having recently gained experience with free and pluralist elections, the DRC had, for three decades after independence, single-party regimes whereby elections aimed to renew and legitimize the “population’s complete support for [Mobutu’s] political programme”[81] – in line with the DRC’s neopatrimonialism and competitive authoritarianism. Though political pluralism was authorized, elections could not be organized since the serving president (Mobutu) utilized patronage networks to hang on to power. The civil administration of the DRC often competed with the “parallel power structures of the militias”[82] and the legitimacy of existing political institutions was eroded by decades of dictatorship. Further, the difference between the political parties and the criminal gangs “was often blurry”[83]. Despite the risk of post-conflict polls in countries experiencing ongoing insecurity and violence, diplomats, political stakeholders, and armed movements “are generally unable to agree on any other plan to bring bout a definite end to the conflict”[84]. Further, “if elections go well, the country can continue on the road to democracy and peace. But if they don’t, democracy can be undermined and the country can descend into conflict again”[85].

On June 30, 2003, a 62 member government was established and, in July, a 500 member National Assembly and a 120 Senate was created[86]. In a country in which no competitive elections had been held since 1965, “this plethora of political personnel was totally unrepresentative, and the 2006 elections would later show that many organizations and parties that had forced their way into the transitional institutions had no constituencies worth mentioning”[87]. Though the 2002 peace accords established a power-sharing arrangement among the 5 major parties, many feared that the 2006 elections would lead to “rioting or open conflict between troops linked to two main presidential candidates, Jean-Pierre Bemba and Joseph Kabila”[88].

Despite the fact that in the late 1990s, the DRC was “in an archaic, Hobbesian state of war,” by 2006, the DRC’s democratic elections appeared, “albeit tentatively, on course towards greater stability”[89]. Although the hope was for an election in 2005, the daunting tasks of organizing voter registration and creating a new constitution delayed the process[90]. The elections that ultimately occurred in 2006 and 2011, however, have not altered the fact that the DRC’s regime remains largely autocratic, and the development of democracy remains stunted[91]. The Freedom House characterized the DRC as “not free” and gave it a score of 6 (on a scale of 1 – 7, where 7 is the least free) regarding protection of civil liberties and political rights[92].

i. 2006 Election

On election day, July 30, 2006, there was hate speech, a small number of violent incidents (that killed a dozen people), and some intimidation by both security forces and the candidate’s militias[93]. The polls themselves were relatively calm, with 70% turnout and, although some irregularities were noted by national and international observers (the EU, the Carter Center, and the Electoral Institute of South Africa) regarding the voting and counting processes, the polls were concluded to be free and fair. The high voter turnout was an “indication of the strong desire on the part of the population finally to choose its own leaders”[94]. The outcome revealed a distinct east-west divide, with Kabila winning over 70% in the eastern province, North Kivu, and Katanga; over 80% in Maniema; and over 90% in South Kivu[95]. When the final results were released on August 20th, a fight broke out between Kabila’s presidential guard (who behaved like a militia) and Bemba’s men, regarding Bemba’s residence[96]. This militia rivalry highlighted the “frailty of the situation”[97]. Further, the parliamentary polls confirmed the fragmentation of DRC’s political landscape: of the 500 seats, 5 parties obtained 20 seats, 63 independent candidates were elected, and 31 parties obtained only 1 seat. Together, the 94 single member groups accounted for 20% of the Assembly. Since Kabila obtained 111 seats, Bemba obtained 64, and Gizenga obtained 34, no party came close to reaching the majority of the 500 seats. A transfer of votes occurred, which meant that Kabila won the second round on October 29, 2006 with 58.05% of the vote versus 41.95% for Bemba; Kabila was sworn in on December 6th[98].

Though, according to The Carter Center, the delegation noted instances of disruption and attempted manipulation of the electoral process, these incidents appeared isolated and “unlikely to affect the overall success of the vote”[99]. Despite this, widespread corruption explains why Kabila’s camp was victorious “even in provinces where it scored poorly during the presidential and parliamentary polls”[100]. Essentially, votes were bought with money, presents, and promises; this fraud was possible due to the small number of members of the provincial assemblies who were individually approached and manipulated: “a very bad omen for the future of democracy in the DRC and a potential source of violence”[101].

ii. 2011 Election

According to The Carter Center and other sources,[102] the 2011 elections saw violence, logistical delays, and budgetary challenges. Though The Carter Center found that the provisional presidential election results, which were announced by the election commission, lack credibility, “these elections appear to have been accepted by the population, and there has been no return to widespread violence”[103]. Joseph Kabila retained presidency in the 2011 elections. Further, there was significant participation with 19 million turnout and a general lack of election-related violence, though the outcome was judged by international observers to be flawed due to isolated incidents of voter intimidation and a lack of transparency of the tabulation process, in addition to the aforementioned technical issues[104].

d. Power Sharing

The issue of power sharing in the DRC is significant to the discussion of the legitimacy of the DRC’s elections and government. With a “less than successful experiment”[105] with power sharing, the DRC’s power-sharing agreement discussed in the Pretoria accord (2002) has been somewhat successful in creating a compromise among the warring factions. The theory of consociationalism, put out by Arend Lijphart in the 1970s, describes “the notion of elite cooperation through a grand collation cabinet, where executive power is shared by opposition and majority parties”[106] and includes key features such as group autonomy, proportionality, and a minority veto. Scholars agree that nowhere in the continent of Africa has consociationalism been fully implemented, and have identified the DRC as a country in Africa in which its power-sharing agreements have departed drastically from Lijphart’s consociationalism model, with problematic outcomes for the DRC.

The December 2002 All-Inclusive Agreement on the Transition for the DRC established a formula for putting in place a transitional government, which “can best be described as a more or less improvised form of co-optation that left out of the accounting some key political actors”[107]. The most widely publicized aspect of this agreement concerns the sharing of executive power among “three major belligerents and one representative of the unarmed opposition”[108]. The result consisted of a transitional government (2003 – 2006) headed by Joseph Kabila and with four vice presidents: Jean-Pierre Bemba, representing the Mouvement pour la liberation du Congo (MLC); Abdoulaye Yerodia Ndombasi, representing the Parti du Peuple pour la reconstruction et la democratie (PPRD); Azarias Ruberwa, representing the Rassemblement Congolais pour la democratie/Goma (RCD-G), and Arthur Zahidi Ngoma, representing the unarmed opposition. The cabinet positions were divided among each of the above, plus representatives in the RCD-Kisangani-Mouvement de Liberation (RCD-K-ML), in the Mai Mai, and in civil society. Though civil society was denied a vice presidency, it received 2 ministerial positions, 3 assistance minister positions, and the chair of 5 institutions were dedicated to the democratization of the country: the National Electoral Commission, the Higher Authority on the Media, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, the National Human Rights Commission, and the Commission on Ethics and the Fight Against Corruption[109].

What makes the DRC so potentially unstable and dangerous, though, is that all non-signatories to the Lusaka Agreement and all non-participants to the Inter-Congolese Dialogue (ICD) are potential spoilers to the peace-building process in the DRC[110]. Further, the distribution of power formalized by the 2002 agreement reflects the marginalization of critical players: “who can say whether ignoring altogether the demands of specific rebel groups would not have ushered considerably more violence?”[111]

IV. Conclusion

Though this governance assessment of the DRC has shown the relationship between the DRC’s ethnic/rebel factions, its neopatrimonialism, and its ineffective and undemocratic elections, there are many lessons to be learned from the DRC, models for peace to be utilized by the DRC, and recommendations for the DRC, so that it may continue on the path of peace-building, nation-building, and democracy.

a. Lessons from the DRC

In recent scholarship, the lessons to be learned from the DRC consist of varying opinions on UN operations in the DRC. According to some scholarship,[112] the UN has not been a model of peace in the DRC since its current operations (MUNOC) have not been able to avert the massacres in Gatumba (August 2004) and Ituri (April 2003), and MUNOC troops have been implicated in sexual violence against women. The failures of the UN leads to questions regarding the “commitment of security council members to peace”[113]. Regarding international development agencies and their role in the DRC’s peace-building process, a lesson to be learned from the DRC, then, is that each agency has its own agenda for seeking peace in a given region, “with some operating in an opportunistic way and not necessarily coordinating their activities”[114]. Though peace has become a profitable industry, if anything is to be learned from the DRC, it is that “peace agreements mark only the start of the process”[115].

Other scholarships have a more positive outlook on external interventions and believe that the EU and the UN have collaborated effectively (2006). Essentially, the focus of this scholarship[116] claims that earlier and more substantial efforts made by international agencies would have yielded better results more quickly. Despite the personnel and monetary costs of implementing international agencies in the nation-building process of the DRC, the largest shortfall – and thus, the greatest lesson – from peace-building operations in the DRC pertains to the “lack of early efforts to coordinate the international response”[117].

Still, other scholarship has a negative view of the MONUC operations due to the murder of 3 million Congolese, displacement of 2.4 million, and the rape of tens of thousands[118]. Despite this, it is argued that the UN’s peacekeepers did their best under difficult circumstances. Still, some scholars call for a “grassroots peace-building” in the DRC, though it is unclear as to how to effectively encourage this due to the serious difficulties in convincing the UN Security Council to agree to the “clearly inadequate deployment of twenty thousand peacekeepers”[119]; the unwillingness of donors to provide sufficient resources for the disarmament, demobilization, and reintegration tasks, and security sector reform; and the increasing assertiveness of DRC political leaders (especially after the 2006 elections) who do not want to tolerate an international presence as they are running their own affairs.

b. Models for Peace

One method for understanding how the issues of the DRC could be improved relies on focusing on other countries that have had recent experience with democratization. For instance, scholarship has suggested the DRC use Sierra Leone as a model since it has recently stabilized and started on a path of economic development[120]. The implementation of its Special Court has helped Sierra Leone’s transition to a more stable society. Further, Sierra Leone blended national and international sources of authority to optimize various mechanisms’ legitimacy: the Special Court drew on both domestic and international law, local and foreign judges, and funding from governmental and international donors. Thus, “it is not just a matter of creating justice mechanisms at multiple levels to work simultaneously, but rather seeking communication and integration among those levels and ensuring that they do not work at cross-purposes”[121].

c. Recommendations for the DRC

Most scholarship provided recommendations for the DRC in its peace-building and nation-building process. Since, “empirically speaking, the DRC has virtually ceased to exist as a state,”[122] reconstructing a polity that can perform basic state functions is an essential condition for national development and regional stability. Due to the serious state decay and the degree of fragmentation caused by political-military leadership, a sequence of recommendations for state reconstruction has been proposed. First, a state must regain control over territory and population with the presence of an effective administration and the rebuilding of a “truly national army and police”[123]. Since the Congolese army (FARDC) behaves like a militia and continues to suffer from the “personalization by both former rebel leaders and Kabila,”[124] this is a source of insecurity for the DRC and must be dismantled. Second, the state must recover its funding capacity by harnessing the DRC’s natural resources (mines, forests, hydro-power, and agriculture) as public goods. This requires the decriminalization of the government and the detangling (and dismantling of) rebel factions. Third, the establishment of legal security and rule of law is essential for the protection of the Congolese people and their fundamental rights. This, though necessary for democracy, would require substantial domestic and international investments.

Other scholarship has focused primarily on the disarmament, demobilization, and reintegration (DDR) of ex-combatants and security sector reform (SSR) of the DRC, since these two processes “lie at the heart of peacebuilding in the DRC”[125]. Based on the context of the DRC, eight recommendations have been laid out. First, the understanding of the DDR-SSR nexus should be broadened beyond army reform to include police reform, border security management, and gender issues. Second, the support of the governance component should be increased, which would include financial and social auditing of the security sector and the development of a Human Rights management system capable of supporting a national census. Third, a consultative process of national dialogue should be encouraged so that rural and urban areas, as well as the voices of civil society, academia, and parliamentarians are heard. Fourth, priorities for SSR based on DDR concerns should be identified. Fifth, there is a need for coordination across the DDR-SSR nexus to be recognized. Sixth, the existing forums of DDR-SSR should be optimized so that national commissions provide support. Seventh, gender-responsive DDR-SSR practices are encouraged whereby there is support and incentives for women participation in DDR process. Eighth, there is a need for awareness-raising support for the DDR-SSR nexus, to provide training in relevant fields[126].

To ensure a peaceful political resolution to the DRC and its violent conflicts, another scholar claims “there is a vital need for greater involvement by the international community,” especially the United States, the UN, and other leading Western powers[127]. Democracy, human rights, and private enterprise cannot succeed under the conditions of “mayhem banditry, and chronic political instability”[128] seen historically in the DRC. Not only does the world community have a responsibility to provide political and security measures, but President Kabila, the armed rebellion and the civil political opposition groups in the DRC

need to engage in national dialogue to discuss the modalities, time-table, and concrete benchmarks for the transition from rule based on military liberation and the usurpation of state power, to a transitory national government which will establish the framework for a participatory democratic political system[129].

Ultimately, the international community must be more engaged and unified in their pursuit of proactive peace-building, and the UN must become more decisive in interventionalism if there is hope for the DRC’s governance to transition from a state of decay to one of prosperous democracy.


[1] Brian Klosterboer and Lori Hartmann-Mahmud, “’Difficult to Repair’: Applying African Models for Transitional Justice to Peace and Restoration Prospects in the Democratic Republic of the Congo,” African Conflict and Peacebuilding Review 3, no. 1 (2013): 61. Though there is a tendency among scholars to view the DRC as a “failed state,” it can more accurately be addressed as a “decaying state,” which refers to the “’process of deterioration’ of political, economic, and social conditions.” Despite the process of deterioration potentially leading to state failure, in the case of the DRC, the state “exists and remains a major player.”

[2] Ibid., 60.

[3] Ibid.

[4] Patricia Daley, “Challenges to Peace: Conflict Resolution in the Great Lakes Region of Africa,” Third World Quarterly 27, no. 2 (2006): 305.

[5] Brian Klosterboer and Lori Hartmann-Mahmud, “’Difficult to Repair’: Applying African Models for Transitional Justice to Peace and Restoration Prospects in the Democratic Republic of the Congo,” African Conflict and Peacebuilding Review 3, no. 1 (2013): 56.

[6] James Dobbins, Laurel E. Miller, Stephanie Pezard, Christopher S. Chivvis, Julie E. Taylor, Keith Crane, Calin Trenkov-Wermuth and Tewodaj Mengistu, “Democratic Republic of the Congo,” In Overcoming Obstacles to Peace. RAND Corporation, 2013. http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.7249/j.ctt3fgzrv.16, 108.

[7] Paul S. Orogun, “Crisis of Government, Ethnic Schisms, Civil War, and Regional Destabilization of the Democratic Republic of Congo,” World Affairs, 165, no. 1 (2002): 25.

[8] Ibid.

[9] Filip Reyntjens, “Briefing: Democratic Republic of Congo: Political Transition and Beyond,” African Affairs 106, no. 423 (2007): 307-317.

[10] Errol A. Henderson, African Realism? International Relations Theory and Africa’s Wars in the Postcolonial Era, (New York: Rowman & Littlefield, 2015), 47.

[11] Ibid.

[12] Errol A. Henderson, African Realism? International Relations Theory and Africa’s Wars in the Postcolonial Era, (New York: Rowman & Littlefield, 2015), 47.

[13] Ibid., 144

[14]  Brian Klosterboer and Lori Hartmann-Mahmud, “’Difficult to Repair’: Applying African Models for Transitional Justice to Peace and Restoration Prospects in the Democratic Republic of the Congo,” African Conflict and Peacebuilding Review 3, no. 1 (2013).

[15] Ibid., 57

[16] Patricia Daley, “Challenges to Peace: Conflict Resolution in the Great Lakes Region of Africa,” Third World Quarterly 27, no. 2 (2006).

[17] Ibid., 315

[18] Filip Reyntjens, “Briefing: Democratic Republic of Congo: Political Transition and Beyond,” African Affairs 106, no. 423 (2007): 307-317.

[19] James Dobbins, Laurel E. Miller, Stephanie Pezard, Christopher S. Chivvis, Julie E. Taylor, Keith Crane, Calin Trenkov-Wermuth and Tewodaj Mengistu, “Democratic Republic of the Congo,” In Overcoming Obstacles to Peace (RAND Corporation, 2013), http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.7249/j.ctt3fgzrv.16.

[20] Patricia Daley, “Challenges to Peace: Conflict Resolution in the Great Lakes Region of Africa,” Third World Quarterly 27, no. 2 (2006): 315.

[21] Patricia Daley, “Challenges to Peace: Conflict Resolution in the Great Lakes Region of Africa,” Third World Quarterly 27, no. 2 (2006): 315.

[22]  Ibid., 314

[23] Due to the porousness of the DRC’s borders and the changing allegiances of some of the rebel factions, pinpointing the rebel factions solely within the DRC is not possible nor wise if one wishes to accurately convey the political instability of the DRC.

[24] Adekeye Adebjao, UN Peacekeeping in Africa: From the Suez Crisis to the Sudan Conflicts (Boulder and London: Lynne Rienner Publishers, 2011).

[25] Patricia Daley, “Challenges to Peace: Conflict Resolution in the Great Lakes Region of Africa,” Third World Quarterly 27, no. 2 (2006): 304.

[26] Adekeye Adebjao, UN Peacekeeping in Africa: From the Suez Crisis to the Sudan Conflicts (Boulder and London: Lynne Rienner Publishers, 2011), 87.

[27] Adekeye Adebjao, UN Peacekeeping in Africa: From the Suez Crisis to the Sudan Conflicts (Boulder and London: Lynne Rienner Publishers, 2011), 88.

[28] Brian Klosterboer and Lori Hartmann-Mahmud, “’Difficult to Repair’: Applying African Models for Transitional Justice to Peace and Restoration Prospects in the Democratic Republic of the Congo,” African Conflict and Peacebuilding Review 3, no. 1 (2013).

[29] James Dobbins, Laurel E. Miller, Stephanie Pezard, Christopher S. Chivvis, Julie E. Taylor, Keith Crane, Calin Trenkov-Wermuth and Tewodaj Mengistu, “Democratic Republic of the Congo,” In Overcoming Obstacles to Peace (RAND Corporation, 2013), http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.7249/j.ctt3fgzrv.16.

[30] Brian Klosterboer and Lori Hartmann-Mahmud, “’Difficult to Repair’: Applying African Models for Transitional Justice to Peace and Restoration Prospects in the Democratic Republic of the Congo,” African Conflict and Peacebuilding Review 3, no. 1 (2013): 61.

[31] James Dobbins, Laurel E. Miller, Stephanie Pezard, Christopher S. Chivvis, Julie E. Taylor, Keith Crane, Calin Trenkov-Wermuth and Tewodaj Mengistu, “Democratic Republic of the Congo,” In Overcoming Obstacles to Peace (RAND Corporation, 2013), http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.7249/j.ctt3fgzrv.16.

[32] Ibid.

[33] Ibid., 196

[34] Filip Reyntjens, “Briefing: Democratic Republic of Congo: Political Transition and Beyond,” African Affairs 106, no. 423 (2007): 307-317.

[35] Filip Reyntjens, “Briefing: Democratic Republic of Congo: Political Transition and Beyond,” African Affairs 106, no. 423 (2007): 307-317.

[36] Patricia Daley, “Challenges to Peace: Conflict Resolution in the Great Lakes Region of Africa,” Third World Quarterly 27, no. 2 (2006): 312.

[37] James Dobbins, Seth G. Jones, Keith Crane, Christopher S. Chivvis, Andrew Radin, F. Stephen Larrabee, Nora Bensahel, Brooke K. Stearns and Benjamin W. Goldsmith, “Democratic Republic of the Congo,” In Europe’s Role in Nation-Building, (RAND Corporation, 2008), http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.7249/mg722rc.14.

[38] Patricia Daley, “Challenges to Peace: Conflict Resolution in the Great Lakes Region of Africa,” Third World Quarterly 27, no. 2 (2006).

[39] Paul S. Orogun, “Crisis of Government, Ethnic Schisms, Civil War, and Regional Destabilization of the Democratic Republic of Congo,” World Affairs, 165, no. 1 (2002): 29.

[40] Ibid.

[41] James Dobbins, Seth G. Jones, Keith Crane, Christopher S. Chivvis, Andrew Radin, F. Stephen Larrabee, Nora Bensahel, Brooke K. Stearns and Benjamin W. Goldsmith, “Democratic Republic of the Congo,” In Europe’s Role in Nation-Building, (RAND Corporation, 2008), http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.7249/mg722rc.14.

[42] Brian Klosterboer and Lori Hartmann-Mahmud, “’Difficult to Repair’: Applying African Models for Transitional Justice to Peace and Restoration Prospects in the Democratic Republic of the Congo,” African Conflict and Peacebuilding Review 3, no. 1 (2013): 57.

[43] Marie-Soleil Frere, “Covering Post-Conflict Elections: Challenges for the Media in Central Africa,” Africa Spectrum, 46, no. 1 (2011): 3-32.

[44] James Dobbins, Seth G. Jones, Keith Crane, Christopher S. Chivvis, Andrew Radin, F. Stephen Larrabee, Nora Bensahel, Brooke K. Stearns and Benjamin W. Goldsmith, “Democratic Republic of the Congo,” In Europe’s Role in Nation-Building, (RAND Corporation, 2008), http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.7249/mg722rc.14.

[45] Patricia Daley, “Challenges to Peace: Conflict Resolution in the Great Lakes Region of Africa,” Third World Quarterly 27, no. 2 (2006): 307.

[46] Adekeye Adebjao, UN Peacekeeping in Africa: From the Suez Crisis to the Sudan Conflicts (Boulder and London: Lynne Rienner Publishers, 2011).

[47] Brian Klosterboer and Lori Hartmann-Mahmud, “’Difficult to Repair’: Applying African Models for Transitional Justice to Peace and Restoration Prospects in the Democratic Republic of the Congo,” African Conflict and Peacebuilding Review 3, no. 1 (2013): 61.

[48] James Dobbins, Laurel E. Miller, Stephanie Pezard, Christopher S. Chivvis, Julie E. Taylor, Keith Crane, Calin Trenkov-Wermuth and Tewodaj Mengistu, “Democratic Republic of the Congo,” In Overcoming Obstacles to Peace (RAND Corporation, 2013), http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.7249/j.ctt3fgzrv.16.

[49] Ibid.

[50] Ibid., 63

[51] Aaron deGrassi, “’Neopatrimonialism’ and Agricultural Development in Africa: Contributions and Limitations of a Contested Concept,” African Studies Review 51, no. 3, (2008): 107.

[52] Anne Pitcher, Mary H. Moran and Michael Johnston, “Rethinking Patrimonialism and Neopatrimonialism in Africa,” African Studies Review 52, no. 1 (2009): 125-156.

[53] Aaron deGrassi, “’Neopatrimonialism’ and Agricultural Development in Africa: Contributions and Limitations of a Contested Concept,” African Studies Review 51, no. 3, (2008).

[54] Anne Pitcher, Mary H. Moran and Michael Johnston, “Rethinking Patrimonialism and Neopatrimonialism in Africa,” African Studies Review 52, no. 1 (2009): 132.

[55] Anne Pitcher, Mary H. Moran and Michael Johnston, “Rethinking Patrimonialism and Neopatrimonialism in Africa,” African Studies Review 52, no. 1 (2009): 125-156.

[56] Aaron deGrassi, “’Neopatrimonialism’ and Agricultural Development in Africa: Contributions and Limitations of a Contested Concept,” African Studies Review 51, no. 3, (2008): 109.

[57] Anne Pitcher, Mary H. Moran and Michael Johnston, “Rethinking Patrimonialism and Neopatrimonialism in Africa,” African Studies Review 52, no. 1 (2009): 128.

[58] Errol A. Henderson, African Realism? International Relations Theory and Africa’s Wars in the Postcolonial Era, (New York: Rowman & Littlefield, 2015), 133.

[59] Ibid.

[60]  Anne Pitcher, Mary H. Moran and Michael Johnston, “Rethinking Patrimonialism and Neopatrimonialism in Africa,” African Studies Review 52, no. 1 (2009): 128.

[61] Ibid.

[62] Aaron deGrassi, “’Neopatrimonialism’ and Agricultural Development in Africa: Contributions and Limitations of a Contested Concept,” African Studies Review 51, no. 3, (2008): 109.

[63] James Dobbins, Seth G. Jones, Keith Crane, Christopher S. Chivvis, Andrew Radin, F. Stephen Larrabee, Nora Bensahel, Brooke K. Stearns and Benjamin W. Goldsmith, “Democratic Republic of the Congo,” In Europe’s Role in Nation-Building, (RAND Corporation, 2008), http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.7249/mg722rc.14, 185.

[64] Ibid.

[65]  Errol A. Henderson, African Realism? International Relations Theory and Africa’s Wars in the Postcolonial Era, (New York: Rowman & Littlefield, 2015), 221.

[66] Ibid., 134

[67] James Dobbins, Seth G. Jones, Keith Crane, Christopher S. Chivvis, Andrew Radin, F. Stephen Larrabee, Nora Bensahel, Brooke K. Stearns and Benjamin W. Goldsmith, “Democratic Republic of the Congo,” In Europe’s Role in Nation-Building, (RAND Corporation, 2008), http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.7249/mg722rc.14.

[68] Anne Pitcher, Mary H. Moran and Michael Johnston, “Rethinking Patrimonialism and Neopatrimonialism in Africa,” African Studies Review 52, no. 1 (2009): 125-156.

[69] Anne Pitcher, Mary H. Moran and Michael Johnston, “Rethinking Patrimonialism and Neopatrimonialism in Africa,” African Studies Review 52, no. 1 (2009): 126.

[70] Timothy Sisk, “INTS 4501: Comparative Politics in the 21st Century,” Class Lectures, Denver, CO, September 11 – November 21, 2017.

[71] Stephanie A Matti, “The Democratic Republic of the Congo? Corruption, Patronage, and Competitive Authoritarianism in the DRC,” Africa Today 56, no. 4 (2010): 45.

[72] Ibid., 47

[73] Stephanie A Matti, “The Democratic Republic of the Congo? Corruption, Patronage, and Competitive Authoritarianism in the DRC,” Africa Today 56, no. 4 (2010): 48.

[74] Ibid., 48

[75] Ibid., 49

[76] Timothy Sisk, “INTS 4501: Comparative Politics in the 21st Century,” Class Lectures, Denver, CO, September 11 – November 21, 2017.

[77] Timothy Sisk, “INTS 4501: Comparative Politics in the 21st Century,” Class Lectures, Denver, CO, September 11 – November 21, 2017.

[78] Ibid.

[79] Ibid.

[80] Marie-Soleil Frere, “Covering Post-Conflict Elections: Challenges for the Media in Central Africa,” Africa Spectrum, 46, no. 1 (2011): 3-32.

[81] Marie-Soleil Frere, “Covering Post-Conflict Elections: Challenges for the Media in Central Africa,” Africa Spectrum, 46, no. 1 (2011): 4.

[82] James Dobbins, Seth G. Jones, Keith Crane, Christopher S. Chivvis, Andrew Radin, F. Stephen Larrabee, Nora Bensahel, Brooke K. Stearns and Benjamin W. Goldsmith, “Democratic Republic of the Congo,” In Europe’s Role in Nation-Building, (RAND Corporation, 2008), http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.7249/mg722rc.14, 107.

[83] Ibid., 108

[84] Marie-Soleil Frere, “Covering Post-Conflict Elections: Challenges for the Media in Central Africa,” Africa Spectrum, 46, no. 1 (2011): 5.

[85] Ibid.

[86] Filip Reyntjens, “Briefing: Democratic Republic of Congo: Political Transition and Beyond,” African Affairs 106, no. 423 (2007): 307-317.

[87] Filip Reyntjens, “Briefing: Democratic Republic of Congo: Political Transition and Beyond,” African Affairs 106, no. 423 (2007): 310.

[88] James Dobbins, Seth G. Jones, Keith Crane, Christopher S. Chivvis, Andrew Radin, F. Stephen Larrabee, Nora Bensahel, Brooke K. Stearns and Benjamin W. Goldsmith, “Democratic Republic of the Congo,” In Europe’s Role in Nation-Building, (RAND Corporation, 2008), http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.7249/mg722rc.14, 124.

[89] Ibid., 134

[90] Ibid.

[91] Ibid.

[92] Ibid.

[93] Filip Reyntjens, “Briefing: Democratic Republic of Congo: Political Transition and Beyond,” African Affairs 106, no. 423 (2007): 307-317.

[94] “Democratic Republic of the Congo,” The Carter Center: Waging Peace, Fighting Disease, Building Hope, accessed November 10, 2017. https://www.cartercenter.org/countries/democratic-republic-of-congo.html.

[95] Filip Reyntjens, “Briefing: Democratic Republic of Congo: Political Transition and Beyond,” African Affairs 106, no. 423 (2007): 307-317.

[96] Ibid.

[97] Ibid., 313

[98] Filip Reyntjens, “Briefing: Democratic Republic of Congo: Political Transition and Beyond,” African Affairs 106, no. 423 (2007): 307-317.

[99] “Democratic Republic of the Congo,” The Carter Center: Waging Peace, Fighting Disease, Building Hope, accessed November 10, 2017. https://www.cartercenter.org/countries/democratic-republic-of-congo.html.

[100] Filip Reyntjens, “Briefing: Democratic Republic of Congo: Political Transition and Beyond,” African Affairs 106, no. 423 (2007): 314.

[101] Ibid.

[102] James Dobbins, Laurel E. Miller, Stephanie Pezard, Christopher S. Chivvis, Julie E. Taylor, Keith Crane, Calin Trenkov-Wermuth and Tewodaj Mengistu, “Democratic Republic of the Congo,” In Overcoming Obstacles to Peace (RAND Corporation, 2013), http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.7249/j.ctt3fgzrv.16.

[103] Ibid.

[104] James Dobbins, Laurel E. Miller, Stephanie Pezard, Christopher S. Chivvis, Julie E. Taylor, Keith Crane, Calin Trenkov-Wermuth and Tewodaj Mengistu, “Democratic Republic of the Congo,” In Overcoming Obstacles to Peace (RAND Corporation, 2013), http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.7249/j.ctt3fgzrv.16.

[105] Rene Lemarchand, “Consociationalism and Power Sharing in Africa: Rwanda, Burundi, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo,” African Affairs 106, no. 422 (2007): 1.

[106] Rene Lemarchand, “Consociationalism and Power Sharing in Africa: Rwanda, Burundi, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo,” African Affairs 106, no. 422 (2007): 2.

[107] Ibid., 12

[108] Ibid., 13

[109] Ibid.

[110] Ibid.

[111] Ibid., 14

[112] Patricia Daley, “Challenges to Peace: Conflict Resolution in the Great Lakes Region of Africa,” Third World Quarterly 27, no. 2 (2006).

[113] Daley 310

[114] Ibid.

[115] Ibid.

[116] James Dobbins, Seth G. Jones, Keith Crane, Christopher S. Chivvis, Andrew Radin, F. Stephen Larrabee, Nora Bensahel, Brooke K. Stearns and Benjamin W. Goldsmith, “Democratic Republic of the Congo,” In Europe’s Role in Nation-Building, (RAND Corporation, 2008), http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.7249/mg722rc.14.

[117] Ibid.

[118] Adekeye Adebjao, UN Peacekeeping in Africa: From the Suez Crisis to the Sudan Conflicts (Boulder and London: Lynne Rienner Publishers, 2011).

[119]Adekeye Adebjao, UN Peacekeeping in Africa: From the Suez Crisis to the Sudan Conflicts (Boulder and London: Lynne Rienner Publishers, 2011), 93.

[120] Brian Klosterboer and Lori Hartmann-Mahmud, “’Difficult to Repair’: Applying African Models for Transitional Justice to Peace and Restoration Prospects in the Democratic Republic of the Congo,” African Conflict and Peacebuilding Review 3, no. 1 (2013).

[121] Brian Klosterboer and Lori Hartmann-Mahmud, “’Difficult to Repair’: Applying African Models for Transitional Justice to Peace and Restoration Prospects in the Democratic Republic of the Congo,” African Conflict and Peacebuilding Review 3, no. 1 (2013): 65.

[122]  Filip Reyntjens, “Briefing: Democratic Republic of Congo: Political Transition and Beyond,” African Affairs 106, no. 423 (2007): 315.

[123] Ibid.

[124] Ibid.

[125] Vincenza Scherrer, “The Democratic Republic of the Congo,” In Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration and Security Sector Reform: Insights from the UN Experience in Afghanistan, Burundi, the Central African Republic and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, (Zurich and Berlin: LIT, 2012).

[126] Vincenza Scherrer, “The Democratic Republic of the Congo,” In Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration and Security Sector Reform: Insights from the UN Experience in Afghanistan, Burundi, the Central African Republic and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, (Zurich and Berlin: LIT, 2012).

[127] Paul S. Orogun, “Crisis of Government, Ethnic Schisms, Civil War, and Regional Destabilization of the Democratic Republic of Congo,” World Affairs, 165, no. 1 (2002): 25.

[128] Ibid.

[129] Ibid., 26

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