March 15, 2016
Why the Congo Matters
By Africa Center
Africa Center Director Dr. J. Peter Pham welcomed attendees and introduced the event by noting the importance of DRC’s scheduled elections later this year. Despite the strict term limits constitutionally barring President Joseph Kabila from remaining in power, his administration is attempting to employ administrative technicalities to delay the selection of his successor, a move that is likely to result in widespread civil unrest and violence.
In his remarks, Prunier underscored the strategic, economic, and humanitarian interests that the US and Europe have in the DRC. Politically, Prunier argued, the country is at vital juncture and international inaction could have grave, long-lasting effects on the broader regional security in the Great Lakes Region.
Gérard Prunier responding to a question from the audience.
In a response to Prunier’s remarks, the Honorable Herman J. Cohen, former Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs, agreed on the risk of international inaction in the Congo and highlighted the impact that neighboring countries as well as the international community have on the country’s domestic political situation and broader regional stability.
The Honorable Herman J. Cohen, former US Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs
Participants at the event included General James L. Jones, Jr., former National Security Advisor and Chairman of the Atlantic Council’s Brent Scowcroft Center on International Security; the Honorable Bisa Williams, former Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs; several former US Ambassadors; and numerous representatives of government agencies and non-governmental organizations.
This issue brief is made possible through generous support from United for Africa’s Democratic Future.
Read the issue brief here.