Congo on the Edge

  • Englebert in the Journal of Democracy: Aspirations and Realities in Africa: The DRC's Electoral Sideshow


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  • Covert Capital: Illicit Finance in the DR Congo

    On Wednesday, May 22, the Africa Center partnered with The Sentry at the Enough Project to host a discussion on illicit finance operations in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), occasioned by the release of the group’s new report: Covert Capital: The Kabila Family’s Secret Investment Bank.


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  • Tangled! The New Politics of the Congo

    On Wednesday, April 10, the Atlantic Council’s Africa Center hosted a discussion on provincial decentralization in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) with Africa Center Senior Fellow Dr. Pierre Englebertand Congo researcher Ms. Lisa Jené.


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  • Congolese President Discusses Strategic Partnership with the United States

    On Thursday, April 4, the Atlantic Council’s Africa Center hosted H.E. Félix Tshisekedi Tshilombo, president of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).


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  • Nobel Peace Prize Laureate on Sexual Violence in the DRC

    On January 28, the Atlantic Council’s Africa Center hosted Dr. Denis Mukwege, founder and medical director of Panzi Hospital and 2018 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, for a discussion on the use of rape and sexual violence as a weapon of war in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).

    Introducing the distinguished guest, Atlantic Council Vice President and Africa Center Director J. Peter Pham highlighted the magnitude of Mukwege’s work over the years, treating more than 85,000 women and girls since 1999 – 50,000 of whom have been survivors of sexualized violence – and doing so with a unique combination of medical treatment, psycho-social support, community reintegration, legal assistance to pursue justice, and advocacy.


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  • Congo’s Election Sham

    Joseph Kabila’s reluctant withdrawal from the Democratic Republic of the Congo’s December 23 presidential election, after seventeen years in power, was supposed to be a big victory for democracy.


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  • Congo’s Conflict Gold Trade: Recent Findings and Recommendations for the Future

    On October 24, the Atlantic Council’s Africa Center partnered with The Sentry at the Enough Project to host a discussion on the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC)’s conflict gold trade, occasioned by the release of the group’s new report: The Golden Laundromat.

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  • Below the Surface, a Game Changer in Congolese Politics

    “Shikata,” or “remain seated” in Swahili, claim the posters on Congolese President Joseph Kabila’s effigy in the streets of Lubumbashi. But while everyone’s attention is focused on the regime’s contortions to stay in power, despite constitutional impediments to doing so and deep domestic discontent, the 2015 break-up of Congo’s existing provinces has upended politics below the surface with far-reaching consequences for the current regime and potentially destabilizing effects for whomever inherits the state come the end of this year (assuming that elections that have been repeatedly postponed actually take place on schedule this coming December 23).

    One of the reasons for the increase from eleven to twenty-six provinces was to break up Katanga and deprive its governor, key Kabila opponent Moïse Katumbi, of his provincial base. Beyond such political expediency, however, this policy’s main effect has been to create ethnically homogeneous provinces. As Alma Bezares Calderon,...

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  • Congolese Opposition Unify Ahead of Presidential Elections

    Democratic Republic of the Congo opposition leaders Moïse Katumbi and Felix Tshisekedi are on a US and European tour to lobby for further sanctions against the regime of President Joseph Kabila and for continued Western pressure towards free and fair elections, scheduled for December. They have formed an alliance which, they hope, can unite the opposition against the regime. But their strategy remains hampered by the apparent superficiality of their coalition and the likelihood that any election under the current regime will be flawed.

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  • Discussion with the Congolese Opposition

    On Wednesday, May 23, the Atlantic Council’s Africa Center hosted a discussion with Mr. Moïse Katumbi Chapwe, former governor of Katanga Province and leader of Ensemble pour le changement, a new political movement in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), and Mr. Félix Tshisekedi, president of the Union pour la démocratie et le progrès social (UDPS), the DRC’s oldest continuously operating political party.

    In their remarks, Katumbi and Tshisekedi announced that the Congolese opposition would field a unified candidate in the presidential election scheduled for December 23, 2018. Incumbent Joseph Kabila, whose constitutionally-mandated two-term limit expired over eighteen months ago, has twice delayed elections. Katumbi stressed that the Congolese opposition is united and working together for a brighter future, citing his joint visit to the United States with Tshisekedi as an example of their cooperation....

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