Dr. Pierre Englebert
H. Russell Smith Professor of International Relations and Professor of African Politics
Mr. Richard Gittleman
President and Executive Director
United for Africa's Democratic Future
Dr. J. Peter Pham
Director, Africa Center
Please join the Atlantic Council's Africa Center on May 12th at 9:30 AM for the launch of Congo Blues: Scoring Kabila's Governance. The study, authored by Pomona College professor Dr. Pierre Englebert, assesses the state of democracy, governance, and the rule of law under Congolese President Joseph Kabila.
Despite being in power for fifteen years and the relative buoyant recent macroeconomic growth, Kabila has done little to improve the lives of most citizens of the Democratic Republic of Congo. At best, his tenure has been characterized by willful neglect, and, at worst, by adverse and bloody manipulation of the country's political system. By tracing in detail the different modes of governance used by regime, Englebert makes the case that Kabila's reliance on confusion, dithering, meaningless dialogue, absenteeism, theft, patronage, violence, and repression has effectively set the country back to the days when the country was ruled by the klepocratic dictatorship of Mobutu Sese Seko.
What's worse, Kabila doesn't appear to be finished. Though constitutionally ineligible for a third term, he is now attempting to employ administrative technicalities to delay the election of his successor, scheduled for November 2016. These maneuverings are dangerous, and lay the groundwork for renewed civil unrest led by frustrated political opponents-with potentially catastrophic consequences for both the Congo and the broader Central African region.
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