Analysis: Lawlessness in Eastern Congo
Council on Foreign Relations
December 6, 2007
Author: Stephanie Hanson
Long-simmering conflict in eastern Congo has flared in recent weeks. About 405,000 Congolese have been displaced in the last year, and the UN’s refugee agency estimates the number of displaced persons is about 800,000. A UN representative calls the situation worse (Economist) than Sudan’s Darfur region. At the heart of the fighting are the Congolese armed forces and a rebel group led by Laurent Nkunda, who professes to represent Congo’s Tutsi minority. Earlier this year, Nkunda flirted with a peace deal that would have integrated his group with the army, but the agreement broke down in August. Since then both sides seem to have hardened. “Have we ruled out the possibility of a negotiated solution?” asked President Joseph Kabila. “I don’t know what a negotiated solution is” (Reuters).
A new military offensive by the Congolese army targets (VOA) Nkunda and his forces. Many analysts say this purely military approach is the worst possible option.
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Copyright 2007 by the Council on Foreign Relations. This material is republished on GlobalSecurity.org with specific permission from the cfr.org. Reprint and republication queries for this article should be directed to cfr.org.
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