The story of the Congo wars is one of state weakness and failure – the weakness and failure of Congo to defend its borders, impose law and order in its eastern provinces, and build the institutions of state necessary to improve the impoverished conditions in which the Congolese population live.
The weakness of the Congolese state explains why the Congo wars have no simple narrative. In the absence of a strong power in Kinshasa, rival factions have been able to proliferate, adding a layer of confusion to an already complex picture. At various times in the conflict, there have been up to forty different armed groups in Eastern Congo alone. Continue reading →
Donna Hicks is a leading professional in the field of international conflict resolution. During her decades of work trying to reconcile warring parties around the world, she realised that conflict resolution negotiations were often marred by the presence of a powerful emotional undercurrent – a force which could erupt at any moment and destroy the negotiations. She eventually came to understand that destructive force as being rooted in violations of human dignity. Continue reading →