WASHINGTON – Fighting between the M23 rebel movement and the Congolese military escalated last week as the rebel group seized control of Goma, a key city in eastern Congo. To address this growing violence, a broadened peace process including all parties and stakeholders must be initiated that will cease ongoing hostilities and address the systemic drivers of regional conflict, according to an Enough Project policy brief.
Aaron Hall, co-author of the brief and Enough Project Associate Director of Research, said:
“The current conflict in eastern Congo has revealed new evidence of support for armed groups from the governments of Rwanda and Uganda, as well as confirmation evidence of continued mismanagement within the governance and security sectors of Congo. However, the causes and dynamics of the long-standing conflict are unchanged. If the cycle of regional foreign intervention, economic exploitation, and rapacious governance in eastern Congo is not broken, there is no chance for peace in the region.”
The Enough brief argues that regional and international stakeholders must be more directly engaged in supporting a peace process that includes a balance between constructive and coercive leverage to provide the necessary incentives and pressures for compromise between the conflicting parties. The brief highlights the need for a broadened peace process that would be jointly mandated by the U.N., African Union, and the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region, or ICGLR.
John Prendergast, co-author of the brief and co-founder of the Enough Project, said:
"The lack of a credible, effective, internationally mandated and leveraged peace process for the escalating war in Congo is becoming a major reason for that war’s continuation. The closed-door ICGLR summit between heads of state from Congo, Rwanda and Uganda—without the involvement of political parties, civil society elements, and armed groups representing the diverse voices of eastern Congo—resembles all of the failed deals that came before it through similar processes. A deal between just the biggest guns is unlikely to address the root causes of the conflict in the eastern Congo. Instead, the declaration issued by the heads of state summit at Kampala represents another short-term security agreement that ensures that Congolese President Kabila remains in power while international pressure is removed from Presidents Kagame and Museveni of Rwanda and Uganda, respectively."
The brief outlines considerations for both regional and international actors in creating a framework to work towards peace in eastern Congo. This brief is the first in a three-part Enough Project series on the process, leverage, and substance necessary to create a path towards peace in eastern Congo and the surrounding region.
Enough is a project of the Center for American Progress to end genocide and crimes against humanity. Founded in 2007, the Enough Project focuses on crises in Sudan, eastern Congo, and areas of Africa affected by the Lord’s Resistance Army. Enough’s strategy papers and briefings provide sharp field analysis and targeted policy recommendations based on a“3P” crisis response strategy: promoting durable peace, providing civilian protection, and punishing perpetrators of atrocities. Enough works with concerned citizens, advocates, and policy makers to prevent, mitigate, and resolve these crises. For more information, please visit www.enoughproject.org.
As we were making our way home to be with family and friends this Thanksgiving, the M23 rebel group backed by Rwanda and Uganda stormed and seized Goma, one of the largest cities in eastern Congo. This is the first time since 2004, at the height of Congo's conflict, that rebels have occupied the city of Goma. A week has gone by, but the U.S. media and government have barely acknowledged this escalating crisis. Read More »
To commend the historic work of the International Criminal Court under the leadership of its first chief prosecutor, Luis Moreno-Ocampo, Jewish World Watch selected Ocampo as the recipient of the group’s 6th annual I Witness Award. Following Ocampo’s remarks, the former chief prosecutor sat down with Enough Project Co-founder John Prendergast for a public interview about the work of the ICC and the specific cases that the court initiated during Ocampo’s tenure. Read More »
Residents settled into an uneasy calm today “under our new masters,” a day after mutineers from the Congolese army, now leaders of the M23 military wing, forced government troops, or FARDC, out of the city and took control of the lucrative border crossing between Congo and Rwanda. Read More »
On November 20, the M23 rebel group seized Goma, a major city in eastern Congo. This new field dispatch discusses the aftermath of the recent siege and urges the international community to push for high-level committement for a sustainable peace process in the region.
The city awoke to artillery and mortar fire today as rebels with the March 23 Movement, or M23, pushed into the outskirts of town, taking control of North Kivu province’s main airport this morning. By mid-afternoon the rebels claimed full control of Goma, underscoring the lack of resistance they faced from FARDC or MONUSCO by marching down the main road to the “Grande Barriere” border crossing with Rwanda. Read More »
Earlier this year, Congolese activist Bandi Mbubi was chosen to speak at a TEDx Talk at the University of Exeter in southwest England focusing on “Sustainability and Our Interconnected World.” His words brought those in the audience to tears and have inspired many others throughout the world, including us here at the Enough Project. Read More »
Today, the Enough Project's Raise Hope for Congo campaign launched the first-ever Instagram petition calling for the next president of the United States to prioritize the conflict in eastern Congo. Read More »
WASHINGTON -- Today, the Enough Project’s Raise Hope for Congo campaign launched the first-ever Instagram petition that will be delivered to the winning U.S. Presidential candidate, urging the next administration to make the conflict in eastern Congo a top priority. Activists across the U.S. and Europe have joined the petition by Tweeting photos of themselves holding signs with “Vote for Congo” messages using the hashtag #Vote4Congo.
Raise Hope for Congo celebrity activists Emmanuelle Chriqui (HBO’sEntourage, CBS’s The Mentalist) and Robin Wright (Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Moneyball) are spearheading the petition and have submitted their own “Vote for Congo” photos.
"Activists are passionate about the rapidly growing Congo peace movement, with solutions in sight, this first-ever youth-led petition is sure to grab the attention it deserves" JD Stier, Enough Project's Raise Hope for Congo campaign manager.
Who: Celebrity activists Emmanuelle Chriqui and Robin Wright
What: Launch of first-ever Instagram petition sent to the incoming U.S. President urging the next administration to focus on ending the conflict in eastern Congo
Why: The conflict in eastern Congo is the deadliest since World War II, and has claimed more than five million lives. Over the past year, the emergence of a new rebel group in eastern Congo has led to an upsurge of violence and instability throughout the region. It is time for the U.S. administration to lead the way on helping to resolve this ongoing conflict.
The Conflict-Free Campus Initiative is part of the Enough Project’s Raise Hope for Congo. RHFC focuses on alleviating suffering throughout Congo by tackling root causes of the conflict such as the funding of violence with conflict minerals. For additional information on the Conflict-Free Campus Initiative, and Raise Hope for Congo, please visit: http://www.raisehopeforcongo.org/content/conflict-free-campus-initiative.
Gunmen apparently targeting prominent doctor and Congolese activist Denis Mukwege left a security guard at Mukwege’s home dead and a community shaken. The attack occurred Thursday evening in the eastern Congo city of Bukavu, where Mukwege’s Panzi Hospital has long treated some of the region’s most vulnerable patients—women suffering from fistula. Read More »