Democratic Republic of the Congo (formerly
2008: While fighting in North and South Kivu has diminished over the last few
weeks, the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR) has not
disappeared. The FDLR still effectively controls a chunk of South Kivu province
west of Bukavu. The FDLR also controls an area west of Masisi in North Kivu.
The town of Sange (South Kivu, not far from Burundi) is also in an FDLR "area
of influence." The FDLR is a Rwandan Hutu militia. Many of its members were
part of the Rwandan Interahamwe Hutu movement, the key organization involved in
the 1994 Tutsi genocide in Rwanda.
2008: The major "resources for infrastructure" mining deal between the Congo
and China is once again raising questions. A group of Congolese critics contend
that the deal is simply not fair to the Congo. It is being called "economic
imperialism." The revenue split between Congo and one of China's main mining
concerns is 32 percent for the Congo, 68 percent for China. The Congolese
government disputes the critics and says the overall deal is very good for the
Congo. Congo will receive royalties as well as revenues, and China is committed
to building roads. Which the Congo desperately needs. The Chinese are unpopular
with many Congolese, because Chinese run many of the illegal mining operations.
2008: What does it take to create a "sustainable peace" in the eastern Congo? A
recent UN-directed study focused on the Ituri region of Equateur province
(northeast Congo). Among the "peace tasks" identified were:
(1) Disarmament of militias and collection of
(2) Restoration of state authority
(3) Resolving "land-related tensions"
(4) Return of refugees to their homes
(5) Distribution of "a fair share" of revenues
from the sale of natural resources
(6) Resumption of economic activity
tensions" item is particularly critical. Land disputes between ethnic groups
fueled a lot of the fighting in Ituri (eg, between Hema and Lendu tribes).