Finding a Lasting Solution to Instability in the Democratic Republic of the Congo

Posted by Johnnie Carson
February 21, 2013
Congolese Soldiers Sit on a Truck in the Democratic Republic of the Congo

As I noted in my recent remarks at the Brookings Institution, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, or the DRC, deserves a much higher place on the world's foreign policy priorities list. Conflict in the DRC has resulted in more than five million deaths since 1998. No other conflict or act of violence since World War II has come anywhere close to taking so many lives. Eastern DRC's chronic instability also negatively impacts the security, political, economic, and development goals of the country's nine neighbors. This is one of the reasons why it is imperative for the United States and the international community to work with the DRC and other regional partners to break this cycle of death and suffering and address the consequences of this violence.

The United States has worked tirelessly to help address the underlying causes of instability, but if the world does not get more serious about finding a formula that will lead to a lasting arrangement for stability in the DRC, then it is highly probable that the same cycle of violence, and its subsequent horrors, will continue. I do not believe that we can, or that we should, accept this status quo. We must do much better.

Breaking the eastern DRC's cycle of violence and instability requires four basic components, all four of which are equally important and protect the territorial integrity of the DRC. First, the DRC, Rwanda, Uganda, and other countries in the region must sign and implement the United Nations framework agreement as soon as possible.

Second, this agreement should be augmented by establishing a comprehensive peace process around the agreement's principles. Such a peace process won't be easy, which is why the United States supports the development of strong enforcement mechanisms to ensure compliance, and the appointment of a high-level UN envoy dedicated to pushing the peace process forward.

Third, a regional intervention brigade must be stood up and integrated into MONUSCO, the UN's peacekeeping mission in the DRC. Such a force will provide MONUSCO with the capacity to prevent rebel groups in the eastern DRC from threatening civilian populations, committing human rights abuses, and undermining efforts to restore stability, security, good governance, development, and economic opportunity.

Fourth, and finally, the DRC Government must build on its incremental reform progress by implementing long-overdue reforms. And if the international community is serious, international assistance should be conditioned on the DRC Government making further reform progress.

Finding a sustainable solution to the protracted instability in the DRC will continue to be a daunting challenge, but we should not shrink from acting because the way forward is difficult. We must build on the courage and resiliency of the Congolese people for a brighter future for the DRC and for Africa as a whole.



District Of Columbia, USA
February 21, 2013

Molly in Washington, D.C. writes:

The loss of five million lives? It's wrong that this is not front page news.

New Mexico, USA
February 22, 2013

Eric in New Mexico writes:

@ Johnny Carson,

I look at the ways and means of this nation's approach to conflict, whether directed against us as not; as to what assesment (as historical evaluation), would the State Dept.'s of the year 2113 be in regards to;

A) The decision to use force in international cooperative governance on humanitarian grounds to permanently resolve indemic and pervasive conflict, end bloodshead, and create a secure space for civil restoration, nation building, and good self-governance that is peaceful and sustainable.

B) Terrorism as a late entry into the dustbin of history.

C) The developmental and evolutionary Diplomatic process and legal framework in international fora that facilitated the above mentioned efforts and initiatives on a global scale.

D) Public imput into AB&C above as it has effected outcome(s).

E) Thinking outside the box:-) A study in the evolution of America's diplomatic and foreign policies in the post 9/11 era.

F) What more could have been done to end conflict faster with a minimal cost in civilian lives.

G) What influence and efforts of hostile governments and non-government org's (to the US and NATO effort), had in affecting policy outcomes in resolving conflict; and it's response on the international level.

Last but not least;

H) WMD's and their abolishment; Patterns of global insecurity and their effecive countermeasures.

I'm sure they'll think up more in the next hundered years, but these are all character limits will allow for now, and offered as food for thought for this next week's proposed;

"Look ahead."

[someone please send this to Jay Carney-c/o The President's desk ...thanks!(like that's gonna happen?(grin)]


February 22, 2013

Murli writes:

Your writing skill is very appreciative. You have mentioned about it in very clear way.

Good job! Please keep posting.

joseph o.
February 25, 2013

Joseph O. in Uganda writes:

what about a lasting solution to corruption in africa?

Patrick A.
February 25, 2013

Patrick A. in Uganda writes:

As long as the the governments is the Eastern DR CONGO are managed by mafias especially Ugnada and Rwanda where the two heads states have institutionalized state power and played to tune of the west i see no solution to the violence in Eastern DR CONGO

Paul N.
United Kingdom
March 21, 2013

Paul N. in the United Kingdom writes:

I am a Congolese living in UK because of US bad foreign policy towards my country in supporting Mobutu and now the Rwanda born and bred warlord Joseph Kabila who lost the election but kept in power to serve his masters in US (mining firms) and EU. The Congolese victims of your foreign policy are asking the US to extraditate Bosco N'taganda another Rwanda warlord that helped US in looting Congo minerals by killing, raping, training minors to commit abominable crimes so that US mining companies can exploit the land in chasing away local people elderly alike. The US government cannot use the excuse that they have signed the treaty for refusing to transfer one of Paul Kagame killers to the Hague. You cannot be vocals about the crimes committed by Assad in Syria and turn a blind eye about your crimes in Congo through Paul Kagame, Museveniand Joseph Kabila the trio Tutshi mafia working for US and EU along Laurent Nkundabatware, James kabarere. If Exxon and other US oil firms were operating in Syria under Assad, he could receive support from the US and EU as the regime in Bahrain, Paul Kagame, Musevsni. Congo is not a US colony nor a territory for US to decide who run the country as the corrupt US ambassador urged corrupt policians to siege in the assembly where members were picked by Paul Kagame representative in Congo Joseph Kabila. The message to the enemies of Congo is that Congo will be liberated by Congolese and a democracy will flourish led by our elected president Etienne Tshisekedi to bring prosperity, security and development to our long suffering people because of the wealth provided by God to our beloved country.


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