7 November 2013

Congo-Kinshasa: DRC - the War Might Be Won, but Who's Going to Win the Peace?

Photo: Kazarama Vianney/Facebook
The March 23 Movement, often abbreviated as M23 and also known as the Congolese Revolutionary Army,is a rebel military group based in eastern areas of the DRC,


There's lots to celebrate as rebels in the eastern DRC lay down their arms and surrender, concluding the latest chapter of a long-simmering rebellion. But no one should be celebrating too hard: winning the war was the easy part. Winning the peace will be a lot harder.

"It is more difficult to organise a peace than to win a war," said Aristotle, a long, long time ago. Good philosophy never dates, however, and at moments like these his words are all too relevant.

In the Democratic Republic of Congo, the rebels have surrendered and white-clothed women are victory-parading through the streets of Kinshasa; the usually sober BBC asks if this means peace in the DRC, finally; and seasoned UN diplomats are dancing in conquered rebel strongholds and crowing about the military success of their new, amped-up peacekeeping force, for which South Africa put the lives of 1 345 soldiers on the line.

Before we get into the headaches of post-conflict resolution - and there are plenty - it's worth acknowledging that all this congratulatory back-slapping is not entirely misplaced. In the space of a few days, the Congolese Army, with the intimidating support of those heavily-armed UN...

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