The Center on International Cooperation is deeply concerned by the expulsion of Jason Stearns from the Democratic Republic of Congo on April 7, 2016.
The official reason for the expulsion by the Congolese authorities was the “undesirability” of Mr. Stearns, the director of CIC’s Congo Research Group (CRG). They also referred to the recent report by CRG on the massacres around Beni.
Since October 2014, the region around the town of Beni in north eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DR Congo) has been the site of some of the worst massacres in the country’s recent history. Over five hundred people have been killed and tens of thousands have fled their homes. The UN mission and the Congolese government have publicly stated that the massacres are the work of Ugandan rebels from the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF).
The International Criminal Court found Jean-Pierre Bemba, a former rebel leader and presidential candidate in the Democratic Republic of Congo, guilty of war crimes and crimes against humanity.
“The chamber finds that Bemba is criminally responsible for murder, rape, pillage and war crimes” in the Central African Republic in 2002 and 2003, Judge Sylvia Steiner said in a ruling read at The Hague-based court on Monday. Bemba had faced two counts of crimes against humanity and three counts of war crimes related to murder, rape and pillaging committed by his troops in the country.
Members of the Democratic Republic of Congo’s army have been involved in attacks on civilians in the country’s northeast that have left more than 500 people dead since 2014, the Congo Research Group said.
Congo’s government and the United Nations previously blamed the assaults on the Allied Democratic Forces, an insurgent group originally based in Uganda that has operated along Congo’s border since the late 1990’s.
International conflict management is not necessarily a rewarding occupation for people who have neat and orderly minds. Well-made plans tend to fall apart in fast-moving crises. As I noted in a chapter in a book on the Security Council published earlier this year, the recent history of United Nations peace operations is basically a story of “one damn thing after another.” U.N.
Nineteen years after the beginning of the Congo wars, armed conflict still affects millions in the east of the country. This essay by CRG director Jason Stearns and our senior fellow Christoph Vogel accompanies a map of armed groups, compiled by researchers across North and South Kivu, in which we catalogue over seventy groups. This is far from a static picture, and we highlight key shifts that have emerged over the past two years: a decline of regional involvement, a fragmentation of armed groups, and a modest drop in the political manipulation of armed groups.
Peacebuilding continues to gain recognition in international and national spheres for the crucial role it plays in laying the foundations for sustainable peace. In the last two decades, the United Nations has developed its peacebuilding architecture (PBA) in order to strengthen its responses to countries recovering from conflict. Within this larger context, 2015 will be a critical year for peacebuilding as member states undertake a comprehensive review of the UN PBA.