Escola de Cultura de Pau
CatalanEspañol (spanish formal Internacional)English (United Kingdom)
Reports and articles

Democratic Republic of Congo: A Review of 20 years of war.

Democratic Republic of Congo: A Review of 20 years of war

This report by the Escola de Cultura de Pau (School for a Culture of Peace) and Centre Delàs d’Estudis per la Pau, with the support of the Catalan Agency for Development Cooperation, examines the situation affecting the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Although the intensity of the conflict has been gradually reduced over the past two decades, in the east of the country the instability and the situation of violence and remain active. This situation had its roots in exploitation and social injustice experienced as a result of the oppression of colonial and post-colonial regimes that worsened when Laurent Desiré Kabila carried out the coup d’état in 1996 against Mobutu Sese Seko, which culminated in his yielding of power in 1997. Afterwards, in 1998, the so called 1st African World War began, in which Burundi, Rwanda and Uganda, together with different armed groups, tried to oust Kabila, who received the support of some neighboring countries, in a war which caused the death of nearly five million victims, sexual violence against at least 200.000 women, the forced displacement of hundreds of thousands, and a chronic humanitarian crisis, among other effects. The signature of the various peace agreements and elections did not put an end to violence due to the role of Rwanda and the presence of factions of groups and of the Forces Démocratiques pour la Libération du Rwanda (FDLR), responsible for the Rwandan genocide in 1994. All the armed actors have committed rapes and other acts of sexual violence as a weapon of war with total impunity. In this way, the control and plundering of natural resources have contributed to the climate of insecurity and generalized impunity that is widespread in the area.

The country finds itself plunged in the midst of an increasing political instability derived from the approaching end of Kabila’s second presidential mandate. There has been an increase of political violence, repression of the opposition and excessive use of force in mobilizations. The non-compliance with the electoral calendar has become reality, which can lead to the holding of elections being delayed and to the prolongation of the presidential mandate of Joseph Kabila, which is bound to conclude at the end of 2016, an issue which could fuel a new cycle of instability in this forgotten conflict.

Download here the report in English, here in Spanish and here in Catalan.

Democratic Republic of Congo: A Review of 20 years of war.
Authors: Jordi Calvo Rufanges and Josep Maria Royo Aspa
Support researchers: Elena Fernández Sandiumenge, Laura Marco Gamundi, Eira Massip Planas, Maria Villellas Ariño
April 2016
D.L.: B-16799-2010
ISSN: 2013-8032
This publication is available on the Internet in PDF format in our webpage in Catalan, Spanish and English

Project funded by the Agència Catalana de Cooperació al Desenvolupament


Plaça del Coneixement - Edifici MRA (Mòdul Recerca A), UAB, 08193 Bellaterra, España - Tel. (+34) 93 586 88 42 
    Fax. (+34) 93 581 32 94 -