View Full Version : Watching the Congo (DRC) 2018 onwards

01-16-2018, 08:18 PM
A new thread for this forlorn country, with insurgencies (mainly in the East), a dire government and a long running UN peacekeeping mission. Not as regularly updated as a few years ago, in part as one member has a job that does not allow posting and two African "hands" have retreated from SWJ.

The previous thread has now been closed, it was:Gazing in the Congo (DRC): the dark heart of Africa (2006-2017) (http://council.smallwarsjournal.com/Gazing in the Congo (DRC): the dark heart of Africa (2006-2017)) with 808 posts and 218,765 views since 2006.

There is a separate thread in the Historians arena that helps to explain why:Second Congo War 1998-2003 Africa's world war (http://council.smallwarsjournal.com/Second Congo War 1998-2003 Africa's world war)

12-08-2018, 08:47 AM
Ebola on top of the usual warfare.

Attacks by armed groups happen on a daily basis across Congo's North Kivu province, where the Ebola virus has been spreading since August, infecting almost 500 people and killing more than 270. It is now the second-biggest outbreak ever, after the vast epidemic that swept through Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia between 2014 and 2016.

The constant insecurity in North Kivu has proved an enormous obstacle, thwarting attempts to the contain the virus. By WHO's estimate, the outbreak will go on for at least another six months.

This is the first Ebola outbreak during which health workers have had to regularly don bulletproof helmets and vests. To reach at least 20 percent of Ebola-affected areas, health workers need armed police or U.N. escorts, said Michel Yao, WHO's response coordinator in Beni.

The U.S. government withdrew its only personnel in the region in late August and has no plans to redeploy them. The WHO has 300 specialists from around the world in North Kivu. Those on the ground describe a chaotic effort to either negotiate with or simply avoid the region's various militias.

"It turns into a cat-and-mouse game - we are the mouse trying to evade the armed groups," said Anoko, who is from Cameroon. But Anoko, whose job entails conducting extensive interviews with locals, cautioned against the assumption that health workers are being targeted for their work. "There's been decades of war, it cannot be so simply understood," she said.


01-18-2019, 08:02 AM
An IISS blog piece on the ADF by Eleanor Beevor. Sub-titled:
Known for its violent attacks, the Allied Democratic Forces is hampering vital Ebola relief efforts in the DRC. Just how much is the group driven by Islamist beliefs and does it pose a serious threat?

03-11-2019, 02:13 AM
(CNN)Militants attacked an Ebola treatment center in the Democratic Republic of Congo, killing a police officer as the nation battles a growing epidemic that has killed hundreds. The World Health Organization said a staff member was injured in the Saturday attack by armed groups that targeted the center again last week. WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus was in the nation on a three-day visit and spoke to officials and staff at the center after the attack.
Two attacks on Ebola treatment centers in North Kivu last month forced Doctors Without Borders (also known as Medecins Sans Frontieres or MSF) to put some humanitarian efforts on hold.
Doctors Without Borders was targeted in an attack in Katwa on February 24 and another one three days later in Butembo, the medical aid organization reported last month.
MSF suspended its activities in Butembo and Katwa but said it would continue Ebola-related activities in other towns in North Kivu and neighboring Ituri province.
The two provinces are among the most populous in the nation and border Uganda, Rwanda and South Sudan.

04-26-2019, 07:30 AM
Did you spot this development? Within a wider, global commentary on ISIS:
Devastating though these new attacks are, they have overshadowed another development that looks at first sight to be of no consequence but, in its way, is just as telling. Last Thursday ISIS claimed responsibility through its Amaq News outlet for an attack on Congolese soldiers (https://www.longwarjournal.org/archives/2019/04/islamic-state-claims-attack-in-the-democratic-republic-of-the-congo.php?utm_source=Sailthru&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=ebb%2004.19.19&utm_term=Editorial%20-%20Early%20Bird%20Brief) near the village of Kamango close to the Uganda/Congo border. The attack killed and injured government troops and was part of a two decade-long rebellion against the government by a group formerly known as ADF (Allied Democratic Forces) that draws much of its support from among the DRC’s Islamic minority which is mainly in the north and east of the country. This incident is significant in two ways. First, ADF last year rebranded itself as Madinat al Tawhid wal Muwahedeen (the city of Monotheism and Monotheists - MTM), a transformation that was cited by the ISIS leader, Baghdadi, in a video last August. Secondly, the recent attack was the first to be claimed by ISIS itself. While the real extent of the connection with ADF/MTM is not clear, even a year ago Congolese troops found extensive evidence of links when they raided a rebel camp, and other sources link the group with financial support from ISIS itself.

06-03-2019, 10:53 AM
Hat tip to Lawfare for this critical article on the UN's mission in the DRC; with an Editor's opening:
The civil war in Congo remains one of the world's bloodiest and most intractable conflicts. In response, the United Nations has authorized a large, and militarily aggressive, campaign to target rebel forces. Rachel Sweet, a postdoctoral fellow at Harvard University, argues that this intervention is not working. The UN effort often ignores the dynamics of conflict in Congo, and as a result the use of force fails or even backfires.