Hard-won lessons

DRC: ‘Time is running out for Tshisekedi,’ says researcher Christoph Vogel

By Stanis Bujakera Tshiamala

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Posted on May 4, 2022 09:41

 A Congolese FARDC soldier in Semuliki, 10 December 2021. © Sébastien KITSA MUSAYI / AFP
A Congolese FARDC soldier in Semuliki, 10 December 2021. © Sébastien KITSA MUSAYI / AFP

The first round of negotiations between Kinshasa and the armed groups active in eastern DRC ended on 27 April in Nairobi. What should we learn from it? Does excluding one of the M23’s branches compromise its chances of success? Researcher Christoph Vogel answered our questions.

Can talks help bring peace to eastern DRC? Following a summit between the presidents of the East African Community (EAC), Félix Tshisekedi agreed on 21 April to hold talks with representatives from a number of armed groups operating in Ituri and the Kivus – the first round of which ended on 27 April in Nairobi, with Kenya acting as mediator.

Is it possible to achieve peace in the East? We asked Christoph Vogel, author of Conflict Minerals, Inc. (Hurst & OUP, 2022) and research director of the Insecure Livelihoods project at Ghent University (Belgium).

Jeune Afrique: Could the fact that a branch of the M23, the one loyal to Sultani Makenga, is being kept out of the discussions compromise the dialogue?

Christoph Vogel: This dialogue raises questions anyway because the participants were selected in a rather opaque way. The M23 is not even one of the strongest or most violent armed groups

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