The “Balkanization” of the Democratic Republic of Congo

Taking a historical and ethnographic perspective, this study looks at the longue durée of the phenomenon. It demonstrates that each time the country goes through political crisis, the spectre of “balkanization” rises anew: the 1960s secessions, the war context of the 1990s and 2000s, and the recent resurgence of the M23 rebellion. The protagonists of the debate denounce a conspiracy supported by an international community that would use Rwanda to partition the DRC, while others deplore Kinshasa’s inability to drive the country’s development as a whole and believe that there is a need for a different approach, which would be either federalism or balkanization. However, it appears that despite strident discussions balkanization seems not to be an alternative for the majority of Congolese, even though many fear invasions by Rwanda or other foreign forces. Therefore, the debate remains open.

La « Balkanisation » de la République Démocratique du Congo

Ce rapport discute d’abord du concept de balkanisation et de ses applications à la République Démocratique du Congo. Ensuite, il inscrit le discours autour d’un potentiel démembrement de la RDC dans une perspective historique. Enfin, il propose une explication à la survivance, au fil du temps, des tendances séparatistes en RDC. Ce rapport inscrit ce débat sur la longue durée. Il a donc été utile de compulser la littérature disponible et de procéder à une recherche de terrain dans une perspective ethnographique.

Vacuum Governance in Eastern DRC

This report investigates the social and security dynamics in Shabunda territory (Democratic Republic of the Congo). Located in westernmost South Kivu province and bordering Maniema province, Shabunda is an isolated,
enclaved region that has known high levels of insecurity consequent to the activities of residual armed groups known collectively as the Raia Mutomboki.

Un « vase clos » à l’Est de la République Démocratique du Congo

Ce rapport est consacré à l’analyse des dynamiques sociales et sécuritaires dans le territoire de Shabunda au Sud-Kivu (RD Congo). Située dans l’extrême ouest de la province, à la lisière de la province du Maniema, Shabunda est une région enclavée en proie à l’insécurité perpétrée par des groupes armés résiduels issus des milices Raïa Mutomboki.

Monitoring sand mining in Morocco

This report presents the findings of fieldwork on coastal sand extraction in Morocco. Morocco’s marine shores extend 3,500 km along the Mediterranean Sea and western shore of the Atlantic Ocean; most of the sand supply is of coastal origin. Total annual extraction, based on cement consumption figures, is about 10 million cubic metres, half of which is of “illegal” origin.

Aid Seen from the Bottom

This report investigates community perceptions of the actions carried out by NGOs in Eastern DRC, in Kalehe and Uvira (Ruzizi Plain) territories. These two areas are characterized by a significant presence of humanitarian, development and peacebuilding organizations (NGOs, UN agencies, etc.), along with armed group activism.

Les ONGs vues par le bas

De nombreuses Organisations Non-Gouvernementales (ONGs) œuvrent pour répondre aux crises multiformes dans l’Afrique des Grands Lacs. Ce rapport analyse les représentations communautaires quant aux actions de ces acteurs à l’Est de la RDC, dans les territoires de Kalehe et Uvira (Plaine de la Ruzizi), deux zones caractérisées par la forte présence d’organisations dans les secteurs de l’humanitaire, du développement et de la promotion de paix.

Populism in Ethiopia?

This essay looks at Ethiopian prime Minister Abiy and his Medemer philosophy through Laclau’s concept of the “empty signifier” in order to examine the discursive means through which the Prime Minister has upheld his high level of popularity even when political actions taken on behalf of his party seemingly contravened the very principles of his philosophy.

The struggle for democracy in Burma/Myanmar

At the break of the military coup in Burma/Myanmar in February 2021, residents in many parts of the country would bang their pots and pans in their respective homes every eight o’clock in the evening. Although the COVID-19 pandemic has restrained social mobility, this signaled the beginning of a widespread protest movement against authoritarian rule.

River sand commodity chains in Tanzania

This report aims to provide insight into the nature of sand mining in the Dar es Salaam area, the actors involved, as well as impacts on communities and the environment. It uses a commodity chain framework to better understand sand governance.