Do Local Agreements Forge Peace? The Case of Eastern DRC
This is the 5th issue of the Congo research briefs, a joint publication of the Conflict Research Group (CRG) at Ghent University, the Social Science Research Council (SSRC) and its Understanding Violent Conflict programme, the Study Group on Conflicts and Human Security (GEC-SH) at the University of Kivu Research Center (CERUKI), the University of Kinshasa (UNIKIN) and the Governance-in-Conflict Network (GiC). These provide concise and timely summaries of ongoing research on the Congo that is being undertaken by CRG, SSRC, GEC-SH, UNIKIN, GiC, and their partners.
This 5th brief considers the way local agreements have been used as an instrument to dismantle armed rebellions, to settle land conflicts and other forms of community disputes, and to deal with interpersonal feuds in the eastern Congo. It finds that overall, many dialogues and related agreements address the symptoms of conflicts rather than their causes and have limited impact on the behavior of actors of power. The authors suggest that donors should encourage and finance longer-term peace programmes and
subsequent ‘dialogues’, addressing conflict dynamics and involving key actors from the grassroots to the highest level. This approach should include PAR
and analysis components which might bring more knowledge to conflicts and help move beyond the simplistic narratives that are often used to fuel them.