Violent Politics and Silent Trade
This study offers an analysis of the intersecting dynamics of custom, contra- band and rebellion that mark Lubero territory in eastern Congo’s North Kivu province. Through the angles of local governance, armed mobilization and transnational resource trade, the report looks at different emanations of political and economic power in a region often considered ungoverned and peripheral. Drawing from ethnographic and social network analysis as well as mapping data, this report traces the longue durée of local politics and armed mobilization in Lubero in a bid to situate the region’s contemporary predicaments in a larger context. The first study on conflict and politics in the area in over a decade, this report pays particular attention to the southern Lubero, where recent years saw a fragmentation of authority and an intensification of unrecorded economic activities. Spread across three interconnected substantial chapters, the study investigates the multiple arenas and scales that shape Lubero’s violent politics and its silent trade all the way to Butembo, Kampala and beyond, putting an emphasis on the transnational political economy of the clandestine gold trade.