Wars in the Democratic Republic of Congo
International involvement in the violent clashes the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has faced since the dwindling of the Cold-War can be summarized into three terms: subsidization, systemization, and sustainability of conflict. This essay will draw out in detail why the international ‘response’ to clashes in the DRC is anything but an intervention and more indicative of the creation and maintenance of a political economy of conflict surrounding natural resources. The principal mechanism of exchange shown in this economy will be resource theft and weapons smuggling, with rebels groups acting as proxies for foreign interests facilitating an ultimately self-defeating quasi-state security apparatus for traders. Understanding how this economy of conflict works is acutely relevant in predicting future relations in the DRC and progressing towards a lasting peace. It is worth noting the DRC arguably has never had non-violent elections, and a new round of presidential elections are coming up in November.
The African Women’s Development Fund (AWDF) is a Ghana-based grantmaking institution serving the continent of Africa. This summary will provide a brief description of the AWDF as an organization, their mission statement, their values, along with a short mention of their current activities. The AWDF was selected for this summary because it is not a gender-based charitable organization but rather it creates and provides grants to “support local, national and regional women’s organizations working towards the empowerment of African women” (AWDF, 2016). Using the official website of the AWDF along with an April 7, 2015 Mena Report on recent AWDF grants will be used as source information for this summary.
Summary – African Union
This summary will cover the broad mission details of the African Union with particular emphasis on conflict resolution and peacekeeping. It should be stated that before 2002, the African Union was an intergovernmental institution called the Organisation of African Unity. For clarity, both titles and organizations will be referred to as the African Union (AU) in this summary. Sarah Ancas’ (2011) publication on the effectiveness of regional peacemaking in Southern Africa will be used to bolster general descriptive information found on the AU’s official website.
The Democratic Republic of the Congo (the DRC), formerly Zaire and referred to in this essay as the Congo represents the slow, torturously painful death by bleeding out of an entire nation. At a minimum, the Congo by all accounts is a failed-state of high magnitude and severity. This essay will focus on conflict in the Congo post-Rwandan Genocide (1994). Rationalizing the interconnectedness within the history of conflict, the Congo’s geography and the perpetrators of relentless violence will only go so far to adequately telling how drastic the costs of conflict continues to be in the Congo and Central Africa. To understand the conflict in the Congo, an examination of those who suffer from the fighting must be included; those who suffer that are without a doubt the most important factor. The situation within the Congo is exhaustingly complex and as such this essay will focus primarily on internal relations of the Congo, its immediate neighbors, as well as a limited amount of foreign involvement of high importance.