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Rift Valley Institute

Making local knowledge work

Another round of violence in the DRC

The latest rebel movement in North Kivu, known as M23, has set back hopes of peace in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo. ‘The Congolese state, weak and disorganized, seems condemned to perpetual negotiations with rebels in its east,’ writes Jason Stearns, Bukavu-based director of the RVI Usalama Project, which documents armed groups in the DRC. The article, in the October-December edition of the BBC’s Focus on Africa magazine, analyses the origins of the M23 mutiny. Commenting on the numerous reports of Rwandan support for this latest armed group, Stearns notes Kigali’s dogged denial of all such allegations, and observes that Rwanda remains undeterred by ‘the suspension of almost $90 million in foreign aid’. With Kinshasa disinclined to negotiate with M23, Stearns concludes with the fear that the stage is ‘set for yet another escalation’.

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