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Rift Valley Institute

Making local knowledge work

Blog series on armed groups and local governance in the eastern DRC

The eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) is home to dozens of armed groups. Studying these groups and the way they affect local governance and conflict dynamics is challenging. How can we gather reliable data on these groups? And how do we ensure our analysis is adequate? In the coming months, researchers of the second phase of RVI’s Usalama Project will share some of their experiences in a series of short essays. The first in this series, Relire les motivations d’une attaque des miliciens Mai-Mai à Misisi by Claude Iguma Wakenge, can be read here.

The essays will feature life stories, field notes and analysis from the project’s research sites in the eastern DRC: the territories of Fizi, Uvira and Kalehe in South Kivu, and Beni and Walikale in North Kivu. The blog authors are specialists of the eastern DRC, who work in areas affected by ongoing violent conflict.

The essays, posted on the websites of the RVI and the Political Settlements Research Programme (PSRP), will complement the project’s research reports and policy briefings, which respectively focus on in-depth conflict analysis and policy implications. Essays will be published in English or French, each featuring a summary in the other language. 

The series is co-edited by Claude Iguma Wakenge and Judith Verweijen. Claude is a PhD candidate at Wageningen University and former Programme Director of the Life and Peace Institute in Bukavu, South Kivu. Judith is currently Lead Researcher of the Usalama Project and a Research Fellow with the Nordic Africa Institute and the Conflict Research Group at Ghent University. 

The second phase of the RVI Usalama Project analyses armed groups and local governance structures in the eastern DRC. It forms part of the PSRP, led by the University of Edinburgh and funded by Department for International Development (DFID).

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