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There is tension in the air, here in the village of Luberizi in South Kivu. We return after having spent the night in nearby Luvungi, deemed safer. Our interlocutor tells us that members of an armed group from the adjacent mountains visited him the previous evening. They asked him what these bazungu (‘white people’ in Swahili) had come to talk about. A member of the Fuliiru community married…

Vendredi 10 mai 2013 à 23 heures mourrait assassiné par balles Teso Ntarubibi, chef du village Chifunzi en groupement de Kalonge, territoire de Kalehe. L’infortuné était une des grandes personnalités de la famille royale Nakalonge régnant sur Kalonge. Son assassinat ne tardât pas à créer la panique dans le milieu. De centaines de familles décidèrent de quitter le milieu pour se réfugier à…

La présence sur le sol congolais des Forces Démocratiques de Libération du Rwanda  (FDLR), un mouvement armé des combattants Hutu rwandais créée en 1999/2000, remonte à la période post-génocide au Rwanda après 1994. En République démocratique du Congo (Zaïre à l’époque), ces combattants commencèrent à se regrouper et à se réarmer dans les différents camps des réfugiés, voulant ainsi continuer…

Visiter Misisi ne manque pas de frapper l’imagination et la curiosité. Mine artisanale d’or la plus populeuse du territoire de Fizi, au Sud-Kivu, Misisi grouille de monde. Bien que localement contestée, la société minière CASA Mining est localement présente depuis 2010. Elle mène ses activités d’exploration sur les collines surplombant Misisi, aux côtés de près de 20000 creuseurs, d’…

In 1977, following allegations of poor leadership and disloyalty towards the Mobutist regime, the then mwami, Simba Nyamugira Henri, laid down his administrative functions, which were taken over by his eldest son, Ndare Simba. However, Ndare was not customarily designated by the banjoga (the Fuliiru ‘guardians of custom’) because a new chief cannot be enthroned when his…

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I have lived through three eras in Ethiopian history: the final years of the feudal system, the revolutionary communist decades of the 1970s and 1980s, and finally the state-sponsored capitalist system of today. My childhood seems distant now, so much so that I sometimes wonder if it was real. But for my first decade the feudal system formed the limit of my world. I was born in Waag in 1940,…

Electoral season has hit the Great Lakes region and has brought with it an increase in contentious politics, open conflict and uncertainty. Last year, a violent crisis gripped Burundi after the ruling party announced that President Pierre Nkurunziza would run for a third term, despite arguments by the opposition that the bid was in violation of both the constitution and the Arusha Peace…

In 2015, Sudan experienced a further escalation of wars, associated with gross human rights violations in Darfur, South Kordofan and Blue Nile. Despite numerous rounds of peace negotiations, no breakthrough has been made. The entire political landscape of Sudan continues in disarray. Both political and armed and opposition groups suffer from a lack of consensus and recurring political…

In Ethiopia, elections in May 2015 resulted in victory for the ruling Ethiopian Peoples Democratic Front (EPRDF) with 100 percent of the seats in parliament. While met with incredulity abroad, this outcome meant that the EPRDF, despite the death of long-time leader Meles Zenawi in 2012, would continue to function as before. Meanwhile, peaceful protests around the issue of how the leadership of…

In the parallel universe that has become South Sudan, negotiations between the government and the political and armed opposition groups have been just as problematic as Sudan’s internal peace talks, although international mediation from the AU, IGAD and others has been more successful in brokering an agreement. Early in 2015 the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-in Government (SPLM-IG) and…