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Bringing the Local Back into the DRC’s ‘Post’ Conflict Transition: What Role Should Local Solutions Play in Bringing Peace to the Congo?
By Chris Wake
This essay was a runner-up in the 2008 Nelson Mandela International Essay Prize.
The Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) is struggling to recover from the deadliest conflict since the Second World War. Despite the presence of the largest UN peacekeeping operation (MONUC) in the world today, there is every possibility the Congo will relapse into devastating civil war. Both its colonial and post-colonial history has been brutally scarred by endemic corruption, external interference and ethnic strife.
Congo is the third largest country in Africa and possesses vast mineral wealth, but its immense economic potential has never been realised. If Africa is gradually shaking off its image as ‘the hopeless continent’, today the Congo would still epitomise the ‘hopeless country’.