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’.
Although religious tensions between Christians and Muslims are a major factor in the recent violence in the Nigerian town of Jos, the disturbances there are also symptomatic of wider systemic problems in Nigeria.
The Congo crisis is central Africa’s most complex and destructive conflict, and one for which there is no quick fix. Co-ordinated local, regional and international peace talks and humanitarian interventions are a starting point, but ultimately it is the people of the DRC who will have to resolve their country’s fundamental problems.