Springtime in the Congo

According to Jeffrey Herbst and Greg Mills, There is No Congo. So, in their Foreign Policy article, Herbst and Mills propose a new policy approach towards the Eastern DRC:unvehicle

A more realistic foreign policy toward eastern Congo would assign a high priority to Rwandan security interests, given that many derive from the wake of the 1994 genocide. Get this right and there might actually be a chance to reduce the violence that has haunted the Kivus. It would also incentivize the Rwandans to see Congo as a natural partner in trade and development rather than a security problem to be managed unilaterally.

Séverine Autesserre, a Great Lakes specialist and professor at Bard, offered her opinion at the Politic on Congolese-Rwandan relations in a recent interview .  Her more explicit and slightly more aggressive take is that:

The U.S. and U.K. can do what countries like Norway, Sweden and Holland have been good at practicing; that is, whenever Rwanda is accused by the UN of fueling the conflict in Congo, these countries withrdaw aid. It’s a symbolic and material sanction… I definitely agree that we should rethink Western aid policy to Rwanda.

And, remember that guy, ex-president of a really populous African nation who is supposed to be handling the crisis? He did an interview too. Olusegun Obasanjo, UN Special Envoy to the Democratic Republic of Congo, made everybody feel better about the future of the Congo when he explained:

I have no message for Rwanda. I have peace mission in the Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo. I have peace mission in the whole of Great Lakes region. Now, I don’t tell Rwandan government or Congo’s government what they should do.

Peace is kind of hard when you don’t have a message, no?

It should be a pleasant springtime in the Congo, or at least make March and April a great month for interviews and articles.


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