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Complex political emergencies, the international community & the Congo conflict

Smis, Stefaan and Oyatambwe, Wamu (2002) Complex political emergencies, the international community & the Congo conflict. Review of African Political Economy, 29 (93/94). pp. 411-430. ISSN 0305-6244

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/03056240208704630


The Democratic Republic of the Congo is presently confronted with the most severe crisis since its independence. It has been transformed into a battlefield where several African states and national armed movements are simultaneously fighting various wars. Confronted with this acute political emergency, the international community, which has a responsibility in promoting peace and security has given an ambiguous message. In the absence of a clear response, the Southern Africa Development Community played a leading role in the mediation process that ultimately led to the Lusaka Agreement of 10 July 1999. The agreement was, however, signed in a totally different context from the present one. Moreover, the primary objective of the Lusaka Agreement, to topple Laurent Dsir Kabila, has lost its relevance since his assassination and replacement by a (more Western friendly) government led by Joseph Kabila. With the Lusaka Agreement signed by most of the belligerents, the international community had a framework through which to channel its growing involvement. However, confronted by the signatories to the Lusaka Agreement who were not ready for peace and therefore continuously violated established rules of international law and found pretexts to not observe the agreement, the international community remained divided and unwilling to become more involved - particularly in light of the Somalia and Rwanda debacles. In the absence of this commitment, however, the whole idea of African renaissance could be put in jeopardy.

Item Type:Article
Research Community:University of Westminster > Law, School of
ID Code:4616
Deposited On:15 Jan 2008
Last Modified:21 Oct 2009 16:38

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