Congo’s unattainable closure? Violence in the past and present

”STOP THE KILLING IN CONGO” – Protest in front of the White House. Photo by: Elvert Barnes, Flickr“Congolese troops on Monday killed dozens of youths who attacked the airport, a military barracks and the state radio and television headquarters here in the capital, in what appeared to be a failed assault by followers of a disgruntled religious leader,” was reported in the New York Times on 30 December 2013. This kind of news has become the norm to emerge from the Democratic Republic of Congo since the mid 1990s. The historic development of this vast country is extremely complex and has been influenced by a myriad of external forces. By understanding this history, it is possible to put the present tensions into context and to question why such a devastating conflict has remained present in the DR Congo for so long.

By kate O Donnell