D3.2 The DR. Congo review
Lead beneficiary: Royal Danish Defence College (RDDC)
Delivery date: 13/02/2017
This IECEU project deliverable 3.1, The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) Review, assesses the existing literature and academic and policy research on the contemporary security situation in the DRC, as well as the responses to this situation. Deliverable 3.1 therefore functions as a foundation for the analysis in deliverable 3.5. to arrive at a better assessment of the internal and external impact on the EU’s CSDP and ESDP missions to the overall security of the DRC. The first EU mission, Operation Artemis, was deployed in the Ituri provincial capital of Bunia in 2003 with the aim of stabilizing a deteriorating security situation. The force was deployed parallel to the existing UN PSO mission in the DRC, and after six months became part of the international community’s overall assistance to the country. In 2005 the EU launched both a EUPOL and a EUSEC mission, which were supposed to help train the Congolese police and military institutions as part of the SSR and state-building project initiated after the signing of the two peace agreements. The EUPOL project was ended in 2014, EUSEC in 2016.
The EU has therefore been involved in a wide range of post-conflict state-building initiatives as part of larger efforts to address the vast range of causes of conflict in the DRC. As documented in the review, conflict and wars in the DRC go back beyond1996, have had different expressions, been internationalized and linked to regional security dynamics, and exemplify the debate on the role and importance of natural resources in conflict and the impact of international responses to this type of conflict. The security situation in the DRC is better today than it was five years ago, though in North Kivu alone there are still more than twenty non-state armed groups, and the debate over political secession surrounding President Kabila has moved conflict in the country into a new and potentially very dangerous phase.