Insecurity in the DRC: the obstacle to peace and stability
Hakimu, Badura A.
Gregg, Heather S.
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The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has experienced complex warfare that has involved various neighboring nations since the mid-1990s. In particular, the protected presence of armed groups has been a major obstacle to peace. Based on the best practices in Disarmament, Demobilization, Reintegration (DDR) programs, this thesis constructs an analytical framework and uses a longitudinal case study of the DRC to analyze four DDR programs initiated in the DRC from 2002 to 2009, with the goal of better understanding why they failed. The thesis finds that an unrealistically short timeline, insufficient funds, an overemphasis on disarmament, and the failure to include all key warring parties in the DDR process created major obstacles to success in short-term DDR efforts in the DRC. Long-term reintegration efforts have been hindered by poor linkages between the DDR and security sector reform (SSR), a lack of government capacity to implement and oversee reintegration programs, a chronically weak economic sector, and continued tensions with DRC's neighbors, particularly Rwanda. Given these findings, implementing a viable DDR program should require a minimum of 15 years of commitment; this would allow for comprehensive SSR, jobs programs, community-based activism, an improved economy, and better relations with neighboring countries.
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