Various forms of political violence have plagued the Democratic Republic of the Congo’s civilian population since the end of the 1994 Rwandan genocide. While the extremely deadly Second Congo War ended in 2003, Joseph Kabila’s government in Kinshasa has been unable to stop continuing violence in the eastern Kivu provinces. Violence comes from rebel groups, the DRC military, and local conflicts over land and power. President Kabila also offers potential for instability, as he remains reluctant to leave office despite term limits preventing him from running for the Presidency in 2016. Although much of the conflict must be resolved by the Congolese people, the U.S. can pressure Kabila to step down, support fair democratic elections, encourage reform of the Congolese military and the strengthening of government institutions, pressure Rwanda and Uganda to continue to withhold support from rebel groups, promote peacebuilding and justice efforts at the local and national level, and ensure Congolese workers are able to access jobs in an economy that benefits the country.
Illicit conflict minerals trade is a driver of conflict in Eastern Congo. To address this issue, STAND partners with The Enough Project’s Raise Hope for Congo Campaign on the Conflict-Free Campus Initiative.
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