Intermittent conflicts in democratic republic of Congo (DRC): the case of North Kivu turmoil 1994-2004
The study set out to examine and analyze factors responsible for the intermittent, mutation and the impact of the conflict in the North Kivu, Democratic Republic of Congo. Despite the presence of the largest contingent of United Nations Peacekeepers, the conflict had persisted and civilians continued to experience atrocities and bore the brunt of the violence. The study draws extensively from theoretical frameworks on failed states theory and conflict systems theory advanced by William Zartman et al., and Makumi Mwagiru respectively. It seeks to respond to the question of continuity of the conflict in North Kivu and examine factors underlying emerging mutations and impacts of the same. The study contends that the continuity of conflict is a function of absence of security engendering ideas critical for developing institutions. It’s the failure of the DRC government to engender ideas critical to the establishment of strong institutions vis-à-vis strongman. These encompass both internal and external dynamics. Response to the above entails state, regional and global policy constructs and actions. To achieve the above, the research field was conducted in the Kivu region from 19th May 2014 to 1st June 2014 and April 2015 to May 2015, the study covered the period from 1994 to 2004. The conflict in the DRC has been raging for the last two decades and despite the signing of peace agreements the conflict has continued to mutate and the reconstitution of the state has proved futile. The research adopted in-depth interview, interview guide and observation, recording in data collection and analyzed qualitatively and descriptive in form. The data used in this project is drawn from a number of sources, the primary and secondary data complement each other. The study findings revealed that the factors responsible for the intermittent conflicts are both internal and external. These include the inability of the Democratic Republic of Congo to reconstitute a nation state, the interference from the regional neighbours and the indifference of the international community and on the mutation, the findings clearly depict the failure of the Democratic Republic of Congo to monopolize the instruments of violence, which created a favourable environment for conflict to mutate both in form and violence. Second, the war has not only torn apart social fabric of the society, dilapidated infrastructure, but has resulted in political instability, displacements and untold suffering for the Congolese citizens. Generations after generations never get to enjoy the fruits of independence. The country has stagnated in a “transition mode” that never seems to end. Besides the foregoing, the conflict has had negative impact on the economy of the great lakes region. This has been enhanced by lack of trust among the countries embroiled in this conflict. The absence of trust remains a key challenge especially when implementing peace, security and cooperation frameworks.