If we can draw one overarching policy implication from the Congo wars, it is the growing disconnect between the existing international conflict response toolkit and the complexity of violent conflict on the ground. The struggles for power over people, territory, and resources in the DRC take place at different scales (local, national, regional, international) and cut across diverse social and political networks. They often turn violent and their outcomes are in most cases unpredictable, making insecurity and uncertainty central characteristics of eastern Congo’s landscape. Consequently, one-size-fits-all approaches to conflict resolution and management are unlikely to work in all situations. The overwhelming yet under-addressed need to manage conflict complexity, including transnational dynamics and the proliferation of non-state actors in conflict, is at the core of current policy debates about types and ranges of interventions by international and regional organizations and has relevance for stabilisation efforts in the DRC, around which this proposal is centred. Driven by the aim to bridge this gap, there is need for an independent, regular and field-driven flow of information on the complexity of conflict and security in lturi, North Kivu and South Kivu. Therefore, the University of Ghent -via its Conflict Research Group (CRG)- puts forward the following proposal of a conflict analysis and research project, closely linked to ISSSS implementation, by suggesting a close partnership with locally embedded researchers and research centres.

  • Funding: GIZ
  • Time: 2019-2022
  • People involved: Koen Vlassenroot (PI, CRG Director), Christoph Vogel (Co-PI, Research Director), Michel Thill (Co-PI, Learning lead) , Godefroid Muzalia (Co-PI, GEC-SH Director)