go to top
U.N. peacekeepers on patrol with Congolese soldiers near Tongo, eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo, March 19, 2014 (U.N. photo by Sylvain Liechti).

The U.N. Is Caught in a Trap as Kabila Angles for Third Term in DRC

Monday, May 2, 2016

There will be a major crisis in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) before the end of 2016, and nobody really knows what to do about it. This is neither an alarmist nor even a particularly contentious statement. Diplomats, United Nations officials and independent analysts agree that trouble is looming over the DRC’s presidential election, which is supposed to take place in November. The constitution bars the sitting president, Joseph Kabila, from running for a third term. However, almost all observers believe he intends to cling onto power, potentially unleashing serious violence.

Nobody can predict exactly how ugly this could get, but the crisis could signal the failure of one of the most ambitious international attempts at stabilization and state-building in the past two decades. The U.N. initially sent peacekeepers to the DRC in 1999 to help the country out of a civil war that claimed hundreds of thousands—by some estimates, millions—of lives. The force eventually expanded to over 20,000 troops and police and is still the largest blue-helmet operation.* ...

To read more,

enter your email address then choose one of the three options below.

Subscribe to World Politics Review and you'll receive instant access to 10,000+ articles in the World Politics Review Library, along with new comprehensive analysis every weekday . . . written by leading topic experts.