As Congo Burns, Kabila Shops for Giraffes

As Congo Burns, Kabila Shops for Giraffes
Congolese President Joseph Kabila during an independence day celebration, Kindu, Democratic Republic of Congo, June 30, 2016 (AP photo by John Bompengo).

Editor’s Note: Every Friday, WPR Associate Editor Robbie Corey-Boulet curates the top news and analysis from and about the African continent.

The United Nations peacekeeping mission in Democratic Republic of Congo reported this week that an additional 38 suspected mass graves had been discovered in the central region of Kasai, the latest indicator of the gravity of violence that has claimed more than 3,000 lives since last year. The new findings mean that at least 80 mass graves have been identified in connection with the Kamuina Nsapu insurgency, a main driver of instability in a country that appears to be unraveling on multiple fronts.

In the east of the country, about 80,000 people were said to have fled fighting between government forces and self-defense militias. A U.N. report warned that fighters for the Lord’s Resistance Army were becoming “more and more active” in Congo’s north. And in Kinshasa, there was little hope of progress toward resolving the country’s political impasse, which centers on the fact that President Joseph Kabila remains in office even though his mandate expired last December. On Sunday, Felix Tshisekedi, son of the late opposition leader Etienne Tshisekedi, said on Twitter that officials’ claims that an election could not be organized this year amounted to a declaration of war.

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