Congo’s Election: the Battle for Kinshasa

While Congolese waited for the presidential election results last month, I heard several half-truths about Congo. The one that has stuck with me happens to be a favorite among Western diplomats. “Kinshasa is not Congo,” they say, commenting on the east-west tension surrounding President Joseph Kabila’s candidacy. Their premise is sound, but their conclusion is wrong. Kinshasa, which lies in the country’s far west, is the gate to Congo, and whoever holds the key to the city controls national politics. With more than 7 million residents and 12 percent of voters, the capital is also the country’s most ethnically integrated […]

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