Academic Commons

Articles

What the Uproar Over Congo's Elections Misses

Autesserre, Severine

Over the past year, as the Democratic Republic of the Congo has descended into a political crisis, journalists, activists, foreign diplomats, and the leaders of international and nongovernmental organizations have focused mostly on the drama surrounding President Joseph Kabila’s attempts to cling to power by delaying elections.

This narrow political focus recalls the outside world’s approach to Congo the last times the country prepared for general elections, in 2006 and 2011. Now, as then, the preoccupation with elections distracts from the issues whose resolutions are most likely to lead to peace: the poverty, unemployment, corruption, criminality, and poor access to land, justice, and education that are at the root of Congo’s long-standing violence.

Bringing peace and prosperity to Congo will require a change in attitude, away from the crisis in Kinshasa and toward the local actors who have the power to address the deeper sources of the country's troubles.

Geographic Areas

Files

Also Published In

Title
Foreign Affairs

More About This Work

Academic Units
Political Science (Barnard College)
Published Here
April 7, 2018
Academic Commons provides global access to research and scholarship produced at Columbia University, Barnard College, Teachers College, Union Theological Seminary and Jewish Theological Seminary. Academic Commons is managed by the Columbia University Libraries.