Archive for January, 2013

Either you act quick before too much damage is done, or you have patience and try all avenues for peaceful dialogue.

I have tried to make sense of the long delayed international approving of PKO deployment to the Mali crisis as a sign of maturity in international UN and diplomatic circles; without knowing details I have interpreted the situation as peace negotiations must have been at least moderately successful. But now with the French bombing northern Mali I can only conclude that it is either too late, or too soon.

Although the sudden attacks must have been planned well ahead, something that speaks well with the rapid deployment of West African peacekeepers (a mission that would until a few days ago not happen before well into the autumn this year), the question is now what will happen. France will probably continue bombing rebel bases in the north, but will not employ soldiers in the region, except for a few in the Malian capital Bamako. European countries have promised to train both Malian forces and West African peacekeepers, but this will hardly affect the outcome of the crisis. We may get some indications what will come in the future by looking at past West African PKOs and if we look at the chiefly Nigerian missions in Liberia and Sierra Leone in the 90s it is not a pretty picture. Although ECOMOG missions to the two countries limited the intensity of the conflicts they clearly also prolonged them. In both countries the peacekeepers did not only fail to be neutral but very soon after their arrival they became part of the war economy, trading in natural resources, loot and arms. A West African mission in Mali will also have Nigerian forces as its backbone (and I am not saying that Nigerian forces are the only ones with problems or even those with most). One should be fair to say that the Nigerian army has developed positively over the past ten years or so, but be equally realistic: a West African PKO will become part of the conflict and individual forces will try to benefit economically from their presence – where the most troubling perspective would be involvement in the trans-Saharan drugs trade. Ultimately, however, if they will be successful or not depends on their ability to navigate a dry, sandy environment something they are not familiar with.

In the mean time we struggle to make heads and tails of the different movements in the area. MNLA (The National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad) must have been surprised when they with little resistance captured half of the Malian territory. Tuareg groups have fought for an independent Azawad on and off since independence, but has seemed to be more interested of being included into the Malian state and other peace dividends than actually creating an independent Azawad (see Bøås 2012), indeed so it also appears to be this time. Ansar Dine on the other hand came up with a more Islamist political agenda and after MNLA in confusion and unpreparedness for their newfound powers started to pillage towns and villages and rape civilians, many in the local population seemed to prefer Ansar Dine as they protected them better – it was security rather than popular interest in their religious-political agenda. Both these movements have been willing to retract from their independence agendas and have participated in peace talks with the government in Bamako. But while these problems appear bridgeable there are other more severe problems. First two other movements with roots outside Mali have won territory in Mali; Al-Qaeda in the Magreb (AQIM) and Movement for Oneness and Jihad in West Africa (MUJAO). With even more radical religious agendas they stand at odds with socio-political realities in Northern Mali, clearly also with Bamako and increase western fear of global radical Islam – fueling talks of the “Sahel winds” in political offices in Europe and beyond. From a northern perspective these two movements are the most acute problems for any peace plan. Secondly there is a question of the role of the pro-government militia Ganda Koy. Formed during the 1990s they carried out atrocious raids against civilians in the north well into the 2000s simultaneously as western governments hailed Mali as a well-functioning democracy (see previous blog post). Ganda Koy’s non-constitutional activities in the North clearly fed into state resentment especially amongst a Tuareg population. Although the activities of Ganda Koy elements today are less talked of due to the general messiness of the situation, they certainly play some role. Thirdly is the fragmented and fragile power situation in Bamako. The coup early last year did not just expose rifts amongst the political elite, but also the army. The split between the red and green barrettes is mostly talked about, but there are likely to be other groups pushing for influence as well. A sensitive area is the international drugs route with cocaine landing on the coastal states of West Africa and partly transferring through Mali en route to Europe. It is believed that both individuals in the Malian army and within rebel groups have a share in this lucrative trade. Within army and political elite there has since the coup been constant negotiations leading to new power constellations without a successful resolution. It is indeed mere speculation but maybe an emerging shift in power, first opened up for the Ansar Dine led attack into the south and maybe also in fear of losing the fragile power they had in Bamako finally lead France to take action showing that the old colony still lies well within France’s sphere of interest.

Now with the damage done France will have to think thoroughly over the consequences of attacking north Mali. First and most obviously France has increased her attractiveness for new terrorist attacks. Secondly France has now taken on the assignment to aid Mali into renewed peace and stability – this is a huge responsibility. And finally France must now counteract the obvious rejuvenation of radicalization that always follows military attacks by outside forces and more especially so in the religiously over-politicized world order of our times.


Bøås, M. (2012), ‘Castles in the sand: informal networks and power brokers  in the northern Mali periphery’, in Mats Utas (ed.) African Conflicts and Informal Power: Big Men and Networks, London: Zed Books, pp. 119-134

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Multi-party elections were a prominent feature of Africa’s political landscape in 2012, with twenty-three countries conducting polls – whether presidential, legislative or municipal. News coverage in the mainstream media has, at times, been framed in clichés and stereotypes. On the eve of the Sierra Leonean elections, the BBC published an article which opened: “Sierra Leone may be about to prove it has grown up”. The preoccupation is often with little more than who is likely to win and whether there will be violence. Rapid and diverse political transitions taking place across the continent are seldom reflected upon in any depth.

I have a longstanding interest in the politics of Sierra Leone, and so followed the elections on 17th November 2012 closely – albeit from a distance. I found a number of striking similarities with the polls in Ghana, which took place a few weeks later on 7-8th December, particularly interesting.

Both incumbent presidents secured enough support in the first round of voting to be declared outright winners. President Ernest Bai Koroma in Sierra Leone was returned to power with 58.7% of the vote. Opposition candidate Julius Maada Bio received endorsement from only 37.4% of the population. In Ghana, President John Dramani Mahama claimed 50.7% of the electorate, defeating his rival Nana Akufo-Addo by 325,863 votes.

The main opposition parties challenged the credibility of the electoral process. The Sierra Leone People’s Party (SLPP) denounced the results as fraudulent, citing “systematic and widespread irregularities, malpractices and injustices that occurred on polling day”, and called on its Members of Parliament and local government to boycott all proceedings. The instruction was subsequently revoked after talks with President Koroma and his All People’s Congress (APC). In Ghana, the opposition National Patriotic Party (NPP) refused to accept the outcome and has taken its complaints to the Supreme Court, but pledged to accept its verdict. If the NPP is able to prove beyond reasonable doubt that at least 150,000 votes were falsely attributed to the President Mahama they will be able to call for a re-run of the election, as the incumbent would not have received the necessary 50% of the popular vote in the first round.

Challenging the result of an election is a regular occurrence in Africa. Grievances are often legitimate, but it is how politicians articulate their concerns that is of paramount importance. In Sierra Leone, neither the APC nor SLPP resorted excessively to old tactics of mobilising party youth wings to intimidate rival supporters. Evidence of electoral fraud and malfeasance presented to the National Electoral Commission (NEC) by the SLPP was passed on to the police. In Ghana, Nana Akufo-Addo called on his followers to “avoid any kind of violent behaviour, and wait patiently for the decision of the court”.The imperative in the coming months is for relevant institutions in both countries to take objections levelled at the electoral process seriously, and make appropriate rulings.

It is crucial that electoral disputes are dealt with in a timely fashion. The Supreme Court in Sierra Leone took four and a half years to rule on a case initiated by the SLPP which accused the NEC of unlawfully annulling votes from 477 polling stations in the 2007 presidential elections. In the event, the court decided not to adjudicate, claiming that any judgement would be impossible to enforce retrospectively. If grievances are not addressed promptly, candidates or political parties might choose to bypass the law and institutions to achieve their political ends the next time round. In the meantime, both the electoral commission and judiciary are undermined.

Turnout was extremely high. In Sierra Leone, 87.3% of the registered population voted, up from 76% in 2007. In Ghana, 80% of voters cast their ballot, compared with about 67% in 2008. The desire to participate in elections in both countries, despite the fact that it has seemingly delivered few tangible benefits to most citizens, is conspicuous.

At a recent Royal African Society event in London, former British High Commissioner to Sierra Leone, Peter Penfold, recalled the months of civil disobedience that occurred in Freetown shortly after the 1997 Armed Forces Revolutionary Council coup which deposed the elected government of Ahmad Tejan Kabbah. Businesses, banks, schools and colleges closed as ordinary people sacrificed their livelihoods at immense personal cost in protest at having their democratic rights so blatantly violated. High turnout in the 2012 elections is evidence of Sierra Leoneans’enduring zeal for democracy.

A preliminary look at the final election results, by region, highlights some interesting developments. In Sierra Leone – where politics is divided along regional and ethnic lines – the APC made significant inroads into traditional SLPP strongholds. For example, in the southern state of Kailahun, the APC secured 22.6%, up from 5% in 2007; in Pujehun, 15.5% from 3% in 2007; and in Bo, 16.7% from 10% in 2007. It remains to be seen whether this is a sign that the predominance of regional and ethnic voting is being eroded or simply a result of more tactical sharing of political and economic largesse by the APC. Such voting patterns would have been highly unlikely in the 2007 elections.

A piece on Africa is a Country noted that in Ghana, election results from numerous constituencies appeared inconsistent. It was common for individual voters to support different parties in the parliamentary and presidential ballots. It is also interesting to note that in six of the 10 regions, votes cast for the presidential candidates were within a 10% margin and the result could well have gone either way.

The standing of the electoral management bodies in both countries was further enhanced by the considered use of technology. In Sierra Leone, the National Electoral Commission chose to capture thumb prints, along with photographs, during the registration process. The biometric data was recorded electronically and then collated to filter out any duplicates. Only after this process were voter identification cards issued. Ghana also adopted a biometric system, with two differences. Firstly, all ten fingers were scanned which increased the chances of identifying multiple registrations. Secondly, on polling day, people had their fingers taken again as an additional precaution against multiple voting. Concerted efforts were made by both electoral commissions to ensure the impartial conduct of temporary election workers.

Information technology was also skilfully and imaginatively deployed when covering, and monitoring, the polls. Dedicated election websites were established by civil society groups. In Sierra Leone, Salonevotes.com displayed live results from polling stations plotted on a map as they were released. The website also details a vast amount of other information, including voter demographics, turnout and any procedural disputes that arose. Ghanadecides.com is an initiative by bloggers and civil society to provide information to the public about the electoral process through social media, including educational videos on registration and voting procedures, news and events. A breakdown of results is available through VoteKast Ghana.

Sierra Leone and Ghana are seldom mentioned in the same breath when it comes to elections. The former is typically depicted as a fragile state recovering from a decade-long civil war, while the latter as one of Africa’s most stable democracies conducting its sixth consecutive electoral cycle. But the conduct of elections in both countries have much in common – notably a commitment to accession to power through the ballot box, avoidance of violence, the use of technology to mitigate fraud, and a prominent monitoring role for civil society. Although ethnic and regional allegiances are still important, the ways in which these play out might be shifting.

These are trends that can be identified across the African continent to varying degrees, and which should render comments about how any country has “grown up” rather irrelevant – and not a little patronising.

Jonathan Bhalla is Research Manager at Africa Research Institute. He has a longstanding interest in Sierra Leone and is co-author with Sareta Ashraph of “The more things change… Sierra Leone’s 2012 elections”.

This post was previously published on the Africa Research Institute blog.

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Observers often agree that ‘history repeats itself’[1] in Eastern Congo – from the slavery conditions imposed by Belgian King Leopold over Mobutu’s predatory state, to today’s armed militias. The reason why these ghosts come haunting Congo’s present is primarily related to unending competition over the ‘right to protect’ unfree populations; under the circumstances, this protection rather refers to a double-edged commodity that means extortion for most and a negotiated form of peace for some. The existence of such regionalized markets for protection in Congo’s eastern borderlands results in a situation whereby violent accumulation often outlives ideal statehood: soldiers, armed rebels, police and ‘non-state’ authorities fight for the right to exploit local communities and accumulate capital through extra-economic means. One the one hand, this pushes people further into poverty and undermines their efforts to earn a living; on the other, it leads to more stationary forms of predation as a result of post-war integration of such protection rackets into national state government.

 In Eastern Congo, history appears to repeat itself. For the fourth time since the official war’s end in 2003, a major rebel army in the east has been able to challenge the central government army on its main premises; on two occasions, this involved the occupation of a major city. Only after the initiation of major political negotiations were militia leaders agreeing to temporarily cede military operations. While the M23 movement officially asks for better political representation, thus causing major popular outrage against the Kabila government, their leaders admit behind closed doors that these are merely window-dressing for their military objectives. In that sense the recent M23 attack against Goma not only constitutes a military menace but also it threatens the popular legitimacy of Congo’s post-war government at its very heart.

The Congo Crisis is Bigger than M23

 The past year has seen a significant proliferation of armed groups in eastern Congo. There are now over two-dozen armed groups in the two Kivu provinces alone. As a consequence of army troops concentration in these areas, severe security vacuums have been created where populations become a major source of illegal taxation, forced labor, and property theft by government non-state armed forces. An Oxfam assessment from December 2012 shows that people from communities across eastern Congo feel that their security situation has deteriorated rather than improved since the conflict officially is over. The violence is not limited to abuses of men, women and children by armed groups, but frequently involve the very state officials who are supposed to protect and support them. Provocatively, Oxfam suggests that Congolese people have themselves become ‘commodities of war’[2].

How did it come this far? And why does ‘history repeat itself’ in eastern DRC? The sad reality is that this conflict would not even have made the headlines were it not for this major reason: that the Democratic Republic of Congo is technically at peace. After a short transition period of 3 years (2003-2006), president Joseph Kabila, who succeeded his father in the midst of war, was able to secure victory two times in national elections. Cohorts of foreign consultants advised him how to reform the national administration, finances and the army. Despite this political transition, peace has not yet taken root in the country, however: levels of violence have been on the rise in the east since the beginning of the transition period, with dire consequences for human security and economic development. The permanent presence of armed militias and their connections to foreign allies for many continues to be a sign of permanent government failure in the domain of national security and justice provision.

Taking the blame of this permanent state of emergency is often either Kabila’s decrepit government – which is increasingly awash by corruption and authoritarian traits, the UN Peacekeeping force MONUSCO, which, admittedly, has been unable to protect local citizens against enduring warfare, and, alternatively, the ‘competition for natural resources’[3]. The reality is of course a little more complex. In sum, Congo’s post-war environment is characterized by two main paradoxes both the central government and the ‘international community’ – a cover word for donor countries and Breton Woods institutions behind Congo’s main reforms, have difficulty grappling with.

The first paradox is that strategies at building peace have frequently had the contrasting result of generating more incentives for warfare. By putting all their eggs in the basket of security sector reforms, but without securing a proper integration of the country’s national army, Kabila’s advisors have actually made warlordism a major power-sharing device. For armed actors, securing a place at the negotiation table has become a crucial aim to ensure their stakes in regional markets for protection, and brutal violence becomes an increasingly accepted strategy to do so.

In this sense, it is not surprising that militia presence in the east of the country has started to proliferate right after the armed conflict in DRC officially ended, because the process of state building significantly increased the prospects to reap the dividends of peace. Rather than a question of ‘spoilers’[4], this post-war has been a direct consequence of the divergent paths the Congolese government and the international community have embarked upon to resolve what they see as the root causes of this ongoing crisis. While the government’s strategy has usually been that of expanding political patronage to integrate warmongers into fragile state structures, international donors have pushed for more aggressive strategies; for example concentrating on the isolation of logistical support towards armed actors (notably through the UN’s Group of Experts), or on the indictment of notorious war criminals like Bosco Ntaganda, one of the chief conspirators of the current M23 rebellion. One notably contradictory outcome of these divergences has been the nomination, of Ituri militiamen Peter Karim and Martin Ngudjolo as Colonels in the Congolese army, while their enemy Thomas Lubanga was indicted for war crimes at the ICT in The Hague[5]. On wider level, the consequences of these divergent roadmaps for peace in DR Congo have been double: on the one hand, they have contributed to a growing Congo fatigue among diplomats and international donor countries, thus placing Congo’s central government further in a defensive position. On the other hand, they appear to put forward a central militarized government as the only possible solution to perceived problems of state ‘failure’.

After the 2006 elections that brought Kabila jr. to power, the feeling reigned that his country was able to overcome the ghosts from the past. After all, Congo was a democracy now. Despite the returning ‘Kivu problem’, signs were pointing towards a steady post-conflict reconstruction. Ironically, however, nobody outside Congo appeared to acknowledge that the country’s political landscape was not a blank slate, but rather a multi-layered configuration of political alliances that were competing for a monopoly over power, profit and protection in quite a number of different domains[6]. His eagerness to ‘look like a state’ has made Kabila and his government and army feel increasingly under pressure to ‘do something’ about their perceived government failure in the domain of justice and national security, attempts which logically led to abrupt changes in these networks of political patronage[7].

At the same time, Kabila’s progressively hard-handed tactics in the east have led to an even wider isolation and weakening of his government at a regional and international level, to the extent that its legitimacy is now fundamentally at stake. Despite a few symbolic acts to counter Rwanda’s overt stake in the current M23 insurgency, Western diplomats are visibly turning Kabila their backs. Donor countries in the UN also increasingly distance themselves from their support for the Congolese army, which remains disintegrated, lacks coordination and is known mostly because of its systematic predation and rape of Congolese citizens. Not entirely new as a strategy has been the former colonial powers’ aversion from such Frankenstein-type figures they have themselves, at least partly, helped to create. For Kabila, this change of course means that the ‘West’ now needs to be isolated further to the benefit of actors who don’t see a powerful central state as a principal condition for their dealings with governments in the South: numerous shady agreements with opaque business conglomerates and international ‘rogue states’ like North Korea testify to this evolution; they increasingly make the Congolese state look like the warlords it claims to be fighting in the national domain.

The Congolese Road to Development

The second paradox of Congo’s post-war environment is what I would call the Congolese-road-to-development. Similarly to Somalia’s decentralized, non-state, networked forms of political organization some refer to as ‘mediated statehood’[8], the DRC has continued to experience different aspects of network war even under post-war conditions. Mark Duffield once explained such wars as violent forms of globalization, which pitch competing violent actors (including states) against each other in their bid for community ‘protection’[9]. Supposedly armed groups offer such protection to wave off the predatory behavior of their competitors; but mostly it serves against the stationary banditry they constantly engage in themselves. Rather than social rootedness, armed politicians typically use their privileged connections to global economic markets and political protectors to become locally embedded. Although this logic sounds sweeping, different constellations are nonetheless possible in such regional markets for protection; and different political orders may be maintained through such decentralized forms of development, depending on the level of autonomy, capital-versus-coercion based rule and political integration of the armed actors involved[10].

The dynamics underpinning the Congolese-road-to-development can be summarized as such: armed actors – including states – who are competing in the regional market for protection try to monopolize the coercion of peasant populations by territorializing their control over important assets; such assets can be mines, or major roads, or any economic activity that has a potential to be taxed. To be clear, the territorial control these agents seek to establish should be interpreted as only a means to an end: to coerce and tax economically active populations. So their control is only relatively territorial. One could compare their behavior to organized crime groups: for the mafia, for example, the ‘signorie territoriale’ constitutes the most tested aspect of its political subjectivity: originally invoked to supervise the payment of protection money, the ‘signorie’ gradually became a way of recognizing the role of ‘mafiosi’ as effective power holders and ‘alternative’ taxmen[11]. But contrary to some overtly economistic interpretations[12], the parallel between mafia and mediated government ends here.

The permanent presence of armed protector movements, be they state agents or not, depends on their successful diversion of local protection money to the movement’s benefit, but this may produce rather counter-productive outcomes for them in the long run. Contrarily to ordinary banditry, the evidence from Eastern DRC suggests that the institutional equilibrium between coercive agents and their forced clientele can range from pure extortion practices to some kind of “negotiated peace”, a slippery balance that highly depends on the social ties community local citizens are able to establish with these forced ‘protectors’[13]. As a wider consequence, however, this constant diversion of rents from productive laborers towards over-taxing extortionists increasingly puts the former under pressure and often leads to a serious depletion of peasant households. While the capital coercive agents are able to generate increases their likelihood of participation in post-war government, it further erodes their legitimate basis by increasingly pushing farmers away from their productive means, which tend to be over-taxed and becomes insecure as a result.

More concretely, the massive displacements armed violence continues to generate in the eastern parts of DRC[14] increasingly stimulates the emergence of a ‘hyper-mobile’ form of livelihood, which cyclically migrates between economic activities in the mines, farmland and ‘spontaneous’ urban settlements close to major cities and on the major axes. Especially the latter are becoming growing magnets for non-agricultural activities in the so-called ‘informal’ domain, such as urban markets and cross-border trade, which consequently have become the major alternatives to eroding agricultural economies.

In contrast to humanitarian aid agencies, which stubbornly continue to focus their efforts on more or less ‘stable’ localities like camp sites or urban agglomerations, this permanent state of emergency and hyper-mobility may in the long run may very well cause an even greater socio-economic shift in Eastern DRC that works to the benefit of the various brokers who strategically subscribe to the armed actors’ ‘protection’. The evidence suggests that Eastern Congo’s borderlands are already experiencing a shift from an agricultural towards an urbanized regional economy. As has happened before during periods of radical political transformations, such a restructuring of productive economic activity around armed actors and their clients may set in motion more stationary forms of local predation, which nonetheless acquire the benefit of legitimacy once they succeed to integrate themselves in wider political constellations[15]. The same evidence suggests that peace processes, or attempts to ‘buy off’ armed contenders with the promise of integrating them in future governments, actually may stimulate a permanent competition over local protection rackets in case state governments fail to impose themselves as the only ‘taxman’ and coercive authority over competing non-state authorities. To summarize, it may be useful to think that the reason why DR Congo continues to be a mediated state, characterized by a plethora of institutions, tariffs and jurisdictions in its eastern borderlands, may have to do inasmuch with the perceived failure of central government to expand political patronage, as with the international community’s flawed attempts to coerce powerful protection rackets into an ideal-type post-war state.

Timothy Raeymaekers is a lecturer of Political Geography at the University of Zurich. He is primarily interested in the political economy of armed conflict, borders and migration. After an education in contemporary European History (University of Ghent) and International Relations (London School of Economics) he had a short career in journalism, where he focused attention on social issues (squatters, racism, migration and economic markets) and African conflicts. He worked as an activist and analyst at the International Peace Information Service (Antwerp) before moving to University research into natural resource exploitation and the armed conflict in Central Africa’s Great Lakes region – particularly Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Uganda and Rwanda. His work about coltan (colombo-tantalite) and its role into the financing of the second Congo war (1998-2003) has been widely acclaimed as ground-breaking conflict reporting, with several important policy and judiciary implications.

This text first appeared in e-international relations



[1] The Guardian 23 November 2012

[2] Steven Van Damme, Commodities of War. Communities speak out on the true cost of conflict in eastern DRC, Oxfam Briefing Paper 164, Oxfam: New York, November 2012.

 [3] See for example http://www.enoughproject.org

 [4] Stephen J. Stedman, Spoiler Problems in Peace Processes, International Security, vol. 22, no. 2., 1997 ; Marcia Byrom Hartwell, Violence in Peace. Understanding Increased Violence in Early Post-Conflict Transitions and Its Implications for Development, WIDER Research Paper, n° 2006/18, WIDER, New York, February 2006.

 [5] Ngudjolo was later indicted by the same international tribunal, but acquitted of all charges.

 [6] Timothy Raeymaekers and Koen Vlassenroot, New political order in the DR Congo? The transformation of regulation, Afrika Focus, 21 n° 2, December 2008, pp. 39-52; see also by the same authors: Kivu’s intractable security conundrum, African Affairs, 108/432, 2009, pp. 475-484.

 [7] Examples of such government reactions were, in September 2011-March 2012, the export ban for Congolese minerals from North and South Kivu and, in July 2012, the judicial warrant for Bosco Ntaganda, whom Kabila had until recently granted an important leadership role in the national army. Both these decisions had quite a detrimental impact on human security, with huge population displacements, a dangerous mutiny as well as wider regional destabilization as a result of Rwandan-Congolese divergences over the M23’s demands.

 [8] Mark Bradbury, Living with statelessness: the Somali road to development, Conflict, Security & Development, 3:1, 2003, pp. 7-25 ; Timothy Raeymaekers, Ken Menkhaus and Koen Vlassenroot, State and non‐state regulation in African protracted crises: governance without government? in: Afrika Focus, 21 n° 2 (special issue on ‘governance without government in African crises), December 2008, pp 7-21.

 [9] Mark Dufield, Global governance and the new wars: the merging of development and security, London: Zed Books. 2001.

 [10] Timothy Raeymaekers, Protection for Sale? War and the Transformation of Regulation on the Congo‐Ugandan Border, Development and Change, 41/4, 2010, pp. 563-587 ; see also: Jonathan Goodhand, Corrupting or consolidating the peace? The drugs economy and post-conflict peacebuilding in Afghanistan, International Peacekeeping, Vol.15, No. 3, June 2008, pp.405–423; Richard Snyder, Does Lootable Wealth Breed Disorder? A Political Economy of Extraction Framework, Comparative Political Studies, vol. 39, no. 8, 2006, pp. 943-968.

[11] Salvatore Lupo, History of the Mafia, New York, Columbia University Press, 2009.

 [12] Some economists continue to compare armed groups (but not governments) to ordinary bandits, a perspective which is progressively contested by the evidence from contemporary (post-)wars: Berdal, M. (2005), Beyond greed and grievance – and not too soon…: Review of International Studies, 31, pp. 687-698.

[13] Compare, for example Nicholas Garrett, Sylvia Sergiou and Koen Vlassenroot, Negotiated peace for extortion: the case of Walikale territory in eastern DR Congo, Journal of Eastern African Studies, 3:1,2009, pp. 1-21, with Timothy Raeymaekers, 2010, o.c.

 [14] Between 1.5 and 2 million people in eastern Congo are constantly on the move. In North Kivu and South Kivu, 767.000 people have fled their homes since the beginning of 2012; an additional 60.000 people have fled into neighbouring Uganda and Rwanda (UNOCHA and UNHCR numbers).

 [15] In Congo this dramatic commodification of people’s productive labour has been going on since late 1980s, although it has taken a different shape during the war through the militarization of land access rights: Koen Vlassenroot and Chris Huggins, Land, migration and conflict in eastern DRC, in: Huggins, C. and Clover, J., eds., From the Ground Up: Land Rights, Conflict and Peace in Sub-Saharan Africa , Pretoria , ISS, 2005, pp. 115-194.

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