Contesting Authority: Armed Rebellion and Military Fragmentation in Walikale and Kalehe, North and South Kivu

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Policy points:
• It is essential to address the civilian support networks of armed groups.
• It is also important to deal with the structural causes of militarization and to promote transparent and accountable state institutions.
• There is also a need for a genuine national land reform process to address the return of refugee populations and disputes over landownership.

Abstract: This report analyses the involvement of these armed groups in public life in the territories of Kalehe and Walikale, in North and South Kivu. The current political and military landscape in these territories, defined by the presence of armed groups and the consequent fragmentation of local authority, is mainly caused by unresolved tensions between and within communities over territory, authority and resources; the lack of capacity of the Congo’s state services to provide protection; and the limited success of reintegration efforts. The report explores how these armed groups are embedded in local communities, how they are connected to local power struggles and how they are involved in the exercise of local authority, including in the fields of security, dispute resolution and revenue generation.

Keywords: Congo; Conflict; Armed Groups; Local Communities; Economy

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