Democratic Republic of Congo: Shaky Transition

Barely a year after its inception the Democratic Republic of Congo’s transitional government could be close to disintegration. In the biggest threat yet to the country’s fledgling peace, recent weeks have seen an apparent coup attempt in the capital Kinshasa, following a week-long occupation of the eastern town of Bukavu by renegade forces. Stabilising the situation will not only require coordination among fractious elements in Kinshasa, but also the cooperation of key regional players, not least neighbouring Rwanda.

The World Today Published 1 July 2004 Updated 16 October 2020 4 minute READ

Duncan Woodside

Freelance journalist reporting on the Great Lakes, Africa

The events in Kinshasa, which saw elements of the presidential guard briefly seize control of the national television station and announce that the army was in charge, represented the second coup attempt in less than three months.

Although initial indications were that the revolt may have been staged as part of a strategy by President Joseph Kabila to prepare the way for an emergency consolidation of his power base, such rumours only heightened concerns about the cohesiveness of the transitional government.

Cooperation was never going to be easy within the coalition, which came to power in June last year, ending five years of civil war. The power-sharing structure incorporated a number of previously opposed heavyweights, including Azarias Ruberwa, formerly leader of the Rwanda-backed Rally for Congoles

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