Institute of Development Policy

Pathways to peace and drivers of democracy in the DRC (23/01/18)

Pathways to peace and drivers of democracy in the DRC

Panel discussion

Continuing political uncertainty threatens the prospect of peace in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. In December 2016, hours after President Kabila’s second five-year term expired, over 20 people were killed in confrontations between protesters and security forces in Kinshasa.  While elections have now been set for December 2018, commentators warn that further delays could result in more violence. At the same time, despite multiple peace deals and a colossal UN peacekeeping effort, at least seventy armed groups are believed to still be operating in the East, leaving over 2.7 million internally displaced persons.

Which external and internal actors and what factors are determining the political dynamics and chances of peace, democratization and inclusive development in the DRC?

Reflecting on Kris Berwouts’ new book, Congo’s Violent Peace: Conflict and Struggle Since the Great African War, this event will delve into the complex recent history of this troubled country, bringing together a panel of esteemed DRC experts and development practitioners for an informed, critical discussion on the future prospects of the DRC.

Some of the questions that this event seeks to explore include:

  • How can we explain the internal dynamics of peace and conflict in the DRC?
  • How do these dynamics interact with the election process?
  • Which of the DRC’s neighbours have played a role and what role can they be expected to play in the near future?


Tom de Herdt


  • Kris Berwouts – and author of ‘Congo’s Violent Peace’

  • Marie-Rose Bashirwa – Institut Supérieur de Développement Rural, Bukavu (RDC)

  • Patrick Milabyo – International Institute of the Social Studies (ISS) of the Erasmus University of Rotterdam

  • Pierre Englebert – Russell Smith Professor of International Relations and Professor of Politics, Pomona College


Institute of Development Policy (IOB) - University of Antwerp
Promotion hall
Lange Sint Annastraat 7
2000 Antwerp


Tuesday 23 January 2018 from 5.00pm until 6.30 pm