Political Chronicles 2019

Continuing the tradition of L’Afrique des grands lacs. Annuaire, this companion volume to Conjonctures de l’Afrique centrale (Paris, L’Harmattan) offers a survey of political developments in Burundi, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda and Uganda throughout 2018. Two main features have dominated events in the region. On the one hand, after several delays Joseph Kabila was forced to give up the presidency in the DRC, but there are many doubts about the reality of this “transition”. Although a candidate from the opposition was elected president, the official outcome robbed another opposition candidate, Martin Fayulu, of his victory. In addition, Kabila’s electoral platform Front commun pour le Congo (FCC) officially obtained a large majority in both houses of parliament, thus keeping elected president Félix Tshisekedi on a leash. On the other hand, relations between Uganda and Rwanda have continued to deteriorate against the background of aggressive verbal exchanges and mutual accusations. War between them can no longer be ruled out. In all four countries, the internal political dynamics have remained cause for concern: risk of stalemate in the DRC, authoritarian governance and gross human rights abuse in Rwanda, the anti-Arusha tendency in Burundi, and intra-elite tensions in Uganda.