2013.03 Sara Geenen, Daniel Fahey and Francine Iragi Mukotanyi | The future of artisanal gold mining and miners under an increasing industrial presence in South Kivu and Ituri, eastern Democratic Republic of Congo


While the Congolese government is actively promoting large-scale industrial mining since it provides easy rents, artisanal mining seems to escape most attempts to control and regulate it. Yet artisanal mining provides employment and livelihoods to an estimated million people. This paper presents original research on artisanal gold miners in Province Orientale (Ituri district) and South Kivu. In both locations, the start of industrial gold mining operations threatens to displace artisanal mining from some of the areas where the soils and rocks have the highest gold concentrations. The research findings presented in this paper thus provide an understanding of artisanal miners’ perceptions on their work, income and livelihoods, at a time of transition, when local economies are shifting from purely artisanal production to a mix of industrial and artisanal production. They demonstrate that artisanal miners are strongly committed to their jobs and livelihoods. Even if they are displaced by industrial mining operations, artisanal miners are likely to remain within the sector, moving to new or existing mining sites. Thus, the success of state- or corporate-sponsored resettlement programs and alternative livelihood schemes may be affected by the desire of artisanal miners to retain their livelihood. While academics and policymakers debate whether industrial or artisanal mining can lead to long-term economic development, the survey results suggest that from the point of view of those engaged in artisanal mining, the artisanal livelihood is seen as more likely than large-scale mining to promote development, in part because it provides large numbers of relatively-good paying jobs.


Tandis que le gouvernement congolais est en train de promouvoir le secteur minier industriel, qui lui rapporte aisément des rentes, le secteur artisanal semble échapper à plusieurs tentatives de contrôle et de régulation. Néanmoins, l’exploitation minière artisanale procure de l’emploi et des moyens d’existence à un nombre estimé à un million de personnes. Ce papier présente une recherche originale sur les creuseurs d’or en Province Orientale (district de l’Ituri) et au Sud-Kivu, République démocratique du Congo. Dans ces deux régions le démarrage des opérations de production industrielle de l’or risque de déplacer les creuseurs artisanaux loin des endroits où les réserves aurifères sont plus grandes. Notre recherche met en lumière les perceptions des creuseurs artisanaux eux-mêmes concernant leur travail, leurs revenus et leurs moyens d’existence dans une période de transition : les économies locales sont effectivement en train de glisser d’une production purement artisanale à une production mixte industrielle et artisanale. L’enquête montre que les creuseurs sont fortement dévoués à leur travail. Même s’ils sont déplacés par les opérations industrielles, ils préfèrent rester dans le secteur artisanal, émigrant vers d’autres sites si nécessaire. Par voie de conséquence, le succès des programmes de ‘réinsertion’ et ‘activités génératrices de revenus alternatives’, appuyés par l’État ou par des entreprises privées, peut être sérieusement affecté par le désir de ces creuseurs de maintenir leurs moyens d’existence. Pendant que les scientifiques et décideurs politiques sont en train de discuter pour savoir si c’est l’exploitation minière industrielle ou l’exploitation artisanale qui peut contribuer au développement économique à long terme, les résultats de notre recherche suggèrent que, du point de vue des acteurs concernés, le mode de vie de creuseur artisanal est plus approprié à contribuer à un réel développement, notamment parce qu’il procure un bon nombre d’emplois relativement bien payés.

Download 2013.03 Sara Geenen, Daniel Fahey and Francine Iragi Mukotanyi | The future of artisanal gold mining and miners under an increasing industrial presence in South Kivu and Ituri, eastern Democratic Republic of Congo

2013.02 Marc Sommers | Adolescents and Violence: Lessons from Burundi


Burundi has one of the youngest and poorest populations in the world. Known as a rural-based nation, its urban growth rate is among the world’s highest. These defining characteristics of contemporary Burundi shaped field research on the state of Burundian adolescents

and the role of violence in their lives. The research, undertaken in late 2012, found a profusion of young Burundians threatened by deprivation and domestic and sexual violence. Most receive limited social and state protection and have difficulty remaining in school, finding work or securing

adulthood. In the countryside, strong cultural traditions and a weak state facilitate the mistreatment of orphans and girls who become unmarried mothers. In Bujumbura, many adolescents arrive alone and are vulnerable to exploitation. Their condition is underscored by girl

prostitutes called Toto Show and the Manjema men who “eat” them. Adolescents and Violence contrasts factors and specific populations that might fuel violent conflict with countervailing factors that have the potential to promote peace. The discussion paper ends by highlighting twelve lessons, drawn from the field research in Burundi, that promise to powerfully impact post-war development and reconstruction work in other countries.

Download 2013.02   Marc Sommers | Adolescents and Violence: Lessons from Burundi


2013.01 Luc Reydams | Let's Be Friends: The United States, Post-Genocide Rwanda, and Victor's Justice in Arusha


The International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda issued its last verdict in December 2012. This article examines whether the ICTR was doomed from the start to be a court of ‘victor’s justice.’ I explore the issue by re-examining the politics of the ICTR’s creation. Interviews with (former) US and UN ambassadors and hundreds of declassified diplomatic telegrams (‘cables’) and intelligence reports of the US Department of State shed new light on this process. My analysis concentrates on the strategy of the RPF vis-à-vis the international community and the responses of the United Nations and United States. In a previous publication, I claim that US leadership is a necessary (but not a sufficient) condition for successful international prosecutions. Building on that research, I argue that understanding the evolution of the relation between Washington and Kigali – from an early, almost accidental support of the RPF to nearly unconditional backing – can help explain RPF impunity. I do not suggest that Washington planned to shield Kagame from international prosecution, or that the US was the only Security Council member to embrace him. However, once Washington entered into a partnership with the ‘new’ Rwanda, it was committed to moving forward – and this implied burying the past and oftentimes also ignoring the present. The result was victor’s justice in Arusha – and seemingly endless war in neighboring Congo.

Download 2013.01  Luc Reydams | Let's Be Friends: The United States, Post-Genocide Rwanda, and Victor's Justice in Arusha