Tag Archives: DRC

Clashes take place on western outskirts of Juba on January 4; first instance of armed conflict in the capital since July 2016 – South Sudan Alert

Please be advised

Reports indicate that heavy gunfire and artillery were exchanged as forces belonging to Colonel Chan Garang Lual attacked Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) positions in Kapuri and Luri, west of Juba, with additional fighting and military mobilization reported in Juba’s Lemon Gaba neighborhood during the evening hours of January 4.

The SPLA confirmed in a statement on January 5 that their positions had been assaulted by “rebels” belonging to Chan Garang. Chan was additionally reported to claim responsibility for the attacks, claiming to inflict high casualties and that dozens of SPLA soldiers had defected to his forces during the events.

During the fighting, the South Sudanese government ordered that mobile providers shut down access to the 3G network and mobile internet on January 4 for “security reasons”. There continue to be disruptions to mobile internet services at the time of writing.

Sources citing a government spokesperson on January 5 indicate that additional troops have been mobilized to the western areas of Juba to reinforce security measures against the rebels, including searches of residences in the area for weapons.

Assessments & Forecast

Juba has not seen armed conflict since July 2016, when several days of fighting between the government and Riek Machar’s SPLA-IO led to the expulsion of the rebels from the capital and Machar’s flight to DRC. In the absence of rebel forces, with opposition sympathizers largely fleeing or seeking refuge at the UN Protection of Civilians (PoC) sites, Juba has been calm in the year and a half since then. Tensions were raised in November when President Salva Kiir ordered the military to disarm former SPLA chief of staff Paul Malong, was then under house arrest after being fired in May, though the standoff was ultimately resolved by Malong’s release and departure to Nairobi. Amid these events, Colonel Chan Garang Lual, an SPLA officer loyal to Malong, announced his defection from the government to engage in a rebellion against President Kiir. At the time, he stated that he was holding a position “near Juba” with his men, and this incident serves as the first confirmation that his rebel forces remained in the vicinity of the capital.

Although Chan announced when he defected that he would be joining the SPLA-IO under Machar, it remains unclear to what degree there has been any communication or organization between Chan and the main rebel movement. Given the relatively limited size of the clashes, it does not appear that Chan has assembled a larger force beyond those with whom he defected several months earlier, thought to number in the low hundreds. In this case, Chan seems to have taken action in Juba independently from Machar’s organization. Instead, with his claims of gathering new defectors, these events may have been driven by new SPLA forces defecting from the government. These soldiers may have a personal connection to Chan and, more likely, loyalty to ex-SPLA chief Malong. We assess that, despite the public announcement of joining the SPLA-IO in November, all of the developments involving Chan illustrate that the greatest threat to the status quo in South Sudan is the trajectory of Malong and his followers rather than that of the traditional armed opposition.

To this point, it is possible that the timing of Chan’s attack in Juba was deliberately aligned with recent developments in Northern Bahr el Ghazal State, Malong’s home region. President Kiir has made a series of public moves to consolidate his political support base in Aweil, appointing Malong’s rivals as top government and military leaders in that sector, and having Malong’s residence raided by SPLA troops in late December. However, days later, two SPLA officers and local government officials loyal to Malong fled to Sudan with 1,500 soldiers who joined the South Sudan Patriotic Army (SSPA) led by Agany Abdelbagi Ayii. The SSPA has been operating on the South Sudan – Sudan border for much of the year and has been suspected to be linked to Malong. In this context, this may have served as incentive or encouragement for further defections and other activity near Juba.

FORECAST: Despite the attacks in Juba, the events and players in Northern Bahr el Ghazal continue to retain the highest risk of escalation. It is unclear to what degree Malong himself is involved in the actions that his followers have taken though, at this point, it has become increasingly unlikely over the past several months that he is entirely dissociated from their actions. He continues to hold significant support among Aweil-area natives, including SPLA troops and Mathiang Anyoor militia, and could likely inspire a much greater number of defections beyond those who have been seen thus far, should conflict ignite. That thousands have already joined the SSPA, known to receive material support from Khartoum, continues to elevate the threat of renewed clashes on the Sudanese border over the coming weeks.

FORECAST: With that said, while the risks in Northern Bahr el Ghazal are high, this is less likely in Juba. Notwithstanding the January 4 fighting, the threat to the capital city is not as distinct given the balance of forces in and around the city is in President Kiir’s favor. Chan’s troops are outnumbered, by far, not only by the SPLA but by Kiir’s own Tiger Division as well as the National Security Service (NSS) forces. Although this does not rule out the potential for similar, relatively small clashes in the same area of the Juba outskirts, or near the southwestern route into the capital, this is unlikely to significantly escalate in the near term. While new developments may emerge to make a shift on the ground possible, this clashes on January 4 are insufficient to indicate a deterioration of the security conditions in Juba at this time.


Those traveling to South Sudan should restrict essential travel to Juba, while maintaining heightened vigilance and adhering to stringent security protocols, given high levels of crime and insecurity.

We advise against all travel outside of Juba to outlying areas of South Sudan, given the continuing clashes between the armed opposition and pro-government troops throughout the country, as well as repeated instances of inter-communal violence.

Political uncertainty following President Felix Tshisekedi’s withdrawal from coalition government increases potential for unrest, violence – DRC Analysis

Executive Summary

President Felix Tshisekedi dismantled the governing coalition of his Coalition for Change (CACH) and the Common Front for Congo (FCC). This is a culmination of 16 months of repeated conflict as both camps have accused the other of attempting to consolidate political influence ahead of the 2023 elections, with the courts and electoral commission being a focal point.

Tshisekedi is set to appoint an advisor to find a new majority in the National Assembly, which will be a highly difficult task given the significant minority of seats held by CACH compared to the FCC’s 341 seats out of a total of 500.

Although Tshisekedi has sought domestic and regional support, including from the Congolese security services, ahead of the coalition withdrawal, there remains a heightened potential for the ongoing political uncertainty to manifest as civil unrest and violence.

Travel to Kinshasa and Lubumbashi can continue while adhering to stringent security precautions regarding armed criminal activity and avoiding all large gatherings and protests due to the potential for unrest.

Please be advised

On December 6, President Felix Tshisekedi announced the end of the coalition government between the Common Front for Congo (FCC) and Coalition for Change (CACH). He stated that an advisor would be appointed to decide upon a new majority within the National Assembly and hinted at the possibility that the parliament would be dissolved. He further asked PM Sylvestre Ilunga to resign.

Reports indicate that 279 MPs voted for a motion to dismiss the parliamentary office headed by National Assembly Speaker Jeanine Mabunda on December 8, claiming that she violated Article 139 by not publishing the March 2020 financial report despite it being due in April. FCC and CACH members subsequently clashed inside the Palais du Peuple in Kinshasa, while their supporters were dispersed with tear gas outside.

Reports from December 4 indicate that FCC members accused CACH of corruption and specifically of attempting to bribe FCC officials with between 7,000 to 9,000 USD per member to defect in an effort to get a majority in the National Assembly. Mabunda reportedly asked the Council of Elders within the assembly to open an investigation.

In a meeting with President Tshisekedi and other security leaders, the Armed Forces of the DRC (FARDC) Chief of Staff reportedly stated that the military is apolitical, with a mission to protect the head of state and the larger population. A video circulating on November 30 showed General Christian Tshiwewe reiterating the apolitical nature of the Republican Guard tasked with protecting the presidency, further stating that he urged members “not to plot against the government by taking part in clandestine meetings”.

Reports indicate that 305 MPs reaffirmed their membership in the FCC coalition on November 30.

In November, President Tshisekedi reportedly met with the Angolan and Congolese presidents to discuss DRC’s political crisis. The FCC denounced the display of Angolan fighter jets over Kinshasa as Tshisekedi’s display of military power. Tshisekedi also sent high-level delegations to strengthen bilateral ties with several regional countries, including Egypt, Rwanda, and South Africa.


The FCC-CACH coalition government was officially launched in August 2019 after President Tshisekedi won the December 2018 presidential elections while former President Joseph Kabila’s FCC achieved a large majority in the National Assembly in the March 2019 parliamentary elections. There have been persistent allegations that Tshisekedi won the presidential election after making a deal with Kabila, who was leaving office after 18 years due to international pressure to respect term limits, though such a deal has not been publicly acknowledged. Through the FCC-CACH coalition, Kabila and the FCC have held significant governing powers under the Tshisekedi administration, including coordinating important appointments within the army and judiciary, as well as various ministries, including the PM.

Due to this system of co-management, the two camps have been continuously in conflict with each other over the past 16 months. Both have accused the other of attempting to increase their influence through government appointments. One example is the FCC’s introduction of a judicial bill in June 2020, which included placing the judiciary under parliamentary supervision and allowing the Minister of Justice to sanction magistrates if proven guilty of conducting offenses. This was criticized by CACH as an attempt to consolidate power ahead of the 2023 elections. The alleged agreement between Tshisekedi and Kabila is believed to stipulate that Tshisekedi would support an FCC candidate in the next elections.

Assessments & Forecast

Persistent conflict between Kabila and Tshisekedi leads to dismantling of coalition government

The FCC-CACH coalition government has been at odds with each other since its conception, with recurring conflict between the two regarding various appointments and other governance disputes. The tensions that finally ended the coalition was triggered by Tshisekedi’s appointment of three Constitutional Court judges to replace Kabila-appointed judges without consulting the FCC. The FCC perceived this move as unconstitutional and an attempt by the president to consolidate his influence over the judiciary ahead of the 2023 presidential elections, which would contradict the alleged agreement to have Tshisekedi support the FCC in the next election. This underscores the influence that Kabila is attempting to wield via the FCC, which was formed in mid-2018 ahead of the repeatedly delayed presidential elections and came to achieve a massive majority within the National Assembly. This majority has created a significant tool for Kabila to remain politically engaged and seek a return to power in 2023.

This build-up of political conflict eventually led to President Tshisekedi announcing the “Sacred Union” consultations in which he discussed the political impasse with various political parties, former PMs, and members of religious and civil society organizations. However, this only exacerbated the rift, as the FCC perceived this as an attempt by Tshisekedi to bribe or coerce members of other political parties, including the FCC, to defect and thus erode the FCC’s parliamentary majority. To this point, Kabila reportedly banned FCC members from participating in the talks without his permission. While Kabila has the support of the FCC, he has struggled to fulfill his promises in providing them with important ministerial positions given the conflicts over power-sharing with CACH and Tshisekedi’s efforts to limit Kabila’s prominence in the administration.

Kabila’s diminishing popularity was also evident through the large-scale unrest in the lead-up to the 2018 elections due to the perception that he was attempting to retain power through the FCC presidential candidate, Emmanuel Ramazani Shadary, who officially came in third place. Regardless of the rumored agreement between Kabila and Tshisekedi that may have made the latter’s presidency possible, it appears that the public was supportive of a change in leadership. In this context, Tshisekedi has also seen relative popularity in implementing considerable reforms, which contrasts with Kabila’s difficulty in satisfying his promises to the FCC. Consequently, there is the possibility that some FCC members will be willing to realign in support of Tshisekedi. Tshisekedi’s decision to withdraw from the FCC-CACH coalition government may itself be an indication that he believes this potential is there. More broadly, the consultations with many of the country’s stakeholders likely bolstered his confidence to break away from the FCC and attempt to seek a majority of his own.

Tshisekedi likely to struggle to form majority to counter political influence of pro-Kabila camp

Tshisekedi is faced with the task of achieving a new majority in the National Assembly, which is expected to be very difficult. By dismantling the coalition, Tshisekedi has pleased some of his supporters, including among his own party, the Union for Democracy and Social Progress (UDPS), who have been critics of the FCC-CACH union from the beginning. Similarly, the other member of CACH, the Union for the Congolese Nation (UNC), has pledged its continued support despite its leader’s imprisonment. However, as of writing, CACH only has 47 seats out of the total 500 seats in the National Assembly, whereas the FCC holds 341. The remaining 112 seats are held by the Lamuka opposition coalition. This may also present a challenge to Tshisekedi given that Lamuka has sporadically protested over its claim that their presidential candidate, Martin Fayulu, had actually won the elections in December 2018.

FORECAST: However, Tshisekedi is likely to convince prominent Lamuka leaders such as Jean-Pierre Bemba of the Movement for the Liberation of Congo (MLC) and Moise Katumbi of Ensemble – Together for Change. Both had agreed to participate in the consultation talks to support Tshisekedi against Kabila. In this context, there is an increased likelihood that the advisor that Tshisekedi appoints to form the new majority in the National Assembly will be from the Lamuka coalition. At the same time, it remains to be seen if all 112 seats held by Lamuka will be persuaded to join the president. Even if he does manage to gain all 112 seats, the pro-Tshisekedi camp would then stand at 159 seats against the FCC’s 341. Tshisekedi will be forced to persuade FCC members to defect to his side in order to achieve the 251-seat majority that is needed.

Tshisekedi is likely to try to convince the FCC’s second-largest constituent party, the Alliance of Democratic Forces of Congo and Allies (AFDC-A), which holds 41 of the seats in the FCC coalition. The AFDC-A is in the midst of its own internal conflict over its leadership, with Senator Modeste Bahati Lukwebo facing Nene Nkulu Ilunga in court over the party’s presidency. This conflict had begun when Lukwebo refused to withdraw his candidacy to be the President of the Senate in 2019 despite the FCC having chosen another person as its preferred candidate, which led to Lukwebo being removed from the FCC. Lukwebo is considered an ambitious politician who may be willing to strike further agreements with Tshisekedi given his history with the FCC. However, given the dispute within the AFDC-A, it is unclear how many of its members would support Lukwebo and shift allegiances with him.

In any case, Tshisekedi will struggle to put together a majority and mitigate FCC influence, particularly as the FCC has gone on the offensive to push a narrative that Tshisekedi’s actions have been unconstitutional. FORECAST: This political conflict between Tshisekedi and Kabila is expected to hamper proper governance in the coming months and entrench wider political uncertainty. This can already be seen with Tshisekedi’s demand that Kabila ally PM Sylvestre Ilunga resign to allow for the new majority. This also comes alongside the conflict within the National Assembly over the motion to dismiss the office led by Speaker Jeanine Mabunda, another Kabila ally who is accused of violating Article 139 by not pushing a financial report in April. However, it is highly notable that 279 MPs voted for the motion against Mabunda, meaning that FCC deputies were among those who voted against her. While the FCC claims that CACH bribed MPs to support the motion and Mabunda has also initiated an investigation into corruption charges, this is unlikely to explain the entirety of the vote even if it is confirmed. This highlights the possibility that Tshisekedi will be able to pull support from current FCC members and potentially form a majority.

FORECAST: With that said, the political situation can be expected to deteriorate further if Tshisekedi and his advisor are unable to get this majority against Kabila, with PM Ilunga likely to refuse to resign as well. Tshisekedi may have to resort to his threat to announce fresh elections. This is likely to be further condemned by the FCC and others as unconstitutional. Moreover, organizing new elections will likely be a very difficult task for the Independent National Electoral Commission (CENI), particularly in the mandated 60-day period after the announcement. This was previously difficult for CENI in 2018 and will be further exacerbated by challenges associated with the COVID-19 pandemic as well as the ongoing armed conflict throughout the eastern provinces. Furthermore, if Tshisekedi calls for parliamentary elections, it is likely that the FCC will push for new polls at all levels, including the presidency.

Tshisekedi bolsters regional support amid possibility of political uncertainty devolving into unrest

These developments notably come ahead of President Tshisekedi taking up the African Union (AU) presidency in February 2021. It is possible that he will attempt to achieve some political stability ahead of February and then engage in further maneuvers in February with AU backing. Tshisekedi sent delegations to several African countries in November, including South Africa, Rwanda, and Egypt, to reiterate bilateral cooperation and support. He also met with Angolan President Joao Lourenco, displaying the two countries’ military cooperation in Kinshasa. It is likely these meetings were intended to ensure regional support ahead of finalizing his decision to break away from the FCC. The international support could also bolster his credentials to a domestic audience. Consequently, the FCC denounced various aspects of these meetings as attempts to downgrade the FCC’s influence and bolster his own support base.

It is also notable that before the withdrawal, Tshisekedi met with the heads of national security agencies, during which the FARDC chief of staff claimed to be apolitical and focused on protecting the population. This is illustrative of Tshisekedi’s awareness and acknowledgement of Kabila loyalists remaining within the security services and the potential they would attempt to intervene in politics. These concerns were further exemplified by reports that the head of the Republican Guard was said to order his troops to remain loyal to the presidency. Despite these reported statements in support of Tshisekedi, his perception of the increased threat of pro-Kabila military intervention was underscored when the military was reportedly ordered to leave the Mont-Ngaliema headquarters in Kinshasa, which also contains the presidential residence. Given Kabila’s popularity among the FARDC during his time in office, this concern is likely valid.

FORECAST: At the same time, as the political conflict continues, there is growing potential for this to translate into civil unrest, particularly given the harsh and often inflammatory rhetoric used by both the pro-Kabila and pro-Tshisekedi camps. This has already been seen through two separate clashes between opposing members at the National Assembly in recent days. Given precedent, both coalitions may launch protests as well as organized rallies across the country, particularly in Kinshasa as well as Lubumbashi, which is a Kabila stronghold. These hold the potential to turn unruly and devolve into violence with security forces in the coming weeks.

Ultimately, amid the broader political maneuvering expected, it is possible that President Tshisekedi will enter negotiations with Kabila and the FCC, particularly if Tshisekedi and his advisor are unable to form a majority. However, the recent developments would have illuminated the depth of Tshisekedi’s political and civil society support and thus he would be less likely to capitulate to the FCC on various matters of governance. Instead, he could be expected to seek concessions for a renewed governing coalition, which can include more room for independence by CACH as well as minimize the constant political conflict over every new attempt to implement reforms to CENI and the Constitutional Court. Tshisekedi will also likely seek prominent appointments for his supporters in the Sacred Union consultations. While this scenario may hinder Kabila’s ability to fulfill his own promises to FCC supporters, it is possible that he would agree to the negotiations if Tshisekedi would then agree to back an FCC candidate in the 2023 elections. However, these scenarios remain questionable as the political situation is expected to remain uncertain and relatively unstable over the coming weeks and months.


Travel to Kinshasa and Lubumbashi can continue while adhering to stringent security precautions regarding armed criminal activity.

Avoid nonessential travel to outlying areas of DRC, particularly the Kasai region and the eastern provinces of North Kivu, South Kivu, and Ituri given the high levels of criminality and insecurity caused by armed groups.

As a general security precaution, it is advised to avoid all large public gatherings and protests in DRC given the high potential for unrest and other associated security risks.

Nature of communal violence in Ituri Province highlights government attempts to politically capitalize on country’s ethnic cleavages – DRC Analysis

Executive Summary

After a decade of relative calm, widespread inter-ethnic violence erupted in Djugu Territory of Ituri Province in December 2017. This latest round of ethnic clashes comes after an eight-year conflict between the two groups came to a halt, and has the potential to further spill into the rest of the province as the conflict becomes more protracted.

While there is an exclusively ethnic dimension to the conflict, this latest round of clashes escalated mostly due to government reluctance to stem violence at the local level.

Precedent suggests that the Kabila administration’s passivity in regards to the crisis may be a ploy to buy time ahead of the upcoming December elections.

As the upcoming presidential election gets closer and uncertainty surrounding Kabila’s succession increases, there is a distinct potential for ethnic violence to erupt in outlying areas of the country where anti-Kabila sentiments prevail.

We advise against nonessential travel to outlying areas of DRC, particularly the eastern provinces of North Kivu, South Kivu, and Ituri, as well as the Kasai region, given the high levels of criminality and insecurity caused by armed groups.

DRC Analysis: Nature of communal violence in Ituri Province highlights government attempts to politically capitalize on country’s ethnic cleavages | MAX Security

Friction Points | MAX Security

Current Situation

According to reports, communal violence broke out in mid-December 2017 in Ituri Province’s Djugu Territory, which is located north of the provincial capital Bunia, following a confrontation between Lendu youths and Armed Forces of the DRC (FARDC) soldiers assisted by Hema youths.

This particular incident allegedly devolved into a string of tit-for-tat attacks that rapidly spread throughout Djuru Territory. Since the wave of violence began, at least 120 people have been killed, dozens of villages burned down, and more than 200,000 civilians displaced, mostly to Uganda’s Hoima district.

On April 25, a UN human rights team issued a report stating that they had identified five probable mass-graves containing bodies of people, mostly from the Hema community, in Blukwa Center and Maze, both in Djungu Territory.

On May 4, FARDC’s Chief of Staff expressed his satisfaction from the “peace awareness campaign” in Ituri Province, praising the “peaceful renewed cohabitation between ethnic Hema and Lendu in Djungu Territory”.

Assessments & Forecast

The Hema and Lendu previously fought a violent eight-year conflict over ethnic tensions and resources, which mostly subsided in 2007 and the two populations have largely coexisted peacefully. While there have been intermittent attacks by elements of the Front for Patriotic Resistance in Ituri (FPRI), a Lendu militia, this did not escalate previously, thus this latest wave of violence is highly notable as it stands in stark contrast to the general trend seen in the province over the last decade. In this regard, although violence has persisted and even escalated in other provinces of eastern DRC in recent times, such as North and South Kivu, Ituri remained largely unaffected by these trends. Indeed, reports citing local residents indicate that several local conflicts over land, cattle or authority, similar to those that flared up the latest clashes, were largely kept under control.

On March 20, the government decided to intervene and launched a military operation to quell the ongoing intercommunal clashes. The government intervention was successful to a degree, as a number of safe corridors opened up and IDPs have slowly returned to their villages. The fact that the government waited almost 100 days to alleviate the situation suggests that President Joseph Kabila’s administration may have attempted to exploit these events in order to stall the elections at a time when uncertainty surrounding his succession is severely eroding his reign over the country. This is particularly likely as voter registration represents a central precondition for the electoral process, and on February 5, the head of the Independent Electoral Commission stated that the Ituri violence could have a negative impact on the voter registration process for the twice-delayed elections, now scheduled for December. Even though the polls have not been officially postponed again, the government has continuously cast doubt on its ability to conduct the process.

These factors combined indicate that the government likely assisted in facilitating the conflict in order to capitalize on the events for political purposes. This is supported by accounts of locals being told by soldiers that they were not allowed to shoot if their village came under attack, as well as several witness accounts of FARDC collaboration with militias. This was with the calculation that a high level of violence would provide enough pretext to showcase the volatility in parts of the country, and the subsequent constraints on organizing and conducting an election.

A similar scenario already took place in DRC during the 2016 Kamwina Nsapu rebellion in the Kasai Region. The conflict, which first started as a dispute between Jean-Pierre Mpandi, a local ethnic Luba customary leader, and central authorities in Kinshasa, rapidly escalated when Mpandi was killed by the Congolese military on August 12, 2016. This quickly devolved into the creation of the Kamwina Nsapu militia by Mpandi’s followers, which began a campaign against security forces in late 2016. This insurgency was met not only by a large-scale security offensive against the rebels, but numerous accounts state that the government funded and directed local militias that attacked ethnic Luba villages, exacerbating the humanitarian crisis in the region. This provided a pretext for Kabila to obstruct the organization of the presidential elections. The head of the country’s electoral commission regularly cited problems with voter registration amid inter-ethnic violence as one of the main reasons for the postponement of the 2016 polls.

FORECAST: In regards to the conflict in Ituri specifically, we assess that, while the “peace awareness campaign” launched by the government assisted in reducing the violence, this is only likely to quell intercommunal conflict in the short term. As we have previously assessed, President Kabila’s actions suggest that the launch of the military operation may be little more than a facade to prevent international scrutiny, rather than an actual desire to resolve a crisis that his administration may eventually capitalize on for political purposes. Also, considering that the FARDC has been increasingly overstretched in recent months due to the increased political unrest in the country, as well as MONUSCO’s reduced presence nationwide, there is a possibility for violence to resurge in the coming months. Should this occur,  it will likely manifest as raids and counter-raids, engendering further retaliatory violence which may, in turn, continue fostering the civilian exodus to Uganda’s Hoima District. Given precedent, the clashes are likely to remain limited to locales scattered across Djugu Territory as well as areas of the rest of Ituri Province where the two groups live in close proximity.

FORECAST: Taken as a whole, and given the fact that DRC is marred with lingering ethnic tensions, the government may attempt to subtly foster ethnic conflict in additional areas of DRC in order to create a state of nationwide crisis that could be used as a justification for the suspension of the December elections. This would buy time for Kabila to seek a safe exit from office that will safeguard his interests or to further entrench himself in power. This could be done by either actively triggering violence in tense areas or passively allowing ethnic flare-ups to escalate. This is further supported by the fact that Kabila’s government is currently facing a substantially more complex political landscape, which means that the president will have a much tougher time attempting to incorporate the opposition in order to buy time as he did in 2016, when his administration co-opted several high-profile opposition members as part of the Saint-Sylvester Agreement. This agreement, signed by the ruling and opposition parties, stipulated that elections culminating in a transfer of political power would be held by the end of 2017, and was ultimately ignored by authorities. As such, and considering that the government does not seemingly have a similar alternative for relieving political pressure that was available in 2016, when the Kabila administration still had some room for political maneuvering, it is highly likely that the government will continue to fuel inter-communal strife as the political impasse continues and elections draw near.


Travel to Kinshasa and Lubumbashi can continue while adhering to stringent security precautions regarding armed criminal activity.

We advise against nonessential travel to outlying areas, particularly the eastern provinces of North Kivu, South Kivu, Ituri as well as the Kasai region given the high levels of criminality and insecurity caused by armed groups.