The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), a nation that exists more as a bureaucratic concept than a functional reality- is currently led by an inept ruler, Tshisekedi, who seems utterly devoid of any coherent plan to make anything done, let alone tackle the long-standing issues of insecurity plaguing his war-torn nation. Rather than taking concrete steps to address internal issues, he has resorted to blaming Rwanda, a nation roughly 89 times smaller than his own.
To begin with, the DRC struggles to maintain even a semblance of a functioning state in most parts of the country. Recent figures from the UN Joint Human Rights Office paint a grim picture of insecurity within the DRC. According to their estimates, from October 2022, a staggering 86% of human rights violations are attributed to the police, the army, or the intelligence services, while armed groups are responsible for just 14% of such violations. This startling data underscores the level of instability and insecurity perpetuated by the very institutions that should be maintaining law and order.
The Congolese armed forces (FARDC), are plagued by indiscipline, rampant corruption, and troubling collusion with major armed groups, including the notorious genocidal group FDLR. These issues severely undermine FARDC’s ability to protect the Congolese population effectively. Moreover, FARDC soldiers often go unpaid for months, resorting to extortion and robbery of civilians for survival. Many Congolese citizens, in response, seek protection from their ethnic militias to shield themselves from harassment by Tshisekedi soldiers.
The proliferation of these militias has given rise to approximately 266 armed groups scattered across the region. Some of these groups find themselves receiving support from the Tshisekedi regime, while others are deemed hostile due to their lack of affiliation with Kinshasa. Among these entities, M23 stands out as a notable example. Presently, M23 is engaged in confrontations with a multitude of other armed groups, including but not limited to the FDLR, APCLS, Nyatura, and CODECO, among others. Remarkably, M23 undertakes these operations on behalf of the Tshisekedi army, which ideally should be tasked with eradicating such groups but instead supports them.
Meanwhile, the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF), which maintains affiliations with the Islamic State, as well as CODECO and the Zaire militia, persist in committing acts of brutality with alarming regularity, perpetuating the cycle of violence and suffering under the watchful eye of Tshisekedi.
Given the facts laid out here, one can’t help but wonder if Tshisekedi’s leadership is a prime example of how not to rule a nation. As for the DRC, it seems more like a patchwork of chaos than a cohesive nation. And truth be told, expecting any sort of miraculous turnaround at this point would be akin to waiting for snow in the Sahara!