While working on a mediation support task during the Kampala talks, it became quite evident, that the surprising-not-so-surprising victory of the FARDC over the M23 rebel movement would be a momentous event, not necessarily followed by a thorough process of addressing the root causes of the conflicts in the Eastern DRC. Whilst the strategy might have its benefits, a mix of military support, African solutions, and a wider regional framework for peace and support, it still requires the DRC government to prove that its governance structures in both the political and military sphere are able to address security issues while providing the impetus for economic development and thus peace and security to prevail. However, the initial honeymoon phase of change and transition has already turned into a deja vu exercise of weak institutions and re-arming of rebels (M23 factions are being re-supplied and forming again in the Eastern part of the DRC. ADF and other groups are re-positioning themselves, making the changes for the upcoming elections a daunting task.
Jasons Stearns’ article from December 2013 has a range of interesting points and hints that could form the basis of a renewed analysis and view of the DRC conflict.