Leverage: The Missing Ingredient in the Peace Process in the Congo

From Enough blogs Thu Feb 14 2013, 20:16:01

Right now, only the groups who can either buy or bully their way into the discussion are participating in peace talks for eastern Congo. In a policy brief released today, the Enough Project's Aaron Hall and I identify incentives and coercive economic and diplomatic tools that can be used to bring the necessary parties to the negotiation table in a mindset where they are willing to make the difficult decisions necessary to forge a lasting peace. The third in a three-part series on Congo's peace process, the report argues that the international community, with behind-the-scenes U.S. leadership, must apply a carefully calibrated package of leverage on relevant stakeholders. Most analysts agree that eastern Congo needs a broader, legitimate, and internationally-mediated peace process. However, the international community is still struggling to get the right actors together to achieve this objective.

We argue that Rwanda, the M23 Movement, the Congolese government, and local eastern Congolese leaders all need to be involved in the peace process. Without endorsing any specific package of leverage, the brief identifies the carrots and sticks that can be used to bring those parties to the table.

Rwanda

Economic and security interests animate Rwanda's behind-the-scenes involvement in the current crisis in eastern Congo. The brief presents incentives that address both those concerns. We propose a joint economic framework for long-term investment in a responsible minerals trade, and an international commitment to help facilitate cross-border shared resources management through foreign direct investment in the Great Lakes region. We also suggest that security assurances in the fight against the FDLR could be effective. The planned regional intervention brigade envisioned by the 11+1 framework could be a vehicle for this assurance. The policy brief ...

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