The Democratic Republic of Congo is one of the most resource-rich nations in the world, holding the largest deposits of critical minerals which will be key to the coming industrial transformation. But it is also a nation that is well into its third decade of war – a war that in many ways is forgotten, ignored, and buried away from public attention.
But one person who has been paying attention is Jason Stearns, a Senior Fellow at the Center on International Cooperation and Chair of the Advisory Board of Congo Research Group. In his exhaustively researched excellent new book, “The War That Doesn’t Say Its Name: The Unending Conflict in the Congo,” Stearns explores how the conflict has continued despite the 2003 peace agreement, with the fighting becoming a structural economic activity.
In his discussion with Amsterdam, Stearns doesn’t hold back on the enabling role he has seen in the donor community, flooding the country with millions of dollars of aid while a narrow elite class has emerged among the military and security bureaucracy while the country has remained mired in war and poverty.
Stearns’ sharp and insightful on the crisis in the Congo is informed by more than a decade of experience working there on the ground in human rights organizations, leading him to present very compelling theories of how conflict has subsisted, why peacekeeping efforts have failed, and how we should start to think differently about intervention in Africa writ large.
A highly recommended publication – go pick up a copy.