Jonathan goodhand corrupting consolidating peace
The existence of such regionalized markets for protection in Congo’s eastern borderlands results in a situation whereby violent accumulation often outlives ideal statehood: soldiers, armed rebels, police and ‘non-state’ authorities fight for the right to exploit local communities and accumulate capital through extra-economic means.One the one hand, this pushes people further into poverty and undermines their efforts to earn a living; on the other, it leads to more stationary forms of predation as a result of post-war integration of such protection rackets into national state government.Taking the blame of this permanent state of emergency is often either Kabila’s decrepit government – which is increasingly awash by corruption and authoritarian traits, the UN Peacekeeping force MONUSCO, which, admittedly, has been unable to protect local citizens against enduring warfare, and, alternatively, the ‘competition for natural resources’. In sum, Congo’s post-war environment is characterized by two main paradoxes both the central government and the ‘international community’ – a cover word for donor countries and Breton Woods institutions behind Congo’s main reforms, have difficulty grappling with.
Patrick Meehan is a Researcher at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London.
In that sense the recent M23 attack against Goma not only constitutes a military menace but also it threatens the popular legitimacy of Congo’s post-war government at its very heart.