Publication Date

5-2009

Degree Name

MA in Sustainable Development

First Advisor

Samdani Fakir

Abstract

For more than four decades, North-Kivu province has been experiencing recurrent violent conflicts rooted in the structure of governance established by Belgian colonial power and the subsequent regimes that followed after Congo’s independence in 1960. Both internal and external factors have fuelled the conflicts including side effects of global capitalism and unfair distribution of people’s rights.

This study, limited to Masisi and Rutshuru territories, explores the relationship between rural development and the current conflicts in North-Kivu/DR Congo. From a big picture perspective, it appears that poor governance is the main cause of armed conflicts in the province. In regards to rural development, the current direct violence originates from power disputes; administrative and over land. However, neither central nor local governments have designed and implemented effective rural development plans capable of addressing the issue. Furthermore, NGOs that would help to fill the gap have minimized the impact of those conflicts in community development processes. The research revealed that although they operate in territories ravaged by ongoing conflicts, only one organization among the eight sampled mentions peace education and conflict management among its priorities.

Therefore, the research suggests that restoration of state authority and promotion of good governance are key elements for sustainable peace and prosperity in the DRC. More specifically, a decentralized government to which power is devolved to design and implement participatory rural development plans could contribute to gather citizens and organizations energy and get them focused on social development instead of divisionism and violence.

Disciplines

Economics | Growth and Development | Peace and Conflict Studies

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