In 2005, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) adopted a democratic constitution by referendum. Calling for decentralization, the implementation of checks and balances and the complete overhaul of the security sector, the constitution sought to radically change governance in the troubled central African country.
In 2006, the Congolese chose their leader in elections hailed as a landmark for the peace process and state reconstruction. Elected on a platform of rebuilding the country and furthering democratization, Joseph Kabila pledged to respect the rule of law and immediately implement the constitution. Four years later, not only have these commitments been suspended, but Kabila has invoked sovereignty and called for the withdrawal of the United Nations stability and reconstruction mission, MONUC, by 2011.
Given this context, a new international strategy is necessary to support democratic consolidation and long-term stabilization. In “Congo: A Stalled Democratic Agenda,” the International Crisis Group outlines a number of steps required to restart the democratic transformation.
The brief is based on the unfulfilled aspirations of the constitution, and outlines a comprehensive but concise overview of Kabila’s campaign, his failure to uphold promises and the regime’s present priorities. Despite the relative silence of the international community, the report also highlights the investments it has made in support of stabilization and reform and the role it must play to facilitate a democratic transformation in the future.