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  • sirola1 sirola1 Apr 17, 2013 8:56 PM Flag

    DRC's 2nd largest city under attack

    Maybe this has something to do with the drop as well as Simon leaving:

    The attack on the DRC's second largest city by 440 Mai-Mai fighters is a further indication of the Kabila government's inability to govern and enact reforms.

    The unexpected occupation of Lubumbashi, the second largest city in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), by 440 Mai-Mai fighters last month is another sign of the central government's lack of capacity to govern, ensure security or pursue reform. The occupation, which resulted in 35 dead and 53 wounded, serves as a reminder that the country's crisis is not limited to North Kivu in eastern Congo, or to warlords.

    By raising the flag of the state of Katanga (independent from 1960-1963) on Moïse Tshombe Square in the centre of Lubumbashi, the Mai-Mai Bakata Katanga group performed a powerful symbolic act.

    Katangan separatism has haunted Congolese politics since Congolese independence in June 1960. The province is the country's economic crown jewel, as industrial mining activities are concentrated there.

    But despite Katanga's (and Lubumbashi's) strategic importance, Mai-Mai Bakata Katanga entered the city with no resistance from the security forces and no protest from the population. The provincial and national governments were taken by surprise.

    Since President Joseph Kabila's controversial election victory in November 2011, government control over DRC territory has been in drastic decline.

    Beyond the fall of Goma to the M23 rebellion, Kinshasa has failed to repel the activities of various other armed groups: the Mai-Mai Morgan in Province Orientale, the Ituri Resistance Patriotic Front (FRPI) and the Mai-Mai Yakutumba in South Kivu, Rayia Mutomboki in North and South Kivu, as well as the Mai-Mai Gédéon in Katanga. (On the eastern Congo armed groups, see the October 2012 briefing Eastern Congo: Why Stabilisation Failed. On the Katanga armed groups, see the report Katanga: The Congo's Forgotten Crisis.)

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