In December, the people of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) will head to the polls to elect a successor to long-time President Joseph Kabila. Security remains at the forefront of the DRC’s challenges, with 600,000 Congolese having been forced to flee to neighboring countries amidst protracted internal conflicts. While there are deep concerns about whether December’s elections will be free and fair, the next administration will tackle a large slate of economic, social, political, and security challenges, including ongoing armed intervention by some of the country’s neighbors.
On October 11, the Africa Security Initiative at Brookings hosted three DRC experts to discuss its internal and external security problems. John Tomaszewski, regional director for Africa at the International Republican Institute, Emily Renard, senior policy advisor for Africa at Open Society Foundations, and Sasha Lezhnev, deputy director of policy at the Enough Project, shared their perspectives on these issues with moderator and Brookings Senior Fellow Michael O’Hanlon.
Following their conversation, panelists took questions from the audience.
Senior Policy Advisor, Africa - Open Society Foundations
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We're at an impasse where we're not going to give North Korea what they want, and the North Koreans are not giving us what we want. [Each week that passes without progress] really lays bare the anemic nature [of the declaration President Trump and Kim Jong-un made in June in Singapore].