New Kivu Security tracker report co-authored by Christoph Vogel

(23-02-2021) The landscape of armed groups in Eastern Congo: Missed opportunities, protracted insecurity and self-fulfilling prophesies

Conflict and insecurity continued to plague populations in the eastern Congo in 2020. Amidst a global pandemic draining humanitarian funding – only 34% of requested annual aid had reached the Congo in 2020 – conflict continues to simmer, with a record high of 5.5 million displaced across the country. Recent Kivu Security Tracker data also indicates a steep rise in killings, violent deaths and other forms of violence since the end of 2019, compared to previous years.

Nonetheless, compared to previous years, we observe a decrease in the number of belligerents. Whereas in 2019, roughly 130 armed groups existed in the Kivus alone, our 2020 inventory counts around 120 across the entire eastern Congo, including North Kivu, South Kivu, Ituri and Tanganyika.

This briefing dives into the key dynamics of armed mobilization and insecurity in the eastern Congo in order to better contextualize the 2020 edition of Kivu Security Tracker’s armed group mapping. It distills key trends by looking at several geographical hotspots and analyzing some of the broader political and social developments that shape the contours of violence and conflict.

Read the full KST report.