Monday, November 17, 2008

Issues to Follow this Week

Several issues bear close attention this week.
1) The status of the war. Will General Nkunda maintain his unilateral ceasefire? Will other countries--Rwanda, Uganda, Angola, Zimbabwe--become more deeply implicated in the conflict? Or has the possibility of a major flare-up in the region abated?
2) Obasanjo's peace initiative. Who is he meeting? What are they saying? Are the parties to the conflict "buying in" to the peace initiative, or are they using it for merely tactical advantage?
3) The proposed ramping up of MONUC. Will the 3,000 extra troops be found? What extra resources will they be given to shore up the situation? If 3,000 more troops are provided, will this be another in a long series of inadequate half-steps that don't really change the underlying dynamics, or will it be a tipping point?
4) The continuing fall-out of the global economic crisis for mineral deals in the Congo. What impact for deals still to be confirmed? What impact for the operations of companies on the ground? And what impact, if any, on Chinese operations?
5) The investigation into UN troop conduct during the massacre at Kiwanja.

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