Please respond to more than 2 other students. Responses should be a minimum of 150 words and include direct questions, evidence from the literature, alternative points of view or additional insight. B
Please respond to more than 2 other students. Responses should be a minimum of 150 words and include direct questions, evidence from the literature, alternative points of view or additional insight.
Below you will find what the other students wrote in order for you to do a response to each one.
Sheree wrote: Hello Class,
For this week’s forum, I will attempt to answer question number one concerning Eastern Congo and why it is considered a weak state.
Eastern Congo is an area in Africa on the surface seems like an area that would not have the troubles of those that are considered a weak state. This region is rich in natural resources, minerals that power the world’s consumer electronics, and land enough to feed Africa (The Eastern Congo, 2016). However, this region has not been able to overcome obstacles that could make it a strong state within international relations.
When reviewing the Council on Foreign Relations website, this area of the world is dependent on the help of other nations for their survival. A strong state does not need the help and support of others it can function independent of anyone else. Therefore, we can deduce that one of the reasons that this region is considered weak is that the government is not capable of providing necessary services to it citizens. Nor is the government capable of controlling the region and its citizens. Desch (1996), also says “states have weak governments, little effective control of the economy (despite frequent efforts to control large parts of it), a low level of political institutionalization, and chronic political instability” (p. 242).
Looking at the definition given by Desch and the information given in the info graphic, the area has civil unrest and the government seems powerless to stop the conflict. There have been many refugees fleeing into the area and it causes ethnic problem. Many civilians have died throughout the years because of rebels and other political reasons. “These ‘weak states’ may come to play reluctant hosts to TNRs through their simple inability to rid their soil of such groups” (Salehyan, 2006, p. 70). The capital is to far away to be of much help as the distance creates the inability to govern affectively.
The government has also not been able to provide economically for the millions of people that reside in the area. Many of the people of Congo live on $.75 cents a day, which translates to a little less than $200 for the year (The Eastern Congo, 2016). The people of Congo also do not live in regular housing, but instead live in tents all throughout the region. The government has failed to provide housing, clean water, and electricity to its citizens.
Until the government of this area gets its act together, this region will be considered a weak state and hopefully not fall into becoming a failed state. The United Nations can only do so much, and so far their efforts have fallen short. The region has gone through so much, but only until real action can be taken, will the area begin to see real progress.
“The Eastern Congo.” Council on Foreign Relations. Accessed February 20, 2018. https://www.cfr.org/interactives/eastern-congo#!/?cid=main-interactive_dap-the_eastern_congo.
Desch, M. C. (1996). War and strong states, peace and weak states? International Organization, 50(2), 237. Retrieved from https://search-proquest-com.ezproxy2.apus.edu/docview/219221268?accountid=8289
Salehyan, I. (2006). Rebels without borders: State boundaries, transnational opposition, and civil conflict (Order No. 3219846). Available from ProQuest Dissertations & Theses Global. (305354604). Retrieved from https://search-proquest-com.ezproxy2.apus.edu/docview/305354604?accountid=8289
In my own understanding of the material for this topic, I believe that the many reasons why the state of Eastern Congo is weak is due to the fact that there are too many people that literally wants to claim a stake on being in charge. Every tribe, every rebellious groups wants to rule and have power over all the state of Eastern Congo and it does not matter at what cost as long as they get it or at least thinks that they have the political power to rule over the state. As far as the actors involved in the attempt to get the state in order and rebuild its economy, the infrastructures, the education system, healthcare system, military system, there are just too many cooks in the kitchen that things get totally lost in translation.
About the aides that outside actors are pouring in to fund the state of Eastern Congo, I wonder if these actors tried to use these aides as a leverage to get these militant activists to surrender and consider retraining for reformed lives. I understand that it takes more than that but all these allies that wants the best for these state in question, what gives? Countless lives have been taken because of the greed and corruption and the struggle for political power and gain, has the foreign actors, the UN Security counsel has turned their eyes away because of frustrations of never-ending raids from the armed rebels? As a nation well- equipped enough to intervene and help save those children from heartless, corrupt political and military officials, did the state of USA just accepts that the state of Congo is a military run government? I don’t understand so much of the process of the attempt for keeping the peace for this state, and for sure I do know that it takes so much more than just convening to end this conflicts within the state but I believe that if all the allies and foreign actors would consider using their aides as a leverage, I think that might be a good starting point.
“The Eastern Congo.” Council on Foreign Relations. Web. 20 Feb. 2018.
After reviewing the CFR’s Crisis Guide on Eastern Congo, I found myself surprised that the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has not completely failed, losing all control or perceived authority over it’s borders and people. The dire situation of the area has not been well represented in regular media coverage within the United States recently, and I found myself, as I’m sure many others, did not fully comprehend the turmoil it has consistently gone through. DRC is a weak state. It struggles to maintain a stable economic, political, or armed forces platform, outside of armed conflict issues the economic and infrastructure damage and deterioration has contributed to a major portion of it’s inability to make greater strides in progress.
After winning independence from Belgium in the 1960’s, DRC immediately fell off the tracks, largely due to outside influence. The leader backed by the United States, Mobutu Sese Seko, allowed a declining economy and deteriorating infrastructure and armed forces, which mentioned before led to a weak state. Ethnic, political, and other power conflicts cause a lack of economic opportunity, compounding the underlying issues (IMF 2015).
Primary conflicts erupted after the Rwanda Genocide in 1994, in which approximately one million innocents were killed. The resulting movement included many of the genocide perpetrators fleeing to DRC into Refugee Camps. In retaliation/response the Rwandan government began to directly impact itself into DRC issues in armed conflicts that crossed established borders. Pro Rwandan faction groups, militias, and local or ethnic groups began rising up for territorial and ideological control. The most influential being the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR) and the Ugandan Allied Democratic Forces (ADF), which has been in heavy opposition with the Congolese army in a significant portion of the armed conflict. The many ethnic groups and militias continue to cause significant problems in armed conflict and control of territorial areas. Totaling more than 5.4 million deaths (the most since World War II), 3 million displaced peoples, 1.5 million female victims of sexual assault and human trafficking, and thousands of child militants (Counsel 2015) are causing a turmoil that is overbearing on peacekeeping efforts. It is estimated that 10% or less of total deaths are that of soldiers. The rest are from civilian casualties, famine, and disease (Coghlan 2007).
The United Nations (UN) deployed peacekeeping mission (MONUSCO) has been the largest and most expensive in UN history. Significant improvements have been made, but the economic, political, and military underlying issues have yet to be resolved, causing uncertainty and more fragile situations being set up as DRC goes through elections and potential power shifts associated with it. Continued outside pressure from surrounding countries, both positive and negative, will weigh heavily in the outcome of UN support. Large scale problem solving and critical thinking will continue to play a pivotal and crucial role in the future of DRC, which has a long, long, road ahead of itself before potentially breaking out of it’s weakened state.
International Monetary Fund, “Democratic Republic of Congo” 2015 Article IV Consultation Press Release; Staff Report; And Statement by the Executive Director for Democratic Republic of Congo,IMF Country Report No. 15/280 (Oct 2015). Accessed February 20, 2018. https://www.imf.org/external/pubs/ft/scr/2015/cr15280.pdf
Council on Foreign Relations, The Eastern Congo, part of the Council on Foreign Relations’ InfoGuide Presentation, “The Eastern Congo”, YouTube, published Dec 10, 2015, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wSU6v-PNd74
Coghlan, Benjamin, Pascal Ngoy, Flavien Malumba, et al., International Rescue Committee, “Mortality in the Democratic Republic of Congo” An Ongoing Crisis (May 2007). Accessed February 20, 2018. Accessed from https://www.rescue.org/report/mortality-democratic-republic-congo-ongoing-crisis, full report at https://www.rescue.org/sites/default/files/document/661/2006-7congomortalitysurvey.pdf
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