n African Security Review - The 'one-plus-four' formula and transition in the Democratic Republic of Congo : feature

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In the aftermath of the signing of the 'Accord Global et Inclusif' (AGI) in Pretoria on 17 December 2002, not much was expected of President Thabo Mbeki's 'imposed political monster'. In effect, after Mbeki came up with his 'final plan' providing for a transitional presidency made up of a president and four vice-presidents, many blamed 'Mbeki's ignorance of Congolese political intricacies'. Mbeki's 'one-plus-four' formula was not only said to be unknown to the Congolese, but was also doomed to failure, given the nature of the stakeholders and the interests at stake in the DRC crisis. However, in view of the latest political developments in the DRC (a successful constitutional referendum as well as presidential, legislative and provincial elections, among others), we contend that, given the complexity of the Congolese conflict, Mbeki's design has emerged as a commendable contribution to the political solution of the Congolese crisis. Factors that have enabled such a transition mechanism to hold ought to be critically studied and eventually applied as a model for similar conflict situations in Africa and probably beyond.


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