n African Journal on Conflict Resolution - Conflict and environmental insecurity in the North Kivu province of the Democratic Republic of the Congo

Volume 11, Issue 3
  • ISSN : 1562-6997


Despite receiving much attention in literature, the ongoing conflict in North Kivu has yet to be systematically studied with respect to its impact on environmental security. This paper seeks to contribute toward filling this gap. The paper argues that, notwithstanding natural factors such as the volcanoes - and social ills caused by poverty, unemployment and underdevelopment - environmental insecurity in North Kivu is caused by the 'relative scarcity' of land. The land crisis is aggravated by land ownership systems, demographic pressure, unregulated migrations and related identity disputes, short-sighted state policies and involvement by neighbouring polities; all of which set the stage for cyclic violent conflicts. In order to break this vicious circle, the article calls for the emergence of a strong and brave political leadership in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) as well as in the region, capable of establishing political, social and economic policies conducive to addressing the roots of the problems.

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