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The Politics Of Citizenship In The Democratic Republic Of Congo

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Chapter Summary

The death or internal displacement of millions of people in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) since independence on 30 June 1960 can be traced, directly or indirectly, to what Mahmood Mamdani has termed "the crisis of post-colonial citizenship" (Mamdani 2001: 19-39). This chapter provides a brief historical analysis of two cases - the crisis associated with the Hutu-Tutsi conflict in Rwanda and Burundi and its repercussions in the entire Great Lakes region, and ethnic cleansing in Katanga province - with a view to showing how the politics of citizenship can be used to inhibit or frustrate political emancipation and democratisation. The first is directly tied to ethnic identity politics and the genocide of 1994 in Rwanda, and the second to colonial and post-colonial political manipulation aimed at weakening the emancipatory and democratisation processes.

Keywords: Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC); Hutu-Tutsi conflict; Katanga province; political community



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