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Collective Victimization and Subjectivity in the Democratic Republic of Congo: Why Do Lasting Peace and Justice Remain Elusive?

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image of International Journal on Minority and Group Rights

The Democratic Republic of Congo has experienced patterns of mass victimization since the country’s inception. As a private domain of King Leopold ii of Belgium, a Belgian colony or an independent state; the country has undergone numerous episodes of violence affecting not only individuals but also entire communities. Socio-political and economic crises have been accompanied by inter-ethnic violence, mostly in eastern provinces. Over the last decade, various mechanisms have been explored in attempts to address past atrocities. In addition to ongoing prosecutions before the International Criminal Court, a number of domestic initiatives have been or are still being explored. The present article examines the suitability of these mechanisms against the backdrop of the politically and ethnically fragmented landscape in the country. The inquiry examines whether domestic or international peace-building processes address not only individual forms of victimization but also subjective experiences and perceptions of collective victimhood.

Affiliations: 1: Assistant Professor, International Victimology Institute Tilburg, Tilburg Law School, The Netherlands; University of Rwanda,


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