News from eastern Congo has thankfully been relatively sparse. I say thankfully because news from Congo generally means bad news.

What follows is a good overview of the current situation in Congo from Strategy Page.
The UN, having tried everything else, finally authorized a special “combat brigade” of peacemakers in 2013 who were given a license to kill, and kill as often as needed to eliminate the last few rogue militias operating in the east. This appears to have solved many of the peacekeeping problems out there, but not the fact that Congo has returned to being a one party dictatorship based on corruption and exploiting ethnic divisions. Multiple tribal and political militias, plus an increasing number of bandits, continue to roam the eastern border area, perpetuating the bloodiest (and least reported) war of the 21st century (about six million dead). There is similar, but less intense unrest in other parts of the country (especially the separatist minded southwest).

The Congolese government finds it cannot (and to a certain extent, will not) cope with the continuing corruption and lack of order in the east and southwest. The reason is money, the millions of dollars available each year to whoever has gunmen controlling the mines that extract valuable ores and allow the stuff out of the country. Meanwhile UN peacekeepers in general continue to be criticized for not fighting more, but that’s not their job. Setting up a special brigade of peacemaker combat troops was not easy. But getting the Congolese army in shape for heavy combat is even more difficult, and the result may never be up to the standards of non-African forces.

This is especially true when the most effective army commanders are often accused of war crimes. The reality is that most rebels do not seek to overthrow the national government but rather remain in control of much of the border areas and the economic riches there. Meanwhile, the inept and corrupt government creates more anger than contentment, setting the stage for another civil war. The current president is preoccupied with his effort to change the constitution so he can legally become president-for-life via endless rigged elections.

The population is not eager for more violence, not after two decades of mayhem. But Congo remains mired in deadly chaos while much of the rest of the world gets organized and achieves a much better standard of living. Elsewhere in Central Africa the Burundi civil war threatens to reignite because the current president is trying to defy the constitution and become president-for-life. In the Central African Republic years of chaos (following the overthrow of a corrupt and incompetent dictator) has evolved into another Moslem versus Christian (and non-Moslems in general) conflict.