- President Joseph Kabila has not been able to stabilize the DRC in his 16-year rule
- Postponement of elections sparked protests and triggered international mediation
- With control of the army and police, Mr. Kabila is not done and may sabotage the deal
The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has been one of Africa’s most troubled states since it won independence from Belgium in 1960. Perhaps fittingly, its latest crisis was defused by a last-minute agreement on New Year’s Eve between President Joseph Kabila and the opposition. Will it last?
The current crisis was triggered by President Kabila’s bid to stay in power after his term expired on Dec. 20, 2016. After Mr. Kabila announced his intentions, street protests erupted and were violently repressed by the military and the police, prompting the U.S. and the European Union to impose sanctions on some of Mr. Kabila’s partisans. The U.S. Treasury, prodded by President Barack Obama’s special envoy to the DRC, Thomas Perriello, specifically announced measures against Interior Minister Evariste Boshab and security chief Kalev Mutond.