Hybrid Seminar: “Roadblock politics: The origin of Violence in Central Africa”, June 8 (NUPI, Norway)

Conflict within the heart of Africa has caught the attention of the International Community for decades, without resulting in any successful response. The continuation of civil conflict in places like the Democratic Republic of Congo has traditionally been seen as driven by the existence, and exploitation of vast deposits of lootable natural resources. Yet Peer Schouten challenge this perspective.

Through Schouten`s extensive mapping of the use of roadblocks in financing warring parties in the D.R.C, he demonstrates how the financing and rationale of rebel groups and other actors – partaking in Central African state formation – are poorly understood through the lens of resource exploitation.

By investigating groups such as M23 in northern Kivu, Schouten has been able to highlight how rebel groups use the control of passage points of the economy to tax anyone seeking to partake in the economic activity or be a relevant actor on the ground. Not only does Peer challenge the traditional role of “conflict minerals” and roadblocks` role in the order-making in Central Africa, but he also reveal the role – seemingly local – Central African rebel groups play in the global economy as relevant actors within global supply chains.

On June 8th Peer Schouten – Senior Researcher at the Danish Institute for International Studies – will present his groundbreaking book “Roadblock Politics: the Origins of Violence in Central Africa”. Followed by a discussion – centered on the book – moderated by Morten Bøås, Research Professor at NUPI.

Read more here.