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Corruption and governance in the DRC during the transition period 2003-2006
Source of the information:
Institute for Security Studies - ISS
The last ten years have been some of the most difficult in the history of the DRC. This vast and resource-rich country in the centre of the African continent has been devastated by wars imposed on its long-suffering people by its neighbours, Rwanda and Uganda. More than four million people have died from the direct and indirect consequences of the conflict.
In spite of the devastation that has been visited on the Congo, with the assistance of the international community elections were held in 2006 and at the beginning of 2007, thus putting an end to a long political transition and raising the hopes of the Congolese people.
It is now that the most difficult period starts as the government begins the process of putting a country that has been shattered by decades of neglect, mismanagement, corruption and wars back on the road to sustained peace and stability and, it is hoped, development.
This study makes a modest contribution to a review of the transition period. It assesses the strengths and weaknesses of the anti-corruption institutions and laws that were in force during that time, evaluates the degree of their success or failure and identifies the factors that supported or inhibited their effectiveness.
The report finds that the anti-corruption initiatives reviewed here either failed or achieved limited success. The reasons are manifold.
Firstly, most initiatives were inspired and imposed by the international community and were not owned by the Congolese ruling elites.
Secondly, the international community itself only gave lip service to the fight against corruption as it feared that robust action could jeopardise the electoral process.
Thirdly, all the initiatives reviewed above were undertaken in an ad hoc manner and were usually taken out of fear of seeing the electoral process unravel. They were not based on a thorough analysis of the situation and were not part of an overall anti-corruption strategy.
Finally, the Congolese political actors knew corrupt activities could be conducted with impunity as the international community had adopted a laissez- faire attitude toward corruption and all other crimes to make sure that the electoral process was not derailed.