Taking a Stand on Security Sector Reform

In partnership with an international coalition of civil society organizations, Eastern Congo Initiative (ECI) is launched a joint report on security sector reform (SSR) in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). The report discusses the opportunity that now exists for the international community to partner with the Government of the DRC to reform the security sector and, in doing so, take concrete steps towards creating a better future for the country. This report describes a path towards greater security if reform of the military, police and judicial sector is supported by firm commitments from the government of the DRC and the international community.

The report maintains that the underlying reason for many of the problems in the DRC is the pervasive lack of security throughout the country. It offers a critical look at the symptoms that a weak military, police and justice system project on the population as well as the root causes of the horrible reality of daily life in the DRC; lack of political will. Past attempts at military reform have failed mainly due to the lack of political will from the Congolese government, and the international community’s shortfalls in supporting and encouraging the momentum needed for reform.

Yet we believe this can change, and the time for that change is now. The recent conviction of Thomas Lubanga by the International Criminal Court and the act of Bosco Ntanganda turning himself in after the call for his arrest the President of the DRC proves that progress is possible.

At ECI we see the hope and inspiration in the Congolese people in our everyday work. We are committed to finding the path forward and partnering with those who also want to build a brighter future for the Congolese.

Interviews with Congolese Soldiers and Police

There has been some limited success in reforming individual units within the Democratic Republic of Congo’s security forces. With the right political will, and the support of the international community, broader reform is possible. Small-scale successes like those shown in this video can be replicated across the country.

Documents:

DRC Security Sector Reform Full Report (English)

DRC Security Sector Reform Full Report (French)