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Primary Commodities and War: Congo-Brazzaville's Ambivalent Resource Curse

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Abstract

Abstract (112 words) This article empirically tests and theoretically qualifies prevailing theories linking natural primary commodities and civil war. Drawing on interviews with ex-militia and politicians, we find that oil did contribute to civil war in the Republic of Congo. At the same time, however, we also conclude that conflict would never have arisen in the first place had democratization not generated substantial political instability. Once the fighting began, moreover, petroleum’s overall effect was ambiguous. Oil tempted elites to fight, but the oil fields’ remote location also limited most combat to the capital city; later on, oil money helped underwrite a 1999 peace settlement. Despite polarization among Congo’s three main ethno-regional groups, the country did not fracture into ethnic, secessionist, or warlord zones. ,2 Biographical Sketch Pierre Englebertis Associate Professor of Politics at Pomona College. His most recent book is State Legitimacy and Development in Africa(Lynne Rienner, 2000). His current research focuses on the institutional and territorial resilience of Africa’s weak states. James Ronis Associate Professor of Sociology and Canada Research Chair in Conflict and Human Rights at McGill University. He recently published Frontiers and Ghettos:
Primary Commodities and War: Congo-Brazzaville's Ambivalent Resource Curse
Author(s): Pierre Englebert and James Ron
Source:
Comparative Politics,
Vol. 37, No. 1 (Oct., 2004), pp. 61-81
Published by: Ph.D. Program in Political Science of the City University of New York
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/4150124
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Primary
Commodities
and War
Congo-Brazzaville's
Ambivalent
Resource
Curse
Pierre
Englebert
and James Ron
Political economists
argue
that
developing
countries
with abundant
natural resources
are
likely
to suffer from
the
"resource
curse,"
a double-barreled
affliction
of
poor
governance
and
irresponsible
economic
behavior.1
Analysts
have
applied
this
approach
to civil
wars,
arguing
that
primary
commodity
dependency
may
stimulate
armed
rebellion.2 Abundant natural resources are
a
"honey pot,"
tempting
potential
rebels
to
try
their
luck,
especially
in
the world's
poorest
regions.
With few
legal
eco-
nomic
alternatives,
young
males
will
turn
to violent resource
plunder
for
survival
and enrichment.
This
phenomenon
is
especially
widespread
in
sub-Saharan
Africa,
resource theorists
claim,
because
economic conditions
there
are
particularly
grim.
Indeed,
the
incidence
of civil war
was
higher
in
sub-Saharan
Africa
than
in other
regions during
the
1990s,
and African
war-related
casualties
have
claimed a
dispro-
portionate
share of the
world's
total
in
that decade.3
Political
rebellion,
in
this
view,
has
much in
common
with
regular
crime,
but its
incidence
is lower
due to
greater
risks
and
start-up
costs.4
General
arguments
about
the
effects of
resources on
civil war
rely
on
large-N
statistical
analyses,
but
they
find
support
in
case
studies
from Colombia to
Afghanistan.5
Some
studies
suggest
that
globalization
exacerbates
the
resource
effect
on
conflict,
as
improved
transportation
and communication
helps
even the
least
sophisticated
warlord
sell
bootleg
resources
on world markets.
Others
suggest
that
dwindling superpower
patronage
makes
resource-driven wars
particularly
attractive for
elites
and
mid-ranking
members
of
developing region
bureaucracies
and militaries.
This article tests the
hypothesis
that abundant natural
resources
stimulate
war
by
analyzing
four
separate
incidences of
armed
conflict
in the
Republic
of
Congo
(Congo-
Brazzaville),
a
small nation
bordering
on
the Democratic
Republic
of
Congo (Congo-Kinshasa, formerly
Zaire). Drawing
on
interviews
with
former
mili-
tia
fighters, politicians,
and
in-country foreign
observers,
it
analyzes
the effects
of
oil wealth on armed
conflict.6
The
resource
curse
theory proves
valid
in some
respects
but
underspecified
in
others.
Following
an
ill-fated
attempt
at
democratization,
Congo-Brazzaville
endured
four
rounds of brutal militia
fighting
in
1993,
1997,
1998-99,
and
2002.7
Three
main
militias,
loosely
affiliated
with
each of
Congo's
broad
ethnoregional
groupings,
61
Comparative
Politics
October
2004
directly
killed
at
least
12,000
persons, cumulatively displaced
860,000,
systematical-
ly
looted
civilians,
and
raped
hundreds,
if
not
thousands,
of
women.8
In 1998
up
to
35
percent
of
Congo's
2.5
million
people
were
internally
displaced
due
to the
fight-
ing.
The
authors'
informants
uniformly
believe
that
greed
for
petroleum
rents
in
a
new
and
uncertain
political
context was a
major
motivation
for the
war,
as
political
leaders,
drawn
chiefly
from
Congo's governing
class,
struggled
for control
over
the
country's
oil wealth.
Provided
that the
uncertainty generated
by
elections
is
taken
into
account,
therefore,
Congo's
experiences
appear
to
confirm the
link
between
rebellion
and resource
abundance.
Upon
closer
scrutiny,
however,
the
impact
of
Congo's
substantial
oil
wealth
seems
more
ambiguous.
In
late
1999
petroleum
rents
helped
a
victorious
militia
led
by
Congo strongman
Denis
Sassou-Nguesso
recreate
an
autocratic
but
relatively
sta-
ble
neopatrimonial
regime.
Sassou reinserted
elites
from
rival militias
into
their
for-
mer
public
sector
jobs,
driving
a
wedge
between
them and
their militia
followers.
These
coopted
elites
had
been
members of
Congo's
state
bourgeoisie
in the
prewar
era,
and
after their 1999
defeat
they
rediscovered
"class
solidarity"
with Sassou's
followers
and
neglected
their
ethnoregional
ties to
junior
militia
colleagues.9
Congo's
massive oil
reserves,
in
other
words,
helped
elevate
class interests
over
eth-
nic
solidarity, permitting
neopatrimonial logic
to
trump
ethnoregional
secessionism
or
warlordism.'0
Congo's
primary
commodities
had
provided
incentives for
civil war
but later
helped
the victor
consolidate
a
new
neopatrimonial
regime."
The
protected
nature of
Congo-Brazzaville's
oil as an
enclave also
limited the
civil war's
duration and
diffusion.
Congo's
oil is located
entirely
offshore
and
remains
unrivalled as a
source
of
revenue;
petroleum
royalties,
however,
accrue
only
to
Congo's
internationally
recognized sovereign.
Following
the
instability
created
by
democratization,
the oil
fields'
legal
and
geographic
configuration
created
incentives
for militias
to
struggle
for
control
over
Brazzaville,
the
capital,
but to
eschew
pro-
tracted
rural
warfare.
Unlike other
commodity-induced
wars,
Congo's
countryside
has no
diamonds or coltan
and
limited
quantities
of timber.
When the
fighting
finally
spread
to
remote
rural
areas
in
1998, moreover,
it
was
remarkably
short-lived.
Once
Sassou
demonstrated his
ability
to
defend
Brazzaville
against
all
challengers,
most
rebel
leaders
preferred
to
surrender in
return
for their old
public
sector
jobs.
Congo-
Brazzaville
was thus
spared
the
spatially
and
temporally protracted
wars witnessed
in
resource-rich countries
such
as
Burma, Liberia,
Sierra
Leone,
Congo-Kinshasa,
Angola,
Colombia,
and
Afghanistan.
Congo-Brazzaville
suggests
that the
resource
curse
theory
be modified
in three
ways.12
First,
it
should
explain
more
finely
the
link
between
primary
commodities
and war.
Resource
wealth
is
likely
to
tempt
rebels
only
under
circumstances
of
acute
political
uncertainty,
as
in
the case of
Congo's
failed
democratization effort.
Second,
not
all
resources
are
created
equal.
Commodities
are
configured
in
widely
divergent
legal
and
geographic ways,
and these differences
will lead to
very
different
war tra-
62
Pierre
Englebert
and
James
Ron
jectories.13
Third,
the
theory
should
account for the class
logic
implied
by
the
neopatrimonial
system
of
rule
common
to
most sub-Saharan
African
countries,
which
sets
constraints on
potential
warlords
in
resource-rich
environments.
Resource
Abundance
and
War
Broadly,
theories
of
rebel
motivation
focus either on
greed,
the desire for economic
gain,
or on
grievance,
a
catch-all
category
including
a
wide
range
of
perceived
injus-
tices.
According
to
resource
curse
theorists,
grievances
are
ever-present
and thus can
not
explain
variations
in
civil war
initiation.14 The
appropriate
material conditions
for
organizing
effective
rebellions,
by
contrast,
are
far
less
frequent,
and
their
pres-
ence or
lack is the
best
predictor
of
rebel
activity.
Thus,
this
approach
resembles
Skocpol's
argument
that,
while
revolutionary
inclinations
are
omnipresent,
revolu-
tionary opportunities
are in
short
supply.15
According
to
this
approach,
the
political
economy
of
rebellion,
insurgency
is
a
high-risk
activity
with
low
probabilities
of
success and
substantial
start-up
costs.
Would-be
rebel
organizers,
therefore,
encounter acute collective action
problems
at
an
early
stage,
prompting
rebel
entrepreneurs
to seek
cheap
access to
weapons
and
money,
or
their
equivalents.
Once
this initial
group
acquires
sufficient
tangible
assets,
it
can
attract
additional recruits
by providing
resources, arms,
and further
opportunities
for
enrichment.
Greed,
in
this
view,
is
the
prime
motivator
of civil
war,
and
opportunities
for
personal
or
small
group
enrichment
can
best
explain
a
rebel-
lion's
emergence.
Early
access to
material
resources is
typically
available
in one of three
ways: sup-
port
from other
governments,
diaspora
contributions,
and
primary
commodities.16
Primary
commodities are
particularly
attractive, however,
because
they require
little
manufacturing
or
marketing
expertise
and
because
they
are often
transported
through
geographic
"choke
points"
that
rebel
groups
can extort
or control
outright.
In
poor
countries
primary
commodities
offer one of the
few
ways
rebels
can
access
hard
currency.
If
rebels can
credibly
threaten
resource
extractors,
they
can create
armies
large
enough
to
survive
government
reprisals,
reducing
thereby
the
barriers
to
entry
into
the
rebellion
business.17
Resource
curse
and war
theory
is
part
of
the
post-cold-war
trend in
security
stud-
ies
towards
privileging political
economy
over
ideology.
David
Keene,
a
leading
proponent
of
this
approach,
argues
that
"wartime
political
economies
may
benefit
governments
and
rebels,
and as a
result,
some
parties
may
be
more anxious to
pro-
long
a war
than to
win it."
Sierra
Leone and Liberia are
paradigmatic
cases.18
John
Mueller,
another
major
contributor,
argues
that civil war
and
genocide
in
Rwanda
and
Yugoslavia
were mass criminal
heists
perpetrated by
small
groups
of loot-seek-
ing
thugs,
rather
than full
blown
"ethnic
wars."'9
Peter
Andreas,
another
example,
63
Comparative
Politics
October
2004
uses the
political
economy
of war
to
explain patterns
of
civil
war
emergence
in
the
former
Yugoslavia.
He
argues
that it
was
shaped
above
all
by
patterns
of illicit trade
in
weapons
and
other
goods.20 By
emphasizing
the
role of
primary
commodities,
resource curse
theory
offers one
interpretation
of the
political
economy approach.
The
evidence
linking
primary
commodities
to
war
is
suggestive,
but
much
remains
to
be
conceptualized.
Politics should
be
priviledged
over
economic
deter-
minism,
because
resources are
unlikely
to
trigger
civil
war in a
stable
political
envi-
ronment.
Once
war is
underway, varying
legal
and
physical
configurations
of natural
resources
will
have different
impacts
on the course
and
style
of
the
war. These
con-
cerns
can
be
addressed
through
a
detailed
study
of
Congo-Brazzaville's
wars.
Congo-Brazzaville's
Civil
Wars:
An
Overview
Denis
Sassou-Nguesso's
single
party
regime
ruled
Congo-Brazzaville
from
1979
to
1992.
Sassou ran the
country
as
a
neopatrimonial
rentier
state,
redistributing
oil
profits
to
allies
and
potential
foes
through
educational
benefits,
military
employ-
ment,
and an
ever-expanding
civil service.21
In
the
1980s Sassou
kept
the
system
stable
by incorporating
elites from
the
country's
three main
ethnoregional groupings:
the
northern
Mbochis,
the
central
Laris,
and
the
southern
grouping
of several distinct
ethnicities
referred to
by
some as
Niboleks.22
The
president
and
senior
army
leader-
ship
were northern in
origin,
but southern elites held
some
positions
of
responsibility
in
the
government,
civil
service,
and
army
and benefited
from
the
government's
massive
investment
in
public
education.
Democratization and
Conflict
Sassou's
regime
came
under
fire
in the
early
1990s,
following francophone
Africa's
wave of
post-cold-war
democratization.
Political
pressure
from
southern
elites,
labor
parties,
intellectuals,
and French
offi-
cials
forced Sassou to
relinquish
his hold
on
power.
The
country
held
multiparty
presidential
elections
in
1992,
sparking
competition
for
the
apex
of
Congo's patron-
client
pyramid
and
giving
southern elites
a
legally
sanctioned
chance
to control
the
country's
oil
wealth.23
Sassou's two main
opponents
were Pascal
Lissouba,
who
had
served
as
prime
minister in
1963,
and Bernard
Kolelas,
a Brazzaville
politician.
Lissouba led
the Pan-African
Union for Social
Democracy
(UPADS), support
for
which
came from
the southern
provinces,
and won the
1992 elections
due
to
the
region's
demographic superiority.24
Kolelas,
head of the
Congolese
Movement
for
Democracy
and
Integral Development
(MCDDI),
was
presidential
runner-up,
rely-
ing chiefly
on
his Lari
ethnic
kin,
a
subgroup
of the
Bakongo
ethnicity comprising
20
percent
of
the
population.25
Sassou-Nguesso,
leader
of
the
formerly
Communist
Congolese
Labor
Party
(PCT),
polled
a distant
third,
largely
due
to the
inferior
64
Pierre
Englebert
and James
Ron
demographic
weight
of his
northern
Mbochi kin.26 Lissouba assumed
the
presidency
in
1992
and
briefly
ruled with
a
parliamentary
coalition
with
Sassou's
PCT. Sassou
abruptly
left the
government,
however,
when his
followers
were
denied
key posts
in
Lissouba's new
government.
Cabinet
ministries were
key
sources
of
oil rents
and
patronage,
and
Sassou feared that he
and his followers
were
being pushed
aside.
As
Lissouba
struggled
to assert
control,
it
became
clear
that
possession
of
Congo's presidential
palace
did
not
guarantee ownership
over
Sassou's
former net-
works
of
allies,
patrons,
and
clients.
Lissouba had
won the
vote,
but
some senior
Mbochi
army
officers
remained
loyal
to
Sassou. Sassou
also
enjoyed
warm relations
with
foreign
allies,
such as
France's
prime
minister,
Jacques
Chirac,
Gabon
presi-
dent Omar
Bongo (married
to Sassou's
daughter),
and
Angolan
president
Eduardo
Dos Santos.27
Distrustful
of
the
army
and worried
by
Sassou's
defection,
Lissouba
created a
personal
militia to
bolster his
rule.
Relying
mostly
on
men drawn from
southern
eth-
nicities,
Lissouba
established an
independent security
force,
the reserve
presiden-
tielle,
later
known
as the
Aubevillois.28 Its initial
military
trainers,
among
others,
were members
of
private
Israeli
security
firms.29
Lissouba's
supporters
later created
three
other
forces,
the
Cocoyes,
loosely
translated
as
"tough
guys,"
the
Zoulous,
whose
name was
inspired
by
the
ongoing
violence
in
Kwazulu-Natal,
and
the
Mambas
(snakes).30
In a
classic
example
of a
spiraling
"security
dilemma,"
Kolelas'
followers
retaliated
by
creating
the
Ninjas,
a militia led
by
police
and
military
offi-
cers
doubling
as
Kolelas'
bodyguards
and staffed
by
local
Lari
youths
living
in
Brazzaville.31 The kernel of
Sassou's
Cobra
militia was formed
in
1992
from his old
presidential
guard.
It
expanded
further in
1995
following
Lissouba's
purge
of
Mbochi
military
officers,
some of whom
decamped
to
Oyo,
Sassou's
northern
politi-
cal
stronghold.
Civil
War,
Round
One
(1993):
Lissouba versus Kolelas
Sassou's
defection
cre-
ated
a
parliamentary
crisis for
Lissouba,
who
responded
by
dissolving parliament
in
1992
(a
move
deemed
unconstitutional
by
many
observers)
and
calling
new
legisla-
tive elections
for
May
1993. In
the first
round Lissouba's
party
won
sixty-two
seats,
while
Kolelas'
and Sassou's
followers
jointly
won
forty-nine.32
Claiming
fraud,
Kolelas called for
a
boycott
of the second round and
for
civil
disobedience.
These
actions
triggered
the first
round of
civil
war,
pitting
the
militias
of
Lissouba
and
Kolelas
against
each other.
The
fighting
remained
within Brazzaville's
borders and
caused
2,000
deaths.33 The
army,
still led
at
this
point by
Sassou-appointed
northern-
ers,
remained
largely
uninvolved.34
Congo's
democratization
had
disrupted
the
ancien
regime's patronage
networks,
but
Lissouba,
the
newly
elected
leader,
was unable
to
create
a stable
alternative.
His
failure
generated
an acute
sense of
political
uncertainty
whose
ripple
effects
were
65
Comparative
Politics
October 2004
felt
throughout
Congo's
governing
class.
The
country's petroleum
fields
continued
to
pump
out
200,000
barrels
a
month, however,
earning
$75
million
monthly
in
export
revenue
for
those
who
claimed
legal
control over
the
government.
The
first
round of
fighting
ended
in
January
1994,
but
the
stage
had been set
for further
con-
flict,
as the
armed
forces,
parliament,
and civil
service
gradually split
along
ethnore-
gional
and
factional
lines.
By
1996-97
three main
militia
groups-Lissouba's
Cocoyes,
Kolelas'
Ninjas,
and Sassou's
Cobras-had
created
their own
zones
of
de
facto
influence
in the
capital
city.35
Thus,
Congo
was
following
a
model familiar from other
instances
of
democrati-
zation in
which
political
uncertainty provoked paramilitary
mobilization.36
Unlike
countries such
as Rwanda
and
the
former
Yugoslavia,
however,
Congo's history
of
ethnic
relations had
hitherto
been
relatively
peaceful,
save for
some intercommunal
fighting
in
1958-59,
prior
to
independence. Although
the
country
was
now
separat-
ing
along
ethnic
lines,
these
were
being generated
by
elite
manipulation
in
Brazzaville
rather than
by
deep-seated
ethnic
grievances.
The
impetus
for
conflict
in
the 1990s
(as
in
the late
1950s)
was
political
uncertainty,
coupled
with elite desires
to
control
a
greater
share
of
Congo's
oil. Had
there
been
no
political
uncertainty,
it
is
unlikely
that
Congo's
resources alone
would
have
triggered
civil war.
Civil
War,
Round Two
(1997):
Sassou
and
the
Angolans
versus
Lissouba
and
Kolelas
In
January
1997
Sassou returned
to
Congo
after two
years
of
self-
imposed
exile
in
France,
declaring
his intent
to
run
in the
upcoming
presidential
elections.
Spurred
by
a
subsequent attempt
by
Lissouba-controlled
forces to disarm
Sassou's
Cobras
in
their
Brazzaville
stronghold,
violence
erupted
again
in
May
1997,
this
time
pitching
the
Cobras
against
pro-Lissouba
soldiers
and
Cocoyes. By
June
Brazzaville was
split
into three militia zones.
From
May
to
September
1997
the
fighting
was
exclusively
between
Cocoyes
and
Cobras;
at
the
very
end,
Kolelas'
Ninjas
joined
Lissouba's
side.
The
Cobras were
initially outgunned,
but
their fortunes
changed
in October 1997
when
a
contingent
of
heavily
armed,
battle-hardened
Angolan
troops
intervened on
their
behalf,
securing
Brazzaville
and the
southern
coastal
city
of Pointe-Noire
for
Sassou.37
Lissouba and
Kolelas fled
into
exile
(where
they
have
remained
after
being
sentenced to
death
in
absentia),
and Sassou assumed
the
presidency
for
a
three
year
"transitional
period,"
promising
he
would hold national elections
in
2001.
Southern
political
and
military
elites fled
Brazzaville
with their
Ninja
and
Cocoye
militias,
returning,
for the
most
part,
to their
families'
villages
in
the Pool and south-
ern
regions.
Civil
War,
Round
Three
(1998-99):
Sassou
and the
Angolans
versus the
Southern
Militias
Violence soon
erupted
again,
however,
as
first the
Ninjas
and
66
Pierre
Englebert
and James
Ron
then the
Cocoyes
clashed with
Angolans
and Cobras. For
the first
time,
much of the
fighting
took
place
in the
southern
countryside,
far from
Brazzaville.38
According
to
Sassou's
spokespersons,
rebels and
bandits attacked
government
garrisons
in
south-
ern
towns.
According
to
southerners
interviewed
by
the
authors,
by
contrast,
Cobra
and
Angolan
forces
provoked
the
fighting
through
heavy-handed patrols
of the
north-south
railway
and
southern towns.39 A
third version
was
advanced
by
a west-
ern
aid official with
extensive
local
experience,
who said
the
first
battles were
trig-
gered
by
a
drug
deal
gone
bad between
local
Ninjas
and
police
in the Pool
region.40
The
fighting spread
back
to
Brazzaville
towards the end of
1998,
when
a
Ninja
force
raided the
city's
outer suburbs.
Elsewhere,
small,
semiindependent
groups
of
Cocoyes
and
Ninjas
launched
hit-and-run
raids
on
government
forces
in
southern
and
Pool
region
towns.
Larger
Ninja
and
Cocoye
bands
of
up
to
one
hundred
men
were led
by
former
military
officers,
but
many
of
the smaller
groups,
often
no more
than
a
dozen,
were
led
by
urban
youths
who
had risen
to
prominence
during
Brazzaville's 1993
and 1997 street
battles.41 The
fighting
peaked
in
December
1998,
but
skirmishes
continued
throughout
the
south until
mid
1999.
At the end of 1999
the
rebellion
ended with a
deal that
provided amnesty
to
all
Ninja
and
Cocoye
com-
manders,
save
for
Lissouba
and
Kolelas,
and
guaranteed
soldiers and civil
servants
their
former
jobs.42
An
Empirical
Puzzle
Congo-Brazzaville's
experiences
recall
other cases
of state
collapse
in which
rapid
political
transitions,
coupled
with
ethnic
heterogeneity
and abundant
resources,
sparked
civil war.
Unlike Sierra
Leone,
the Democratic
Republic
of
Congo,
Sudan,
and
Angola,
however,
Congo's
conflict
did not deteriorate
into
protracted
territorial
warfare
by
warlords
and/or
separatists.
All
three
Brazzaville-based
militias recruited
rural
youth,
and
each of
the
three main
political
parties
organized along regionally
defined
"ethno-parties."43
Still,
the first
two rounds
of
fighting
occurred
exclusively
in
the
capital,
while
in the
third southern
militias did not
take
lasting
control
of
any
city (though
several
were
briefly
conquered
and
looted)
and
did not
attempt
to seize
Pointe-Noire,
the
petroleum industry's
administrative
nerve
center.
Nor
did
they
carve out warlord
fiefdoms
in
Congo's
remote
areas.
Instead,
southern
military
and
political
leaders
quickly
surrendered
in
return for
amnesty,
reintegration
into
their
former
public
sector
jobs,
and
vague promises
of
recruiting
the
militias' rank-and-
file
members into
Congo-Brazzaville's
reconstituted
security
forces.
For theorists of
ethnic
warfare,
the lack of
protracted
rural
fighting
is
puzzling
because of the
ethnic
heterogeneity
of
Congo's
three main
ethnoregions.
For theorists of
the
resource
curse,
the
south's
quick
surrender is
intriguing
because
Congo's
oil
is
located
directly
off
southern shores
and
could
have formed
the base
for
southern
seces-
67
Comparative
Politics
October 2004
sionism.
Congo
also
confounds Reno's
prediction
that
neopatrimonial,
resource-rich
countries are
likely
to
deteriorate into warlord zones as
an
"equilibrium
outcome"
situ-
ated
halfway
between chaos and
state
consolidation,
as
both rebels
and
governments
develop
some
territorial
control
but
lack incentives
to build
broadly
encompassing
state
institutions.44
Whether
driven
by
oil
greed
or
by
ethnoregional
grievances,
the first
three rounds of
Congo's
wars
should not have ended
so
quickly,
and Sassou
should not
have
been
able
to
refashion a
stable
neopatrimonial regime
with
such relative
ease.
There were
indications that
the rebels
might
have
developed
into
either
entrenched
rural
warlords or
a
unified
and determined
secessionist
movement.
Examples
of
warlordism
include
a
protection
racket run
by Ninjas
from 1993 on in
which
travelers
through
one
of Brazzaville's
main
ports
were
systematically
extorted
and
consistent
claims
by
civilians
and
militiamen on
all sides that
from 1998 on
most
of
the
fighters
engaged
in
sustained
looting,
even
against
their
own
communi-
ties.45 As one informant
trapped
in
the Pool
region
in 1998-99 recalls:
"Ninjas
attacked their
own
populations....They
collected
money
from their own
people
to let
them
cross
the
river.
From
May
1999
onwards,
the war
was but roadblocks
for
ran-
som."46
All
of the
lower-ranking
militia
gang
leaders
admitted
to
the authors
in
interviews that
looting
was central to their
war activities.
There
are also
indications
of occasional
efforts
by
high-ranking
figures
to create
an
organized
secessionist/liberation movement
in the
south,
especially
during
the
1998-99
fighting.
For
example,
a
former
Ninja
officer called
himself the
Commissaire
and claimed
to
be resolved
to "defend" his
region
in
1998
by
building
a
political-military organization
grounded
in traditional
local
structures.
"I
got
in
touch
with the
wise men
of
my
village,"
the Commissaire
recalled,
"and
they
told me
to
go
and
'free the
villages.'
So
I
called in the
Ninjas
one
by
one
until
I
had about 250
men,
along
with
200 new
ones
that
I trained
myself."
After
attacking
a
local
army
garrison,
the
Commissaire consulted
traditional
leaders,
who
encouraged
him
to
"go
on
fight-
ing
to liberate
our
region."
Each
village
that he
liberated,
the
officer
said,
was
assigned
a
military
leader
"who worked
together
with the
village
chief."47 The
Commissaire,
in
other
words,
claimed to have
created
an alternative
political
structure
in
the Pool
region
with
the
help
of
his rebel
armed force
and traditional
village
chiefs.
A
senior
Cocoye
commander,
Colonel
Mboungou-Mboungou,
similarly
claimed that
in
the southern
Pool
region
he and his followers
had
organized
a
"popular
war,
just
like the
Vietcong,"
during
the 1998-99
fighting.48
There
was
good
reason
to believe
in
1998,
therefore,
that
Congo-Brazzaville
might
be headed
towards
protracted
war in
both the
cities and the
countryside,
with the
prospect
of
organized
secessionism
in
some areas and
long-term
lawlessness
in
others.
If
Congo-Brazzaville's
civil
war had
deteriorated into Sierra
Leone-style
chaos
or
Sudan-style
secessionism,
these events
would have
easily
been
explained
by
resource
curse
theory.
However,
the
exact
opposite
occurred.
The
Ninja-Cocoye
alliance
never material-
68
Pierre
Englebert
and James
Ron
ized;
the southern
militias remained
disorganized;
towns
were "liberated" but then
quickly
abandoned;
and
key
national
infrastructure,
such
as the Brazzaville-Pointe-
Noire
railway,
was
never
seriously
threatened. Ethnic
polarization
remained
limited
as
populations
suffered as
much
at
the
hands of
their
own
ethnic
militias as
from
govern-
ment
reprisals.
Most
important,
the
1998-99
rebellion
was over
soon after it
started;
most
of the
senior
political
and
military
leaders returned
to
Brazzaville and received
back
pay
from the
civil service
or
military.
As
a
result,
virtually
all
of
Congo's territory
reverted to
the autocratic
but
largely
stable rule of Denis
Sassou-Nguesso.
Asset
Specificity,
Norms of
Sovereignty,
and the
Dynamics
of Violence
Congo's trajectory
was
shaped by
the
geographic
and
legal
configuration
of
its
oil
reserves.
They
are located offshore
and
are
expensive
to
operate,
making
them
accessible
only
to
international
petroleum
companies.
Contrary
to what
some
have
argued,
these
conditions do
not
make
Congo's
oil invulnerable
to
looting,
since oil
revenues can
be
illegally
diverted into
slush funds for
a broad
variety
of
purposes.
During
the
1997 war with
Sassou's
Cobras,
for
example,
embattled
president
Pascal
Lissouba
reportedly siphoned
off
substantial amounts of
Congo's
oil revenues
to
arm
his
private
militias.49
Indeed,
all
of
Congo's
leaders
have "looted"
the
country's
oil
revenues for
their own
neopatrimonial
purposes.
However,
because
the
country's
oil fields
are
offshore,
Congolese politicians
must first be
recognized
as
the coun-
try's
sovereign government
to
gain
access
(legally
or
otherwise)
to oil revenues.
Given
the
structure of
the international
legal regime,
foreign
oil
companies
will
pay
revenues
only
to
broadly recognized
sovereign
leaders.
African
coup
makers
exercising
effective control over
capital
cities are
typically
recognized
internationally,
unlike
warlords with state-like
qualities.
As
a
result,
con-
trol
over
Congo's capital,
Brazzaville,
is one
of
the
few
strategic
goals
worth
pursu-
ing.
Oil is
the main
natural
resource,
and there are
no
major
trading/smuggling
routes for which
to
provide protection,
as
in
Afghanistan.
Consequently,
Congo's
political struggles
are
likely
to end
once a
major
faction
credibly
wins the
war
for
Brazzaville.
Congo
and Its
Oil
Industry
The
Congolese
oil
industry
is
dominated
by
the
Belgian-French
company
TotalFina
Elf,
successor
to France's
Elf
Acquitaine.
With
an
estimated
US$10
billion
worth of
Congo
investments,
TotalFina
produces
60
per-
cent of
Congo's
265,000
barrels
per day.50
Next
in
line is
Italy's
AGIP,
responsible
for
30
percent
of
production,
while
smaller
actors,
including
the U.S.
firm
CMS
Nomeco with 4.1
percent
of
production,
handle the
remainder.
The
government-
owned
Societ6
Nationale Petroliere
du
Congo
(SNPC),
created
in
1998,
indepen-
dently
markets
but does
not
produce
some oil.
69
Comparative
Politics
October 2004
The
vast
majority
of
Congo's
oil
fields
are situated
thirty
to
fifty
miles off
the
coast
of
Pointe-Noire,
the
major
southern
port
city.
Fields
in
operation
before
the
1990s
have terminals
in
Pointe-Noire,
but
the
most
recent and lucrative
ones,
includ-
ing
the
massive
Elf-controlled
N'Kossa
field
(70,000
barrels
a
day),
have
their own
offshore terminals.
Pointe-Noire,
in
other
words,
is
not
physically
crucial
to
Congo's
oil
industry,
since its
administrative
functions
could
be
easily
handled elsewhere.
Only
the most
technologically sophisticated
international
companies
can
extract
Congo's
oil. The N'Kossa
field
is
located
thirty-eight
miles
off shore
in 600
feet
of
water,
while other
fields are a
further twelve
miles
away
under
3,000
to
6,000
feet.
Petrol
is loaded
directly
onto
tankers from offshore
terminals,
eliminating
the
need
for
pipelines.
Armed nonstate
groups,
therefore,
have
virtually
no access. Pirate-
style
raids on the
platforms
themselves or
on tankers are
the
only
alternative,
but
neither
are
particularly
feasible.
Furthermore,
even
if
they
could
damage
oil
extrac-
tion
infrastructure,
rebels
could not
operate
the
platforms
on their
own.
Congo's
oil
wealth,
in
others
words,
is
physically
inaccessible to
local
armed factions.
Oil is
also
Congo's
economic
lifeline,
accounting
for 90
percent
of
foreign
exchange earnings,
40
percent
of
GDP,
and 70
percent
of
government
revenues.51
Congolese
access to oil
profits
is
possible
only
due
to
the
international
legal regime,
which
awards
sovereignty
rights
to
offshore
mineral resources.
Had oil
been a
pre-
cious
commodity during
the colonial
era,
Europeans
would
have seized
it
without
compensation.
Today,
western
companies
are the
only
actors
physically
able
to
extract
the
oil,
but
they
must
also
pay
rents
to
Congo's
sovereign
rulers.
Oil
rents come
in
various forms.
The
most
important
include
royalties
on
sales
by
western
companies,
which
amount to 12
percent
of
Congo's
overall
export
value,
and
a
1991
agreement
awarding
the
state
half of
the
oil
companies'
profits,
equal
to
19
percent
of
export
value.52 A
third
source
of
rents
comes from sales
made
directly
by
the
state-owned
SNPC.
This
company's
accounts
are
not
transparent,
however,
and its
profits
are a
crucial tool in
Congo's presidential
patronage
system.
According
to
observers,
SNPC
monies
are a hidden slush
fund that
Congo's
internationally
rec-
ognized
ruler
uses to
purchase
arms for his
private
militia,
pay
off friends and
poten-
tial
rivals,
and
keep
the
country's
neopatrimonial
system
afloat.
The SNPC is
a
vehi-
cle
for
"looting"
Congo's
oil
but
is available
only
to the
country's
internationally
recognized
sovereigns.
The
Importance
of
Brazzaville
Following Congo's
democratic
transition,
Lissouba
failed to
demonstrate
credible control
over
Brazzaville
due to
poor
rela-
tions with
the
army's
senior
ranks,
paramilitary
mobilization
by
all three
contenders,
and
lukewarm
relations
with
important
foreign
actors.
His
rivals carved
out militia
zones in
the
capital,
and
both
Kolelas and Sassou
fought
sharp
battles with
Lissouba
loyalists
in
the
city.
The
fighting,
however,
remained
centered
in
the
city,
since
it
was
the
only prize
worth
having.
70
Pierre
Englebert
and
James
Ron
Thus,
Congo
is the
opposite
of
Angola,
where
easy
access
to alluvial
diamonds
allowed UNITA
to
endure
for
several
decades,
despite
the
MPLA's
control of
off-
shore
oil.53 In
Congo,
factions
that
are
not
formally
in
power
have no
way
of
raising
funds from
natural
resources,
and "rebel"
forces
can
not fund their
efforts,
thereby
shortening
the
fighting.
The
combination of
physical
and
legal
restrictions
on
Congo's
oil
also
explains
why
southern
rebels did
not
try
to
seize Pointe-Noire
from
its
Angolan
defenders,
or
even
attempt
to
destroy
its facilities.
A
successful
attack
would not
have secured
control over the oil
fields
themselves,
and the
oil
companies
could have
easily
moved their
headquarters
elsewhere.
Interestingly,
southern
rebels also made no
serious
attempt
to create
a southern
secessionist
movement that
might
have
claimed
international
recognition
of
their
sovereignty
over
the
oil
fields. Secession
was
briefly
discussed as
an
option
if
the
regime
refused
dialogue,
but
the
debate
was half-hearted.
Not
only
was
Congo-
Brazzaville's oil located
offshore,
but in
the
contemporary
international
legal
climate
secessionists tend
not to
gain
international
recognition,
as
illustrated
by
Somaliland.54 As
Colonel
Mboungou-Mboungou,
vice
president
of
the Conseil
National
de la
Resistance
(CNR),
told the
authors,
"the idea of secession
came
up
during
the
fighting
but it
got
no
support.
Had we
tried,
we
would
have been beaten.
What
country
would
have
helped
us?"55
Contrary
to the resource curse
argument,
therefore,
Congo's
oil
reserves did not
solely
promote
rebellion
and conflict.
Instead,
the
physical
and
legal
specificity
of
Congo's
natural
resource also
thwarted the
emergence
of
prolonged
rural
warlordism
or secessionism.
Resource
abundance,
in
this
case,
had
ambiguous
effects.
The
Patrimonial
Peace:
State Control and
Class
Interests
Congo's
resource
configuration
also
contributed
to the unusual
nature
of
Congo's
peace.
Although
the
rhetoric of war
often stressed
the
importance
of north-south
eth-
nic
divisions,
interviews
suggested
that
intraethnic
class divisions
were
also
impor-
tant
and
helped bring
about an
end
to
the war. Common
class
interests
between
southern
and northern
elites,
nurtured
historically
by
the state's
patrimonial
distribu-
tion
of oil
rents,
eventually
overrode
ethnic
cleavages
and facilitated
a
peace
deal.
The
interests of
southern
political
elites
differed
substantially
from
their
rank-and-
file militia
supporters.
The
former ended the war and
returned
to
relatively
lucrative
public
sector
jobs,
while the
latter were left
to fend
for themselves
or to
solicit mod-
est
support
from
an
international
"reinsertion"
campaign
for veterans.
Elites and
Militias
in
the
1998-1999
Fighting
During
the 1993 and
1997
fighting
in
Brazzaville,
Lissouba and
Kolelas
exercised
reasonably
tight
control over
the militia
supporters through
a
cadre of
political
elites
and
military
defectors,
often
at the
rank
of
71
Comparative
Politics
October
2004
colonel.
During
the
1998-99
fighting
in
the
south,
by
contrast,
centralized control
over
these
two
factions
broke down.
Lissouba
and
Kolelas fled
the
country,
and
their
mili-
tias
scattered to
the
countryside.
Although
second-tier
political
and
military
leaders
were also
in
hiding,
only
lower-ranking
militias were involved
in
significant
violence.
Sadat,
a
Cocoye
chef
d'curie
(gang
leader)
from
Brazzaville
who commanded
some
150
fighters,
alleges
that he
attacked and
briefly
occupied Nkayi
and
Dolisie
in
1998.
As
he
puts
it,
"the
colonels
could not
control us
very
well.
Officially,
they
gave
us
orders,
but
we
controlled
the
elements."56
According
to
St6phane
Rostiaux,
chief
demobilization
officer
for the
International
Office
of
Migration
in
Brazzaville,
"most
of the
fighting
was
carried
out
by
small
bands
led
by
low-ranking
militia
leaders,"
a
finding
strengthened
by
the
authors' militia
interviews.57
Lower-ranking
militias
privileged
looting
over
long-range strategy. Consequently,
real
alliances
did not
emerge
between
Ninjas
and
Cocoyes. They
attacked each other
as
well as
Sassou's
forces.
Furthermore,
both
groups
were
weak,
unorganized,
and
fragmented,
assembling
fewer than
200 men
for
any single
attack.58
Hence,
although
militia
groups, army
defectors,
and
civilian
opponents
all
escaped
Brazzaville for
the
south
after
October
1998,
they
were
far
from
a
uniform
group
and never acted
in
a
collectively
coherent
manner.
Militiamen
attempted
to defend themselves
from
Cobra
attacks and
to
sustain their
wartime
lifestyles
by
continued
looting.
The
politi-
cal and
military
leaders
kept
out
of
the
fighting
for
the
most
part
and
hid in remote
villages.
The
Importance
of
Social
Class Militia
fighters
differed from
the
leaders
in
terms of
social
class,
defined
chiefly
by
their
historic
relationship
to
the
state.
A
comparison
of the
social
backgrounds
of militia
leaders
with
those of
the
rebel
elites
who
signed
the
1999
peace
accord
illustrates
these
class divisions.
Jean-Frangois
Guembo,
a
self-declared
regional
leader
of
the 1999
rebellion,
was
appointed
sous-
prdfet
of
the southern
town of
Makabana
by
Sassou
in 2001.
Before
the
war he had
twice been a
member
of
parliament
during
the communist
era,
as
well as a senior
executive
for
Comilog
(a
then
publicly
owned timber
company)
in the 1970s
and
1980s.59 The
members
of the
National
Resistance
Council
(CNR),
the southern
rebel
politico-military
umbrella
organization,
whom
the authors
interviewed,
displayed
similar
class
backgrounds.
Colonel
Mboungou-Mboungou
was a
high-ranking
army
officer;
Luc
Koussala,
a
medical
doctor;
Jospeh
Mankita,
an
accountant;
and Benoit
Bati,
a former
justice.60
Other
political
leaders
who
negotiated
with Sassou
on
behalf
of
the
southern
rebels
included
Abel
Mokono,
former
mayor
of
Bacongo,
Eugene
Banguissa,
former
prdfet
of the
Pool
region,
and Bernard
Ntandou,
a former
gendarmerie
commander. The
militiamen,
by
contrast,
came
from
far
more humble
backgrounds.
Chefs
d
'curie
included
a
former
army sergeant,
two market
stall own-
ers,
a local
gang
leader,
a
hospital
janitor,
and
an
electrician.
72
Pierre
Englebert
and
James
Ron
Until 1997 the
core of the
three main
militia
groupings
had
military
or
quasi-mili-
tary
origins.
However,
the
rank
and file was
composed
mostly
of
unemployed
or
underemployed
young
men,
few of
whom
had
a chance
of
working
in
the
stable,
publicly
owned
formal
sector.
These
youths
were recruited
by
Sassou,
Lissouba,
or
Kolelas
loyalists
at
different
times
from
1993
to 1997.61
At
first,
the
politico-military
elites
used these
young
men
to
wage
their factional
struggles,
chiefly
in Brazzaville.
Most
of
the
militiamen who
were
interviewed,
whether
on the side of Sassou's
regime
or
the
opposition,
declared
having
received
at least
part
of
their
weapons
from
higher-ranking military
officers. Le
Japonais,
a
former stall
owner
and
gang
leader before
the
war,
said that his
Cocoye
band received
its
weapons
from the mili-
tary.
"One
evening,"
he
recalled,
"our
brother,
who
was a
military
commander,
brought
us
fifteen AK47s." In
1997 "a
colonel came and
gave
us
weapons
and asked
us to
fight
with
them. He
paid
CFAFr
15,000
per
week."62
According
to
the
Commissaire,
the
Ninja
band
leader,
"Commandant
Camille,
who had been
in
jail
with
Kolelas,
recruited
youth
for the
Ninjas."63
For
elites,
militias were
political
instruments,
but for
the rank and
file,
conflict
was an
opportunity
for small-scale
looting,
hence
the
propensity
of
militiamen
to
rob
people
of their own
ethnic back-
ground,
including
their own
political
leaders.
The
Return of
Neopatrimonial
Logic
As
the violence
progressed
during
1998-99,
elite-militia
class
differences led to
diverging
political agendas.
For
the
elites,
the most
pressing
concern
was
to
end the
war and return
to
Brazzaville,
as
they
grew
fearful of
their militia
"followers,"
who seemed
increasingly
uncontrol-
lable.
The elites
hoped
to
build
a
support
base
among
ordinary
southerners,
but
they
were
being
looted and
intimidated
by
the
militias.
In
the words
of Colonel
Bougouanza,
one of
the
highest-ranking military
officers
in
the
southern
rebel move-
ment: "Idle
youth
is
like
a
bomb.
When kids
go
to
war,
it
is to
improve
their
material
existence,
which
reduced our
chances of
success
in
the
war."64 Whereas
militiamen
recall
the war
with
nostalgia,
the elites
speak
of 1998-99
in
terms
of fear
and hard-
ship.
Others
have
noted that
Congo's
militias looted their
ethnic
kin,
but few
have
reflected
on
this
development's
political importance.
The
militiamen's
growing
importance
in
the
1999
fighting
threatened to sideline the
southern
political
and mil-
itary
elites,
and the
looting
of
civilians created
a
groundswell
of local
support
for
peace
talks.
According
to
Mossendjo
mayor
Maurice
M'Bobi,
a member
of the
southern
political
leadership,
his
colleagues
elected
to
rejoin
the state
"to
bring
peace
for the
local
populations."65
Fearful
of
their own
fighters
and
eager
to
regain
their
public
sector
jobs,
southern
elites
responded
to Sassou's
1999
peace
offer
enthusiastically.
They
calculated
they
would
be
better off
reintegrating
a
stable,
oil-funded
neopatrimonial
state
than
remaining
in
villages
with
unreliable
fighters.
Sassou
was
ready
to
oblige,
since
a
73
Comparative
Politics October 2004
peace
deal would
legitimize
his
conquest
of
Brazzaville.
This
"patrimonial
peace"
began
in
November
1999,
when southern
leaders
signed
a
cease
fire with Sassou's
representatives
in
Pointe-Noire,
and continued
in
December,
when the southern
polit-
ical
leadership,
the
CNR,
surrendered
in
exchange
for
amnesty
and
public
sector
rein-
tegration.
The CNR describes itself as
a
"political
movement
of
popular
essence"
based on a
sense of social
injustice
and on
the need
for cohabitation
after the
war.66 It
portrays
itself
as
the
political
wing
of the
militias
but
is staffed
chiefly by
senior
southern
military
officers. Most
CNR
activists are
former
members
of Lissouba's
UPADS
party
or
Kolelas'
MCDDI,
but
the
organization
does
not
represent
the exiled
leaders
directly.
Indeed,
the CNR
leaders the
authors
interviewed
had
little
sympathy
for Kolelas and
Lissouba
and,
according
to some
observers,
went
against
their wishes
in
negotiating
the
peace.
In
effect,
the CNR
represents
the
second
tier
of
politico-mil-
itary
leaders who
rejected
Lissouba and
Kolelas,
on
the
one
hand,
and
the life of
rural
guerrillas,
on
the other.
Under the
1999
peace
deal
CNR
members can
return
to state
employment
in
Brazzaville,
an
option
available
to
neither
Lissouba,
Kolelas,
nor
milita
fighters
themselves. The
resulting
situation
is
unusual,
but
rational,
from the
point
of view of
patrimonial
politics:
former
opposition
elites
eagerly
rebuilding
cen-
tral
state institutions to
protect
themselves from
their
own
militias. It
is a
far
cry
from
the warlord
equilibrium
that
might
have been
expected.
Had natural
resources
been
locally
available,
the south
might
have
sustained
a
warlord
situation,
and
young
militia
rank
and
file,
with
their
comparative
advantage
in
violence,
might
have seized
leadership.
Without
readily
available
resources,
how-
ever,
the
logic
of
patronage
proved stronger
than
that
of
warlordism,
and the
system
reverted
to its
neopatrimonial
outcome.
As the
Mossendjo
mayor
noted,
"we now
have
the
right
to
position
ourselves for
ministerial,
prefectoral
or
mayoral
posts.
That's what
democracy
is about."67
This
strategy appears
to be
working.
Participation
by
MCDDI and
UPADS
politi-
cians
in
government
is
limited,
but the
government
takes
care of
most
opposition
elites. Several are housed
at
government expense
in
Brazzaville
hotels,
while
they
and
others receive their
salaries,
despite
not
working.
In
fact,
the
200-odd
military
members of the CNR all receive their
pay,
as do
a
few dozen
senior
civilians.
Accommodation has
also
brought
considerable
peace
in
the south.
All
the
political
and
civilian
authorities
the authors met in the
south,
including
mayors,
sous-prcfets,
and
census
workers,
were
appointees
from
the
"resistance,"
while
the local
military
command was more northern. This
policy
is
a relative
bargain
for
the
state,
com-
pared
to the cost
of
accommodating
the
exiled
Kolelas
and
Lissouba. Some
1,000
Ninja
and
Cocoye
fighters
were
integrated
into the
army
by
mid
2001,
and
others
were
being helped
by
a
UN assistance
plan
that
gives
business
grants
in
exchange
for
illegal weapons.68
As of the end of
2001,
some
7,250
former
militiamen
had been
assisted under the
plan,
in
return for
11,000
weapons.69
According
to
one
report,
however,
41,000
of
74,000
illegal weapons
were still
in
circulation.70
74
Pierre
Englebert
and James
Ron
The
2002
Fighting
Violence flared
up
again
in March
2002,
when
a
group
of
Ninja
militiamen
led
by
"Pasteur
Ntoumi"
in
the Pool
region
attacked
government
forces.
The
fighting spread
to
Brazzaville
in
April,
displacing
15,000
before condi-
tions
normalized.71
Ntoumi had
signed
the 1999
peace
agreements
but refused
to
surrender
with
his 500
fighters,
saying
guarantees
for
the latter's
integration
into
military
or civil
life
were
insufficient.
Interestingly,
Ntoumi's social
origins
differ
from
others'
in
the CNR. A
religious
leader and
former director
(or
patient, depend-
ing
on
sources)
of
an
insane
asylum
in
Brazzaville,
he did
not
fight
in 1993 and
1997 and
had not
been
politically
active
before 1998.
Although
he is
currently
the
only
senior
figure
in
Congo
not
to
participate
in
the
patrimonial
peace,
this last
round of
violence
seemed related
to
shortcomings
in
the 1999
peace
accords
imple-
mentation,
rather
than
to new
grievances.
Ntoumi was rumored
to be
demanding
an
appointment
as
army
general
before
surrendering.72
He
is
also said to
want his
Ninjas
to
benefit
from the UN
reintegration program,
which has
run out
of funds.
Moreover,
the
recent
violence
also occurred on
a
much
smaller scale
than earlier
instances
and
involved
none of
the better-known southern
political
and
military
elites,
who
seem
unwilling
to
return
to war.
Comparative,
Theoretical,
and
Normative
Implications
This
article has
offered a
single-N
test
of the
resource-curse-and-war
theory.
As the
theory
might
expect, Congo-Brazzaville's
substantial
petroleum
resources
helped
fuel civil war in
the
1990s,
but some
of
Congo's experiences
also run counter
to the
theory. Congo
experienced very
little
violent conflict
prior
to the
1990s;
its battles
were
largely
concentrated in
the
capital;
secessionism
and
territorial warlordism
were
aborted
in
the
hinterland;
and the
fighting
was
largely
over
by
the decade's
end.
These
elements of
Congo's
trajectory
are not
easily explained
by
resource
curse
theory.
The
interaction
between
primary
commodities and
domestic
politics
thus
seems
crucial.
If
a
country
has a
stable
political system,
authoritarian
or
otherwise,
it
is
unlikely
to
experience
civil
war,
regardless
of resource
availability
and distribution.
During
the
1980s,
while
Sassou-Nguesso
remained
firmly
in control
of the
country,
Congo-Brazzaville
did not
experience
civil
war;
once
democratization
dislodged
Sassou's
grip
in
the
early
1990s,
however,
resource-related
wars
broke
out.
In
this
respect,
the
experiences
of
Botswana,
Gabon,
and Cameroon
are instructive
coun-
terexamples.
Despite
abundant
reserves of accessible diamonds
(far
more
"lootable"
than
Congo's
petroleum),
long
democratic Botswana
has not
only
avoided
civil war
but has
been
quite
successful at
building
institutions.73
Cameroon
and
Gabon, too,
have
proved
more
peaceful
than
Congo-Brazzaville,
although
they
share
similar
75
Comparative
Politics
October
2004
political
and
economic
structures,
because
their leaders
negotiated
democratization
in
the
early
1990s
with
greater
skill
and
stability
than
Sassou
in
Congo.74
No matter
how
tempting
natural
resources
might
be and
how
they may
exacerbate
ongoing
instability
and
armed
conflict,
they
are
unlikely
to stimulate
civil war
on their own
unless
the
political
context is
already
unstable.
This
finding
has
important
implications
for
promoters
of
democracy
in Africa and
elsewhere and
grimly
illustrates the
potential
risks involved.
Like Sassou's
Congo,
many
authoritarian
systems
are
based on
neopatrimonial
structures
that
rely
on
per-
sonalized,
deinstitutionalized
power
machineries.
Electoral
change
and sudden
elite
turnover do not
present newly
elected
leaders
with a neutral state
apparatus,
but
rather
saddle them with
biased and
uncooperative
networks.
Reshaping
and control-
ling
these
networks,
as
Congo-Brazzaville's
Lissouba
attempted
to do
in
the
early
1990s,
may
trigger
militia
formation
and
resistance
by
fearful
or excluded
elites
and,
consequently,
spiraling
security
dilemmas. Democratization does
not
inevitably
lead
to
violence,
but
it can
certainly
be
provocative,
especially
when lucrative natural
resources are
involved.
A
second
implication
of
Congo
is
that
the
legal, physical,
and
geographic
speci-
ficities of
natural
resources are
crucial. When resources are
physically
accessible
and
geographically
dispersed, protracted
and
territorialized
conflicts
may
occur,
as
in the
Democratic
Republic
of
Congo
(Congo-Kinshasa),
where
rival armies have
carved
out
warlord
enclaves
based
on
widely
dispersed
subsoil
minerals.
If,
by
con-
trast,
resources
are
physically
accessed
only
with
great
difficulty by technologically
sophisticated
mining
companies,
wars will be
temporally
and
spatially
limited.
Revenues
accrue then
to
recognized
sovereigns
through mining company royalties,
not
through
physical
access
itself.
Political actors
thus
try
to
control
the
sovereign
apparatus
in
the
capital
city,
rather
than
peripheral
territories.
Warring parties,
more-
over,
may
be more
readily
willing
to
collaborate
with
whatever
party
establishes
credible,
long-term
control
over
the
capital city.
Angola's protracted
civil
war
was
an
important
counterexample.
The
country
has
substantial
offshore
oil
resources,
but its
diamond
deposits
are
easily
accessible
in
outlying
regions,
which made
protracted
territorial
war
possible.75
Congo
also
suggests
that
prospects
for
civil
war termination
are better when
the
conflict is
preceded
by
a
reasonably
inclusive
neopatrimonial
system.
Although
the
1990s were
bloody, Congo's
legacy
of
peaceful
elite
participation
in Sassou's
regime
in
the
1980s made
it
possible,
once
Sassou
reconquered
the
capital,
for
opposition
elites
to
imagine
cooperating
once
again
under
his rule.
Sierra
Leone
presents
an
interesting
counterexample:
prior
to
the
civil war
in the
1990s,
presidents
Stevens
and Momoh
used
diamond revenues
to build
exclusionary,
self-serving
"shadow"
structures
of
power,
rather
than
inclusive
neopatrimonial
systems.76
When civil war
erupted,
rival
groups
readily
resorted
to territorialized warfare.
Neopatrimonialism
76
Pierre
Englebert
and James
Ron
can
promote
either
political
stability
or violent
conflict,
depending
on
its
level of
inclusiveness.
Congo-Brazzaville
is
not
idiosyncratic. Many
African
countries
have
embraced
neopatrimonialism
at
one time or
another,
and
many
of
their
systems
were
(or
are)
underwritten
by
a
single,
or
dominant,
export commodity.
Congo's
experience
can
thus
provide
insight
into
why
many
weak
African states have
not
collapsed
into war-
lordism,
even
after
the
drying up
of
cold
war
patronage.
War over
control of
primary
commodities
is
only
one
of
several
paths
to
violence.
Rwanda,
for
example,
had
very
little
in the
way
of lootable
natural
resources,
but
it
did have
deep
reservoirs
of
ethnic
insecurity
and
a
legacy
of
intercommunal
vio-
lence. When
democratization
pressures
and
a
guerrilla
insurgency
reached
a
crescen-
do
in
the
early
1990s,
the result
was ethnic
hypermobilization
and
genocide.77
Oil,
diamonds,
drugs,
coltan,
and
other
natural
resources
may persuade
some to take
up
arms,
but
ethnic
fears,
when
stoked
by political
propaganda,
can
be
equally,
if
not
more,
destructive.
Congo-Brazzaville,
in
many ways,
was blessed
by
its
lack
of
deep-seated
ethnic
fears,
which
helped
facilitate
war
termination.
A final
cautionary
note:
Congo-Brazzaville's
civil
war
has
largely
ended,
but
the
outcome is
not
all
positive.
Sassou's
refurbished
rule
is
not
conducive
to democratic
deepening,
and
most
Congolese
remain as
poor
and
disenfranchised
as
before.78
Although
some
elites
may
have
been
reshuffled,
the
country's
basic
social
cleavages
remain
unchanged,
and
the war
has
apparently
not
led
to
political
consciousness-
raising,
democratic
mobilization,
or
popular organization.79
Over
one-third
of
the
country
was
displaced;
tens of
thousands
were killed
or
injured;
and thousands
endured
sexual
assault.
Most
Congolese
are relieved
that
hostilities
are
over,
but
prospects
for
long-run
positive
change
are
few.
Remarkably,
recent
advances
in
international
human
rights
scrutiny
and
war
crimes
accountability
have
had few
dis-
cernible
effects on
Congolese
events
or
discourse.80
NOTES
The
authors
gratefully
acknowledge
financial
support
from
United States Institute
of Peace Grant
SG-46-00,
which
made research travel
to
Congo
possible,
and
McGill
University's
Internal
Social
Sciences
and
Humanities
Research
Council
grant,
which
helped
with research and
writing.
We are thank-
ful
for
generous
assistance in
Brazzaville
and
Kinshasa
by
John
Clark,
Kevin
Hartigan,
Cassie
Knight,
Steve
Michel,
Dominique
Morel,
St6phane
Rostiaux,
Jim
Swan,
and others who
preferred
to
remain
anonymous.
Comments
by
Michael Ross
and
two
anonymous
reviewers were
extremely helpful.
1.
Terry
Lynn
Karl,
The
Paradox
of
Plenty:
Oil
Booms and Petro-States
(Berkeley: University
of
California
Press,
1997);
Michael L.
Ross,
"The Political
Economy
of the
Resource
Curse,"
World
Politics,
51
(January 1999),
297-322;
Michael
L.
Ross,
"Does
Oil
Hinder
Democracy?,"
World
Politics,
53
(2001);
Jeffrey
D.
Sachs
and Andrew M.
Warner,
Natural Resource
Abundance and
Economic Growth
(Cambridge,
Mass.:
Harvard
Institute for
International
Development,
1995).
2.
Philippe
Le
Billon,
"The
Political
Ecology
of
War:
Natural
Resources
and
Armed
Conflicts,"
77
Comparative
Politics October
2004
Political
Geography,
20
(2001),
561-84;
Paul
Collier,
"Doing
Well
out of
War,"
in Mats
Berdal
and
David M.
Malone, eds.,
Greed and
Grievance:
Economic
Agendas
in
Civil
Wars
(Boulder:
Lynne
Rienner,
2000),
91-111;
Paul
Collier,
"Rebellion as a
Quasi-Criminal Activity,"
Journal
of
Conflict
Resolution,
44
(2000),
839-53;
Paul
Collier and Anke
Hoeffler,
"On
Economic Causes
of
Civil
War,"
Oxford
Economic
Papers,
50
(1998),
563-73;
Paul Collier
and
Anke
Hoeffler,
"Greed
and Grievance
in
Civil War"
(Washington,
D.C.:
unpublished
paper,
World
Bank,
2000);
Indra
de
Soysa,
"The
Resource
Curse:
Are Civil Wars Driven
by
Rapacity
or
Paucity?,"
in
Berdal
and
Malone,
eds.,
pp.
113-16.
Two
important
works in
progress
include
Michael
L.
Ross,
"Oil,
Drugs
and Diamonds:
How Do Natural
Resources
Vary
in Their
Impact
on
Civil
War?,"
in
Karen
Ballentine
and
Jake
Sherman,
eds.,
Beyond
Greed and
Grievance:
The Political
Economy
of
Armed
Conflict
(forthcoming);
and Richard
Snyder,
"Does
Lootable Wealth Breed
Disorder?
States,
Regimes,
and
the Political
Economy
of
Extraction"
(unpublished).
3. Paul
Collier and Anke
Hoeffler,
"On
the Incidence
of Civil
War in Africa"
(Washington,
D.C.:
unpublished paper,
World
Bank,
2000).
According
to our
compilation
of annual SIPRI
publications,
sub-
Saharan Africa
is
responsible
for
52
percent
of all direct war-induced
casualties
in
the
1990s.
4.
Collier,
"Rebellion as
a
Quasi-Criminal
Activity."
5.
Philippe
Le
Billon,
"Angola's
Political
Economy
of
War: The
Role
of Oil
and
Diamonds,
1975-2000,"
African
Affairs,
100
(2001),
55-80;
Catherine
Brown,
"Burma: The Political
Economy
of
Violence,"
Disasters,
23
(2001),
234-56;
Global
Witness,
A
Crude
Awakening:
The Role
of
the Oil
and
Banking
Industries in
Angola
's
Civil War
and the Plunder
of
State
Assets
(London:
Global
Witness,
1999);
Tony
Hodges, Angola
from
Afro-Stalinism
to
Petro-Diamond
Capitalism
(Bloomington:
Indiana
University
Press,
2001);
Michael
T.
Klare,
Resource Wars:
The
New
Landscape of
Global
Conflict
(New
York:
Metropolitan
Books,
2001);
Bertil
Lintner,
Burma
in
Revolt:
Opium
and
Insurgency
since
1948
(Boulder:
Westview
Press,
1994);
Barnett
R.
Rubin,
"The Political
Economy
of
War
and Peace
in
Afghanistan,"
World
Development,
28
(2000),
1789-1803;
William
Reno,
Corruption
and
State
Politics
in Sierra
Leone
(New
York:
Cambridge University
Press,
1995);
William
Reno,
"War, Markets,
and
the
Reconfiguration
of
West Africa's
Weak
States,"
Comparative
Politics,
29
(1997),
493-510;
William
Reno,
Warlord
Politics
in
African
States
(Boulder:
Lynne
Rienner,
1998).
6.
The authors
conducted
fifty-five
semistructured
interviews
with
key
informants,
including
fifteen
former
militiamen,
from
June
26
to
July
16,
2001,
in
the
Republic
of
Congo.
Interview
locations included
Brazzaville, Pointe-Noire,
Dolisie,
and
Mossendjo.
Some
militia
members
were contacted
through
the
militia
reinsertion
program
of
the
International
Office
of
Migration
in
Brazzaville.
High-ranking
political
and
military figures
are identified
by
name,
but the
anonymity
of
lower-ranking
individuals
has been
pre-
served.
7.
Remy
Bazenguissa-Ganga,
"The
Spread
of Political Violence
in
Congo-Brazzaville,"
African
Affairs,
98
(1999),
37-54;
John
Clark,
"Petro-Politics
in
Congo,"
Journal
of
Democracy,
8
(1997),
62-76;
John
Clark,
"The
Neo-Colonial
Context of
the Democratic
Experiment
of
Congo-Brazzaville,"
African
Affairs,
101
(2002),
171-92;
Pierre
Englebert, "Congo:
Recent
History,"
in
Africa
South
of
the
Sahara
(London:
Europa
Publications,
2001);
Patrice
Yengo,
"Un recours
endemique
a la
violence,"
Afrique
Contemporaine (1998),
33-57.
8.
See
Englebert, p.
397;
SIPRI
Yearbook
(Stockholm:
Stockholm
International Peace
Research
Institute,
2000),
p.
25;
United
Nations,
UN Plan:
Republic
of
Congo,
2001-2002
(United
Nations
Brazzaville
office,
2001-02),
p.
1.
The latter
estimates
50,000
overall
deaths
due
to
violence,
disease,
and
malnutrition.
According
to
relief
officials
in
nearby
Kinshasa,
an
additional
50,000
were
displaced during
the
spring
2002
fighting.
Email
communication,
June
4,
2002.
9.
On
social
class and the
African
state,
see
Richard
L.
Sklar,
"The Nature of Class
Domination
in
Africa,"
Journal
of
Modern
African
Studies,
17
(December
1979),
531-51;
Catherine
Boone,
"The
Making
of a
Rentier Class:
Wealth
Accumulation and
Political
Control
in
Senegal,"
Journal
of
Development
Studies,
26
(1990),
425-49.
78
Pierre
Englebert
and
James
Ron
10. On
neopatrimonial
politics,
see
Michael
Bratton
and
Nicolas
van de
Walle,
"Neopatrimonial
Regimes
and
Political
Transitions in
Africa,"
World
Politics,
46
(1994),
453-89;
Christopher
Clapham,
ed.,
Private
Patronage
and Public Power
(London:
Frances
Pinter,
1985);
Richard
Snyder,
"Explaining
Transitions from
Neopatrimonial
Dictatorships,"
Comparative
Politics,
24
(1992).
11.
This
view is
consistent
with
the
resumption
of
fighting
in
March 2002
between Sassou's
troops
and a
rebel holdout
force,
led
by
a
religious
leader
who
was
never
part
of the state elite.
See
below.
12.
In
addition to its
implications
for
war,
Congo's
oil wealth has had some
long-term
effects
on
soci-
ety,
including
relatively
high
rates of wealth
and
education. See
John
Clark,
"Resource Revenues
and
Political
Development
in
Sub-Saharan
Africa:
Congo Republic
in
Comparative
Perspective,"
Afrika
Spectrum,
37
(2002),
25-41.
13.
Ross,
"Oil,
Drugs,
and
Diamonds";
Snyder,
"Does Lootable
Wealth
Breed
Disorder?"
14.
Paul
Collier,
"Rebellion as a
Quasi-Criminal
Activity."
15. Theda
Skocpol,
States
and
Social
Revolutions
(New
York:
Cambridge University
Press,
1979).
Skocpol's
"opportunity,"
however,
is
state
collapse,
rather
than
the
ready availability
of resources.
16.
Collier,
"Rebellion
as a
Quasi-Criminal
Activity."
17.
See
ibid.,
p.
842,
for
a
comparison
of
the
costs of
rebellion
and household crime.
18.
Keen,
"Incentives
and
Disincentives
for
Violence,"
p.
27.
19.
John
Mueller,
"The
Banality
of 'Ethnic
War,"'
International
Security,
25
(2000),
42-70.
20.
Peter
Andreas,
"The
Clandestine
Political
Economy
of
War:
Lessons
from
the
Balkans,"
paper pre-
sented
to
the
American
Political
Science
Association,
San
Francisco,
2001;
Stathis
N.
Kalyvas,
"'New'
and
'Old'
Civil
Wars:
A
Valid
Distinction?,"
World
Politics,
54
(2001),
99-118,
argues
that civil war
greed
is
not
a
uniquely post-cold-war
trend.
21.
The
bureaucracy
grew
from
3,300
persons
in
1960 to
80,000
at the
beginning
of
the
1990s,
or
almost
7
percent
of the
country's
adult
population.
See
Clark,
"Petro-Politics
in
Congo," p.
66;
World
Bank
Africa
Database
1998/99
(CD Rom).
For
rentier
states,
see
Hazem Beblawi and Giacomo
Luciani,
eds.,
The Rentier
State:
Nation,
State
and
Integration
in the Arab
World
(London:
Routledge
and
Kegan
Paul,
1987);
Hootan
Shambayati,
"The
Rentier
State,
Interest
Groups,
and
the
Paradox
of
Autonomy,"
Comparative
Politics,
26
(1994);
Douglas
Andrew
Yates,
The
Rentier State in
Africa:
Oil
Rent
Dependency
and
Neocolonialism
in the
Republic
of
Gabon
(Trenton:
Africa World
Press,
1996).
22. Nibolek
is a
relatively
new
ethnic
marker derived from
the
contraction of the names of
three
major
southern
provinces,
Niari,
Bouenza,
and
Lekoumou.
23.
For
democratization,
see
Jean-Pascal
Daloz
and
Patrick
Quantin,
eds.,
Transitions
Democratiques
Africaines
(Paris: Karthala,
1997);
John
Clark,
"The
Neo-Colonial
Context of the Democratic
Experiment
of
Congo-Brazzaville,"
African
Affairs,
101
(April
2002),
171-92.
24.
Some 48
percent
of
Congo's
population
are
Niboleks.
Political
Risk
Service
(PRS), Congo:
Country Report
(Syracuse:
PRS,
2001),
p.
1.
25. In the
second
round
Lissouba won 61
percent
of the
vote
to Kolelas'
39
percent.
Sassou
won
17
percent
in the
first round.
26.
In
subsequent
parliamentary
elections
Lissouba's
party
won
thirty-nine
of 125
seats,
while
Kolelas
and
Sassou
won
twenty-nine
and
nineteen,
respectively.
John F.
Clark,
"Socio-Political
Change
in the
Republic
of
Congo:
Political
Dilemmas
of Economic
Reform,"
Journal
of
Third
World
Studies,
10
(1993),
56-63.
27.
See
Africa Confidential,
Oct.
24,
1997.
Although
France
and
Angola played important
roles
in the
outcome of
the
Congolese
conflict,
this dimension
is not
focused
on
in this article. For an excellent dis-
cussion of France's
role,
see John
Clark,
"The
Neo-Colonial
Context."
28.
Their
first
training camp
was in
Aubeville,
located
in
Congo's
Bouenza
region.
29.
The Israeli
connection
was
indicated
by
a
former
southern
subprefect,
who
was a
Lissouba
sup-
porter,
and
by
a
representative
of
the Israeli
Aircraft Industries.
Interviews, Dolisie,
July
6,
2001,
Brazzaville,
July
2,
2001.
79
Comparative
Politics October 2004
30.
Roland
Pourtier,
"1997: Les
raisons d'une
guerre
'incivile."'
Afrique
Contemporaine
(1998),
7-32.
31.
Interview
with
Ninja
commander, Brazzaville,
July
12, 2001;
Henri
Ossebi, "De
la
galere
a
la
guerre:
Jeunes et 'Cobras' dans
les
quartiers
Nord de
Brazzaville,"
Politique
Africaine
(1998),
17-33.
For
civil
wars
and
the
security
dilemma,
see Barbara F. Walter and
Jack L.
Snyder,
eds.,
Civil
Wars,
Insecurity
and Intervention
(New
York: Columbia
University
Press,
1999).
32.
In
1993
Lissouba's
party
was
named the Mouvance
Presidentielle and included
UPADS
and five
smaller factions.
33.
Englebert,
p.
397.
34.
Pourtier.
35.
By
the
mid
1990s,
according
to an
interview with former
chief
of
staff Jean-Marie
Michel Mokoko
in
Brazzaville
on
July
5, 2001,
the Cobras
had
recruited some
20,000
fighters,
compared
to
10,000
each
for
the
Ninjas
and
Cocoyes.
The
army
could muster
15,000.
36.
See
Nancy
Bermeo,
"Myths
of
Moderation:
Confrontation
and Conflict
during
Democratic
Transitions,"
Comparative
Politics,
29
(1997),
302-22;
Havard
Hegre, Tanja
Ellingsen,
Scott
Gates,
and
Nils
Petter
Gleditsch,
"Towards a
Democratic
Civil
Peace?
Democracy,
Political
Change,
and
Civil
War,
1816-1992,"
American
Political
Science
Review,
95
(2001),
33-48;
James
Ron,
"Ideology
in
Context:
Sendero Luminoso's Tactical
Escalation,"
Journal
of
Peace
Research,
38
(2001),
569-92;
Jack
Snyder,
From
Voting
to
Violence
(New
York: W. W.
Norton,
2000).
37. The
Angolans
intervened because
of
Sassou's
cold war-era
ties
to
Dos
Santos
and
because
Angolan
UNITA
rebels
were
using
Lissouba-controlled
territory
to
export
diamonds.
See
Africa
Confidential,
Oct.
24, 1997,
pp.
1-3.
38.
Remy
Bazenguissa-Ganga,
"The
Spread
of Political
Violence
in
Congo
Brazzaville,"
African
Affairs,
98
(1999),
37-54;
Florence
Bernault,
"Archaisme
colonial,
modernit6
sorciere
et
territorialisation
du
politique
&
Brazzaville, 1959-1995,"
Politique Africaine
(1998),
34-49.
39. All southern
combatants
insisted
they fought only
after
Angolan
and
Cobra
persecution.
40. Interview with
western
relief
worker, Brazzaville,
June
29,
2001.
41. Interviews
with
western
diplomats,
Brazzaville,
July
2,
2001,
and
with former
militia
members,
Brazzaville,
July
6-12,
2001.
42.
Accord
de
cessation des
hostilitis
en
Republique
du
Congo,
Pointe-Noire,
November
16, 1999;
Accord
de
cessez-le-feu
et de
cessation des
hostilitis,
Brazzaville,
December
29,
1999.
Peter Wallensteen
and
Margareta Sollenberg,
"Armed
Conflict,
1989-99,"
Journal
of
Peace
Research,
37
(2000),
635-49,
note
that few wars
in
the
1990s ended with
peace
deals.
43.
See
Bazenguissa,
"The
Spread
of
Political
Violence."
The term
"ethno-parties"
is
from
Yengo, p.
42.
44. William
Reno,
"Shadow
States
and the
Political
Economy
of
Civil
Wars,"
in
Berdal
and
Malone,
eds.
45.
Yengo;
interview with
Abel
Mokono,
mayor
of
the
capital's
Bakongo
suburb,
Brazzaville,
July
13,
2001;
Ossebi.
46. Interview with
Congolese
relief
worker,
Brazzaville,
July
6,
2001.
47. Interview
with
Le
Commissaire,
Brazzaville,
July
8,
2001.
48.
Interview with
Colonel
Mboungou-Mboungou,
Brazzaville,
July
3,
2001.
49.
See
Ross,
"Does
Oil
Hinder
Democracy?,"
for lootable versus
nonlootable
resources;
and
Africa
Confidential,
Oct.
21, 1997,
and
Pourtier for Lissouba's
wartime
use
of
oil
revenues.
50.
Data
for this
section come from
Political Risk
Service
and
interviews
in
Congo-Brazzaville.
51.
Africa
South
of
the
Sahara 2001
(London:
Europa
Publications,
2000), p.
405;
Africa
Confidential,
Aug.
30,
2002,
p.
6.
52.
Pourtier,
p.
29;
Political
Risk
Service,
pp.
26-27.
53.
Hodges
and Le
Billon,
"Angola's
Political
Economy
of
War,"
p.
71.
80
Pierre
Englebert
and James
Ron
54.
Clark,
"Petro-Politics in
Congo," p.
70;
Lawrence S.
Eastwood, Jr.,
"Secession: State
Practice
and
International
Law
after the Dissolution of the Soviet
Union
and
Yugoslavia,"
Duke Journal
of
Comparative
and
International
Law,
3
(1993),
299-349;
David
Strang,
"Anomaly
and
Commonplace
in
European
Political
Expansion:
Realist
and Institutional
Accounts,"
International
Organization,
45
(1991),
143-62.
55.
Interview with
Colonel
Mboungou-Mboungou.
56.
Interview with
Sadat, Brazzaville,
July
6,
2001.
57.
Interview with
Stephane
Rostiaux, Brazzaville,
July
5,
2001.
58. Interview with
senior western
diplomat,
Brazzaville,
July
2,
2001.
59.
Interview with
Jean-Franqois
Guembo, Dolisie,
July
9,
2001.
60. Interview
with
CNR
delegation,
Brazzaville,
July
5,
2001.
61.
See
Bazenguissa; Yengo;
Pourtier.
62. Interview
with
the
Japonais,
Brazzaville,
July
6,
2001.
63. Interview.
64.
Interview with
Colonel
Bougouanza,
Mossendjo,
July
10,
2001.
65.
Interview with
Maurice
M'Bobi,
Dolisie,
July
11,
2001.
66.
Interview with
four leaders of
the
CNR, Brazzaville,
July
5,
2001.
67. Interview
with
Maurice M'Bobi.
68.
Interview with
senior western
diplomat,
Brazzaville,
July
2,
2001.
69.
International
Office of
Migration
and
United
Nations,
"Programme
de Reinsertion
des
Ex-
Miliciens
et de
Ramassage
des
Armes
Legeres,"
La
Reinsertion
en
Images
(Brazzaville:
United
Nations,
no
date).
70.
Spyros
Demetriou,
Robert
Muggah,
and
Ian
Biddle,
Small
Arms
Availability,
Trade
and
Impacts
in
the
Republic
of Congo
(Geneva:
Small Arms
Survey
Special
Report,
April
2002).
See
also
Africa
Research
Bulletin
(Political,
Social
and
Cultural
Series),
Nov.
1-30,
2001,
p.
14647. The
authors
were
taken
to see
a
number of undeclared
weapons
caches hidden
in the
family compounds
of
former
militia-
men.
71. Observatoire de la Democratie
en
Afrique
[democraf.com], April
16,
2002.
72.
Jean-Rene
Kule,
"Le Pasteur Ntoumi
exige
le
grade
de
general
d'armee,"
Congo
Portal
News
(congoportal.com),
March
21,
2002.
73.
Abdi I.
Samatar,
An
African
Miracle
(Portsmouth:
Heinemann, 1999).
74.
See Daloz and
Quantin.
75.
Hodges
and
Le
Billon,
"Angola's
Political
Economy
of
War."
76.
Reno,
"Corruption
and State Politics
in
Sierra
Leone."
77.
Gerard
Prunier,
The Rwandan
Crisis
(New
York:
Columbia
University
Press,
1995).
78. On democratic
deepening,
see
Kenneth M.
Roberts,
Deepening
Democracy?
The
Modern
Left
and
Social
Movements in Chile and Peru
(Stanford:
Stanford
University
Press,
1998).
79. On
civil
wars and democratic
deepening,
see Elisabeth
Jean
Wood,
Forging
Democracy from
Below:
Insurgent
Traditions in
South
Africa
and
El
Salvador
(New
York:
Cambridge
University
Press,
2000).
80. James
Ron,
"Stop
Looking
the
Other
Way,"
Globe
and
Mail,
Aug.
10,
2001.
81
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The post–Cold War environment has ushered in an era of threats from terrorism, organized crime, and their intersections giving rise to the growing literature on the so-called crime–terror nexus. This article takes stock of this literature, assesses its accomplishments and limitations, and considers ways to deepen it conceptually, theoretically, and empirically. To challenge assumptions informing the crime–terror studies and suggest avenues for future research, the article draws on ideas from the scholarship on political economies of violence. These insights are used to probe the (1) non-state actors that form the crime–terror nexus, (2) conditions under which the nexus is likely to emerge, and (3) varied effects of criminal–terrorist intersections. The article emphasizes the ties of criminal and terrorist groups to local politics, society, and economy, and relationships of competition, rather than cooperation, which often characterize these ties. The conditions under which these groups operate cannot be understood without considering the role of the state in criminal–terrorist constellations. The structure of resource economies influences both the preferences of terrorist groups for crime and the consequences of terrorist–criminal convergence, which are also mediated by state participation in crime.
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Africa and Europe seem increasingly interconnected, yet divided. Apart from the commonly mentioned factors of history and geographical proximity, both continents face a growing number and a broader variety of shared challenges, interests, and goals. Migration remains as the most pressing challenge, yet rather than considering this as a mere phenomenon of its own, this volume advances the notion that the various patterns with which migration and mobility are inherently linked describe a broad spectrum of structural factors, developments, and challenges. These require a holistic perspective to better understand the complex drivers of migration and find appropriate ways to manage it safely and effectively. It is imperative to attempt to debunk tenacious false narratives about migration and provoke debate in a manner that will lead to a nuanced understanding of not merely the root causes and motivating factors behind the migrant flows and their broader social impacts, but of the impact of broader social and economic forces in shaping migrant decision making. This introductory chapter sets out the premise and goals of the volume, and then proceeds to introduce the structure of the book. Africa and Europe seem increasingly interconnected, yet divided. Apart from the commonly mentioned factors of history and geographical proximity, both continents face a growing number and a broader variety of shared challenges, interests, and goals. As these cover various political domains from economy to security and from culture to mobility, relations can justifiably be regarded as of high strategic importance: "Africa needs Europe; Europe needs Africa" (Marchetti, 2020, p. 4). However, the nature of this interconnectedness often remains more assumed than comprehensively analysed. The balance may not be even, but more importantly, it may not lead us in the direction a shared understanding of the past would lead us to believe. The time has come to reassess the deep-seated belief that Africa remains dependent on European aid and offers little in return. Such a misunderstanding leads to misrepresentations, which are not only unfortunate and misleading on their own but lead to a significant