Kampala Geopolitics Conference

Power Play in the Great Lakes Region: Regional dimensions of peace and conflict

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For long, Uganda has been seen as a haven of stability for the Great Lakes Region. But recently, tensions with its neighbour Rwanda escalated, leading to a border shutdown and thus threatening to escalate the situation in the region. Also the situation in neighbouring countries has turned dim. An ongoing civil war drives away thousands from South Sudan. Similar pictures present themselves in DR Congo: The country has been war-torn for decades and, accompanied by outbreaks of the Ebola virus, presents a major threat for the region. Further South, President Pierre Nkurunziza and his government’s brutal violations of human rights as well as years of economic mismanagement force Burundians to flee their homes. Many of these conflicts have deep-rooted lines that relate to ethnicity, access to resources, and weak governance but also post-colonial scars concerning nation-building play a role. Overall, the conflicts are dynamic and complex, involving numerous actors and circulating around shifting epicentres. Can these conflicts be contained or are spill-over effects to destabilise the entire region? What are the prospects for peace, stability and effective cooperation in the Great Lakes Region?

Meet the Panelists