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Civil Wars in the Democratic Republic of Congo, 1960-2010

Emizet François Kisangani
Civil Wars in the Democratic Republic of Congo, 1960-2010
ISBN: 978-1-58826-827-3
ISBN: 978-1-62637-082-1
2012/254 pages/LC: 2011040665
"The author uses data brilliantly to illustrate his arguments.... The extreme complexity of these wars is rendered comprehensible—which is no small task to achieve."—Patrycja Stys, African Affairs

"A major achievement. No other source provides a better point of entry to grasp the historical roots of the Congo's agonies."—René Lemarchand, Journal of African History

"Restores a much-needed sense of agency in the understanding of the Congolese wars ... and provides a valuable analytic tool to understand the current rebellion of the M23 in Eastern Congo."—Gauthier Marchais, Journal of Modern African Studies

"An impressive volume.... The author has done a service to the Africanist community in writing it. Kisangani helps us to make sense of the succession of civil wars that have wracked Congo during some fifty years of postcolonial history."—John F. Clark, Florida International University


Wars of secession, ethnic wars, rebellions, and mutinies have been part of the political landscape of the Democratic Republic of Congo since the country became independent in 1960.  Why? And what can we learn from this seemingly unending series of internal conflicts?  Emizet François Kisangani explores these fundamental questions within a rigorously systematic and uniquely comprehensive framework.

Looking closely at five decades of civil wars in the DRC, Kisangani finds ample evidence to challenge popular paradigms. His focus on the politics of exclusion and his attention to both the micro- and macroprocesses of the wars provides an analytical lens through which not only the nature of civil wars, but also Congo’s politics more broadly, are brought into clearer focus.


Emizet François Kisangani is professor of political science at Kansas State University. He is coauthor of The Democratic Republic of Congo: Economic Dimensions of War and Peace (a Choice Outstanding Academic Book in 2006) and of the Historical Dictionary of the Democratic Republic of Congo.


  • The Context of Congo's Internal Wars.
  • Wars of Secession.
  • A Tale of Two Rebellions.
  • From Mutinies to Invasions.
  • Warring Against the President.
  • Ethnic Wars in Nord Kivu and Ituri.
  • Conclusion.