The politics of wages & violence in the FARDC

Rachel Strohm

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Photo from Richard Mosse’s series of infrared portraits in eastern DRC

Grant Gordon has a fascinating new working paper which offers a reinterpretation of the connection between violence against civilians and the FARDC’s inability to pay its soldiers wages.  Abstract:

In fragile states, regimes must cultivate military forces strong enough to ward off external threats, but loyal enough to resist launching a coup. This requires that leaders distinguish the loyal from the untrustworthy, a particularly challenging exercise in post-conflict settings with weak institutions. In this study, I explore how Congolese soldiers operating in North Kivu, the largest operational theater in the Democratic Republic of Congo and the epicenter of one of the most violent conflicts in Africa, solve this crucial problem. I argue that leaders use non-payment as a screening strategy that reveals commitment by driving disloyal soldiers to defect and loyal soldiers to endure hard times. This fuels unpaid…

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About dianabuja

With a group of BaTwa (pygmy) women potters, with whom we've worked to enhance production and sales of their wonderful pots - fantastic for cooking and serving. To see the 2 blogs on this work enter 'batwa pots' into the search engine located just above this picture. Blog entries throughout this site are about Africa, as well as about the Middle East and life in general - reflecting over 35 years of work and research in Africa and the Middle East – Come and join me!
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