This panel explores the complexities of the security interconnectedness between Rwanda, Uganda and the DRC. It discusses the military dynamics, resource control, and autochthonous tropes which drive the security dynamics of the region, and examines what is to be done to improve regional stability.
Despite decades of aid and peacebuilding efforts in the region, instability and pervasive conflict prevails in the African Great Lakes - one of Africa's most volatile regional security complexes. The idea of the security complex is used by Buzan and Wæver (1998; 2003) to describe situations where 'states or other units link together sufficiently closely that their securities cannot be considered separate from each other'(2003: 43). This panel will explore the complexities of the security interconnectedness between Rwanda, Uganda and the DRC, which play out in the eastern Congo. Papers will explore topics such as Rwanda's and Uganda's military strength in the region and their role in perpetuating conflict; the use of autochthonous discourses by both rebel groups and incumbent governments; and the role of natural resources in funding all conflicting parties involved in the eastern DRC. From these discussions, the papers may also seek to make suggestions regarding what is to be done to break the cycles of conflict in the eastern DRC. In particular the bimodal statuses of Rwanda and Uganda as both a donor-darlings (for their domestic development achievements and roles in peace-building efforts), and as a growing pariahs due to their belligerent activities in the DRC, will be examined. Through exploring the complex security dilemmas facing the Rwandan and Ugandan regimes and how these play out in eastern DRC, this panel will consider how these complex security conundrums can be resolved, and how a more lasting peace can be brought to the African Great Lakes.