Post-election crisis and instability - still no international solutions :
Hasty polls can make things worse as Congo’s case shows By Paul Collier
LONDON: Much of my work has been on conflict in Africa, so the latest catastrophe in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has unsurprisingly generated questions of the form ‘What now?’ My buck-dodging answer is: ‘Don’t start from here’. We are where we are because of the persistent failure of the international community to face reality. Part of that reality is that the UN is ill-suited to a reactive mode of operations: reaction requires decisions and logistics that are usually stymied by a lack of consensus and resources.
So what is the alternative to the reactive mode? It is to pre-empt these situations by changing the approach that has been adopted in post-conflict societies.
The international community has based its pre-emptive strategy on a naive faith in the restorative power of elections. The theory has been that elections usher in an accountable and legitimate government and so bring peace and prosperity. In the DRC, elections were duly held on October 29. 2006, costing the aid donors $500mn. So confident was the international community in this model that the date set for the withdrawal of UN peacekeepers was October 30. Instead, the elections provoked a full-scale shoot-out between the forces of the defeated candidate, Bemba, and the victorious Kabila, while manifestly failing to resolve the problem of eastern Congo.