Navigating uncertainty: Observations from the Congo-Rwanda border

  • Martin Doevenspeck
  • Nene Morisho Mwanabiningo


This article concentrates on how people make use of the state boundary between the cities of Goma, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), and Gisenyi, Rwanda to cope with specific uncertainties on either side, how these borderlanders, by doing so, expose themselves to new uncertainties and how they at the same time subvert and perpetuate the border through their activities. This tension-filled state boundary separates two countries that, after fifteen years of war, proxy warfare and mutual allegations of supporting militias and rebel groups, have only very recently started hesitant efforts towards a political rapprochement. Despite the long-lasting ethnic and identity conflicts in this region and remaining tensions (for overviews see Mamdani 2001; Lemarchand 2009; Prunier 2009) this border, situated between the Congo Basin and the densely populated highlands of Uganda and Rwanda, has always kept its function as a transit point for long-distance trade connecting the east and the west of Central Africa (see Tegera/Johnson 2007).


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© VS Verlag für Sozialwissenschaften | Springer Fachmedien Wiesbaden GmbH 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Martin Doevenspeck
  • Nene Morisho Mwanabiningo

There are no affiliations available

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