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The Democratic Republic of Congo, a country of 79 million people and immense natural resource wealth, is on the verge of a political crisis. After nearly two decades in power, Joseph Kabila seems determined to cling to the presidency – in defiance of constitutionally mandated term limits. Meanwhile, the country’s security situation continues to deteriorate amidst clashes between armed militias. getAbstract recommends reading this Foreign Affairs article by the magazine’s managing editor Stuart A. Reid to learn what events led to the current crisis and how it might play out.


The Democratic Republic of Congo stands on the verge of a political crisis. Joseph Kabila, the DRC’s president of nearly two decades, is facing intense pressure to step down from power. The country’s new constitution, crafted via an internationally-mediated peace process following the end of a civil war in 2003, imposes a two-term limit on sitting presidents. But Kabila has managed several times to postpone the elections due to take place in 2016, citing various administrative hurdles.

Besides the looming transition crisis, the country bears the hallmarks of ...

About the Author

Stuart A. Reid is a managing editor at Foreign Affairs

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