Conflict resolution for sustainable development in the Democratic Republic of Congo

Didier, Kasongo Wa Kumutombo (2017-03)

Thesis (PhD)--Stellenbosch University, 2017.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is second to Algeria as the largest country in Africa in terms of size. The country and is exponentially rich in both natural resources and wild life. However, the country is classed among the poorest of the world and it also has a long history of conflicts. Conflict and development are interconnected and, in the case of the DRC, the state of the country's poverty may find its explanation in the long history of conflicts. This, in turn, creates potentials for conflicts. The DRC has an estimated 90 per cent of Christian followers despite being officially a secular country. Although there is a significant amount of literature on the subject of conflict resolution and development on the DRC, this study focuses on the role of the church in conflict resolution and its efforts in promoting sustainable development; this, from a theological perspective. The study, therefore, explores the history of the DRC and that of the Great Lakes Region in order to understand the Congolese crisis, which has national, regional and international connotations. Development and conflict theories are, therefore, developed for a better understanding of the subject under investigation and the interrelationship between the two is argued within the context of the DRC and the broader African continent. The theological concept of shalom is here explored in order to reflect on how the church could be involved in conflict resolution and sustainable development. An argument is made that the biblical concept of shalom is holistic. From various historical records, it is noted that the church has always been involved in the day to day life in the DRC. The research shows that the church and its leadership have not done enough to see shalom established in the DRC despite the many opportunities they have been given to do so from the colonial era up to this day. The research, ultimately, makes recommendations to the church in order to promote identified Kingdom values for the establishment of shalom, which leads to the resolution of the conflict and the implementation of sustainable development. Finally, a peace-building model that focuses on hope, healing, forgiveness and reconciliation is proposed to resolve the conflict and bring about sustainable development in the DRC.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Die Demokratiese Republiek van die Kongo (DRK) is die tweede grootste land in Afrika na Algerië en is ryk in natuurlike hulpbronne. Alhoewel die land nie amptelik 'n Christelike nasie is nie, is 90 persent van die bevolking Christen. Maar, die land word geklassifiseer as een van die armste in die wêreld en dit het 'n lang geskiedenis van konflik. Konflik en ontwikkeling word verbind aan mekaar en in die geval van die DRK kan die toestand van die land se armoede toegeskryf word aan die geskiedenis van konflik, en terselfde tyd veroorsaak dit die potensiaal vir konflik. Alhoewel daar 'n gewigtige hoeveelheid literatuur oor konflik oplossing en ontwikkeling aangaande die Demokratiese Republiek van die Kongo (DRK) bestaan, fokus hierdie navorsing op die rol van die kerk en sy leierskap in konflik oplossing en volhoubare ontwikkeling vanaf 'n teologiese perspektief. Dit verken dus die geskiedenis van die DRK en Groot Mere Streek om die Kongolese krisisse te verstaan, aangesien dit aangeteken word dat die krisisse nasionale, streeks en internasionale konnotasies het. Ontwikkelings en konflik teoriëe is dus ontwikkel vir 'n beter begrip van die onderwerp wat ondersoek word en die verhouding tussen die twee word geredeneer in die konteks van Kongo en die wyer kontinent van Afrika. Die teologiese konsep van shalom word dan verken om na te dink oor hoe die kerk en sy leierskap moet (en kan) betrokke wees by konflik oplossing en volhoubare ontwikkeling. Shalom is alomvattend en is die werk van God, wie mense nooi na hom beide binne en buite die kerk. Vanaf verskeie opgeskrewe gebeurtenisse is dit duidelik dat die kerk nog altyd betrokke was in die daaglikse lewe in die DRK. Die navorsing wys dat die kerk en sy leierskap nie genoeg gedoen het om shalom te vestig in die DRK nie, ten spyte van vele geleenthede wat hulle gegun is vanaf koloniale tye tot vandag. Die navorsing maak op die ou end aanbevelings na die kerk en sy leierskap vir die bevordering van geïdentifiseerde Koningrykswaardes vir die vestiging van shalom, wat sal lei tot die oplossing van die konflik en die toepassing van volhoubare ontwikkeling. Laastens word 'n vredebouende model voorgestel wat fokus op hoop, genesing, vergifnis en versoening om die konflik op te los en om volhoubare ontwikkeling in werking te stel in die Demokratiese Republiek van die Kongo.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/101123
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