The scene of recurrent ethnic violence and long-running crisis in recent years, the region of Central Africa has been mired in armed conflicts that have defied the international community's capacity for crisis response and management. The Rwandan genocide of 1994, in which over 800,000 people lost their lives, left a devastated country in its wake and had a profoundly destabilising effect on the region. Rwanda's neighbour Burundi, embroiled in ethnic warfare since 1993, is only now making painstaking headway towards national reconciliation. Meanwhile, the civil war in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), which erupted in the summer of 1998, continues in defiance of the Lusaka cease-fire agreement - having ensnared six other African governments and rebel movements from Rwanda, Uganda and Burundi.
ICG has operated a small-scale project in Central Africa since early 1998, which for much of this period consisted of two full-time analysts in the field supported by a Brussels-based project co-ordinator and a number of part-time consultants. The project was significantly expanded in 2000, with the opening of a regional base in Nairobi and the appointment of additional full-time field analysts.
For more information on ICG's work in individual countries of the region, please click on the links in the "Project Areas" box above.