Hegemonic Ethno-nationalism’ versus The “Instrumentalization” of Armed Groups: Failure to Grasping the Dynamic Reality of Eastern DRC Conflict? The Review of Kibiswa’s Thesis

The eastern Congo violent conflict would remain dynamic and scholarships need to work on it with intent of contributing to finding appropriate solutions. However, the Kibiswa thesis requires much attention in terms essentialism approach and the stereotyping it encompasses. It narrows a violent conflict within a static move that links heterogeneous ethnic groups to ancient exotic ancestors as it intends to find a culprit. The thesis may divert attention to other factors by conceiving violent conflict as mono-causal event in which a heterogeneous group portrayed as ‘Bany2’ behaves in similar way from the least young to last old. Moreover and specifically, the thesis links such heterogeneous group to what is thought to be their origins while disregarding that it shares the same origin with different ethnic groups in the Eastern Congo.

The thesis fails also to grasp the dynamic reality of violent conflict disregarded in a manner that can be interpreted as linked to the researcher’s bias. The bias sounds as falling within the researcher’s soft ability of being reflexive but also it raises questions of the research integrity. Despites the “legitimate interests and biases” stated by the author, it remains less convincing to fit these drawbacks and pitfalls into that scope. The thesis has largely been confirming the common sense narratives which can be heard everywhere in the Eastern Congo region. Therefore, the interpretation of Kibiswa’s findings seems to corroborate the fact that he has actively played a role of an activism. Particularly, the stereotyping of the ‘Bany2’ as similarly likened to “Fascists, Nazis,… tends to suspect his role in maneuvering the denial of ‘Bany2’ nationality.

As thesis’ review, here is my take on what Kibiswa’s findings. It has been published by Global Ethics, follow the link: http://www.globethics.net/web/globethics-publications/collection-articles?collection=AB1

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