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Title:Doing business out of war: an analysis of the UPDF's presence in the Democratic Republic of Congo
Authors:Vlassenroot, KoenISNI
Perrot, SandrineISNI
Cuvelier, JeroenISNI
Periodical:Journal of Eastern African Studies (ISSN 1753-1063)
Geographic terms:Congo (Democratic Republic of)
Subjects:armed forces
illicit trade
civil-military relations
military intervention
External link:https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/17531055.2012.664701
Abstract:The authors analyse how Ugandan army commanders have mobilized transborder economic networks to exploit economic opportunities in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) during the military intervention of the Uganda People's Defence Force (UPDF) in Congo's wars (1996-1997; 1998-2003). These transborder networks are the starting point of an evaluation of the informal political structures and networks linking Uganda's political centre to Congo's war complex. While it is often claimed that military entrepreneurialism in the DRC has undermined political stability in Uganda, the authors argue that the activities of Ugandan military entrepreneurs and networks under their control were an integral part of Uganda's governance regime. Crucial to the development of this entrepreneurialism was the existence of prewar transborder networks of economic exchange that connected Congo to eastern African markets. Military control over these highly informalized networks facilitated UPDF commanders' access to Congo's resources. Rather than operating as privatized sources of accumulation, these military shadow networks were directly linked to the inner circles of the Ugandan regime. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum. [Journal abstract]