Mapping interests in conflict areas: Katanga. (Update September-November 2007)

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The International Peace Information Service (IPIS), a Belgium based research NGO, is a member of the Fatal Transactions consortium, which carries out the action ‘From Fatal to Fair Transactions’ with co-funding from the EU. IPIS’ contribution to this action is to develop a tool for the analysis of conflict drivers. Making use of GIS (Geographic Information Systems) software, we visualise possible conflict motives on geographical maps and carry out field research to complete the picture with violent incidents, human rights violations and positions of armed groups (rebels and regular army units). Every set of maps is accompanied by a narrative report, which provides details on the conflict dynamics in the area under scrutiny.
A first case study was carried out on the mineral-rich province of Katanga in the southeast of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). It reports on the situation in January-May 2007 and is available online at the IPIS website: The Dutch NGO ‘Nederlands Instituut voor Zuidelijk Afrika’ (NIZA) provided additional funding for updating this case study during a year (September 2007 to September 2008). This report is the first in a series of quarterly updates. The information for the updates is drawn from permanent field research carried out by four Katangese NGOs. These NGOs are based in different parts of Katanga and their research activities for this project cover the militarised territories of the province.
During the last decade the world has witnessed how the DRC, a country endowed with an abundance of mineral riches, turned into a battleground where the control over these riches was one of the main rationales behind massive human rights violations, terror tactics of rape and even cannibalism, and the killing of millions of civilians. Elections in 2006 have not yet led to stability in the Kivu provinces and the Ituri district. In North-Kivu high-intensity conflict continues to inflict suffering on the local population. This report shows that, although the level of conflict there is less intense, also the Katanga province is far from stable. Mayi-Mayi rebel groups, local communities, indigenous people and the regular army (Forces Armées de la République Démocratique du Congo, FARDC) compete over the access to sources of income. The dynamics of local ‘greed’ and ‘survival’ motivations are driven by continuous discoveries of new mineral deposits, mainly of coltan, a mineral used in capacitors found in cell phones, personal computers, DVD players and game consoles. It needs to be stressed that the regular army, in terms of human rights violations, is as much a part of the problem as are the ‘rebel groups’ they contend with.

Download in pdf or open with issuu reader.

Web maps

The link below will lead you to a webpage with 7 different maps that can be selected from the drop down menu on the right side of the screen.

Instructions for use: see above

Please note the following:

  • ‘DDR’ map: when clicking on a DDR symbol directly on the map, a DDR summary table will appear for that specific place. You can retrieve information on every separate demobilised group in that place by choosing the ‘Lists’ function on the screen below.
  • ‘Incidents’ map: when clicking on an ‘Incident’ symbol directly on the map, only one table will appear for that specific place, i.e. a table with information on only one incident, while in some cases in one place more than one incident took place. You can retrieve the complete information on all the incidents in a specific place by choosing the ‘Lists’ function on the screen below.
  • ‘Reports’ map: when clicking on a blue ‘info’ symbol on the map, a window with only one report regarding that specific place will open up, while usually more than one report is available. You will find links to all the relevant reports by choosing the ‘Lists’ function on the screen below.
  • When clicking on a symbol in a specific map, it may happen that an information table from another map shows up. In that case, click on your browser’s ‘Refresh’ button, go back to the chosen map and try again.

View the web maps

PDF maps 

The links below lead you to two PDF maps at scale 1:3,000,000, one of the North of Katanga, the other comprising the Copperbelt, the Centre and the East.

These PDF maps present a series of ‘layers’, containing the different features of the web maps mentioned above. The maps are truly interactive: the user can switch on (visualise) or off (hide) the different layers, making his own feature combinations. On the other hand, the PDF maps do not have search functions or lists and do not allow click actions on map objects.

A complete legend of all the map features is provided as well.

To view the PDF maps with the different layers you need Adobe© Reader© version 6.0 or later. You can download the program for free from theAdobe© website.

View the PDF maps:
North (7436 kB)
Copperbelt – Centre – East (3211 kB)

Legend (92 kB)