Urban centres are at the heart of the dynamics of war and peace, of stability and violence: as ‘safe havens’ for those seeking protection, as concentrations of public administrative and military apparatus, and as symbolic bases of state sovereignty and public authority. Heavy fighting in South Sudan’s capital city of Juba, post electoral protests and brutal killings in Bujumbura, Burundi, and violent urban uprisings in Congo’s cities of Goma and Kinshasa, all demonstrate that cities represent critical arenas in African conflict and post-conflict dynamics.
This comprehensive volume offers a profound analysis of the complex relationship between the dynamics of violent conflict and urbanisation in Central and Eastern Africa. The authors underline the need to look simultaneously at cities to understand ongoing conflict and violence, and at conflict-dynamics to understand current urbanisation processes in this part of the world. Building on empirical and analytical insights from cities in Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, DR Congo, South Sudan and Kenya, this collection demonstrates how emerging urbanism in the larger Great-Lakes region and its Eastern neighbours presents a fascinating window to investigate the transformative power of protracted violent conflict.
This book was originally published as a special issue of the Journal of Eastern African Studies.
Table of Contents
1. African cities and violent conflict: the urban dimension of conflict and post conflict dynamics in Central and Eastern Africa
2. Wartime speculation: property markets and institutional change in eastern Congo’s urban centers
3. Urbanizing Kitchanga: spatial trajectories of the politics of refuge in North Kivu, Eastern Congo
Gillian Mathys and Karen Büscher
4. Agency, social space and conflict-urbanism in eastern Congo
5. The politics of everyday policing in Goma: the case of the Anti-gang
6. Autochthony and insecure land tenure: the spatiality of ethnicized hybridity in the periphery of post-conflict Bukavu, DRC
Fons van Overbeek and Peter A. Tamás
7. From rural rebellion to urban uprising? A socio-spatial perspective on Bujumbura’s conflict history
Tomas Van Acker
8. Small towns and rural growth centers as strategic spaces of control in Rwanda’s post-conflict trajectory
9. Humanitarian urbanism in a post-conflict aid town: aid agencies and urbanization in Gulu, Northern Uganda
Karen Büscher, Sophie Komujuni and Ivan Ashaba
10. Planning amidst precarity: utopian imaginings in South Sudan
Naseem Badiey and Christian Doll
11. Hybrid security governance, post-election violence and the legitimacy of community-based armed groups in urban Kenya
Karen Büscher is an Assistant Professor at the Conflict Research Group, Ghent University, Belgium. Her work focuses on different aspects of the relationship between violent conflict and urbanisation in the Democratic Republic of Congo and Northern Uganda.