Elections that are postponed, protests, arrests, and repeat ... It is hard not too feel that things are going in circles in the seemingly unending political crisis in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). As 2017 draws to a close, marking a full year since President Joseph Kabila’s term should have ended, little seems to have changed. Implementation of the political agreement signed in December 2016 stalled after the death of opposition leader Étienne Tshisekedi in February and has not resumed. The regime now controls government, the national oversight committee meant to guide the agreement’s implementation and the electoral commission. With such a tight grip on key institutions, Kabila has had to do little more than wait, and the regime has adopted an irritating “I can’t hear you” stance. Its delaying tactics have succeeded in disorienting a weak and divided opposition, and left the international community with little leverage. So could Kabila win the long-term game? Next year wi...

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