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Mapping Conflict Motives in War Areas 

Tackling a problem starts with a complete understanding of it. In order to resolve wars, we need to understand what drives them. Therefore IPIS has launched a research project funded by the EU and the Belgian Ministry of Foreign Affairs to develop a research tool that should make it easier to analyse and discuss war motives in conflict areas. The most distinguishing feature of the analytic tool is a collection of maps. Maps are a verifiable and unambiguous source of information. When made with sufficient care, they are an ideal source for an objective analysis. Over the last years, the work on conflict mapping has evolved into a full-fledged research programme.


The tool

How the research tool is conceived is explained in a methodological handbook. The handbook compiles insights from a wide range of scientific literature and is a sincere effort to work in an interdisciplinary way on the issue of war motivation. It contains an overview of the current literature on the causes and drivers of war and explains how the geographic tool should be applied.
The handbook is still a work in progress. The version currently published on the website will be expanded and changed throughout the course of the project. 

Read the handbook (PDF, 457 kB) (last updated in August 2008)



NEW


Mapping Conflict Minerals: Eastern DRC (2013-2014)

IPIS developed a new webmapping solution to provide hard to find data on mineral extraction in conflict and high-risk areas in Eastern DRC.

The data is collected through field research by nine teams, composed of civil society and Congolese mining administration.
The information will expand as more data comes in throughout 2013 and 2014.

In addition to intensive data collection, the project also aims at capacity building of Congolese mining administration (Cadastre Minier and SAESSCAM) and civil society to conduct surveys and create maps for future analysis. For the duration of this project, IPIS established a permanently staffed focal point in Bukavu to coordinate the field research.

To visit the webmapping solution:

http://ipisresearch.be/mapping/webmapping

For an analysis of the first version of the map:
Analysis of the interactive map of artisanal mining areas in Eastern DRC, November 2013

This project is funded by PROMINES (World Bank/DFID) and Belgian Foreign Affairs.










Analyses

M23 (November 2012)
 
In light of the recent occupation of Goma, capital of North Kivu, by the M23 rebel movement and the renewed risk of large-scale armed conflict in the DRC, IPIS publishes an update to its 2007-2010 ‘mapping conflict motives’ report series focussing specifically on the intentions of M23.
The M23 rebels show a clear political ambition and a tendency to establish political control over territory and challenge Kinshasa’s authority – strategic interests they might share with Rwanda.

M23


Province Orientale (DRC) (March 2010)

In the fourth study of its mapping series, IPIS completes the picture of the East of the DR Congo, dealing with the presence, behaviour and motivation of the armed groups that have been active in the Orientale province in the second half of 2009.


Province Orientale, DRC


Central African Republic (February 2009)


IPIS' third mapping analysis studies the conflict dynamics in an almost unknown neighbour of the DR Congo: the Central African Republic.

Central African Republic


Eastern DRC (March 2008)


The Eastern DRC case-study deals with the Congolese provincies of North Kivu and northern South Kivu for the period September 2007 - January 2008.

Eastern DRC


Katanga - updates 2007-2008 


IPIS published three updates on the conflict situation in Katanga, which cover the period from September 2007 to September 2008. They include new ‘dynamic’ maps and a short briefing paper. The updates were financed by the Dutch NGO NiZa. 

Katanga - updates







Katanga (June 2007)

The Katanga case was a challenging first try of our research tool since the Congolese province is a post-conflict area rather than a war zone. Still our method proved to be useful in explaining the motivations of the large groups of ex-combatants present on the Katangese territory. 

Katanga

The analyses are published within the framework of the international Fatal Transactions campaign (www.fataltransactions.org).






Related research

Mapping Conflict Minerals: Eastern DRC (2013-2014)

IPIS developed a new webmapping solution to provide hard to find data on mineral extraction in conflict and high-risk areas in Eastern DRC.

The data is collected through field research by nine teams, composed of civil society and Congolese mining administration.
The information will expand as more data comes in throughout 2013 and 2014.

In addition to intensive data collection, the project also aims at capacity building of Congolese mining administration (Cadastre Minier and SAESSCAM) and civil society to conduct surveys and create maps for future analysis. For the duration of this project, IPIS established a permanently staffed focal point in Bukavu to coordinate the field research.

To visit the webmapping solution:
http://ipisresearch.be/mapping/webmapping


For an analysis of the first version of the map:
Analysis of the interactive map of artisanal mining areas in eastern DRC, November 2013

This project is funded by PROMINES (World Bank/DFID) and Belgian Foreign Affairs.










Scrutiny of mining and trade at Bisie, DRC’s principal cassiterite mine (November 2011)

The most important tin ore mine in the DR Congo, Bisie in North Kivu (Walikale territory), is of permanent interest to stakeholders from civil society and the policy community. IPIS analysed activities at the site before, during and after the suspension of mining activities decreed by President Kabila (September 2010 - March 2011). Field research, supplemented by satellite imagery, shows that, contrary to the objective of the mining ban, units of the army consolidated and even extended their control over several important mining areas.

Paper 'Bisie. A one-year snapshot of the DRC's principal cassiterite mine'.


Simplified maps illustrating the link between natural resources and armed conflict in the DR Congo (January 2011)

After receiving a number of requests from users of our web maps, IPIS produced a series of six simplified and printable PDF maps illustrating the link between mineral resources and armed conflict in the DR Congo (in French).

Simplified maps DRC



Mining activity and mineral trade in the Kivu hinterland (November 2010)

The report ‘The complexity of resource governance in a context of state fragility: An analysis of the mining sector in the Kivu hinterlands’ was commissioned by the Directorate General for Development (DG DEV) of the European Commission and aims to fill an information gap by identifying the principal mining sites and analysing the trade networks of the ‘Eastern hinterland’ of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), located in Maniema, North Katanga and Orientale Province, and the transport networks from these territories to the regional hubs of Bukavu, Goma, Butembo and Bunia.

Mining activity and mineral trade in the Kivu hinterland


Mining concessions in DR Congo (August 2010)

IPIS has produced an interactive web map of all mining concessions in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Mining concessions in DRC



Militarised Mining Areas in the Kivus (August 2009)

The MiMiKi map constitutes a geographic attempt to clarify the issue of profit by armed groups from the extractive industry in the east of the DRCongo. The project was financed by the Africa Conflict Prevention Pool Fund, a Joint UK Government Approach to Preventing and Reducing Conflict in Sub-Saharan Africa


Militarised mining areas in the Kivus




 



Mapping Conflict Motives in War Areas is a new and to a certain extent experimental research project. IPIS welcomes all comments and suggestions for improvement at: mapping at ipisresearch dot be 


Read two interviews about the project on the "Exploring Geopolitics" website: "Cartografische Conflictanalyse in Afrika" (February 2008, Dutch) and "Geopolitical Briefing on Democratic Republic Congo" (October 2008, English).



“This project is funded by the European Union and the Belgian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The content of this project is the sole responsibility of IPIS and can in no way be taken to reflect the views of the European Union or the Belgian Ministry of Foreign Affairs”      






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