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When Enemies are Friends - Warfare relations in DRC Congo.

  • Anna Hedlund
Publiceringsår: 2011
Språk: Engelska
Dokumenttyp: Konferensbidrag

Abstract english

This paper explores wartime relationships and the culture of armed groups in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Without exceptions, the crises in the Congo must be framed in local-global correlations, i.e. in terms of criminal network activities and its linkages to mining businesses and exploitation of natural resources. In the eastern DRC the boundaries between the different armed groups and the state have become blurred. Previous enemies have now begun to collaborate for common pursuits; such collaborations are linked to what a global economic shadow market offers. On local level, groups split and from the ashes of such fractions new groups emerge. On ground we find a “gangland” with the national army (FARDC), the (defense) militias (Mai-Mai), and the FDLR, (Rwandese Hutu ex-interahamwe accused of the genocide in Rwanda 1994). New relationships among these groups are constantly being formed depending on relationships (and status among different commanders) and lucrative commerce opportunities. This paper argues that in the context of war, the concept of relationship – moral, practical, strategic, tactical – must be reconceptualized. This paper is a result of extensive fieldwork in DRC (South Kivu province) together with the different armed groups.


  • Social Anthropology
  • war
  • Democratic Republic of Congo
  • armed groups
  • socialantropologi
  • social anthropology
  • violence


PACSA (Peace and Conflict Studies in Anthropology Network). The “local” in global understanding of war and peacemaking. Anthropological and inter-disciplinary perspectives. Workshop 7: Enemies and Others. On Conflict, social Polarization and Othering
Bild på Anna Hedlund, foto: privat
E-post: anna [dot] hedlund [at] soc [dot] lu [dot] se


Sociologiska institutionen



Anna Hedlund är forskare i socialantropologi och disputerade 2014 vid Lunds Universitet. Hon har varit anställd som postdoc vid University of Johannesburg, Sydafrika och Danish Institute Against Torture i Köpenhamn, Danmark. 2015 var hon gästforskare vid Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology, Halle, Tyskland, i 3 månader. Anna Hedlund är affilierad forskare med South African Research Chair in Social Change, University of Johannesburg.


Anna Hedlund har gjort fältarbete i Östra Kongo (Demokratiska Republiken Kongo) för sitt avhandlingsprojekt 2009-2014.

År 2016 gjorde hon fältarbete i Kinshasa/Kongo och Beirut/Libanon för ett postdoc projekt. Som student i antropologi gjorde hon fältarbete i Israel/Palestina och i Nuba Bergen, Sudan.

För närvarande gör hon fältarbete i Malmö (med start i April, 2019).

Sociologiska institutionen
Lunds universitet
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