Democratic Republic of Congo

The Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) is a country with immense economic resources. The country has been at the epicenter of long-standing conflicts throughout the region, with widespread civilian suffering. Conflicts have often been internally managed by traditional, extra-judicial methods at the local level. Wise people from villages, councils, and family councils have historically met to reconcile disputing parties through local alternative dispute management mechanisms, such as community mediation.

Within this framework, traditional laws, defined as the mechanisms of sanction, reparation, reconciliation, warning and exclusion, were applied by the chief of the council of the village, or the clan, or other traditional chief. These practices determined the price that a perpetrator or his relatives would pay to compensate the complaining party. In the context of an inter-community conflict, the traditional chiefs managed the dispute.

Following the establishment of a formalized system of governance, a conflict resolution framework was institutionalized, which integrates the role of lawyers and judges, as well as institutions in dispute resolution processes, based on socio-economic interests.


Adolphe Mushizi Mwendambali is an attorney and, since 2016, has served as the Women Protection Advisor–Human Rights Officer of the United Nations Joint Human Rights Office in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.


Mediation Developments in the DRC

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