UNDER A CLOAK OF ETHNIC TENSIONS: UNVEIL VIOLENCE AGAINST THE BANYAMULENGE IN SOUTH KIVU, EASTERN DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO (Nguyen Tran 0615722)
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This thesis unearths an appalling tragedy of the Banyamulenge community in South Kivu, Democratic Republic of Congo, and the network connections that have sustained the violence. The primary motivation for the researcher to start this research is to invalidate a common yet hazardous belief about the fundamental nature of this predicament - that the violence is simply a result of tribal or race tensions. At the same time, the research also aims to advance the current understanding of violent conflicts' dynamics in South Kivu. By delving into the activities of actors in alliances that produce communal violence against the Banyamulenge, the research aims to explore the realms where actors sustain violence that benefit self-serving interests and satisfy private agendas. Hence, the study applies alliance theory as a theoretical framework to explain inter-group and intra-group dynamics that have shaped the region's violent landscapes for the past few years. With primary and secondary evidence gathered through NGO reports, local news, and prior literature, this research seeks to analyze the actual situation and modify the theoretical framework critically. By the end of the study, this investigation reveals that the private agendas of armed actors and allies in South Kivu are essential to constituting the harsh reality in question and clarifying the logic of violence.