Eleven countries signed a deal this week to bring troops and support to the conflict-ridden region, but stability is still a long way off, writes Tom Murphy.
Eleven heads of state will soon gather to sign an agreement meant to help end the latest wave of violence in the eastern Congo. But will it have the teeth to change the situation on the ground?
After days of pushing back UN peacekeepers to close in on the eastern city of Goma in the Democratic Republic of Congo, a rebel group called M23 is threatening to destabilize the region.
For many international fugitives, from Serbian General Ratko Mladic and Carlos the Jackal to Congolese warlord Bosco Ntaganda, the place to hide is in an open, urban setting.
Congo's Bosco, wanted by the ICC, asked loyalist troops to defect from the Army and support him. But Kinshasa deployed a battalion of Belgian-trained special forces, pushing Bosco out of town.
Bosco doesn't control many Congolese Army commanders, but he has been able to stitch together a formidable alliance of former armed group members through intimidation, writes a guest blogger.
After the massacre of 16 Afghan civilians by a US Army sergeant, Afghan President Karzai told the US to speed up withdrawal. Post-colonial experience from Africa suggests that US departure may not be pretty.
The guilty verdict against Lubanga will draw new attention to pending cases against 20 other indictees, including Ugandan warlord Joseph Kony, the focus of Invisible Children's Kony2012 video campaign.
The deadly Lord's Resistance Army goes on attack again in Democratic Republic of Congo, but coordinated efforts by regional armies and the US military has put them on the run.
This disaster could have been averted by shifting rural newcomers to Congo Brazzaville to safer neighborhoods, and away from a dangerous site like the arms depot that blew up Sunday.
Guest blogger Laura Seay writes that a US ban on conflict minerals amounts to a de facto boycott of the Congolese mining industry, hurting Congo's civilians by removing a key source of income.
Shuffling and regrouping among Congo's troops is creating a volatile environment that encourages violence and potentially mass rape, as shown in the rape of at least 120 women in early June.
Rising food prices can prompt political and urban unrest. The potential for that is elevated in Kinshasa, the continent's third largest city.
Guest blogger Jason Stearns explains further his assertion last week that Congo mining industry reform deserves 'cautious optimism.'
The UN peacekeeping mission in Congo wants to remain in a good position for working with Congo's government, but it may be ceding some of its leverage in its effort to stay on good terms.
Recent actions taken against Congo's 'conflict mineral' trade by companies and the international community signal that although progress is slow, it is happening.
Guest blogger Jason Stearns writes that taking a moment to look at news from the Congo in its historical context gives us a better perspective on bad news, such as last week's rape statistics.