Giles Foden, the author of The Last King of Scotland, thinks that creating another state might be the answer to the troubles of the violent Congo-Rwanda border area.

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In the immediate term, pressure should be put on the Rwandan leadership itself to rein in Nkunda; in the short term, Monuc should be supplemented by a large EU force; in the longer term, as eastern Congo seems ungovernable from Kinshasa, I see no option but the creation of a buffer state on the western shores of Lakes Kivu and Tanganyika. This could be achieved by regional forces with Monuc-EU backup.

The first two recommendations seem ironclad. The third, though, I worry is a little too reckless. It’s hard to say right now what the situation in the Kivus will look like in the long term (though I could certainly be pessimistic), and it seems that reconciling issues between Rwanda and Congo — not creating an artificial third state — is the paramount concern here.

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