Sign up for our daily briefing

Make your busy days simpler with Axios AM/PM. Catch up on what's new and why it matters in just 5 minutes.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Denver news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Denver

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Des Moines news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Des Moines

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Minneapolis-St. Paul news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Twin Cities

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Tampa Bay news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Tampa Bay

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Charlotte news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Charlotte

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Congolese women who fled from rebel group attacks, stand in a field farmed with the help of the Food and Agricultural Organisation of the United Nations in Congo's Kasai Region. Photo: JUNIOR D. KANNAH/AFP/Getty Images

A president with no mandate, an army without enough to eat or a will to fight, dozens of armed rebel groups divided on ethnic lines and competing for mineral wealth. These factors sparked the world’s deadliest war since WWII in Congo from 1998-2003, and they could do so again according to a deep dive from the Economist.

Why it matters: Seven years into a five year term, President Joseph Kabila is weak and deeply unpopular. “His authority is disintegrating. And with it, central Africa faces once again the possibility of a slide into war,” per the report.

The background

A country of about 80 million people in the heart of Africa, desperately poor despite vast natural resources, Congo is already plagued by violence:

  • “More than 70 rebel groups trade bullets with the army or, more commonly, prey on civilians. The security forces are equally vicious .... At least 10 of Congo’s 26 provinces are in the grip of armed conflict.”
  • “Some 2m people fled their homes in 2017, bringing the total internally displaced to 4.3m. The UN predicts that an army offensive launched last month against Islamist guerrillas near the border with Uganda will drive another 370,000 from their homes.”
  • “The world’s largest UN peacekeeping force, numbering 18,000 blue helmets, tries to enforce a measure of calm in the east of the country.”

The bottom line: The current situation looks worryingly similar to the conditions before the last war, and one jolt could be enough to see the country descend into full-scale civil war.

Go deeper: Read the full Economist report.

Go deeper

The new Washington

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The Axios subject-matter experts brief you on the incoming administration's plans and team.

Rep. Lou Correa tests positive for COVID-19

Lou Correa. Photo: Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

Rep. Lou Correa (D-Calif.) announced on Saturday that he has tested positive for the coronavirus.

Why it matters: Correa is the latest Democratic lawmaker to share his positive test results after last week's deadly Capitol riot. Correa did not shelter in the designated safe zone with his congressional colleagues during the siege, per a spokesperson, instead staying outside to help Capitol Police.

Far-right figure "Baked Alaska" arrested for involvement in Capitol siege

Photo: Shay Horse/NurPhoto via Getty Images

The FBI arrested far-right media figure Tim Gionet, known as "Baked Alaska," on Saturday for his involvement in last week's Capitol riot, according to a statement of facts filed in the U.S. District Court in the District of Columbia.

The state of play: Gionet was arrested in Houston on charges related to disorderly or disruptive conduct on the Capitol grounds or in any of the Capitol buildings with the intent to impede, disrupt, or disturb the orderly conduct of a session, per AP.

You’ve caught up. Now what?

Sign up for Mike Allen’s daily Axios AM and PM newsletters to get smarter, faster on the news that matters.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!