Since 2008 INL has funded programs in the DRC designed to increase security along the country’s massive borders, bolster the movement of non-conflict minerals, provide support and access to justice for survivors of sexual assault, and improve the efficiency of the police pay system.
Border security: The International Organization for Migration (IOM) receives INL funding to improve the security situation along the Democratic Republic of the Congo’s (DRC) eastern border. This program focuses on strengthening the capabilities of the border police and the customs and immigration agencies in the vulnerable Orientale, North Kivu, and South Kivu regions. Border police in the region benefit from training and equipment, vehicles, and buildings. Customs and immigration agencies will come together in a new, integrated border management facility at a key border crossing in Kasindi that will serve as a model for cooperation among the five Congolese agencies that staff each border post.
Addressing Sexual and Gender-Based Violence (SGBV): Since 2009, INL has funded the American Bar Association (ABA) to strengthen the capacity of local legal and law enforcement actors in North Kivu to respond to, prosecute, and ultimately prevent SGBV. Beginning in 2011, INL has partnered in South Kivu with Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) to bolster the capacity and coordination of medical, legal, and law enforcement networks to collect and document forensic evidence for use in the prosecution of SGBV cases.
Mining security: This IOM-run program is designed to provide the security component of the Congolese government’s pilot conflict-free minerals program, which is supported by the U.S. Agency for International Development. It will supply training, equipment, and facilities to the Congolese National Police to ensure the secure transportation of conflict-free minerals in the eastern DRC. Offices will be constructed at the regional police headquarters in Goma, and offices and police checkpoints may be constructed in other areas. The program also aims to train 180 police officers in specialized mineral security operations and fund the necessary vehicles and computers.
Police pay: The existing system of cash payments to DRC police is subject to mishandling and corruption. INL is exploring a new system utilizing electronic and mobile payments to ensure that police receive their full salaries. The program will likely provide regulatory support to the Congolese government to help put the necessary laws in place, technical support to banks and mobile operators to establish interoperability, and education and training to the police to operate the new system.