Combattants and anti- combattants (collabos) : Congolese transnational politics in Pretoria

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Peer-Reviewed Research
  • SDG 16
  • Abstract:

    This paper is concerned with the transnational political activities of Congolese nationals in Pretoria. The relationship between the migrants is marked by ethno-regional and political rivalry between two groups living in Pretoria, namely the 'combattants' and 'anti-combattants'. The paper argues that there is a dialectical interaction between Congolese transmigrant political activities, both in the Democratic Republic of Congo and in South Africa. These transnational political activities have an impact on both the Congolese and the South African political scenes. Most importantly, the intra-Congolese rivalry is not only intermittent, but some of its dynamics are influenced by local politics back in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Following ethnographic research conducted among Congolese migrants between 2011 and 2013, this study revealed that grassroots political activists performed a key role in the Congolese transnational ethno-regional and political rivalry in Pretoria.