If we were to start with Congo, we're seeing that a lot of the issues are starting from the top and there is this vision that if things change there, as described by the Constitution, things would then be felt on the ground. We are seeing a political situation in which the planned elections might not go forward. They've been delayed for quite a few years. That's causing tremendous anxiety in the population. We're seeing a lot of regular protests.
The peacekeeping force as well, MONUSCO, which has about 17,000 troops, the largest peacekeeping force in the world right now, is refocusing their assets, staff and other materials towards the west, towards the capital, away from the conflict zones in order to have more of a political influence. In order to help facilitate the elections, they have tried a number of times to encourage the government to accept their support because they share the belief that if you start from the top and you influence the government, you can have a real impact on the ground in the conflict areas.
Some of the nuances I've learned from working in Congo for a few years is that armed groups don't just exist out of opportunity, they tend to have political linkages. They tend to all have members of Parliament in Kinshasa who essentially represent their interests and give them a reason to exist. A lot of them are also disaffected soldiers who believe that leaving and going to the bush and killing people for a few years can give them space at the negotiation table and then ranks in the army.
I'll let my colleague speak more about South Sudan, but in Somalia as well I'd have to say that the political-diplomatic focus would be the best way forward. We want to avoid just looking at the humanitarian crises and looking at the peace and security crises and really thinking more holistically, which in my view should focus on the political dimension.