In the 1990s, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) experienced complex wars involving local, national and regional combatants and conflict drivers, which formally ended in 2002. Violence continued and the government and rebel groups negotiated a series of peace deals, most recently in 2013. The European Union (EU) has been engaged in the DRC since the 1990s. This article proposes a model for conceptualizing EU mediation engagement within the conflict and process contexts, and the necessary capabilities for different types of EU mediation. It uses the DRC case study to examine how different EU capabilities were engaged in various peace processes which addressed multiple layers of a complex situation, and also engaged with other external actors in a multilateral environment. It concludes that the EU can be conceptualized as a multi-mediator and identifies the necessary capabilities for this.
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