Under Familiar Fire: Making Decisions During the “Kivu Crisis” 2008 in Goma, DR Congo

Silke Oldenburg


This paper explores the decision-making processes used by the inhabitants of Goma during the Kivu Crisis in October 2008. The paper’s aim is twofold: After providing a short history of the October 2008 events, it seeks in the empirical part to distinguish and clarify the role of rumours and narratives in the setting of violent conflict as well as to analyse their impact on decision-making processes. As the epistemological interest lies more on the people who stay rather than those who flee, in the second part the paper argues that the practice of routinization indicates a conscious tactic whose purpose is to counter the non-declared state of exception in Goma. Routinization is defined as a means of establishing order in everyday life by referring to narratives based on lived experiences.

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