There have been some bright spots, like the rise of more resilient opposition movements in the DRC and Uganda. But elsewhere on the continent, as in Tanzania and Zambia, repression is on the rise.
A well-loved Congolese dance of 2005, Kisanola, (meaning a comb) also involves a movement representing the shaving of one’s hair to the bone – a metaphor for how the DRC people have had everything taken from them.
The US has detained suspects without trial for nearly two decades at Guantanamo Bay, far longer than South Africa’s apartheid state ever detained anyone without trial.
An expanding democratic space and high levels of corruption also mean that al-Shabaab is able to exploit Kenya’s governance weaknesses when it comes to security.
With runner-up Martin Fayulu challenging the result, and the powerful Catholic church and the French also casting doubt on his victory, Tshisekedi is unlikely to have an easy road to power.