Democratic Republic of Congo: Background and U.S. Relations [Updated March 25, 2022] [open pdf - 1MB]
From the Introduction: "President Félix Tshisekedi's inauguration in 2019 represented DRC's [Democratic Republic of Congo] first-ever electoral transfer of power and reset DRC's relations with the United States and other Western donors. These had grown acrimonious under Tshisekedi's predecessor, Joseph Kabila, once hailed as a peacemaker, who in his later years in office oversaw election delays, violent suppression of opposition protests, allegedly extensive corruption, and burgeoning conflicts throughout the country. U.S. officials heralded Tshisekedi's presidency despite stated concerns about the electoral process that brought him to office, and Tshisekedi has since pursued close ties with the United States. President Tshisekedi has sought donor support to reform state institutions and improve social services, launched a review of state mining contracts, pursued a diplomatic rapprochement with neighboring countries, and sought to position DRC (with its extensive tropical forests) as a global player on climate change issues. Whether his stated goals are likely to advance or stall ahead of elections slated for 2023 is uncertain; progress to date has been slow. Observers debate whether the president and key supporters are motivated primarily by a commitment to reforms, or by a desire to capture the state and its resources, as previous heads of state arguably did. DRC's challenges are stark. The country is rich in minerals, forest resources, and agricultural and hydroelectric potential, but most Congolese live in poverty."
CRS Report for Congress, R43166
Congressional Research Service: https://crsreports.congress.gov/