Fuelling the borderland: Power and petrol in Goma and Gisenyi

Hugh Lamarque*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Goma and Gisenyi form a single conurbation that straddles the border between the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Rwanda. Thriving off the borderland environment, the Association des Petits Pétroliers du Nord Kivu (A.P.PE.NO.KI) is monopolizing the second-economy distribution of petrol in Goma, a commodity essential to the basic functioning of the city. This group has mirrored the Congolese state’s top-down political structure. Interaction between A.P.PE.NO.KI and local authorities occurs along a number of tiers that transect their respective hierarchies. I argue that this has led to a de facto institutional integration of the two. What results is a proliferation of domestic sovereignty that contributes to the ongoing fragmentation of the Congolese state.
Original languageEnglish
JournalArticulo - Journal of Urban Research
Publication statusPublished - 8 Oct 2014


  • borderland
  • Democratic Republic of Congo
  • Gisenyi
  • Goma
  • petrol
  • Rwanda


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