There is no power in the Congo, it is an empty throne that no one really wants, so all aspects of a state are just facade. There is no correlative, perhaps Somalia, but it is different.
You do not need to conquer the DRC, you need to control the June 31 Boulevard in Kinshasa.
The Belgians structured the road for this purpose, it is the choke point of the entire DRC. It is the river of the city. Who ever controls this boulevard controls Kinshasa, whoever controls Kinshasa wears the crown of the DRC, since it’s a meaningless title.
I would think an ideal number of soldiers to hold it would be around 500 ace (read disciplined) troops with armoured carriers, but it could be done with a fraction, re: Rwanda invasion. Kagame is a great general, but he just highlights the complete lack of any form of real soldier power.
Note that every single thing in the DRC is for sale, 100 million dollar demands can be negotiated with the right tact (read respect and win/win perspective) down to a beer and 1,000 CDF.
Note that there are no bullets with most soldiers, they like to say Kabila keeps them, my personal hypothesis is they have been sold.
I would think a well branded revolution could succeed quite easily, perhaps incorporate the existing senate as a group of advisers with a permanent salary.
Congo feeds off of money changing hands, it is an extractionary economy that does not build value. This has to change. I would propose linking all bribes to a vehicle that is tied to long term success in the economy, so that powers that be are motivated to see the country succeed. I would also propose an immediate implementation of a clever universal basic income in a digital currency that expires and can’t leave Congo. Someone from MIT could figure it out. Finally I would propose throwing out the entire existing constitution, which is unrepareable.
The most clean path to a better Congo would be a 1789 style French revolution, but this would have a high cost of lives lost so this would be the key thing to try to nudge so that the the revolutionary burning of the existing paradigm is cleanly swept away with a minimal loss of human lives.
Note that a revolution will likely happen at some point, somewhere between today and in 100 years, revolution is the only way I see the DRC getting the fresh start it needs. Plausibly the country is conquered a dozen times by internal and external parties along the way, but I don’t see this as changing the status quo, the rationale of pillage is just too tempting, any messiah will find themselves on a cross. It would be good for the revolution to be structured to be sooner rather than later to get it over with; it would be good to be clever in how it’s done so there is a minimum loss of life; it would be good for there to be extremely concrete plans for what the goals of the revolution are and what would be the step by step roll out to transform the Democratic Republic of the Congo into a place where its citizens get the opportunity to live empowered lives.