Many of the armed conflicts that have taken place over the past 25 years have been explained as a means by which greedy rebels and elites profit from natural resource rents. Accordingly, much of the research conducted in the field of armed conflict persistence points to greed, as both a cause and effect of this persistence. This has led to the development of generalized policy solutions that fail to consider how various actors are affected by, and how they respond to, the presence of armed conflict. Moreover, few scholars have considered how interconnected economic and political networks contribute to, and sustain, armed conflict. Consequently, this research illustrates how embedded socio-economic relations between civilians, armed groups, and the state, contributes to armed conflict persistence. This paper demonstrates how through daily relationships with armed groups and the state’s military forces; civilians are engaged in struggles for public authority, survival and security. This ultimately shapes and reinforces existing socio-economic networks, which are in many respects intrinsically linked to violence. To illustrate this concept, this paper utilizes the armed conflict in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, specifically the Kivu provinces.