Congo - east

Since 1996; conflict has centered around control of mineral resources in weakly-controlled eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo, exacerbated by the FDLR rebel group mostly comprised of former soldiers of the Interahamwe in Rwanda. See summary

Recent articles: 250 DR Congo separatists killed since mid-May: MONUSCO 07/04 Hague judges give warlord's lawyers more time to prepare 07/03 International Criminal Court judges delay start of Congo militia leader's war crimes trial 07/03 Afflux des réfugiés burundais dans la région des Grands Lacs 07/02 Amnesty Blasts Congo-Brazzaville Over Mass Expulsions 07/02 Bishops Condemn Insecurity in the Country 07/01 UN Calls for Wider Police Deployment in DRC 07/01 Mazembe Share Spoils With Visiting Hilal 06/29 Orlando Pirates Seal Rare Win in Dolisie 06/29 Burundi: Political Unrest Turns Deadly in Burundi 06/29 DRC to Offer Training for Former Child Soldiers, Sex Abuse Victims 06/29 More Sambaza Fish, Please 06/29 Five civilians and three soldiers killed in DR Congo rebel raid 06/27 Regional Countries Sign Deal to Extract Kivu Methane Gas 06/26 DRC: Vaccinating 42,000 children for measles 06/26 Proposed European law to intensify war against conflict minerals 06/26 MSF Vaccinates 42,000 Children Against Measles in DRC 06/26 Magazine: Mother Justice - 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After the Interahamwe in 1994, Hutu militia groups moved across the border from Rwanda into Kivu province of what was then Zaire. Zaire's ruler, the kleptomaniac strongman Mobutu Sese Seko, failed to prevent the militias from attacking across the border into Rwanda. Local rebel leader Laurent Kabila, backed by Rwandan troops and equipment, swept out of southeastern Zaire in 1997 and seized the country from Mobutu.

The newly renamed Democratic Republic of the Congo was not easy to govern. The Second Congo War erupted in 1998, involving troops from Rwanda, Uganda, Angola, Namibia and Zimbabwe. The vast mineral resources of the east of the country helped to fuel the conflict. In 2001 Laurent Kabila died, and his son Joseph Kabila took power. The war officially ended in 2002, and foreign troops left.

However, fighting continued among government factions and remaining militias. In 2004, Laurent Nkunda began another rebellion, claiming that the Tutsis of the region were being forsaken by the government soldiers. His rebel group was supported by Rwanda. This continued off and until 2008, when his army began a major offensive. International pressure on Rwanda grew, and Rwanda arrested Nkunda in early 2009.

Currently, the Hutu militias still operate in the area, although with greatly reduced numbers. Government soldiers are also frequently accused of crimes against civilians.