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: Fighting an invisible enemy in Congo 04/19 Kigali fears FDLR could be regrouping 04/19 Healing the Visible and Invisible Wounds 04/18 UN Resolution - Genocide Deniers Left in Checkmate 04/18 Congo's Hero Women: Creating a Different Future 04/18 How to Win a War Without a Fight 04/18 Shot DR Congo park director evacuated to Nairobi 04/18 Enough and Human Rights Watch call for accountability For Congo Park Warden shooting 04/18 Warden Wounded in Africa's Oldest National Park Had Enemies 04/18 AP names Nigeria chief of bureau 04/17 Mountain Gorilla Park Chief Attacked 04/17 On Bumpy Roads And Rails: Unprecedented Investments In Africa’s Ground Transportation Are Hardly Enough 04/17 AP Interview: Tanzanian president warns Congo rebel groups to lay down arms or be hunted down 04/16 Belgian head of wildlife reserve shot in eastern Congo 04/16 AP names Michelle Faul as chief of bureau for Nigeria 04/16 Gorilla conservationist shot in ambush 04/16 Head of oldest African park shot 04/16 Belgian head of Congo's Virunga park shot 04/16 Tanzanian president warns Congo rebels to disarm 04/16 DR Congo: UN official condemns attack on Virunga National Park director 04/16 Belgian director of Congo's Virunga National Park shot, in serious but stable condition 04/16 Campaigning conservationist shot in DR Congo 04/16 How to win a war without a fight 04/16 Chief Warden Shot in Africa's Oldest National Park 04/16 De Merode, head of Congo’s Virunga National Park, recovering from attack 04/16 Local Artiste Kizito Mihigo Arrested Over Suspected Terrorist Activities 04/15 Gunmen attack Belgian head of African gorilla reserve 04/15 Kizito Mihigo and Accomplices Admit to Carrying Out Subversive Activities 04/15 Kizito Mihigo, Two Others Arrested Over Suspected Links to Terrorist Activities 04/15 Rwanda: Statement of Rwanda National Police On Arrest of Kizito Mihigo, Cassien Ntamuhanga and Jean Paul Dukuzumuremyi 04/15 Kizito Mihigo, Two Others Arrested Over Suspected Subversive Activities 04/15 Rwanda Genocide Group 'Still a Threat to Peace' 04/15 Congolese gunmen wound Belgian head of Africa's oldest park 04/15 In handcuffs, Rwanda musician admits to crimes 04/15 Musician, journalist arrested in Rwanda 04/14 Rwanda arrests three for 'offences against state security' 04/14 Rwandan musician and journalist held 04/14 Increase in activity at DRC's Nyamulagira volcano 04/11 Back to Rwanda 04/11 A Reporter Reflects On Rwanda: 'It's Like A Madness Took Over' 04/10 VIDEO: FDLR seeks peace talks with Rwanda 04/10 DRC Military Offensives Reduces Number of Armed Groups 04/10 Fighting an Invisible Enemy in DRC 04/10 David Shearer: Children's courage inspiring after horrors of genocide 04/10 UN concerned at political violence in Burundi 04/10 DRC - MSF Urges Military Personnel Conducting Operations in the Beni Region to Take Every Precaution to Protect Hostages' Lives 04/09 Congolese militia boss Katanga appeals war crimes conviction 04/09 Fighting an invisible enemy in DRC 04/09 Doctors Without Borders increasingly concerned for staff kidnapped in eastern Congo 04/08 Al Jazeera Challenges Rwandan President On Murder Accusations 04/08 Doctors Without Borders worried for Congo hostages 04/08 Decades after genocide, Congo struggles to dislodge Rwanda rebels 04/08 Rachel Kiddell-Monroe: My Return to Rwanda and the Forgotten Crisis Next Door 04/08 'DR Congo rebel crackdown should not endanger hostages' 04/08 Kigali scores highly on growth, but hurdles remain 04/05 The Never-Ending War in Eastern DRC 04/05 Rumble in the Belgian Bungle 04/04 BRIEFS 04/04 Some M23 held rebels to face ICC 04/03 CONGO: UN Orders A Beginning Of The End 04/03 DRC - a Beautiful Smile At All Cost 04/02 Burundi Joins Rwanda in Committing to Mineral Traceability Scheme 04/02 Photos of Survival in Congo 04/02 Eastern Congo: The Plight of the Banyamulenge 04/01 Accountability for Atrocities Committed in the Democratic Republic of Congo 04/01 Africa: On Bumpy Roads and Rails 03/31 Extraordinary Tales of Everyday Lives in the Congo 03/31 Growing up in war - the DRC's child soldiers 03/31 The ICGLR Executive Secretariat Hails the Strong Military Action Against Adf-Nalu 03/31 Quest for oil threatens Africa's oldest wildlife reserve 03/30 Scores of Refugees Killed in Boat Accident 03/29 Hopes of Rwanda Striking Oil Should Be Kept Alive 03/28 Tanzania Plans Reconciliation Talks With Rwanda 03/28 Uganda boat accident death toll rises to 251 03/28 251 DRC Refugees Killed in Boat Accident 03/28 To Keep Peace, Should the UN Wage War? 03/27 Rwanda: Musanze Terror Suspects Denied Bail 03/27 Stakeholders in DRC Should Walk the Talk 03/27 Congo's war and peace: Haunting pictures shed light on ravaged country swarming with refugees and rival militias on the eve of 20th anniversary of Rwandan genocide 03/27 Rwanda: Regional Leaders Endorse Military Action Against FDLR 03/26 Angolan President's Commitment to Peace Praised 03/26 Congo's mining tax increase plan rattles investors 03/26 Killed Rwandan 'was rebel adviser' 03/26 Musanze Terror Suspects Confess to Fdlr Links 03/26 Minerals to blame for wars in Great Lakes - minister 03/26 DRC miners brave warlord history as demand for tin soars 03/25 SANDF's mandate in DRC extended 03/25 A Woman Working a 'Man's Job' - Mrs Maombi, Bricklayer 03/24 How 55-Year-Old Ailing Fighter Escaped FDLR Grip 03/20 Congolese Forces Take the Offensive Against Uganda’s ADF-NALU Militants 03/20 Sola Agustsson: Richard Mosse Captures the DRC in Candy-Colored Infrared 03/20 Rwanda Worried Over UN Silence on Ex-Rebels 03/18 Why is peace needed in DRC? 03/18 DDR in Eastern DRC - Try, Try Again 03/18 DR Congo army recaptures rebel-held town after six years 03/18 Rwanda: MONUSCO Yet to Show Will to Fight Fdlr - Amb Gasana 03/17 Rwanda: When Will UN's War Against FDLR Show Results? 03/17 UN Refused to Take Charge of M23 Combatants - Says Rwanda Envoy 03/17 Enough Project, Other NGOs to World Bank: Effective DDR Program Needed in Congo 03/17 United Nations Mission in Democratic Republic of Congo Must Transform into 'Robust, Flexible, Highly Mobile' Entity, Security Council Told 03/17


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.