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First Congo War

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First Congo War
Part of the aftermath of the Rwandan genocide and the spillover of the Burundian Civil War and the Second Sudanese Civil War
First Congo War map en.png
Map showing the AFDL offensive
Date24 October 1996 – 16 May 1997
(6 months, 3 weeks and 1 day)
Location
Zaire, with spillovers into Uganda and Sudan[5]
Result Decisive AFDL victory
Belligerents

 Zaire

 Sudan[1]
 Chad[2]
Rwanda Ex-FAR/ALiR
Interahamwe
CNDD-FDD[3]
UNITA[4]
ADF[5]
FLNC[6]
Supported by:
 France[7][8]
 Central African Republic[8]
 China[9]
 Israel[9]
 Kuwait (denied)[9]


Mai-Mai[a]

Democratic Republic of the Congo AFDL
 Rwanda
 Uganda[13]
 Burundi[14]
 Angola[14]
South Sudan SPLA[1]
 Eritrea[15]
Supported by:
 South Africa[16]
 Zambia[17]
 Zimbabwe[16]
 Ethiopia[18]
 Tanzania[19]
 United States (covertly)[20]


Mai-Mai[a]
Commanders and leaders
Zaire Mobutu Sese Seko
Zaire Donatien Mahele Lieko Bokungu Executed
Zaire Christian Tavernier
Sudan Omar al-Bashir
Jonas Savimbi
Rwanda Paul Rwarakabije
Robert Kajuga
Rwanda Tharcisse Renzaho
Democratic Republic of the Congo Laurent-Désiré Kabila
Democratic Republic of the Congo André Kisase Ngandu 
Rwanda Paul Kagame
Rwanda James Kabarebe
Uganda Yoweri Museveni
Burundi Pierre Buyoya
Angola José Eduardo dos Santos
Strength
Zaire: c. 50,000[b]
Interahamwe: 40,000–100,000 total[22]
UNITA: c. 1,000[22]–2,000[6]

AFDL: 57,000[23]

Rwanda: 3,500–4,000[23][25]
Angola: 3,000+[25]
Eritrea: 1 battalion[26]
Casualties and losses
10,000–15,000 killed
10,000 defected[25]
thousands surrender
3,000–5,000 killed
222,000 refugees missing[27]
Total: 250,000 dead[28]

The First Congo War[c] (1996–1997), also nicknamed Africa's First World War,[29] was a civil war and international military conflict which took place mostly in Zaire (present-day Democratic Republic of the Congo), with major spillovers into Sudan and Uganda. The conflict culminated in a foreign invasion that replaced Zairean president Mobutu Sese Seko with the rebel leader Laurent-Désiré Kabila. Kabila's uneasy government subsequently came into conflict with his allies, setting the stage for the Second Congo War in 1998–2003.

Following years of internal strife, dictatorship and economic decline, Zaire was a dying state by 1996. The eastern parts of the country had been destabilized due to the Rwandan genocide which had perforated its borders, as well as long-lasting regional conflicts and resentments left unresolved since the Congo Crisis. In many areas state authority had in all but name collapsed, with infighting militias, warlords, and rebel groups (some sympathetic to the government, others openly hostile) wielding effective power.[30][31] The population of Zaire had become restless and resentful of the inept and corrupt regime; the Zairean Armed Forces were in a catastrophic condition.[32][21] Mobutu, who had become terminally ill, was no longer able to keep the different factions in the government under control, making their loyalty questionable. Furthermore, the end of the Cold War meant that Mobutu's strong anti-communist stance was no longer sufficient to justify the political and financial support he had received from foreign powers - his regime, therefore, was essentially politically and financially bankrupt.[33][20]

The situation finally escalated when Rwanda invaded Zaire in 1996 to defeat a number of rebel groups which had found refuge in the country. This invasion quickly escalated, as more states (including Uganda, Burundi, Angola, and Eritrea) joined the invasion, while a Congolese alliance of anti-Mobutu rebels was assembled.[30] Though the Zairean government attempted to put up an effective resistance, and was supported by allied militias as well as Sudan, Mobutu's regime collapsed in a matter of months.[34] Despite the war's short duration, it was marked by widespread destruction and extensive ethnic violence, with hundreds of thousands killed in the fighting and accompanying pogroms.[35]

A new government was installed, and Zaire was renamed Democratic Republic of the Congo, but the termination of the Mobutu regime brought little political change, and Kabila found himself uneasy in the position of a proxy of his former benefactors. To avert a coup, Kabila expelled all Rwandan, Ugandan and Burundian military units from the Congo, and moved to build a coalition including Namibian, Angolan, Zimbabwean and Zambian forces, soon encompassing a string of African nations from Libya to South Africa, although their support varied.[36] The tripartite coalition responded with a second invasion of the east, largely through proxy groups. These actions constituted the catalyst of the Second Congo War the following year, although some experts prefer to view the two conflicts as one continuous war whose aftereffects continue to date.[37][38]

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Civil war

Civil war

A civil war or intrastate war is a war between organized groups within the same state . The aim of one side may be to take control of the country or a region, to achieve independence for a region, or to change government policies. The term is a calque of Latin bellum civile which was used to refer to the various civil wars of the Roman Republic in the 1st century BC.

Democratic Republic of the Congo

Democratic Republic of the Congo

The Democratic Republic of the Congo, informally Congo-Kinshasa, DR Congo, the DRC, the DROC, or the Congo, and formerly and also colloquially Zaire, is a country in Central Africa. It is bordered to the northwest by the Republic of the Congo, to the north by the Central African Republic, to the northeast by South Sudan, to the east by Uganda, Rwanda, and Burundi, and by Tanzania, to the south and southeast by Zambia, to the southwest by Angola, and to the west by the South Atlantic Ocean and the Cabinda exclave of Angola. By area, it is the second-largest country in Africa and the 11th-largest in the world. With a population of around 108 million, the Democratic Republic of the Congo is the most populous officially Francophone country in the world. The national capital and largest city is Kinshasa, which is also the nation's economic center.

Mobutu Sese Seko

Mobutu Sese Seko

Mobutu Sese Seko Kuku Ngbendu Wa Za Banga was a Congolese politician and military officer who was the president of Zaire from 1965 to 1997. He also served as Chairman of the Organisation of African Unity from 1967 to 1968. During the Congo Crisis, Mobutu, serving as Chief of Staff of the Army and supported by Belgium and the United States, deposed the democratically elected government of left-wing nationalist Patrice Lumumba in 1960. Mobutu installed a government that arranged for Lumumba's execution in 1961, and continued to lead the country's armed forces until he took power directly in a second coup in 1965.

Laurent-Désiré Kabila

Laurent-Désiré Kabila

Laurent-Désiré Kabila or simply Laurent Kabila, was a Congolese revolutionary and politician who was the third President of the Democratic Republic of the Congo from 1997 until his assassination in 2001.

Second Congo War

Second Congo War

The Second Congo War, also known as the Great War of Africa or the Great African War and sometimes referred to as the African World War, began in the Democratic Republic of the Congo in August 1998, little more than a year after the First Congo War, and involved some of the same issues. The war officially ended in July 2003, when the Transitional Government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo took power. Although a peace agreement was signed in 2002, violence has continued in many regions of the country, especially in the east. Hostilities have continued since the ongoing Lord's Resistance Army insurgency, and the Kivu and Ituri conflicts. Nine African countries and around twenty-five armed groups became involved in the war.

Rwandan genocide

Rwandan genocide

The Rwandan genocide occurred between 7 April and 15 July 1994 during the Rwandan Civil War. During this period of around 100 days, members of the Tutsi minority ethnic group, as well as some moderate Hutu and Twa, were killed by armed Hutu militias. The most widely accepted scholarly estimates are around 500,000 to 662,000 Tutsi deaths.

Congo Crisis

Congo Crisis

The Congo Crisis was a period of political upheaval and conflict between 1960 and 1965 in the Republic of the Congo. The crisis began almost immediately after the Congo became independent from Belgium and ended, unofficially, with the entire country under the rule of Joseph-Désiré Mobutu. Constituting a series of civil wars, the Congo Crisis was also a proxy conflict in the Cold War, in which the Soviet Union and the United States supported opposing factions. Around 100,000 people are believed to have been killed during the crisis.

Rwanda

Rwanda

Rwanda, officially the Republic of Rwanda, is a landlocked country in the Great Rift Valley of Central Africa, where the African Great Lakes region and Southeast Africa converge. Located a few degrees south of the Equator, Rwanda is bordered by Uganda, Tanzania, Burundi, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. It is highly elevated, giving it the soubriquet "land of a thousand hills", with its geography dominated by mountains in the west and savanna to the southeast, with numerous lakes throughout the country. The climate is temperate to subtropical, with two rainy seasons and two dry seasons each year. Rwanda has a population of over 12.6 million living on 26,338 km2 (10,169 sq mi) of land, and is the most densely populated mainland African country; among countries larger than 10,000 km2, it is the fifth most densely populated country in the world. One million people live in the capital and largest city Kigali.

Burundi

Burundi

Burundi, officially the Republic of Burundi, is a landlocked country in the Great Rift Valley at the junction between the African Great Lakes region and East Africa. It is bordered by Rwanda to the north, Tanzania to the east and southeast, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the west; Lake Tanganyika lies along its southwestern border. The capital cities are Gitega and Bujumbura, the latter being the country's largest city.

Angola

Angola

Angola, officially the Republic of Angola, is a country located on the west coast of Southern Africa. It is the second-largest Lusophone (Portuguese-speaking) country in both total area and population, and is the seventh-largest country in Africa. It is bordered by Namibia to the south, the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the north, Zambia to the east, and the Atlantic Ocean to the west. Angola has an exclave province, the province of Cabinda, that borders the Republic of the Congo and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The capital and most populous city is Luanda.

Eritrea

Eritrea

Eritrea, officially the State of Eritrea, is a country in the Horn of Africa region of Eastern Africa, with its capital and largest city at Asmara. It is bordered by Ethiopia in the south, Sudan in the west, and Djibouti in the southeast. The northeastern and eastern parts of Eritrea have an extensive coastline along the Red Sea. The nation has a total area of approximately 117,600 km2 (45,406 sq mi), and includes the Dahlak Archipelago and several of the Hanish Islands.

Libya

Libya

Libya, officially the State of Libya, is a country in the Maghreb region in North Africa. It is bordered by the Mediterranean Sea to the north, Egypt to the east, Sudan to the southeast, Chad to the south, Niger to the southwest, Algeria to the west, and Tunisia to the northwest. Libya is made of three historical regions: Tripolitania, Fezzan, and Cyrenaica. With an area of almost 700,000 square miles, it is the fourth-largest country in Africa and the Arab world, and the 16th-largest in the world. Libya has the 10th-largest proven oil reserves in the world. The largest city and capital, Tripoli, is located in western Libya and contains over three million of Libya's seven million people.

Background

Dying state in Zaire

Mobutu Sese Seko, long-time dictator of Zaire
Mobutu Sese Seko, long-time dictator of Zaire

An ethnic Ngbandi, Mobutu came to power in 1965 and enjoyed support from the United States government because of his anti-communist stance while in office. However, Mobutu's totalitarian rule and corrupt policies allowed the Zairian state to decay, evidenced by a 65% decrease in Zairian GDP between independence in 1960 and the end of Mobutu's reign in 1997.[39] Following the end of the Cold War in 1992, the United States stopped supporting Mobutu in favour of what it called a "new generation of African leaders",[40] including Rwanda's Paul Kagame and Uganda's Yoweri Museveni.

A wave of democratisation swept across Africa during the 1990s. Under substantial internal and external pressure for a democratic transition in Zaire, Mobutu promised reform. He officially ended the one-party system he had maintained since 1967, but ultimately proved unwilling to implement broad reform, alienating allies both at home and abroad. In fact, the Zairian state had all but ceased to exist.[41] The majority of the Zairian population relied on an informal economy for their subsistence, since the official economy was not reliable.[41] Furthermore, the Zairian national army, Forces Armées Zaïroises (FAZ), was forced to prey upon the population for survival; Mobutu himself allegedly once asked FAZ soldiers why they needed pay when they had weapons.[42]

Mobutu's rule encountered considerable internal resistance, and given the weak central state, rebel groups could find refuge in Zaire's eastern provinces, far from the capital, Kinshasa. Opposition groups included leftists who had supported Patrice Lumumba (1925–1961), as well as ethnic and regional minorities opposed to the nominal dominance of Kinshasa. Laurent-Désiré Kabila, an ethnic Luba from Katanga province who would eventually overthrow Mobutu, had fought Mobutu's régime since its inception.[43] The inability of the Mobutuist régime to control rebel movements in its eastern provinces eventually allowed its internal and external foes to ally.

Ethnic tensions

Tensions had existed between various ethnic groups in eastern Zaire for centuries, especially between the agrarian tribes native to Zaire and semi-nomadic Tutsi tribes that had emigrated from Rwanda at various times.[44] The earliest of these migrants arrived before colonisation in the 1880s, followed by emigrants whom the Belgian colonizers forcibly relocated to Congo to perform manual labour (after 1908), and by another significant wave of emigrants fleeing the social revolution of 1959 that brought the Hutu to power in Kigali.[45]

Tutsi who emigrated to Zaire before Congolese independence in 1960 are known as Banyamulenge, meaning "from Mulenge", and had the right to citizenship under Zairian law.[46] Tutsi who emigrated to Zaire following independence are known as Banyarwanda, although the native locals often do not distinguish between the two, call them both Banyamulenge and consider them foreigners.[45]

After coming to power in 1965, Mobutu gave the Banyamulenge political power in the east in hopes that they, as a minority, would keep a tight grip on power and prevent more populous ethnicities from forming an opposition.[47] This move aggravated the existing ethnic tensions by strengthening the Banyamulenge's hold over important stretches of land in North Kivu that indigenous people claimed as their own.[47] From 1963 to 1966 the Hunde and Nande ethnic groups of North Kivu fought against Rwandan emigrants[48] — both Tutsi and Hutu – in the Kanyarwandan War, which involved several massacres.[49][50]

Despite a strong Rwandan presence in Mobutu's government, in 1981, Zaire adopted a restrictive citizenship law which denied the Banyamulenge and Banyarwanda citizenship and therewith all political rights.[51] Though never enforced, the law greatly angered individuals of Rwandan descent and contributed to a rising sense of ethnic hatred.[47] From 1993 to 1996 Hunde, Nande, and Nyanga youth regularly attacked the Banyamulenge, leading to a total of 14,000 deaths.[52] In 1995 the Zairian Parliament ordered all peoples of Rwandan or Burundian descent repatriated to their countries of origin, including the Banyamulenge.[53] Due to political exclusion and ethnic violence, as early as 1991 the Banyamulenge developed ties to the Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF), a mainly Tutsi rebel movement based in Uganda but with aspirations to power in Rwanda.[54]

Rwandan genocide

A Rwandan refugee camp in Zaire, 1994
A Rwandan refugee camp in Zaire, 1994

The most deciding event in precipitating the war was the genocide in neighbouring Rwanda in 1994, which sparked a mass exodus of refugees known as the Great Lakes refugee crisis. During the 100-day genocide, hundreds of thousands of Tutsis and sympathizers were massacred at the hands of predominantly Hutu aggressors. The genocide ended when the Hutu government in Kigali was overthrown by the Tutsi-dominated Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF).

Of those who fled Rwanda during the crisis, about 1.5 million settled in eastern Zaire.[55] These refugees included Tutsi who fled the Hutu génocidaires as well as one million Hutus that fled the Tutsi RPF's subsequent retaliation.[47] Prominent among the latter group were the génocidaires themselves, such as elements of the former Rwandan Army, Forces armées rwandaises [fr] (FAR), and independent Hutu extremist groups known as Interahamwe.[56] Often, these Hutu forces allied themselves with local Mai Mai militias, who granted them access to mines and weapons. Though these were initially self-defense organizations, they quickly became aggressors.[47]

The Hutu set up camps in eastern Zaire from which they attacked both the newly arrived Rwandan Tutsi as well as the Banyamulenge and Banyarwanda. These attacks caused about one hundred deaths a month during the first half of 1996.[57] Furthermore, the newly arrived militants were intent on returning to power in Rwanda and began launching attacks against the new regime in Kigali, which represented a serious security threat to the infant state.[58] Not only was the Mobutu government incapable of controlling the former génocidaires for previously mentioned reasons but actually supported them in training and supplying for an invasion of Rwanda,[59] forcing Kigali to act.

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Zaire

Zaire

Zaire, officially the Republic of Zaire, was a Congolese state from 1971 to 1997 in Central Africa that was previously and is now again known as the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Zaire was, by area, the third-largest country in Africa, and the 11th-largest country in the world. With a population of over 23 million inhabitants, Zaire was the most-populous officially Francophone country in Africa, as well as one of the most populous in Africa.

1991 Zaire unrest

1991 Zaire unrest

In September and October 1991, Zaire experienced substantial violent unrest, as several Zairian Armed Forces units mutinied and rioted, soon joined by civilian protesters and looters. While the revolting soldiers primarily demanded more reliable and higher wages and it remained unclear whether they had any political motives, many civilians demanded the end of President Mobutu Sese Seko's repressive and corrupt dictatorship. The unrest started in Zaire's capital Kinshasa, and quickly spread to other cities. Large-scale looting caused massive property and economic damage, but the unrest resulted in no clear political changes. Zaire remained locked in a political crisis until 1996–1997, when Mobutu was overthrown during the First Congo War.

Mobutu Sese Seko

Mobutu Sese Seko

Mobutu Sese Seko Kuku Ngbendu Wa Za Banga was a Congolese politician and military officer who was the president of Zaire from 1965 to 1997. He also served as Chairman of the Organisation of African Unity from 1967 to 1968. During the Congo Crisis, Mobutu, serving as Chief of Staff of the Army and supported by Belgium and the United States, deposed the democratically elected government of left-wing nationalist Patrice Lumumba in 1960. Mobutu installed a government that arranged for Lumumba's execution in 1961, and continued to lead the country's armed forces until he took power directly in a second coup in 1965.

Ngbandi people

Ngbandi people

The Ngbandi are an ethnic group from the region of the upper Ubangi River; they inhabit the northern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and southern Central African Republic. They traditionally speak the Ngbandi language, which is part of the Ubangian language family. Historically the Ngbandi were subsistence farmers, and many still grow maize, manioc, and other food crops. Until recently, some of their subsistence depended on traditional hunting and gathering.

Cold War

Cold War

The Cold War is a term commonly used to refer to a period of geopolitical tension between the United States and the Soviet Union and their respective allies, the Western Bloc and the Eastern Bloc. Historians do not fully agree on its starting and ending points, but the period is generally considered to span from the announcement of the Truman Doctrine on 12 March 1947 to the dissolution of the Soviet Union on 26 December 1991. The term cold war is used because there was no large-scale fighting directly between the two superpowers, but they each supported major regional conflicts known as proxy wars. The conflict was based around the ideological and geopolitical struggle for global influence by these two superpowers, following their temporary alliance and victory against Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan in 1945. Aside from the nuclear arsenal development and conventional military deployment, the struggle for dominance was expressed via indirect means such as psychological warfare, propaganda campaigns, espionage, far-reaching embargoes, rivalry at sports events, and technological competitions such as the Space Race.

New generation of African leaders

New generation of African leaders

The term "new generation" or "new breed" of African leaders was a buzzword widely used in the mid-late 1990s to express optimism in a new generation of African leadership. It has since fallen out of favor, along with several of the leaders the term was used for.

Paul Kagame

Paul Kagame

Paul Kagame is a Rwandan politician and former military officer. He is the fourth and current president of Rwanda, having taken office in 2000. Kagame previously commanded the Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF), a Uganda-based rebel force which invaded Rwanda in 1990 and was one of the parties of the conflict during the Rwandan Civil War and the armed force which ended the Rwandan genocide. He was considered Rwanda's de facto leader when he served as Vice President and Minister of Defence under President Pasteur Bizimungu from 1994 to 2000.

Yoweri Museveni

Yoweri Museveni

Yoweri Kaguta Museveni Tibuhaburwa is a Ugandan politician and retired senior military officer who has been the 9th and current President of Uganda since 26 January 1986. Museveni spearheaded rebellions with aid of then current military general Tito Okello and general Bale Travor that toppled Ugandan presidents Milton Obote and Idi Amin before he captured power in 1986.

Kinshasa

Kinshasa

Kinshasa, formerly Léopoldville, is the capital and the largest city of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Once a site of fishing and trading villages situated along the Congo River, Kinshasa is now one of the world's fastest growing megacities.

Patrice Lumumba

Patrice Lumumba

Patrice Émery Lumumba was a Congolese politician and independence leader who served as the first prime minister of the Democratic Republic of the Congo from June until September 1960. A member of the Congolese National Movement (MNC), he led the MNC from 1958 until his execution in January 1961. Ideologically an African nationalist and pan-Africanist, he played a significant role in the transformation of the Congo from a colony of Belgium into an independent republic.

Laurent-Désiré Kabila

Laurent-Désiré Kabila

Laurent-Désiré Kabila or simply Laurent Kabila, was a Congolese revolutionary and politician who was the third President of the Democratic Republic of the Congo from 1997 until his assassination in 2001.

Luba people

Luba people

The Luba people or Baluba are an ethno-linguistic group indigenous to the south-central region of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The majority of them live in this country, residing mainly in Katanga, Kasai and Maniema. The Baluba Tribe consist of many sub-groups or clans who speak various dialects of Luba and other languages, such as Swahili.

Banyamulenge rebellion

Given the exacerbated ethnic tensions and the lack of government control in the past, Rwanda took action against the security threat posed by génocidaires who had found refuge in eastern Zaire. The government in Kigali began forming Tutsi militias for operations in Zaire probably as early as 1995[60] and chose to act following an exchange of fire between Rwandan Tutsi and Zairian Green Berets that marked the outbreak of the Banyamulenge Rebellion on 31 August 1996.[61]

While there was general unrest in eastern Zaire, the rebellion was probably not a grassroots movement; Uganda president Yoweri Museveni, who supported and worked closely with Rwanda in the First Congo War, later recalled that the rebellion was incited by Zairian Tutsi who had been recruited by the Rwandan Patriotic Army (RPA).[60] The initial goal of the Banyamulenge Rebellion was to seize power in Zaire's eastern Kivu provinces and combat the extremist Hutu forces attempting to continue the genocide in their new home. However, the rebellion did not remain Tutsi-dominated for long. Mobutu's harsh and selfish rule created enemies in virtually all sectors of Zairian society. As a result, the new rebellion benefited from massive public support and grew to be a general revolution rather than a mere Banyamulenge uprising.[62]

Banyamulenge elements and non-Tutsi militias coalesced into the Alliance of Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Congo (AFDL) under the leadership of Laurent-Désiré Kabila, who had been a long-time opponent of the Mobutu government and was a leader of one of the three main rebel groups that founded the AFDL. While the AFDL was an ostensibly Zairian rebel movement, Rwanda had played a key role in its formation. Observers of the war, as well as the Rwandan Defense Minister and Vice-President at the time, Paul Kagame, claim that the AFDL was formed in and directed from Kigali and contained not only Rwandan-trained troops but also regulars of the RPA.[63]

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Ethnic hatred

Ethnic hatred

Ethnic hatred, inter-ethnic hatred, racial hatred, or ethnic tension refers to notions and acts of prejudice and hostility towards an ethnic group in varying degrees.

Kigali

Kigali

Kigali is the capital and largest city of Rwanda. It is near the nation's geographic centre in a region of rolling hills, with a series of valleys and ridges joined by steep slopes. As a primate city, Kigali has been Rwanda's economic, cultural, and transport hub since it became the capital following independence from Belgian rule in 1962.

Tutsi

Tutsi

The Tutsi, or Abatutsi, are an ethnic group of the African Great Lakes region. They are a Bantu-speaking ethnic group and the second largest of three main ethnic groups in Rwanda and Burundi.

Militia

Militia

A militia is generally an army or some other fighting organization of non-professional soldiers, citizens of a country, or subjects of a state, who may perform military service during a time of need, as opposed to a professional force of regular, full-time military personnel; or, historically, to members of a warrior-nobility class. Generally unable to hold ground against regular forces, militias commonly support regular troops by skirmishing, holding fortifications, or conducting irregular warfare, instead of undertaking offensive campaigns by themselves. Local civilian laws often limit militias to serve only in their home region, and to serve only for a limited time; this further reduces their use in long military campaigns.

Banyamulenge

Banyamulenge

Banyamulenge, also referred to as nyamurenge and banyamurenge is the name that describes a Tutsi community in the southern part of Kivu, Democratic Republic of the Congo. The Banyamulenge of South Kivu are culturally and socially distinct from the Tutsi of North Kivu. Most Banyamulenge speak Kinyamulenge, which is a mixture of Kinyarwanda and Kirundi with specific phonological and morphological features not found in the latter two.

Yoweri Museveni

Yoweri Museveni

Yoweri Kaguta Museveni Tibuhaburwa is a Ugandan politician and retired senior military officer who has been the 9th and current President of Uganda since 26 January 1986. Museveni spearheaded rebellions with aid of then current military general Tito Okello and general Bale Travor that toppled Ugandan presidents Milton Obote and Idi Amin before he captured power in 1986.

Alliance of Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Congo

Alliance of Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Congo

The Alliance of Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Congo-Zaire was a coalition of Rwandan, Ugandan, Burundian, and Congolese dissidents, disgruntled minority groups, and nations that toppled Mobutu Sese Seko and brought Laurent-Désiré Kabila to power in the First Congo War. Although the group was successful in overthrowing Mobutu, the alliance fell apart after Kabila did not agree to be dictated by his foreign backers, Rwanda and Uganda, which marked the beginning of the Second Congo War in 1998.

Laurent-Désiré Kabila

Laurent-Désiré Kabila

Laurent-Désiré Kabila or simply Laurent Kabila, was a Congolese revolutionary and politician who was the third President of the Democratic Republic of the Congo from 1997 until his assassination in 2001.

Paul Kagame

Paul Kagame

Paul Kagame is a Rwandan politician and former military officer. He is the fourth and current president of Rwanda, having taken office in 2000. Kagame previously commanded the Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF), a Uganda-based rebel force which invaded Rwanda in 1990 and was one of the parties of the conflict during the Rwandan Civil War and the armed force which ended the Rwandan genocide. He was considered Rwanda's de facto leader when he served as Vice President and Minister of Defence under President Pasteur Bizimungu from 1994 to 2000.

Foreign involvement

Rwanda

Map of Zaire in c.1996
Map of Zaire in c.1996

According to expert observers, as well as Kagame himself, Rwanda played the largest role of a foreign actor, if not the largest role of all, in the First Congo War. Kigali was instrumental in the formation of the AFDL and sent its own troops to fight alongside the rebels. While its actions were originally sparked by the security threat posed by the Zairian-based génocidaires, Kigali was pursuing multiple goals during its invasion of Zaire.

The first and foremost of these was the suppression of génocidaires who had been launching attacks against the new Rwandan state from Zaire. Kagame claimed that Rwandan agents had discovered the plans to invade Rwanda with support from Mobutu; in response, Kigali began its intervention with the intention of dismantling the refugee camps in which the génocidaires often took refuge and destroying the structure of these anti-Rwandan elements.[63]

A second goal cited by Kagame was the overthrow of Mobutu. While partially a means to minimize the threat in eastern Zaire, the new Rwandan state also sought to set up a puppet regime in Kinshasa.[40] This goal was not particularly threatening to other states in the region because it was ostensibly a means to securing Rwandan stability and because many of them also opposed Mobutu. Kigali was further aided by the tacit support of the United States, which supported Kagame as a member of the new generation of African leaders.[40]

However, the true intentions of Rwanda are not entirely clear. Some authors have proposed that dismantling refugee camps was a means of replenishing Rwanda's depleted population and workforce following the genocide; because the destruction of the camps was followed by forced repatriation of Tutsi regardless of whether they were Rwandan or Zairian.[64] The intervention may also have been motivated by revenge; the Rwandan forces, as well as the AFDL, massacred retreating Hutu refugees in several known instances.[65] A commonly cited factor for Rwandan actions is that the RPF, which had recently come to power in Kigali, had come to see itself as the protector of the Tutsi nation and was therefore partially acting in defense of its Zairian brethren.[66][47]

Rwanda possibly also harbored ambitions to annex portions of eastern Zaire. Pasteur Bizimungu, president of Rwanda from 1994 to 2000, presented the then-US ambassador to Rwanda, Robert Gribbin, with the idea of a "Greater Rwanda." This idea purports that the ancient state of Rwanda included parts of eastern Zaire that should actually belong to Rwanda.[67] However, it appears that Rwanda never seriously attempted to annex these territories. The history of conflict in the Congo is often associated with illegal resource exploitation but, although Rwanda did benefit financially by plundering Zaire's wealth,[68] this is not usually considered their initial motivation for Rwandan intervention in the First Congo War.[69]

Uganda

As a close ally of the RPF, Uganda also played a major role in the First Congo War. Prominent members of the RPF had fought alongside Yoweri Museveni in the Ugandan Bush War that brought him to power, and Museveni allowed the RPF to use Uganda as a base during the 1990 offensive into Rwanda and subsequent civil war. Given their historical ties, the Rwandan and Ugandan governments were closely allied and Museveni worked closely with Kagame throughout the First Congo War. Ugandan soldiers were present in Zaire throughout the conflict and Museveni likely helped Kagame plan and direct the AFDL.[60]

Lt. Col. James Kabarebe of the AFDL, for example, was a former member of Uganda's National Resistance Army, the military wing of the rebel movement that brought Museveni to power, and French and Belgian intelligence reported that 15,000 Ugandan-trained Tutsi fought for the AFDL.[70] However, Uganda did not support Rwanda in all aspects of the war. Museveni was reportedly much less inclined to overthrow Mobutu, preferring to keep the rebellion in the East where the former génocidaires were operating.[71]

Angola

Angola remained on the sidelines until 1997, but its entrance into the fray greatly increased the already superior strength of anti-Mobutu forces. The Angolan government chose to act primarily through the original-Katanga Gendarmeries later called the Tigres, proxy groups formed from the remnants of police units exiled from Congo in the 1960s, fighting to return to their homeland.[72] Luanda did also deploy regular troops. Angola chose to participate in the First Congo War because members of Mobutu's government were directly involved in supplying the Angolan rebel group, UNITA.[73]

It is unclear exactly how the government benefited from this relationship, other than personal enrichment for several officials, but it is certainly possible that Mobutu was unable to control the actions of some members of his government. Regardless of the reasoning in Kinshasa, Angola entered the war on the side of the rebels and was determined to overthrow the Mobutu government, which it saw as the only way to address the threat posed by the Zairian-UNITA relationship.

UNITA

Due to its ties to the Mobutu government, UNITA also participated in the First Congo War. The greatest impact that it had on the war was probably that it gave Angola reason to join the anti-Mobutu coalition. However, UNITA forces fought alongside FAZ forces in at least several instances.[74] Among other examples, Kagame claimed that his forces fought a pitched battle against UNITA near Kinshasa towards the end of the war.[75]

Others

Numerous other external actors played lesser roles in the First Congo War. Burundi, which had recently come under the rule of a pro-Tutsi leader, supported Rwandan and Ugandan involvement in Zaire but provided very limited military support.[76] Zambia, Zimbabwe, and the South Sudanese rebel army, the SPLA, also gave measured amounts of military support to the rebel movement.[17] Eritrea, an ally of Rwanda under Kagame, sent an entire battalion of its army to support the invasion of Zaire.[15] Likewise, Tanzania, South Africa and Ethiopia provided support to the anti-Mobutu coalition.[19][16] Other than from UNITA, Mobutu also received some aid from Sudan, whom Mobutu had long supported against the SPLA, though the exact amount of aid is unclear and ultimately was unable to hinder the advance of opposing forces.[77] Zaire also employed foreign mercenaries from several African and European countries, including Chadian troops.[2] France also provided Mobutu's government with financial support and military aid, facilitated by the Central African Republic, and diplomatically advocated for international intervention to stop the AFDL's advance, but later backed down due to U.S. pressure.[7][8] China and Israel provided the Mobutu regime with technical assistance, while Kuwait also reportedly provided $64 million to Zaire for the purchase of weapons, but later denied doing so.[9]

In 1997 United States European Command supervised the U.S. Army's Southern Europe Task Force (SETAF) and elements of two Marine Expeditionary Units to carry out Operation Guardian Retrieval, to evacuate approximately 550 US citizens from the country.[78][79][80][81] SETAF prepared Joint Task Force Guardian Retrieval to carry out the non-combatant evacuation (NEO). The Marine Corps supported the evacuation with the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU), special operations capable, which had initially been sent to Albania, to support Operation Silver Wake. The 26th MEU was relieved two weeks early by the USS Kearsarge (LHD-3) and the 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit.[82]

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Pasteur Bizimungu

Pasteur Bizimungu

Pasteur Bizimungu is a Rwandan politician who served as the third President of Rwanda, holding office from 19 July 1994 until 23 March 2000.

Uganda

Uganda

Uganda, officially the Republic of Uganda, is a landlocked country in East Africa. The country is bordered to the east by Kenya, to the north by South Sudan, to the west by the Democratic Republic of the Congo, to the south-west by Rwanda, and to the south by Tanzania. The southern part of the country includes a substantial portion of Lake Victoria, shared with Kenya and Tanzania. Uganda is in the African Great Lakes region. Uganda also lies within the Nile basin and has a varied but generally a modified equatorial climate. It has a population of around 46 million, of which 8.5 million live in the capital and largest city of Kampala.

Rwandan Civil War

Rwandan Civil War

The Rwandan Civil War was a large-scale civil war in Rwanda which was fought between the Rwandan Armed Forces, representing the country's government, and the rebel Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF) from 1 October 1990 to 18 July 1994. The war arose from the long-running dispute between the Hutu and Tutsi groups within the Rwandan population. A 1959–1962 revolution had replaced the Tutsi monarchy with a Hutu-led republic, forcing more than 336,000 Tutsi to seek refuge in neighbouring countries. A group of these refugees in Uganda founded the RPF which, under the leadership of Fred Rwigyema and Paul Kagame, became a battle-ready army by the late 1980s.

James Kabarebe

James Kabarebe

James Kabarebe is a Rwandan military officer who has served as a Senior Presidential Adviser on security matters in the government of Rwanda, since 19 October 2018.

National Resistance Army

National Resistance Army

The National Resistance Army (NRA), the military wing of the National Resistance Movement (NRM), was a rebel army that waged a guerrilla war, commonly referred to as the Ugandan Bush War or Luwero War, against the government of Milton Obote, and later that of Tito Okello. NRA was supported by Muammar Gaddafi.

Directorate-General for External Security

Directorate-General for External Security

The General Directorate for External Security is France's foreign intelligence agency, equivalent to the British MI6 and the American CIA, established on 2 April 1982. The DGSE safeguards French national security through intelligence gathering and conducting paramilitary and counterintelligence operations abroad, as well as economic espionage. It is headquartered in the 20th arrondissement of Paris.

UNITA

UNITA

The National Union for the Total Independence of Angola is the second-largest political party in Angola. Founded in 1966, UNITA fought alongside the Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA) in the Angolan War for Independence (1961–1975) and then against the MPLA in the ensuing civil war (1975–2002). The war was one of the most prominent Cold War proxy wars, with UNITA receiving military aid initially from People's Republic of China from 1966 until October 1975 and later from the United States and apartheid South Africa while the MPLA received support from the Soviet Union and its allies, especially Cuba.

Burundi

Burundi

Burundi, officially the Republic of Burundi, is a landlocked country in the Great Rift Valley at the junction between the African Great Lakes region and East Africa. It is bordered by Rwanda to the north, Tanzania to the east and southeast, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the west; Lake Tanganyika lies along its southwestern border. The capital cities are Gitega and Bujumbura, the latter being the country's largest city.

South Sudan

South Sudan

South Sudan, officially the Republic of South Sudan, is a landlocked country in Central Africa. It is bordered by Ethiopia, Sudan, Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Uganda and Kenya. Its population was estimated as 12,778,250 in 2019. Juba is the capital and largest city.

Eritrea

Eritrea

Eritrea, officially the State of Eritrea, is a country in the Horn of Africa region of Eastern Africa, with its capital and largest city at Asmara. It is bordered by Ethiopia in the south, Sudan in the west, and Djibouti in the southeast. The northeastern and eastern parts of Eritrea have an extensive coastline along the Red Sea. The nation has a total area of approximately 117,600 km2 (45,406 sq mi), and includes the Dahlak Archipelago and several of the Hanish Islands.

Eritrean Army

Eritrean Army

The Eritrean Army is the main branch of the Defense Force of the State of Eritrea and is one of the largest armies in Africa. The main roles of the army in Eritrea is defense from external aggressors, border security, and developing national cohesion. Historically, the predecessor of the Eritrean Army, the Eritrean People's Liberation Front (EPLF), played a major role in establishing and defending the country's independence from Ethiopia in 1991 during the Eritrean War of Independence. Since then the army has continued to be involved in low-level border conflicts with Ethiopia and several other neighbors, including Djibouti and Yemen, with the most notable one being the Ethiopian-Eritrean War from 1998 until 2000, which ended in a partial Ethiopian military victory and Eritrean boundary line victory. It is widely regarded as one of the more capable and largest armies in Africa despite the country having a smaller population than most of its neighbors, with around 250,000 to 300,000 personnel due to mandatory national service. Conscription became open ended since the war with Ethiopia and no demobilization has taken place.

Tanzania

Tanzania

Tanzania, officially the United Republic of Tanzania, is a country in East Africa within the African Great Lakes region. It borders Uganda to the north; Kenya to the northeast; Comoro Islands and the Indian Ocean to the east; Mozambique and Malawi to the south; Zambia to the southwest; and Rwanda, Burundi, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the west. Mount Kilimanjaro, Africa's highest mountain, is in northeastern Tanzania. According to the United Nations, Tanzania has a population of 63.59 million, making it the most populous country located entirely south of the equator.

1996

With active support from Rwanda, Uganda,[83] and Eritrea,[15] Kabila's AFDL was able to capture 800 x 100 km of territory along the border with Rwanda, Uganda, and Burundi by 25 December 1996.[83] This occupation temporarily satisfied the rebels, because it gave them power in the east and allowed them to defend themselves against the former génocidaires. Likewise, the external actors had successfully crippled the ability of the same génocidaires to use Zaire as a base for attacks. There was a pause in the rebel advance following the acquisition of this buffer territory that lasted until Angola entered the war in February 1997.[84]

During this time, Rwanda destroyed refugee camps the génocidaires had been using as safe-bases, and forcibly repatriated Tutsi to Rwanda. It also captured many lucrative diamond and coltan mines, which it later resisted relinquishing.[47][69] Rwandan and aligned forces committed multiple atrocities, mainly against Hutu refugees.[65] The true extent of the abuses is unknown because the AFDL and RPF carefully managed NGO and press access to areas where atrocities were thought to have occurred.[85] However Amnesty International said as many as 200,000 Rwandese Hutu refugees were massacred by them and the Rwandan Defence Forces and aligned forces.[86]The United Nations similarly documented mass killings of civilians by Rwandan, Ugandan and the AFDL soldiers in the DRC Mapping Exercise Report.

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Coltan

Coltan

Coltan is a dull black metallic ore from which the elements niobium and tantalum are extracted. The niobium-dominant mineral in coltan is columbite, and the tantalum-dominant mineral is the tantalite.

Amnesty International

Amnesty International

Amnesty International is an international non-governmental organization focused on human rights, with its headquarters in the United Kingdom. The organization says it has more than ten million members and supporters around the world. The stated mission of the organization is to campaign for "a world in which every person enjoys all of the human rights enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and other international human rights instruments." The organization has played a notable role on human rights issues due to its frequent citation in media and by world leaders.

Alliance of Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Congo

Alliance of Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Congo

The Alliance of Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Congo-Zaire was a coalition of Rwandan, Ugandan, Burundian, and Congolese dissidents, disgruntled minority groups, and nations that toppled Mobutu Sese Seko and brought Laurent-Désiré Kabila to power in the First Congo War. Although the group was successful in overthrowing Mobutu, the alliance fell apart after Kabila did not agree to be dictated by his foreign backers, Rwanda and Uganda, which marked the beginning of the Second Congo War in 1998.

DRC Mapping Exercise Report

DRC Mapping Exercise Report

The DRC Mapping Exercise Report, or the Democratic Republic of the Congo 1993-2003 UN Mapping Report, was a report by the United Nations within the Democratic Republic of the Congo in the wake of the armed aggressions and war which took place between March 1993 and June 2003. Its aim was to map the most serious violations of human rights, together with violations of international humanitarian law, committed within the Democratic Republic of the Congo. In doing this it was to assess the capacities within the national justice system to deal appropriately with such human rights violations and to formulate a series of options aimed at assisting the government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo in identifying appropriate transitional justice mechanisms to deal with the legacy of these violations. It contained 550 pages and contained descriptions of 617 alleged violent incidents.

1997

Kabila's forces launched an offensive in March 1997, and demanded that the Kinshasa government surrender. The rebels took Kasenga on 27 March. The government denied the rebels' success, starting a long pattern of false statements from the Defense Minister on the progress and conduct of the war. Negotiations were proposed in late March, and on 2 April a new Prime Minister of Zaire, Étienne Tshisekedi—a longtime rival of Mobutu—was installed.[87] Kabila, by this point in control of roughly one-quarter of the country, dismissed this as irrelevant and warned Tshisekedi that he would have no part in a new government if he accepted the post.

Laurent-Désiré Kabila
Laurent-Désiré Kabila

There are two explanations for the restart of the rebel advance in 1997. The first, and most probable, is that Angola had joined the anti-Mobutu coalition, giving it numbers and strength far superior to the FAZ, and demanding that Mobutu be removed from power. Kagame presents another, possibly secondary, reason for the march on Kinshasa: that the employment of Serbian mercenaries in the battle for Walikale proved that "Mobutu intended to wage real war against Rwanda."[88] According to this logic, Rwanda's initial concerns had been to manage the security threat in eastern Zaire but it was now forced to dispose of the hostile government in Kinshasa.

Whatever the case, once the advance resumed in 1997, there was virtually no meaningful resistance from what was left of Mobutu's army. Kabila's forces were only held back by the dreadful state of Zaire's infrastructure. In some areas, no real roads existed; the only means of transport were infrequently used dirt paths.[89] The AFDL committed grave human rights violations, such as the carnage at a refugee camp of Hutus at Tingi-Tingi near Kisangani, where tens of thousands of refugees were massacred.[90]

Coming from the east, the AFDL advanced westward in two pincer movements. The northern one took Kisangani, Boende, and Mbandaka, while the southern one took Bakwanga, and Kikwit.[90] Around this time, Sudan attempted to coordinate with remnants of the FAZ and White Legion that were retreating northward to escape the AFDL. This was to prevent Zaire from becoming a safe haven for the Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA) and its allies, which were fighting the Sudanese government in the Second Sudanese Civil War at the time. The Mobutu-loyal forces were collapsing so quickly, however, that they could not prevent the AFDL, SPLA and Ugandan military from occupying northeastern Zaire. Sudan-allied Ugandan insurgent groups which had been based in the region were forced to retreat into southern Sudan alongside FAZ troops that had not yet surrendered and a smaller number of Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) soldiers. They attempted to reach the SAF base at Yei, not knowing that it had already been overrun by the SPLA. The column of about 4,000 fighters and their families was ambushed by the SPLA during Operation Thunderbolt on 12 March, and mostly destroyed; 2,000 were killed, and over 1,000 captured. The survivors fled to Juba.[1] Meanwhile, the AFDL reached Kinshasa by the middle of May. Another AFDL group captured Lubumbashi on April 19 and moved on by air to Kinshasa. Mobutu fled Kinshasa on May 16, and the "libérateurs" entered the capital without serious resistance.[90] The AFDL-allied Eritrean battalion had aided the rebels during the entire 1,500 km advance despite being not well equipped for the environment and lacking almost all logistical support. By the time the Eritreans arrived at Kinshasa along the AFDL, they were exhausted, starving and ill, having suffered heavy casualties as a result. They had to be evacuated from the country by the war's end.[26]

Throughout the rebel advance, there were attempts by the international community to negotiate a settlement. However, the AFDL did not take these negotiations seriously but instead partook so as to avoid international criticism for being unwilling to attempt a diplomatic solution while actually continuing its steady advance.[91] The FAZ, which had been weak all along, was unable to mount any serious resistance to the strong AFDL and its foreign sponsors.

Mobutu fled first to his palace at Gbadolite and then to Rabat, Morocco, where he died on 7 September 1997.[92] Kabila proclaimed himself president on 17 May, and immediately ordered a violent crackdown to restore order. He then attempted to reorganise the nation as the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).

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Operation Thunderbolt (1997)

Operation Thunderbolt (1997)

Operation Thunderbolt was the codename for a military offensive by the South Sudanese SPLA rebel group and its allies during the Second Sudanese Civil War. The operation aimed at conquering several towns in Western and Central Equatoria, most importantly Yei, which served as strongholds for the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) and helped the Sudanese government to supply its allies, the Ugandan insurgents of the WNBF and UNRF (II) based in Zaire. These pro-Sudanese forces were defeated and driven from Zaire by the SPLA and its allies, namely Uganda and the AFDL, in course of the First Congo War, thus allowing the SPLA launch Operation Thunderbolt from the Zairian side of the border. Covertly supported by expeditionary forces from Uganda, Ethiopia, and Eritrea, the SPLA's offensive was a major success, with several SAF garrison towns falling to the South Sudanese rebels in a matter of days. Yei was encircled and put under siege on 11 March 1997. At the same time, a large group of WNBF fighters as well as SAF, FAZ, and ex-Rwandan Armed Forces soldiers was trying to escape from Zaire to Yei. The column was ambushed and destroyed by the SPLA, allowing it to capture Yei shortly afterward. Following this victory, the South Sudanese rebels continued their offensive until late April, capturing several other towns in Equatoria and preparing further anti-government campaigns.

Kasenga

Kasenga

Kasenga is a town in Kasenga territory of Haut-Katanga province of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. It is located in south of Lake Mweru, approximately 135 miles (217 km) north-east of Lubumbashi., near the border with Zambia.

Prime Minister of the Democratic Republic of the Congo

Prime Minister of the Democratic Republic of the Congo

The Prime Minister of the Democratic Republic of the Congo is the head of government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The Constitution of the Third Republic grants the Prime Minister a significant amount of power.

Serbia

Serbia

Serbia, officially the Republic of Serbia, is a landlocked country in Southeastern and Central Europe, situated at the crossroads of the Pannonian Plain and the Balkans. It shares land borders with Hungary to the north, Romania to the northeast, Bulgaria to the southeast, North Macedonia to the south, Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina to the west, and Montenegro to the southwest, and claims a border with Albania through the disputed territory of Kosovo. Serbia with Kosovo has about 8.6 million inhabitants. Its capital Belgrade is also the largest city.

Infrastructure

Infrastructure

Infrastructure is the set of facilities and systems that serve a country, city, or other area, and encompasses the services and facilities necessary for its economy, households and firms to function. Infrastructure is composed of public and private physical structures such as roads, railways, bridges, tunnels, water supply, sewers, electrical grids, and telecommunications. In general, infrastructure has been defined as "the physical components of interrelated systems providing commodities and services essential to enable, sustain, or enhance societal living conditions" and maintain the surrounding environment.

Kisangani

Kisangani

Kisangani is the capital of Tshopo province in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. It is the fifth most populous urban area in the country, with an estimated population of 1,312,000 in 2021, and the largest of the cities that lie in the tropical woodlands of the Congo.

Boende

Boende

Boende is a town and capital of Tshuapa Province, lying on the Tshuapa River, in the Democratic Republic of Congo. It is a river port with riverboats sailing to Kinshasa via Mbandaka and is also home to an airport. As of 2009 it had an estimated population of 36,158. The national language used locally is Lingala.

Mbandaka

Mbandaka

Mbandaka is a city on the Congo River in the Democratic Republic of Congo located near the confluence of the Congo and Ruki rivers. It is the capital of Équateur Province.

Kikwit

Kikwit

Kikwit is the largest city of Kwilu Province, lying on the Kwilu River in the southwestern part of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Kikwit is also known in the region under the nickname "The Mother". The population is approximately 458,000 (2017). An important commercial centre, it is home to a stadium and is known for its traditional dances, in particular the Bapende dancers whose geographic origin centers on the village of Gungu. Bapende dancers often wear traditional costumes comprising colorful masks and attire made from raffia. Kikwit is also home to an airport and is connected to the capital Kinshasa by a new road and river transport.

Sudan

Sudan

Sudan, officially the Republic of the Sudan, is a country in Northeast Africa. It shares borders with the Central African Republic to the southwest, Chad to the west, Egypt to the north, Eritrea to the northeast, Ethiopia to the southeast, Libya to the northwest, South Sudan to the south and the Red Sea. It has a population of 45.70 million people as of 2022 and occupies 1,886,068 square kilometres, making it Africa's third-largest country by area, and the third-largest by area in the Arab League. It was the largest country by area in Africa and the Arab League until the secession of South Sudan in 2011, since which both titles have been held by Algeria. Its capital is Khartoum and its most populated city is Omdurman.

Second Sudanese Civil War

Second Sudanese Civil War

The Second Sudanese Civil War was a conflict from 1983 to 2005 between the central Sudanese government and the Sudan People's Liberation Army. It was largely a continuation of the First Sudanese Civil War of 1955 to 1972. Although it originated in southern Sudan, the civil war spread to the Nuba mountains and the Blue Nile. It lasted for 22 years and is one of the longest civil wars on record. The war resulted in the independence of South Sudan six years after the war ended.

Sudanese Armed Forces

Sudanese Armed Forces

The Sudanese Armed Forces are the military forces of the Republic of the Sudan. In 2011, IISS estimated the regular forces' numbers at 109,300 personnel, while in 2016–2017, the Rapid Support Forces had 40,000 members participating in the Yemeni Civil War.

Aftermath

The new Congolese state under Kabila's rule proved to be disappointingly similar to Zaire under Mobutu. The economy remained in a state of severe disrepair and deteriorated further under Kabila's corrupt rule.[93] He failed to improve the government, which continued to be weak and corrupt. Instead, Kabila began a vigorous centralisation campaign, bringing renewed conflict with minority groups in the east who demanded autonomy.

Kabila also came to be seen as an instrument of the foreign regimes that put him in power. To counter this image and increase domestic support, he began to turn against his allies abroad. This culminated in the expulsion of all foreign forces from the DRC on 26 July 1998. The states with armed forces still in the DRC begrudgingly complied although some of them saw this as undermining their interests, particularly Rwanda, which had hoped to install a proxy-regime in Kinshasa.

Several factors that led to the First Congo War remained in place after Kabila's accession to power. Prominent among these were ethnic tensions in eastern DRC, where the government still had little control. There the historical animosities remained and the opinion that Banyamulenge, as well as all Tutsi, were foreigners was reinforced by the foreign occupation in their defence.[94] Furthermore, Rwanda had not been able to satisfactorily address its security concerns. By forcibly repatriating refugees, Rwanda had imported the conflict.[95]

This manifested itself in the form of a predominantly Hutu insurgency in Rwanda's western provinces that was supported by extremist elements in eastern DRC. Without troops in the DRC, Rwanda was unable to successfully combat the insurgents. In the first days of August 1998, two brigades of the new Congolese army rebelled against the government and formed rebel groups that worked closely with Kigali and Kampala. This marked the beginning of the Second Congo War.

In addition, elements of Mobutu's army and loyalists as well as other groups involved in the First Congo War retreated into the Republic of the Congo (Congo-Brazzaville), where they fought in the 1997–1999 civil war.[96][97]

Source: "First Congo War", Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, (2022, November 25th), https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First_Congo_War.

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Notes
  1. ^ a b Many Mai-Mai militias in eastern Zaire initially allied themselves with Rwanda and the AFDL against Hutu militants and refugees.[10] As soon as most Hutu were driven away, however, many Mai-Mai groups turned against Rwanda and the AFDL.[11] Despite this, some anti-Hutu Mai-Mai remained allied with Rwanda and the AFDL.[12]
  2. ^ Officially, the FAZ had c. 80,000 soldiers by the war's start,[21] though the actual number was closer to about 50,000.[21][22] Of these, just 25,000 were in a condition to fight, whereas the rest was likely to flee or desert upon the first signs of combat.[21]
  3. ^ French: Première guerre du Congo
References
  1. ^ a b c Prunier (2004), pp. 376–377.
  2. ^ a b Toïngar, Ésaïe (2014). Idriss Deby and the Darfur Conflict. p. 119. In 1996, President Mobutu of Zaire requested that mercenaries be sent from Chad to help defend his government from rebel forces led by Lauren Desiré Kabila. ... When a number of the troops were ambushed by Kabila and killed in defense of Mobutu's government, Mobutu paid Déby a fee in honor of their service.
  3. ^ Prunier (2009), pp. 116–118.
  4. ^ Duke, Lynne (20 May 1997). "Congo Begins Process of Rebuilding Nation". The Washington Post. p. A10. Archived from the original on 24 February 2011. Guerrillas of Angola's former rebel movement UNITA, long supported by Mobutu in an unsuccessful war against Angola's government, also fought for Mobutu against Kabila's forces.
  5. ^ a b Prunier (2004), pp. 375–377.
  6. ^ a b Reyntjens, Filip (2009). The Great African War. Cambridge University Press. pp. 112–113.
  7. ^ a b "Strategic Review for Southern Africa". University of Pretoria. 20–21. 1998. As the conflict developed, France provided financial support to Mobutu and pushed hard for foreign intervention. However, under US pressure, France eventually terminated its call for intervention.
  8. ^ a b c Carayannis, Tatiana (2015). Making Sense of the Central African Republic. Zed Books. In the waning days of Mobutu's rule, while Kabila's Rwandan- and Ugandan-backed putsch was rapidly making its way across Congo, France sought to prop up Mobutu's dying regime through covert military aid to the ailing dictator ... This covert aid was facilitated by Patassé
  9. ^ a b c d Reyntjens, Filip (2009). The Great African War. Cambridge University Press. p. 112.
  10. ^ Prunier (2009), pp. 117, 130, 143.
  11. ^ Prunier (2009), p. 130.
  12. ^ Prunier (2009), p. 143.
  13. ^ Prunier (2004), pp. 375–376.
  14. ^ a b Duke, Lynne (15 April 1997). "Passive Protest Stops Zaire's Capital Cold". The Washington Post. p. A14. Archived from the original on 24 February 2011. Kabila's forces – which are indeed backed by Rwanda, Angola, Uganda and Burundi, diplomats say – are slowly advancing toward the capital from the eastern half of the country, where they have captured all the regions that produce Zaire's diamonds, gold, copper and cobalt.
  15. ^ a b c Plaut (2016), pp. 54–55.
  16. ^ a b c "Consensual Democracy" in Post-genocide Rwanda. International Crisis Group. 2001. p. 8. In that first struggle in the Congo, Rwanda, allied with Uganda, Angola, Zimbabwe, South Africa and Burundi, had brought Laurent Désiré Kabila to power in Kinshasa
  17. ^ a b Reyntjens, Filip. The Great African War: Congo and Regional Geopolitics, 1996–2006. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 2009. p. 65-66
  18. ^ Usanov, Artur (2013). Coltan, Congo and Conflict. Hague Centre for Strategic Studies. p. 36.
  19. ^ a b Makikagile, Godfrey (2006). Nyerere and Africa. New Africa Press. p. 173.
  20. ^ a b Prunier (2009), pp. 118, 126–127.
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