Tag Archives: DR Congo

Dr Congo – parties in Kabila’s coalition warn him against clinging on to power


Congo parties warn Kabila against hanging onto power

Leading parties in Democratic Republic of Congo’s ruling coalition warned President Joseph Kabila that actions by his allies had given the impression that he intends to violate the constitution by hanging onto power beyond 2016.

In a letter to Kabila, seen by Reuters, the heads of the so-called G7 parties demanded immediate steps to ensure that the presidential election, scheduled for Nov. 2016, is held on time. If held successfully, the vote would be the country’s first ever peaceful transition of power.

DR Congo – Ntaganda trial to start at ICC


Rwandan-born Congolese warlord Bosco Ntaganda is seen during his first appearance before judges of the International Criminal Court in The Hague, Netherlands, 26 March 2013
Image captionBosco Ntaganda faces 13 counts of war crimes and five charges of crimes against humanity

Former Congolese rebel leader Bosco Ntaganda is due to go on trial at the International Criminal Court (ICC) at The Hague for war crimes.

He denies all 18 charges which include murder, rape and the recruitment of child soldiers.

More than 2,000 victims have been cleared to take part in the trial, including former child soldiers who will be called as witnesses.

Gen Ntaganda fought for different rebel groups as well as the Congolese army.

The 41-year-old is accused of killing at least 800 civilians during separate attacks on a number of villages between 2002 and 2003.

He is also accused of raping girl soldiers and keeping them as sex slaves.

File photo of Bosco Ntaganda in eastern DR Congo, 11 January 2009
Image captionGen Ntaganda is accused of recruiting child soldiers

In 2013, he handed himself in at the US embassy in the Rwandan capital, Kigali.

He had evaded capture for seven years after the ICC first issued warrants for his arrest.

Bosco Ntaganda was part of the Union of Congolese Patriots rebel group, led by Thomas Lubanga who in 2014 became the only person convicted by the ICC.

Gen Ntaganda was one of the leaders of the M23 rebel movement, which had fought government troops until signing a peace deal in 2013.

Eastern DR Congo has suffered two decades of violence linked to ethnic rivalries and competition for the control of the area’s rich mineral resources.

The unrest began when some of the ethnic Hutu militants accused of the 1994 genocide in Rwanda fled into DR Congo.

Who is Bosco Ntaganda?

  • Born in 1973 in Rwanda
  • Fled to DR Congo as a teenager after attacks on fellow ethnic Tutsis
  • At 17, he begins his fighting days – alternating between being a rebel and a soldier, in both Rwanda and DR Congo
  • In 2006, indicted by the ICC for allegedly recruiting child soldiers in Ituri
  • In 2009, he is integrated into the Congolese national army and made a general
  • In 2012, he defects from the army, sparking a new rebellion which forces 800,000 from their homes
  • In March 2013, hands himself in to US embassy in Kigali

Great Lakes defence and security chiefs meet over Burundi, DRC and South Sudan



Luanda, Angola — The International Conference on the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR) Chiefs of Defense Staff and Chiefs of Intelligence and Security Services are meeting today in Luanda, Angola preceding the meeting of Ministers of Defence which will take place on 12th May, 2015 to discuss on the Security and humanitarian situation in the region with special focus on Republic of Burundi, Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of Congo, Republic of South Sudan and the menace of terrorism.

The meeting convened by the Republic of Angola as the Chair of ICGLR, will receive reports from the Expanded Joint Verification Mechanism and Joint Intelligence Fusion Centre. Will also receive briefs on the security and humanitarian situation from the Chiefs of Defence Staff from Democratic Republic of Congo, Republic of South Sudan, Central African Republic, Republic of Burundi. The Chief of Intelligence and Security Services of the Republic of Kenya will brief the meeting on the threat of terrorism in the Great Lakes Region.

The meeting of Ministers of Defence preceding the Summit of Heads of States and Government on 18th May, 2015 in Luanda Angola, will consider the report of the meeting of Chiefs of Defense Staff and Chiefs of Intelligence and Security Services and the Briefs from the Ministers of Defence from Democratic Republic of Congo, Republic of South Sudan, Center African Republic, Republic of Burundi and Republic of Kenya.

ICGLR Member States are: Republic of Angola, Republic of Burundi, Republic of Congo, Democratic Republic of Congo, Republic of Kenya, Republic of Rwanda, Republic of Sudan, Republic of South Sudan, United Republic of Tanzania, Republic of Uganda and Republic of Zambia.

The meetings will also be attended by representatives of the African Union, the United Nations Stabilization Mission in the DRC (MONUSCO) and the Office of the Special Envoy of the United Nations Secretary-General for the Great Lakes Region.

DR Congo-Rwanda – Rwandan rebels kill ten soldiers in ambush


A Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR) soldier walks toward a distribution center near Lushubere Camp in Masisi, km ( miles) northwest of Goma, December 19, 2008.     REUTERS/T.J. Kirkpatrick

KINSHASA (Reuters) – Rwandan rebels in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo killed around 10 soldiers in an ambush this week, an army source said on Wednesday, the insurgents’ deadliest attack since the start of a military campaign against them in February.

The military source, who asked not to be identified, said that two colonels were among those killed and several other soldiers were injured in the attack by the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR).

The ambush took place on Monday in the Masisi region of north Kivu province, he said.

The FDLR, a Hutu force of some 1,400 fighters, includes soldiers and militiamen involved in neighbouring Rwanda’s genocide in 1994. It has embedded itself in the communities of eastern Congo, a region plagued by dozens of armed groups.

FDLR fighters have sought to exploit the region’s rich deposits of gold, diamonds and tin and waged periodic war with the Kinshasa government and other armed groups.

Many analysts say that defeating the FDLR is critical to breaking a catastrophic cycle of violence in eastern Congo.

However, a slow start to the military campaign has raised doubts about its ability to defeat the FDLR, which has fought alongside the army in the past against other Rwanda-backed rebels.

General Leon Mushale, the top Congolese army commander in eastern Congo, said only 13 FDLR fighters had been killed since the campaign began. He said this was because the army was taking care not to incur civilian casualties.

At least one Congolese soldier was killed in the first week of the campaign, but military authorities have not given an overall toll for their casualties.

FDLR fighters have fled deeper into the dense forests of eastern Congo rather than risk open combat. The army says it has captured dozens of towns held by the rebels and that hundreds of combatants have been captured or surrendered.

The operation is being carried out unilaterally by the Congolese army after a row over alleged human rights violations by two Congolese commanders led the U.N. peacekeeping force to withdraw its support.

Dr Congo expels African pro-democracy activists


Wed Mar 18, 2015 3:12pm GMT
KINSHASA (Reuters) – Democratic Republic of Congo has ordered the immediate expulsion of a Burkinabe and three Senegalese pro-democracy activists detained at the weekend, the government said on Wednesday.

“The president of the republic has just ordered the cancellation of proceedings against the four Senegalese and Burkinabe citizens who were declared persona non grata in the Democratic Republic of Congo,” government spokesman Lambert Mende told journalists.

The group were among some 40 activists, musicians and journalists arrested in the capital on Sunday during a news conference that Mende has previously said was organised by “instructors in insurrection”.

DR Congo-Rwanda – Congolese forces drive Rwandan rebels from hills in N Kivu


KIRUMBA, Democratic Republic of Congo (Reuters) – Congolese government forces ousted rebels from hills in heavy fighting in North Kivu province on Friday, an army spokesman said, cranking up a campaign to crush an insurgency at the heart of two decades of conflict.

The rebel ranks contain remnants of fighters involved in neighbouring Rwanda’s genocide in 1994. Since moving into chaotic eastern Congo, they have sought to exploit the region’s rich deposits of gold, diamonds and tin and waged periodic war with the Kinshasa government and other armed groups.

Around 100 soldiers backed by presidential guard troops fired machine guns from jeeps at positions of rebels from the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR), who responded with automatic weapons fire, a Reuters witness said.

By 1400 GMT, the army had secured most of the hills and rebels retreated deeper into the forest near Kirumba in Virunga National Park, an army spokesman said. The park abuts the border of Congo and Rwanda and is famous for its mountain gorillas.

There was no information on casualties in the fighting.

Millions died of conflict, hunger and disease during a war in the east between 1998 and 2003 and the region remains plagued by armed factions.

President Joseph Kabila formally launched the anti-rebel offensive on Jan. 29 but combat did not begin in earnest until Tuesday in neighbouring South Kivu province, where the army says it has captured several rebel strongholds.

The army began action on Wednesday to clear rebels from North Kivu where the bulk of the 1,400 fighters were believed to operate, army spokesman Leon Kasonga said.

“We have captured seven FDLR, among them a major …. They don’t resist on the ground because our dominance is established,” he said.

Analysts said the rebels would avoid large-scale battles that could risk defeat and instead retreat into remote hills and forests they know well after decades of fighting.


DR Congo army starts offensive against Rwandan Hutu rebels


DR Congo launches operation against Rwandan Hutu rebels

Democratic Republic of Congo regular army soldiers stand guard in the Nakabumbi area of Kimbumba, 20kms from Goma, near the border with Rwanda, on June 14, 201Eastern DR Congo has been plagued by violence for years

The Democratic Republic of the Congo has launched an attack against Rwandan Hutu rebels in the east of the country.

Ministers had previously pledged to target the FDLR militants after they failed to meet a deadline to disarm last month.

Hutu rebels were involved in the 1994 Rwandan genocide.

UN peacekeepers in DR Congo withdrew an offer to support the operation because two government generals are suspected of human rights abuses.

Tuesday’s attack took place in the eastern South Kivu province, about 10km (six miles) from the border with Burundi, the military said.

Speaking as army chiefs launched their assault, the outgoing US special envoy to the region said the government “owes it to its people” to end the threat posed by Rwandan Hutu rebels, reported the AFP news agency.

Russ Feingold said extinguishing the threat was an “international responsibility”, according to the agency.

The presence of hundreds of Hutu rebels in eastern DR Congo has been a source of instability for the country.

Many of the rebels were involved in the 1994 Rwandan genocide, in which 800,000 people – mainly from the Tutsi minority – were killed.

A Tutsi-led government subsequently took power in Rwanda, while Hutu rebel leaders fled across the border into DR Congo.

Their presence has been used by the Rwandan government as a reason for military interventions against its neighbour.


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