Uneasy Alliance in Eastern Congo - The human cost of Operation Kimia II—the joint offensive by the Congolese army and United Nations peacekeepers against the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda, or FDLR, in eastern Congo—outweighs its benefits. A spike in atrocities against civilians has worsened an already dreadful humanitarian situation in North and South Kivu provinces. Continue reading...
Rampant Insecurity in South Kivu - There are now two major sources of insecurity in South Kivu: reprisal attacks by the FDLR, and abuses and atrocities committed by the Congolese army, local militias with shifting loyalties, and other bandits and armed groups. A climate of terror and violence has infected daily life in South Kivu. Continue reading...
South Kivu - No Peace in Sight - The view from the ground in South Kivu reveals a deeply insecure environment. Military operations have driven the FDLR from some areas, but they still mobilize forces to attack both the Congolese army and civilian populations. At the same time, the Congolese army commits the same human rights violations as their predecessors. Continue reading...
Map of North Kivu
The end of 2009 saw optimistic statements about the situation in Congo from both the United Nations and the Congolese government. However, my experience on the ground in North Kivu seemed to point to a different picture. This is the first of two field dispatches based on my travel to particularly contentious territories in the region.
Masisi and the Parallel Administration
- The CNDP split. Since Laurent Nkunda was deposed by the Rwandans, there has been a dangerous split within the movement between those who remain loyal to him and those loyal to Bosco Ntaganda. Allegedly, the taxes collected by the parallel administration are not going to the main CNDP administration, widening this rift.
- Multiplying Militias. Authorities have described a new movement called the Force for the Liberation of Eastern Congo, based in the town of Biza, with a battalion of 500-1,000 fighters. This group is linked to wanted war criminal Bosco Ntaganda, and has conducted forced recruitment in the region. Ntaganda, reacting to the call by U.S. envoy Howard Wolpe for his arrest, is evidently arming multiple militias to defend himself.
- Anti-government alliances. During a meeting held in December, the parallel administration in Mushake replaced the national police in the area with a police force consisting of CNDP forces and members of the Hutu militia called PARECO.
Democratic Republic of Congo
Learn more about the situation in Congo.