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Author: Sarah Zingg Wimmer

Congo: Alliances between Armies, Militias Unclear Amid Intense Fighting

Congo: Alliances between Armies, Militias Unclear Amid Intense Fighting
Ever since the ex-CNDP, parts of which now call themselves M23, retreated to Rutshuru territory near the border area with Rwanda and Uganda, intense fighting has broken out in various localities. Amid this intense fighting, the parties to the conflict have traded allegations of wrongdoing likely in an attempt to justify their struggle in the eyes of the Congolese people and possibly the international community ...
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Important Bosco Loyalist Accepts New Army Posting

Important Bosco Loyalist Accepts New Army Posting
News reached Goma yesterday that Col. Baudouin Ngaruye, one of Bosco Ntaganda’s most important allies, has accepted to be transferred to South Kivu. The reason behind Baudouin’s acceptance to be transferred away from the ex-CNDP strongholds in Masisi is uncertain, but the amount of ammunition his troops took along could point to an attempt to expand the area of control held by Ntaganda’s loyalists down to South Kivu ...
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Thousands March for International Women’s Day in Eastern Congo

Thousands of women marched through the city center of Goma yesterday in celebration of International Women’s Day. Women turned out in droves, participants explained, because this annual event is the only day of the year when their voices would be heard ...
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Amid Ongoing Election Insecurity, Popular North Kivu Opposition Leader Arrested

Amid Ongoing Election Insecurity, Popular North Kivu Opposition Leader Arrested
Early on the morning of February 2, Member of Parliament Bakungu Mitondeke and his family were awakened by the arrival of heavily armed soldiers that prompted a firefight between the Congolese troops and Mitondeke’s personal security guards. The Provincial Security Committee had ordered a weapon search throughout the city of Goma, including at the house of Mitondeke. Two soldiers, two policemen, and a security guard died in the skirmish, and an additional six police officers and another security guard were injured ...
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North and South Kivu: Calm but Dissatisfied with Election Results

North and South Kivu: Calm but Dissatisfied with Election Results
With Joseph Kabila reinstalled in Congo’s presidential palace for another five-year term, discord remains high in the restive eastern region over the irregularities of the vote and the count. The calm is in part state imposed and in part the effect of peoples’ resignation toward the outcome and interest in moving forward without provoking insecurity in a region prone to violence ...
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Kabila Sworn In Despite Lack of Legitimacy

Kabila Sworn In Despite Lack of Legitimacy
Congolese President Joseph Kabila was sworn in today for another five-year term by the Congolese Supreme Court in the capital of Kinshasa, amid high tensions and questions of legitimacy. Irregularities and fraud marred voting day on November 28 and the week-long count, which led a number of electoral observation missions including the Carter Center, the European Union, and the Catholic Church to deem the process unreliable ...
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Congo: Trial Begins for Former Rebel Accused of Rape

Congo: Trial Begins for Former Rebel Accused of Rape
This week, a long-awaited—and rare—preliminary military trial took place for Sadoke Kikunda Mayele, a former Mayi-Mayi fighter indicted for mass rape. Mayele was the chief of staff of the armed group Mayi-Mayi Sheka until his arrest in October last year. Mayi-Mayi Sheka, together with the FDLR and some army deserters, are allegedly responsible for the mass rape of an estimated 387 civilians in 13 villages in the Walikale territory in the summer of 2010. Arrest warrants have been issued for Sheka, Mayele and six other fighters. Mayele is the only one in custody, while the hearings for the others proceed ...
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International Observations of Congo’s Elections: How Representative?

International Observations of Congo’s Elections: How Representative?
First assessments by the three major international observer missions of Congo’s presidential and legislative elections have come out, as the country awaits the official results, expected late tomorrow. An important question to ask: Did the elections observers have enough personnel on the ground to accurately assess how freely and fairly people were able to cast their votes? ...
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Eastern Congo: Mostly Peaceful, but Widespread Fraud Mars Elections

Eastern Congo: Mostly Peaceful, but Widespread Fraud Mars Elections
Stores and schools were closed for the day as people flocked to polling stations to vote in the second presidential and legislative elections since Congo’s independence in 1960 on Monday. Voters chose from among 11 candidates to elect Congo’s fifth president and among 18,385 for the 500-seat National Assembly. In North and South Kivu, 1,463 and 881 parliamentary candidates ran for 47 and 32 seats respectively. While voting proceeded relatively peacefully in both eastern provinces, the day was marked by irregularities, logistical problems, and violence ...
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The Kivus without President Kabila: The Return to Full-Out War?

The Kivus without President Kabila: The Return to Full-Out War?
The election scheduled for next Monday is only the second time that the Congolese will choose their leader by universal suffrage. As the voting date approaches, people are getting increasingly worried about what will happen after the election results are announced in early December. Will the candidates accept the outcome? Will their supporters? These questions are especially important for Congo’s restive East ...
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