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Minorities At Risk Project: Home    

Chronology for Tutsis in the Dem. Rep. of the Congo

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Date(s) Item
1908 In response to growing criticism of the treatment of the African population, the Belgian parliament annexes the Belgian Congo.
1941 - 1960 Production of goods and minerals is greatly increased to finance Belgian efforts in World War II. Large-scale social and economic changes occur as many rural Africans relocate to urban areas. Demands for political reforms grow. Many Banyarwanda are brought into the Kivu region by Belgians to work the fertile soil. Other Banyarwanda had been in Congo already since the arbitrary drawing up of borders by the colonial powers did not take into account traditional ethnic divisions.
1951 - 1960 Calls for the independence of Katanga grow. The separatist party Conakat (Confederation of Katangan Associations) is established and headed by Moise Tshombe. More Banyarwanda migrate to the Kivu region from Rwanda to escape ethnic fighting which began in 1959.
1952 - 1958 Legal reforms are enacted permitting Africans to own land and giving them some political participation.
1956 Alliance of the Kongo People (Abako), headed by Joseph Kasavubu, issues a manifesto calling for immediate independence.
Jan 1959 Belgians disperse a crowd of Abako supporters at a political meeting. Widespread rioting results. Belgium recognizes the total independence of Congo as its main goal.
Jul 1959 The MNC (Congolese National Movement) which had emerged as an important actor in the independence movement splits into two camps. One faction is led by Patrice Lumumba who is Tetela, an ethnic group of Kasai province. This faction, known as MNC-Lumumba is largely supported by the Lulua ethnic group in Kasai. The other faction was headed by Joseph Ileo, Cyrille Adoula, and Albert Kalonji, a Luba-Kasai. This moderate wing, known as MNC-Kalonji, drew support from the Luba-Kasai.
May 1960 In national legislative elections, MNC-Lumumba wins the largest number of votes. The Belgian authorities name Lumumba prime minister.
Jun 1960 Abako leader Kasavubu is elected president. Congo (then Congo) becomes independent from Belgium.
Jul 1960 Moise Tshombe declares the region of Katanga, later Shaba, independent. This independence bid was backed by Belgian interests as the Shaba region is rich in minerals.
Aug 8, 1960 South Kasai, headed by Albert Kalonji, secedes. Lumumba used military forces loyal to him to launch a major offensive against both Katanga and Kasai secessionists.
Sep 1960 The president and prime minister formally break and fire each other from their posts. Mobutu Sese Seko, chief of staff of the military, steps in and assumes power while keeping Kasavubu as nominal president. The country is run by the "College of Commissioners." At this point, the country is divided into four sections. The moderate government controls the Western third and is headquartered at Leopoldville. Katanga and Kasai regions are autonomous. The fourth section, the Eastern third, is headquartered at Stanleyville and is led by Gizenga who sets up a radical opposition government, and Lumumbu (who is assassinated before he can reach Stanleyville). This rival government, which includes the Kivu territory, is recognized by several African and East European government, but the U.N. recognizes Mobutu's government.
Jan 17, 1961 Lumumba is assassinated.
Feb 1961 College of Commissioners is dissolved and a provisional government is formed, headed by Ileo. Adoula is named prime minister in August.
Jan 1963 The Katanga (Shaba) region is reintegrated into Congo. Tshombe is arrested and sent into exile.
Jan 1964 Rebellion breaks out in Kwilu area around Kikwit. This rebellion is headed by Pierre Muele. Firm control over the entire country by the central government had not be accomplished since independence.
May 1964 A second rebellion led by Gaston Soumialot begins in the east and spreads rapidly. Soumialot was able to recruit thousands of supporters in eastern Kivu and he had the open support of the government in Burundi. As the rebel movement spread, thousands of Congolese (Congolese) were executed. At its peak in September, the rebel movement controlled almost half of Congo and seven of twenty-one local capitals were in rebel hands.
Jul 1 - 30, 1964 Tshombe is recalled from exile and replaces Adoula as prime minister. He is largely responsible for putting down the eastern rebellion.
Dec 1964 The eastern rebellion is put down and Soumialot is sent into exile. Corruption, administrative inefficiency and ethnic favoritism were major handicaps for the rebel leaders, and no functioning rebel government could be established.
Nov 1965 Mobutu Sese Seko seizes power in a military coup after the government is paralyzed due to rivalry between Tshombe and Kasavubu. Mobutu names himself president.
Dec 1965 The rebellion in Kwilu ends. Muele goes into exile. In 1968 he returns under a general amnesty but is executed.
Apr 17, 1967 Mobutu creates the MPR (Popular Revolutionary Party) which became the sole legitimate vehicle for participating in the political sphere.
Oct 1971 The country's name is changed to Congo. Under Mobutu's policy of "authenticity," all colonial or Christian names, public and private, were to change to Congoan ones. Mobutu tried to create a nationalism based on loyalty to the state rather than loyalties to specific regions. He tried to downplay ethnic differences and loyalties, but rivalries remained.
Jan 1972 Banyarwanda people granted citizenship by Mobutu government.
Aug 1974 The 1967 constitution is revised making the MPR synonymous with the state.
Jan 1981 MPR National Assembly approved legislation withdrawing citizenship from immigrant ethnic groups like the Banyarwanda. The legislation never becomes law, but it is the general practice. Banyarwanda have no representation and no voting rights. They are forced to pay local Hunde chiefs additional taxes.
1982 - 1981 Etienne Tshisekedi co-founds the UDPS (Union for Democracy and Social Progress) opposition party. It is an outlawed organization.
Apr 1990 Mobutu announces he will allow multi-party elections the following year. Three key opposition leaders are Etienne Tshisekedi, Jean Nguz Karl-i-Bond and Gabriel Kyungu wa Kumwanza. The latter two joined forces in UFERI (Union of Federalists and Independent Republicans).
1991 Authorities set up a commission to identify "non-Congolese" in the regions of North and South Kivu and Maniema. Independent human rights organizations fear the commission is biased against the Banyarwanda and that its actions constituted a witch hunt.
Nov 1991 Karl-i-Bond and Kyungu broke ranks with the opposition and allied themselves with Mobutu. Karl-i-Bond is named Prime Minister and Kyungu becomes governor of Shaba.
Aug 15, 1992 Etienne Tshisekedi replaces Karl-i-Bond as Prime Minister. Mobutu attempts to fire him one week after he is appointed. Riots break out in Kinshasa when soldiers protest and loot stores over a failed pay raise.
Dec 1992 France, Belgium, U.S. issue statements of support for the Tshisekedi government.
Mar 1993 Mobutu dismisses Tshisekedi for a second time and names Faustin Birindwa prime minister of the so-called "government of national salvation." Congo effectively has two rival governments.
Mar 20, 1993 Ethnic massacres begin in Kivu Province. In the village of Mtutu, members of the Hunde and Nyanga ethnic groups slaughter Banyarwanda (Hutus or Tutsis who are considered non-Congolese despite the fact that many have been in Congo since modern its borders were drawn). The Banyarwanda had recently been agitating for more rights (voting and representation) and had been refusing to pay taxes and show loyalty to local leaders of the Hunde ethnic group. Reports suggest that the governor of Kivu, Jean-Pierre Kalumbo Mbogho, had made public speeches only days before the massacre calling into question the nationality of the Banyarwanda. He reportedly promised that security forces would aid the Hunde and Nyanga in "exterminating" the Banyarwanda. He also reportedly banned a Banyarwanda organization which encouraged its supporters to reject Hunde chiefs' authority. Banyarwanda responded to the killings by a round of bloodletting against the Hunde. Some 14,000 people were killed between March and July 1993 in the area. (U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, Integrated Regional Information Network (IRIN), 9/10/97)
Apr 23, 1993 Fighting breaks out in the farming communities of Masis and Walikale in the northern Kivu region.
Jul 1993 Mobutu travels to Goma promising Banyarwanda citizenship and voting rights. He also sacked the provincial governor of Kivu. Sources suggest that Mobutu is secretly encouraging the ethnic conflict in an attempt to undermine the opposition and strengthen his own argument that a strong central government is needed to hold the country together. Mobutu feels he is the only person capable of accomplishing this.
Aug 1993 Moto Mupenda is named interim governor of Kivu. Banyarwanda are accused of gunrunning into Rwanda.
Oct 1993 In five months of fighting in Kivu, 3000 are estimated dead and 6000 displaced. The majority of these are Banyarwanda. Additional tension has been caused by the recent influx of refugees fleeing the Rwandan civil war. Most of these refugees are in camps near Goma, but some went into the hills joining forces with the Banyarwanda against the Hunde. There is strong evidence that the Congoan security forces have provided both sides of the conflict with weapons.
Dec 1993 Karl-i-Bond and Governor Kyungu declare the Shaba region autonomous.
Jan 1994 Aid workers now claim tribal warfare between the Hunde and Banyarwanda has resulted in over 10,000 deaths and over 250,000 displaced persons.
Apr 1994 The Sacred Union of Radical Opposition (a coalition of opposition parties) announces that it has founded an army. It's mission is to topple the Mobutu regime.
Jun 1994 Kengo Wa Dondo is appointed prime minister by Mobutu. Etienne Tshisekedi has maintained that he is the only true prime minister since his appointment in 1991 by the national council.
Jul 1994 Two assassination attempts on Tshisekedi's life are made by the private militia of Mobutu.
Jul 1 - Aug 31, 1994 Eastern Congo experienced an influx of refugees fleeing the aftermath of the genocide in Rwanda. Most of the refugees are Rwandan Hutus and include members of the Interahamwe militia which participated in the genocide.
Nov 1994 Since late September, local Hunde tribesmen and Hutu villagers have been raiding each others villages, looting, stealing cattle, and setting fire to huts. Reports claim 250 villagers died and 32,500 (22,700 Hutus, 9700 Hunde) fled in the Masisi region.
Dec 1994 With the influx of refugees to the region, ethnic tensions continued in Kivu. Prior to the influx of refugees, there had been no reports of tensions between Congolese Hutus and Tutsis, collectively known as the Banyarwanda. Two non-Banyarwandan groups, the Unde and Nandes, were also in conflict. They had lived in harmony until the increased insecurity arose with the arrival of Rwandan refugees. The Nandes have a history of being ill-treated with the complicity of the judicial authorities.
Mar 1995 The United Nations condemns human rights violations in Congo and notes the worsening of ethnic clashes in Kivu region.
Feb 1996 Congolese Tutsis fled to Nkamira Rwanda from North Kivu province, Congo. They reported that they had been attacked by Interahamwe, Congoan armed forces, and local Bahunde groups. Many of the Tutsis had lived in North Kivu for generations. Before the Belgians arrived in the late 19th century, North Kivu as well as parts of Uganda were part of the Rwandan kingdom. (Inter Press Service (IPS), 2/16/1996)
Mar 1996 According the UNHCR, government ministers in Kivu region began actively advocating ethnic cleansing against the Congolese Tutsis (Banyamulenge) in March. Congoan government forces have sided with the Interahamwe, extremist Hutus who fled RPA (Rwandan Patriotic Army) forces in Rwanda after the Hutus killed up to one million Tutsis in 1994, and are even reported to take payments from them to participate in attacks on the Banyamulenge. Official sources in Rwanda said that between the last week in March and April 2nd, more than 2600 Congolese Tutsis fled to the Rwandan border town of Gisenyi, joining over a thousand who had already fled since January. The refugees came from the district of Masisi in eastern Congo. (IPS, 4/4/1996)
May 1996 Up to 750 people were reportedly massacred by Hutu militias at a monastery in Mikoto, near Goma. Rwandan Hutus have reportedly massacred not only Banyamulenge in Congo, but also "indigenous" Congolese who have formed the Bangilima militia to fight the Hutus and Banyarwanda in general. Hundreds of Congolese Tutsis fled to neighboring Uganda to escape attacks by "bangilima" militiamen. Close to 10,000 Tutsis have fled since the beginning of the year. The Bangilima is reportedly composed of Bahunde (Hunde), Batembo (Tembo), Banande (Nande), Banyanya (Nyanya), and Bakobo (Kobo) ethnic groups. The relief organization Doctors Without Borders reported that 100 Tutsis were killed in North Kivu in mid-May by unidentified attackers and two villages containing 3000 others were surrounded and likely to be killed without international intervention. (IPS, 5/23/1996; 5/29/1996)
Jul 31, 1996 Two human rights groups reported that the Congoan government had done virtually nothing to stop attacks in North Kivu by Hutu and Hunde militias against ethnic Tutsis (Banyamulenge). Before the Rwandan genocide and resultant refugee flow into Congo, there had not been reports of fighting between Tutsis and Hutus. Prior to the arrival of Hutu extremists, the fighting pitted Hunde, Nyanga and Nande ethnic groups against the Banyarwanda as a whole. In July-August 1994, about 720,000 Hutu refugees arrived in North Kivu. Their arrival destroyed the Banyarwanda alliance in the Province and spurred an escalation of the violence. Banyamulenge have been virtually eliminated from Masisi and Hutu have been expelled from Walikale, Lubero, and Rutshuru.
Sep 13 - 15, 1996 Killings around the town of Uvira the weekend of 13 September have left about 50 people dead. The victims were Banyamulenge and Congoan troops were said to have taken part in the massacres. Humanitarian agencies were unable to confirm the numbers killed because Congoan troops had sealed off the region. (IPS, 9/16/96)
Oct 7, 1996 The deputy governor of South Kivu, Lwasi Ngabo Lwabanji, told ethnic Tutsis to leave Congo. For months, the Banyamulenge and the army have been at odds. Ethnic Tutsis and Hutus in Congo have been denied citizenship rights and have long been resented by other Congolese who consider themselves to be "native" to Congo. The tension between the Banyarwanda and other Congolese in the east was exacerbated by the arrival of Rwandan and Burundian refugees beginning in 1994. The warning by Lwabanji sparked a revolt by the community, and Banyarwanda in North Kivu also began fighting the Congoan government. The rebellion in the east encouraged opposition groups, separatists and pro-democracy activists throughout Congo. Laurent Kabila joined the Banyamulenge in their fight against Mobutu, and eventually took over the rebellion. Their forces is called the Alliance of Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Congo-Congo. Kabila had a long history as a rebel beginning as a youth leader in a political party allied with Patrice Lumumba. He headed a Marxist organization, the People's Revolutionary Party, from 1964 to the early 1980s during which time he ruled an enclave among the Bembe people in eastern Kivu Province. He then lived in Dar es Salaam as a businessman before returning to Congo in 1996. The Congoan government accused the Rwandan government of arming the Tutsi ethnic group in eastern Congo, the Rwandans denied the charge. Unconfirmed reports suggested that Banyamulenge soldiers in Mobutu's army were deserting to join their ethnic kin in the Mitumba Mountains, a Banyamulenge stronghold. (IPS, 10/16/96)
Oct 12, 1996 At least 50 villagers were killed in Goma and 9000 fled. An armed group of "indigenous" Congolese, the Ingilima, were said to be responsible. Most of those who fled were long-resident Hutu farmers. The Ingilima are opposed to all Banyarwanda, who make up the majority in Goma and other regions in Kivu, in Congo. They fear losing political power and land to the Banyarwanda, especially after the influx of refugees arrived in 1994.
Oct 24, 1996 The Alliance of Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Congo-Congo, rebel forces led by Laurent Kabila, seized Uvira on Lake Tanganyika. At least 300 Banyamulenge were reportedly murdered in a spate of incidents in recent weeks in Kivu near Uvira.
Oct 28, 1996 Muller Ruhimbika, an exiled Banyamulenge leader of the Democratic Alliance for the People, said opposition groups based in Shaba and Kasai provinces supported the Tutsi rebels and were fighting for the ouster of Mobutu. Three hundred thousand people, mostly Hutu refugees, have been displaced by the recent rebel offensive. The Congoan army has suffered a string of defeats in South Kivu. As news of the conflict spread to Kinshasa, mobs plundered the homes and businesses of Banyamulenge as well as Rwandan nationals who had fled over the past three decades.
Oct 30, 1996 Kabila's forces seized Bukavu, the capital of South Kivu Province.
Nov 1, 1996 Rebels and Rwandan soldiers captured Goma. About 500 people were killed in battles. The majority of those fleeing the fighting in the East are heading into the interior of Congo while others are crossing into Tanzania. Zambia has reported the arrival of more than one thousand Rwandan refugees while Uganda reported tens of thousands have been arriving. There are also about 145,000 Sudanese refugees in Congo who may return to Sudan to escape the fighting. Kabila has announced that he believes the solution to the refugee crisis in Congo is to have all refugees return to their native lands.
Nov 14, 1996 Kabila's forces bombed Mugunga refugee camp. Hutu refugees from Mugunga and other camps fled. Up to 700,000 returned to Rwanda and others fled west into the interior. Some of the refugees in Congo were believed to be hard line Hutus who had perpetrated the massacre of the Tutsis in Rwanda in 1994.
Dec 1996 The Alliance of Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Congo-Congo (ADFL) controlled most of eastern Congo. It is made up of four political forces with a history of opposition to Mobutu's government as well as the Banyamulenge. It was reported that the Banyamulenge were outnumbered six-to-one by other Congoan ethnic groups in the alliance. Besides being opposed by Congoan government forces, the rebel alliance is also opposed by Congoan militias, the Bangilima and Mai-Mai who have long been opposed to the presence of all Banyarwanda in Congo. The Rwandan Patriotic Army, which took over Rwanda after the 1994 genocide, and the Ugandan army were reportedly backing the rebels. (Reuters, 12/3/96)
Dec 17, 1996 Mobutu flew home to Congo after undergoing treatment for cancer in France. He appointed a new armed forces chief and reshuffled his cabinet in order to launch a counter-offensive against the rebels.
Jan 20, 1997 The government launched an offensive against Kabila's forces even as they advanced on mineral-rich Shaba region.
Mar 7, 1997 Hundreds of soldiers seized opposition strongholds in Kinshasa after dispersing opposition militias trying to gather for a march against Mobutu. The Secretary-General of UDPS, Adrien Phongo, was beaten and arrested.
Mar 15, 1997 Kisangani, Congo's third largest city, falls to rebel troops.
Mar 23, 1997 Human rights organizations report that Hutu refugees are being massacred in the East by Kabila's forces. Kabila troops are dominated by Tutsis from Rwanda and he is receiving military and other support from Angola, Rwanda, and Uganda.
Apr 2, 1997 Etienne Tshisekedi is named Prime Minister after Kengo wa Dondo is forced out of office. Tshisekedi names his own government and offers to negotiate with Kabila. The offer is refused and Mobutu sacks Tshisekedi after a week.
Apr 5, 1997 The town of Mbuji-Mayi in Kasai Province falls to rebel forces. It is the diamond mining center of Congo and home of opposition leader Etienne Tshisekedi, a Baluba. Laurent Kabila is also a Baluba, but from neighboring Shaba Province. Both Shaba and Kasai have been operating as de facto autonomous states in recent years.
Apr 8, 1997 Mobutu declares a state of emergency over all of Congo. Tshisekedi's supporters clashed with security forces for two days when it became apparent that he would be dropped as Prime Minister.
Apr 9, 1997 Rebels capture Lubumbashi, the capital of Shaba province. It is the second-largest city in Congo in a region rich in minerals. General Likulia Bolong is named Prime Minister replacing Etienne Tshisekedi.
Apr 14, 1997 Tshisekedi supporters in Kinshasa close down the capital for two days in protest over Tshisekedi's ouster as Prime Minister.
Apr 27, 1997 Kabila gives the United Nations 60 days to repatriate hundreds of thousands of Hutus, many of whose whereabouts are unknown having fled into the interior of Congo with the advance of Kabila's rebels. Relief agencies begin airlifting Hutu refugees back to Rwanda shortly after Kabila makes his announcement.
May 1997 Soldiers put down a peaceful demonstration in Uvira, 90 miles south of Bukavu, South Kivu's capital. Some 20 protesters were killed.
May 13, 1997 A night-time curfew was declared in Kinshasa.
May 16, 1997 After it has become apparent that he has no choice but to give up power, Mobutu left Kinshasa for his northern palace at Gbadolite after which he is expected to leave Congo. South Africa had been attempting to mediate between Kabila and Mobutu, but after several attempts, it was clear that Kabila held the upper hand and Mobutu had no leverage over the take-over of his country.
May 17, 1997 Kabila declared himself president and took office on the 29th. He also changed the name of Congo to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), also known as Congo-Kinshasa.
May 23, 1997 Kabila announced some members of his transitional government. The post of Prime Minister, which opposition leaders had hoped would go to Etienne Tshisekedi who has extensive popular support in Kinshasa and Kasai Province, was abolished. Tshisekedi was excluded from Kabila's government.
Jul 8, 1997 Reports have surfaced that in the first weeks of the rebellion begun in October 1996, more than 9000 people, mostly civilians, were killed. There were systematic killings of Hutu refugees in Mbandaka, Kisingani, Goma, and Bukavu. A Senior Tutsi official in Congo's Interior Ministry said that Rwandan and Congolese Tutsi troops were given a free hand to go after Hutu refugees so long as they also contributed to the overthrow of Mobutu. Rebel officers who opposed this policy were reportedly killed. Western diplomats said Kabila did not participate in much of the planning or execution of the rebellion.
Jul 12, 1997 A United Nations report into the massacres of Rwandan refugees in Congo during the rebellion stated they were so massive and systematic that they can be considered crimes against humanity and possibly genocide. Investigators, who have been hampered in their investigation efforts by Kabila's government, said they received reports on 134 alleged massacres committed by Kabila's ADFL and Banyamulenge militias.
Aug 1997 The Democratic Resistance Alliance was established in eastern DRC with the stated aim of "liberating" the area. The new movement is made up largely of Bembe and is led by Celestin Anzaluni Bemba, a local politician known for his anti-Tutsi sentiments. It is reportedly based in Tanzania. Non-Banyarwandan ethnic groups in eastern Congo have resented the privileged position the Congolese Tutsis played in the rebellion that ousted Mobutu and want all Banyamulenge out of the country. (U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, Integrated Regional Information Network (IRIN), 9/10/97)
Aug 1997 A DRC journalist said that troops, either Tutsis from the DRC or Rwanda, raided Masisi and killed up to 200 people in retaliation for an attack on Tutsi soldiers by Mai-Mai guerrillas. Athorities in the area confirmed 48 people were killed, but other sources put the number of dead at up to 200.
Aug 13, 1997 35,000 refugees in Tanzania's Lugufu camp are divided between supporters and opponents of returning to the DRC. The Babembe are the majority in the camp which was set up in February. Most are refusing to return to their homes because they fought against Kabila's rebellion. Ethnic tensions between the Bembe and Banyamulenge continues in eastern Congo.
Aug 27, 1997 The World Food Program has given seeds to farmers in the Kivu regions stating that the food supply situation was still critical in the area. The WFP estimated the remaining Rwandan refugees in Congo at more than 20,000 and added that 190,000 Congolese were internally displaced. The United Nations continued to list 200,000 Rwandan Hutu refugees as missing in the eastern region of Congo
Sep 5, 1997 The Association for the Defense of Human Rights in the DRC said about 2000 civilians were massacred in July when Kabila's forces and Rwandan troops avenged attacks by Mai-Mai guerrillas. The Mai-Mai had killed 162 troops in the Masisi area. The Mai-Mai are from the Hunde, Nyanga, Tembo and Kumu ethnic groups and have been fighting against the presence of Tutsis in both North and South Kivu. Kabila's government has set up a commission of inquiry to which aims to end the political and ethnic troubles in the region. The Masisi area has long been the scene of conflict between the Banyarwanda and "autochtones" or "native" Congolese (Congolese). In 1993, approximately 14,000 Banyarwanda were killed in ethnic violence, and after the influx of Rwandan refugees into the region in mid-1994, ethnic Tutsis became the main targets of ethnic violence in Masisi and eastern Congo in general. (U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, Integrated Regional Information Network (IRIN), 9/10/97)
Sep 7, 1997 Mobutu Sese Seko died of cancer in exile in Morocco.
Sep 18, 1997 More than 100 people were believed to have been killed in renewed violence in the Masisi area. Congolese Tutsis were the main victims. An organization called MAGRIVI, the Mutual Association of the Agriculturalists of the Virunga, was blamed for the deaths. The alliance, made up of Hutu farmers and Mai-Mai militias targeted Tutsi residents and military personnel. The human rights organization Azadho said that since July, more than 2000 people have been killed in Kivu. Last week, 7-8000 Tutsi civilians fled Masisi saying that Hutu rebels made daily attacks against them. The Interahamwe have been based in Masisi. In South Kivu, a similar movement has formed within the Babende ethnic group. It is led by Charles Simba, a one-time ally of Kabila, and has been harassing and ambushing Kabila's Tutsi forces. The Council for National Resistance and Liberation accused Rwandan Tutsis of massacring over 2000 Congolese, mainly Bemba, in the region between Fizi and Kalemia in early September. Spokesman Henri Njila also stated that many groups in the east, including Babembe, Bafulero, Wanynaga, Bahunde, Bashi and Hutu, have begun to rebel against Kabila. Both Rwandan Hutus and people from other ethnic groups suspected of being sympathetic to Hutus have been killed in massacres in the east.
Sep 22, 1997 Authorities in Kivu said it is now under control of government security forces. Press sources said about 100 Mai-Mai fighters were executed a few kilometers from Goma. Since July, there have been clashes in the area between Mai-Main militiamen and Kabila's forces. Major roads linkind Bukavu to the rest of the world have frequently been ambushed and insecurity in reigned in the area in recent months. The Mai-Mai have been waging a rebellion against what they see is foreign domination by Tutsis.
Sep 23, 1997 Ethnic rivalries flared in the east after the recall of Tutsi soldiers to Rwanda. After their departure, about 7000 ethnic Tutsis in the DRC felt they had lost their protection and fled to Goma. Three thousand fled to the Mudende refugee camp in northwestern Rwanda joining 7500 Masisi Tutsis already there. Non-Tutsi Congolese in the east are increasingly resentful of the improved status of the Tutsis. Tensions are so high in the region that there are rumors of a Rwandan invasion.
Sep 26, 1997 More than 800 former Rwandan army troops and members of the Interahamwe have surrendered to military authorities in the DRC. They had fought alongside governmental troops during the ADFL rebellion. There were no plans to repatriate them to Rwanda.
Oct 3, 1997 About 3000 Mai-Mai militiamen have surrendered to the North Kivu authorities. They will be integrated into the new national armed forces currently undergoing reconstruction. The DRC closed the frontier with Rwanda and said it was expelling all refugees. Interior Minister Mwenze Kongolo confirmed that the UNHCR would suspend its work in the east following the repatriation of all refugees.
Oct 14, 1997 Fighting continued in eastern DRC and neighboring regions of Rwanda and Burundi between Tutsis and Hutus. In the DRC, there is also fighting between Banyamulenge and Bantu groups. Since Kabila's victory, the Banyamulenge have become more and more dominant in local administrations and in the army causing resentment from other ethnic groups. Fighting in western Rwanda, including an attack mounted against the border town of Gisenyi by 1000 rebels based in the DRC, has increased. More than 4000 people, many of them civilians, have been killed in the past five months. In the Masis area of eastern Congo, Mai-Mai militias continue to fight Kabila's Tutsi soldiers, and in the Fizi area a Babende rebel group led by Charles Simba, a one-time ally of Kabila's, continues to ambush Tutsi soldiers.
Oct 29, 1997 The United Nations team attempting to investigate the alleged massacres of Hutu refugees during the civil war and Kabila's government came to an agreement about how to proceed with the investigations. Details of the agreement included that the government will guarantee to the best of its ability the team's security; the U.N. Mission would cover all areas it deemed necessary to help it conduct its investigation; the report would be limited to "global statements of facts" related to allegations of human rights abuses; the team undertakes not to interfere in the DRC's internal affairs; and the time period of the mandate is 1 March 1993-31 December 1997. The mission is to be completed by 28 February 1997.
Oct 30, 1997 Rwandan Vice President and Defense Minister Paul Kagame has refuted allegations that the Rwandan army took part in the massacre of refugees in the DRC. He stated that all casaulties were a result of the war and not deliberate killing sprees.
Dec 11, 1997 Five hundred Mai Mai guerrillas and Rwandan Hutus attacked the town of Bukavu, DCR before crossing the boarder into Rwanda to attack the town of Cyangugu. Anti-Tutsi sentiment has been on the rise in Eastern DRC in recent months. The local Congolese (autochtones) resent the Tutsis' presence in Kabila's military and their holding of certain political offices in Eastern DRC, especially North and South Kivu. An anti-Kabila insurgency movement includes thousands of Mai Mai warriors, Rwandan Hutus, and former army members under Mobutu. Rwandan soldiers are fighting on the side of Kabila's army. Rwandan officials say their soldiers are in Congo to offset the presence of thousands of Hutu extremists operating in the country.
Feb 20, 1998 Jean Bosco Muchuma, representative of the human rights group Heirs of Justice, has stated that Laurent Kabila is a dictator just like his predecessor Mobutu. Both men used repression to quash all opposition to their regimes.
Mar 10, 1998 The BBC obtained a copy of an Eastern DRC radio broadcast, in Swahili, that was transmitted 11 December 1997. The "Voice of the Patriot," radio of the Union of Forces for Liberation and Democracy, broadcast for several hours on the night of 11 December urging "true" Congolese to do all in their power to oust Tutsis from the country. The following are excerpts from the broadcast: • We have been telling you since yesterday that we have an enemy whom you know very well. However, we would like to remind you that the enemy is gearing up to harm you...These Tutsi killers who invaded our country continue to prepare themselves to plant their flags on both sides so that Bukavu town can become theirs...; • You know the cunning of those people, they claim to be Congolese. First of all, the Banyamulenge tribe does not exist here. We have a map of the tribes but there is no Banyamulenge tribe on that map. They come with guns, they kill us, and after killing us they call upon us, the survivors, to accept them as Congolese. Who are they that we should accept them?...; • We urge you citizens, if you see our soldiers, give them food. If you see a Hutu soldier, give him food. These Hutus have suffered a lot. And, these Hutus are our brothers. Let no one deceive you that a Hutu is a Tutsi...But these stupid people [Tutsis], these lazy people, we have accommodated them since 1958 when they arrived here. They were our servants. Today they have turned against us saying that the country has become theirs...; • Aren't you aware that the AFDL [Kabila's army] set up an occupation army...We are living under foreign occupation...But the Congoan people should not be worried since we, the UFLD, are already well-organized. We shall totally liberate ourselves from the occupation...; • The UFLD also claimed white mercenaries had joined the national army and were fighting Hutus, and that Tutsis originate from Ethiopia, Eritrea, and Somalia and should be sent back there. It claimed that it represents the Bantu people, including Bashi, Balega, Tembo, BaHutu, Banande, Bafulero, and Babembe.
Mar 11, 1998 Most of the 40,000 Bembe who fled Fizi on the western edge of Lake Tanganika remain in refugee camps in Tanzaniza. They are afraid to return home because of continued ethnic fighting in the region. Six different rebel groups, including the Interahamwe, are said to be making their bases in Eastern DRC.
May 13, 1998 Kabila, in an interview with the BBC, stated that "as far as we are concerned, the Banyamulenges that we know, and who have always lived with us, are fully-fledged Congolese, otherwise one cannot explain their presence in Mobutu's army for years and years--why did they vote during all these years if they were not Congolese." No mention was made of Congolese Hutus.
May 15, 1998 The African Association for the Defense of Human Rights in Congo-Kinshasa released a statement on the first year of Kabila's government. Among other criticisms of the regime, the ASADHO reported that ethnic tensions are exacerbated, particularly in North and South Kivu where anti-Tutsi sentiment is very high. It also reported that arbitrary arrests are high, that the national police and army have virtually no limits in their authority, that more journalists and human rights activists have been jailed than in seven years under Mobutu, and that there is little due process of law. (Africa Policy Information Center (APIC), 5/15/1998)
Aug 1998 The Congolese Movement for Democracy (CDM) (also known as the Congolese Rally for Democracy (RCD)) broke away from the governing ADFL and is threatening the capital Kinshasa. The rebel force consists mainly of Banyamulenge from eastern Congo and troops of the Rwandan and Ugandan armies. Kabila's forces now consist of former Congoan troops from his home region Katanga and South Kasai as well as a smattering of UNITA (National Union for the Total Independence of Angola) rebels from Angola. (Deutsche Presse-Agentur (DPA), 8/16/98)
Sep 5, 1998 The Catholic News Agency reported that at least 600 ethnic Hutus had been massacred since August 24th around Kasika. The remnants of Rwandan refugees were reportedly killed by Tutsi rebels (DPA). The UN report on refugee deaths in Congo, released in July, gave no figures for refugees killed during 1996-97, but UN rapporture Roberto Garreton in April said that some 150-180,000 unarmed Hutu refugees were massacred. (BBC, 7/2/98).
Sep 27, 1998 The Brussels-based European Network for Congo (REC) reported that civilians in eastern DRC, especially South Kivu, were being abused by members of the Congolese Democratic Movement, Mai-Mai militiamen and Interahamwe forces. Food and medicine in the eastern regions have been plundered by rebels and militias, while civilians have been killed or abducted. The CDM and Congolese army reportedly have committed mass killings. (IPS)
Sep 29, 1998 Hundreds of Hutu rebels from Rwanda living in the Republic of Congo (Brazzaville), mostly Interahamwe and ex-FAR, have been recruited by the DRC government to fight rebels in the east. Republic of Congo representative Jean Claude Gakosso said that his government was not involved and that it objects to the practice. Other refugees in Congo-Brazzaville said that refugees had not been recruited by the DRC government. (IPS)
Nov 1998 A new rebel group, the Movement for the Liberation of Congo (MLC) was reported in Equateur province. Its leader is former Mobutu ally businessman Jean-Pierre Bemba. Rwandan Vice-President Paul Kagame admitted that Rwandan troops were in Congo aiding the rebels. He said security concerns led to Rwandan intervention in the conflict. (IRIN, 6/9/99) Kabila protested a UN report that accused his government of massive human rights violations. The report accused the government of inciting ethnic hatred against the Tutsis. (IPS, 11/4/98)
Dec 1998 Ugandan president Museveni and DRC president Kabila met separately with Libyian leader Gaddafi. They signed a peace agreement in April in Sirte under Gaddafi's auspices, but the DRC rebels and Rwandan government refused to be bound by the agreement. (IRIN, 6/9/99)
Jan 1999 Rwanda, Uganda, Namibia and Zimbabwe agreed to a ceasefire in Windhoek, Namibia. The RDC was not invited to the meeting, but promised to review the agreement. Wamba dia Wamba's faction of the RDC restructured itself in late January and non-Tutsi members began questioning the dominance of the movement by Tutsis. Arthur Z'Ahidi Ngoma later resigned as deputy chairman. (IRIN, 6/9/99)
Mar 22, 1999 The SADC (Southern African Development Community) reaffirmed its support for Congolese President Kabila, but also expressed concern over the continuing destabilization of the region. (IRIN, 6/9/99)
Apr 20, 1999 Kabila announced the dissolution of the ADFL accusing some members of "opportunism" and "self-enrichment" (IRIN, 6/9/99)
May 4, 1999 The presidents of Uganda, Rwanda and Tanzania met to discuss the growing rift between Ugandan and Rwandan backed military campaigns in DRC. (IRIN, 6/9/99)
May 16, 1999 Divisions within the RCD escalated with Wamba dia Wamba being ousted and Emile Ilungu announced as his replacement. Uganda backs dia Wamba's leadership while Rwanda backs Ilungu's leadership. (IRIN, 6/9/99)
May 28, 1999 Chadian troops that had been backing Kabila's government against rebels in eastern DRC began withdrawing. Some 2000 Chadians pulled out of the country into Central African Republic on their way back to Chad. They had been employed mainly in former ruler Mobutu's home region of Gbadolite. Meanwhile, the DRC government invited the rebel movement leaders, including both ousted leader Ernest Wamba dia Wamba and new leader Emile Ilunga to participate in national dialogue on the conflict. (IRIN) The Central Bank announced that DRC's currencies, the Congo and new Congo, would no longer be accepted as legal tender from June 30th . Only the Congolese franc would be accepted thereafter. (IRIN)
Jun 2, 1999 Rwanda, Uganda and Tanzania met in Dar es Salaam to discuss the DRC conflict. Meanwhile, members of the SADC met in Lusaka to try to secure a multilateral ceasefire to the conflict. Fighting between Mai-Mai and rebels in South Kivu has led to an influx of over 4800 refugees to Tanzania since May 25th. (IRIN)
Jun 3, 1999 The RCD issued a statement clarifying the recent changes in the movement. It said that Ernest Wamba dia Wamba was removed by a 66 member convocation of the movement's founders because of a "series of crises" brought about by his leadership style. The statement said the movement had reorganized itself so that structures were more efficient, adaptable and less personalized. There now exists a Congress, Council, and Executive, with the latter two headed by Emile Ilunga, the new RCD leader. Meanwhile, the RCD "Assembly" based in Kisangani issued a statement recognizing dia Wamba as its leader. (IRIN) A refugee camp in Tanzania currently housing 50,000 Congolese refugees has reached capacity and Red Cross workers has expressed concern that more refugees are on the way. (IRIN)
Jun 15, 1999 The RCD claimed to have captured the strategic port town of Lusambo in their advance on Mbuji-Mayi. (IRIN)
Jun 17, 1999 In its annual report, Amnesty International said that tjpisamds pf [ep[;e jad neem extrajudicially executed in the DRC, particularly in North and South Kivu provinces, scored of people were sentenced to death after unfair trials, and human rights activists suffered torture. (IRIN)
Jun 22, 1999 Talks on mediating the Congo conflict were scheduled to take place in Lusaka, Zambia. The Lusaka peace talks were initiated by the SADC summit in September 1998 in Mauritius, however the summit of heads of state originally scheduled for December 1998 has been postponed numerous times. Committees under the Lusaka process have drafted "modalities" for the implementation of an eventual ceasefire agreement and the heads of state meeting is to take place this month. However, there is still disagreement over the participation of the rebels in the negotiations. (IRIN) The total number of internally-displaced people (IDP) in the DRC is estimated to be 660,000, according to the Office of the UN Humanitarian Coordinator. Those provinces with the highest number of IDPs are South Kivu and Katanga. (IRIN)
Jun 30, 1999 NGOs and others reported that inter-ethnic conflict in the rebel-held zones of DRC are a growing concern. Theo Mpabuka, RCD conflict resolution department head, said that local conflict were an ongoing and destabilizing factor in the region. He said the biggest problem was that posed by the Mai-Mai warriors "who have no clear objective" but who recruit youths under the guise of ethnic solidarity. The Mai-Mai are currently concentrated in the south around Fizi and Baraka. After having lost some of their support base in North Kivu, the Mai-Mai, who target Tutsis, the Rwandan army, and, when they need supplies, random civilians, moved further south. (IRIN) The Rwandan government has reportedly been making progress in convincing Interahamwe fighting in the DRC to give up their arms, return to Rwanda, and undergo re-education. (IRIN) Burundian rebels of the Force for the Defence of Democracy (FDD) are also fighting on the side of Kabila's troops in parts of South Kivu and Katanga. Despite denials from the Bujumbura, the Burundian government is believed to have sent its troops into DRC to combat the FDD forces. (IRIN) Ethnic clashes between Lendu and Hema tribesmen reportedly took place in early June in the Ituri district, Province Orientale. Sources said RCD and Congolese soldiers were also involved in the violence. The two groups have fought several times since the 1960s over land use (IRIN, 7/1/99)
Jul 1, 1999 The Goma faction of the RCD (led by Ilungu) has boycotted the Lusaka peace talks for two days insisting that the RCD faction based in Kisangani (led by dia Wamba) not be allowed to participate in the negotiations. Ministers from the DRC, Namibia, Angola, Zimbabwe, Uganda and Rwanda met to discuss a draft ceasefire agreement under the auspices of the SADC. Jean-Pierre Bemba of the MLC was also present in Lusaka.
Jul 21, 1999 The Lusaka peace accords have culminated in the signing of a ceasefire agreement. Within 24 hours, all rebel and government attacks are to cease and the military forces are to disengage. Violence against civilians is also to cease while parties are to facilitate the delivery of humanitarian assistance through the opening of aid corridors. A Joint Military Commission is to investigate reported ceasefire violations, work out mechanisms to disarm militia groups, verify disarmament of civilians, and monitor the withdrawal of foreign forces. A UN peacekeeping force is to be deployed in the future. Armed groups identified as needing disarmament at some future point include: The Uganda Allied Democratic Forces; Lord's Resistance Army (Uganda-based); West Nile Bank Front (Uganda-based); Uganda National Rescue Front II; Former Ugandan National Army; ex-FAR (former Rwandan army); Interahamwe (Rwanda-originated); The Burundi Force for the Defence of Democracy and UNITA (Angola-based). Forty-five days after the signing of the Lusaka agreement, the DRC government, RCD, MLC, unarmed opposition groups, and civil society members are to begin open political negotiations to culminate in the setting up of a new political dispensation in the country. (IRIN, 7/22/99)
Aug 1999 Estimates of the number of Interahamwe and ex-FAR in the DRC vary widely from 5000 to 25,000. There were reports that Hutus were being trained in Zimbabwe. Major General Augustin Bizimungu, the Rwandan defense chief during the genocide was said to be commander of the Hutu troops in Mbuji-Mayi. There were also reports that the Mai-Mai were distancing themselves from the Hutu rebels because of their brutal tactics. Hutu rebels have been dependent on the Mai-Mai for money and food. (New York Times, 8/4/1999) There were reports of a new rebel movement in eastern Congo, the Movement for Security, Peace and Development. It was reportedly led by Wamba dia Wamba's assistant Willy Mishiki. The report also stated that Wamba was gaining a reputation for being anti-Tutsi. Rebels in Goma accused him of recruiting Hutu militias for his RCD faction. They also accused Uganda of training the Hutus. Wamba denied the allegations which could not be confirmed. (IRIN, 8/4/99; BBC, 8/6/99) Many senior members of the RCD faction led by Ilungu are Banyamulenge (The Guardian, 8/5/1999) The Congolese of the eastern part of the country were reportedly growing increasingly angry with the RCD factions. They dislike the Rwandans, especially the Tutsis. They also suspect that Rwanda's real aim is to annex eastern DRC (The New York Times, 8/13/1999)
Aug 23, 1999 The RCD were reportedly ready to sign the Lusaka ceasefire agreement after the problem of who represents the movements was resolved in a complicated arrangement. Observers were skeptical about the arrangement because it raised many issues in terms of how to manage military aspects of implementation, representation at negotiations, and the make-up of the Joint Military Command. Wamba dia Wamba said he would travel to Lusaka to sign the agreement while the Goma faction spokesman said that the group would sign the accord by the end of the month. (IRIN)
Aug 30, 1999 According to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, the humanitarian situation has deteriorated in the Great Lakes region in the past three months. The affected population has risen from 3.3 million to 3.9 million from May to August. A complex pattern of "web-like military confrontations led to an incessant in-and-out movement of populations fleeing zones of combat, seeking safe haven or attempting to return to their areas/countries of origin," reported the UN. (IRIN)
Aug 31, 1999 The fifty founding members of the RCD signed the Lusaka cease-fire agreement. The rebels reiterated, however, that they distrust Kabila and want major political reforms in the country, including his removal from office. Rwanda also insists on a comprehensive UN peacekeeping operation to ensure that Hutu extremists in Congo are prevented from launching attacks from eastern DRC and are disarmed. (The Guardian)
Sep 1, 1999 Following last months clashes between Ugandan and Rwandan troops, a group of Ugandan legislators have called upon the government of Museveni to withdraw all Ugandan forces from the DRC. Museveni insisted that Uganda must remain in the conflict to guard its interests. The Congolese government supports the Allied Democratic Forces, a rebel umbrella group in western Uganda. (IPS)
Sep 8, 1999 The RCD rebels were trying to encourage Mai Mai warriors to leave the bush and undergo political and military training by the Congolese National Army (an armed wing of the RCD). The RCD said it would be willing to work with the Mai Mai once they had been retrained. (ANS)
Sep 14, 1999 The first 10 U.N. military liaison officers were deployed in regional capitals after completing three-days of training in Nairobi, Kenya. An additional 10 were to be deployed within a week. Some 90 total are scheduled to be sent to support the Lusaka cease-fire arrangement (ANS)
Sep 16, 1999 The Lusaka Accords have failed to recognize the existence of the Mai Mai, though they are presumably one of the militia groups that need disarming at the end of the war. The Mai Mai have no central command structure and are not supported in any substantive way by Kabila. Some Mai Mai have joined forces with Burundi rebel groups while others refuse to cooperate with all Hutu miltias. Most Mai Mai remain reluctant to side with the rebels because they have not appointed local leaders to any positions in the territory they control. U.S. intelligence sources reported that the Interahamwe and ex-FAR forces in Congo are 50,000 strong, though not under a unified command structure. (Business Day)
Sep 27, 1999 Tensions were high around Rutshuru and Lubero in North Kivu as rival RCD factions struggled for power. Unrest between the two factions was heightened by the Kisangani group's election of a new North Kivu governor. The Goma faction supported the existing provincial governor. (IRIN)
Oct 3, 1999 The rebels siad they would be forced to resume the war if attacks by President Kabila's forces were not stopped. Heavy fighting was reported in Kabinda, southern DRC on 10/2. (BBC)
Oct 7, 1999 Over 200 Hutu rebels were reportedly killed in a joint offensive by the RCD and Rwandan army forces. An additional 100 Hutus were reportedly captured. The Rwandan army said they had evidence that the Congo government had been airlifting supplies to the rebels (Xinhua News Agency)
Oct 11, 1999 A U.N. led mission into the DRC near the cease-fire line reported that there was severe economic depression, acute malnutrition, and deserted towns in the area. The war has caused 1.1 million people to flee their homes, some within DRC, others to neighboring countries. The government and RCD have accused each other of violating the cease-fire in Katanga region. (IRIN)
Oct 29, 1999 Many Congolese are arriving daily at the Human Rights Ministry in Kinshasa to be considered for evacuation. Tutsis who want to flee the country were given the opportunity to register their ethnic status in order to be considered for evacuation. The human rights organization Voice of the Voiceless has called on officials to speed up the evacuation process to avert a humanitarian situation at the centers which are filled to overflowing with people wanting to leave the country. (BBC)
Nov 6, 1999 The United Nations was scheduled to resume its probe of alleged massacres in eastern DRC against Rwandan refugees during the recent civil war (1996-97). The U.N. Commission on Human Rights renewed the mandate of Roberto Garreton to investigate the massacres, though previous efforts at investigation were hampered by Kabila's government. (IPS)
Nov 12, 1999 Fighting in Equateur Province was reported. RCD Vice President Moise Nyarugabo said that government troops launched an attack which killed 100 civilians. The government said the rebels initiated the attack. (IRIN)
Nov 22, 1999 MLC leader Jean-Pierre Bemba said that 33 government soldiers and 1 rebel were killed on the northwest front near Dongo when the government attempted to capture the city. A new rebel group, the National Resistance Council for Democracy, led by Gaston Kangele Mubawa, was reportedly established. It was calling for dialogue with Mai Mai leaders in the Kivu provinces. RCD-ML official Mbusa Nyamwisi said the new group exists in name only. (IRIN)
Nov 23, 1999 The Mai Mai and Burundi FDD rebels have been stepping up attacks near Uvira. Seven Banyamulenge women and children abducted by the Mai Mai in March were reportedly released for ransom. (IRIN)
Nov 30, 1999 A meeting was held between traditional leaders in Uvira and the RCD-Goma Vice President Moise Nyarugabo. Moise called for unity while the traditional leaders said they were concerned with armed gangs, in the Interahamwe, Mai-Mai, FDD, and Banyamulenge militias, causing insecurity in the region. (BBC)
Dec 2, 1999 Rebels have surrounded 700 Zimbabwean troops at the airport in Ikela. The rebels said they would attack the Zimbabweans if Kabila tried to rescue them. There have been reports of major battles between Rwandan and Tutsi rebels and Zimbabwean and Namibian troops in the northeast. A Joint Military Commission established by the U.N. in July began meeting in Harare this week. (The Guardian 12/2/99; DPA, 12/3/99)
Dec 9, 1999 Regional experts on central Africa have said the situation in the DRC has worsened since September. The government has launched an offensive on two fronts, one in Equateur where Zimbabweans are fighting the MLC backed by Uganda, and one in South Kivu where the government is reinforcing Interahamwe, ex-FAR, and Mai Mai who are gaining strength. The Banyamulenge in South Kivu were reportedly retreating to the hills. (IRIN)
Dec 21 - 22, 1999 The U.N. Security Council was meeting on the deteriorating situation in the DRC. U.N. spokesman Fred Eckhard stressed the level of threat to the Congolese Tutsi community. Assistant Secretary General for Peace Keeping operations Hedi Annabi agreed with Eckhard's assessment and said the slightest incident in South Kivu could spark large-scale attacks against civilians, particularly the Tutsi. A group known as the Negative Force, comprising ex-FAR, Interahamwe, and Mai Mai militias, was said to be organizing attack on the Congolese Tutsi community. Kabila is suspected of supplying the group with arms. (ANS)
Jan 4, 2000 A confidential U.N. report blamed Kabila's government for triggering violations of the Lusaka cease-fire agreement. The report was sent to the Security Council 12/21/99 and reported that Kabila's forces were launching attacks on the MLC in Equateur and sending arms to the region. (ANS)
Jan 6, 2000 The Rwandan military reported that the FDD, ex-FAR and Interahamwe were regrouping in advance of launching invasions into Rwanda and Burundi. (BBC)
Jan 14, 2000 By April, the Zimbabwean government plans to scale down by half its 11,000 troops in Congo. The costs of its participation in the war have brought Zimbabwe's economy to near collapse. (ANS)
Jan 18, 2000 DRC soldiers were reportedly crossing into Congo-Brazzaville in an attempt to avoid taking part in the war. (IRIN)
Jan 24, 2000 Leaders of the nations involved in the DRC conflict were gathering in New York City to attend a special session of the U.N. Security Council aimed at finding a solution to the conflict. Both sides demonstrated rancor at the meetings presided over by Madelaine Albright. The Security Council members have begun working on a resolution creating a peace keeping force for Congo. (The Independent, 1/24/00; New York Times, 1/25/00)
Feb 24, 2004 The government blames Banyamulenge rebels for an attack on the house of the army chief, General Nabyolwa, whose whereabouts are currently unknown (“Gunmen attack army chief's house in eastern DR Congo.” Agence France Presse. 24 Feb. 2004.).
Mar 3, 2004 Gunmen stormed the Congolese Association of Institution and Community Radio, a private radio station and forced the radio station to transmit an alert from the Banyamulenge community in Bukavu saying that the Bukavu Radio Maria was a hate radio station (“DRCongo: Media Body Denounces Intrusion At Private Radio Station By Armed Men.” BBC Monitoring International Reports. 8 Mar. 2004.).
May 26 - Jun 2, 2004 Mutebusi and Nkunda, both leading Banyamulenge militias, clashed with government forces in Bukavu in the Kivu Province. Around 3,000 fled and 90 died as a result of the fighting, which ends with Nkunda seizing the locale. ("D.R. Congo: War Crimes in Bukavu." Human Rights Watch. June 2004. [accessed 05/15/07])
May 27, 2004 In the Bukavu aftermath, 6 Banyamulenge students were beaten to death by government forces, 2 boys were shot and killed and soldiers fired upon 50 Banyamulenge who had been rounded up in the center of the town under the guise that this maneuver was for their own safety (“Congo, Democratic Republic of the.” US Department of State. Country Reports on Human Rights Practices, 2004. [accessed 05/10/07]).
May 27, 2004 About 3,000 Banyamulenge fled Bukavu to Rwanda. (“3,000 Congolese Tutsis Flee Manhunt into Rwanda.” Panafrican News Agency (PANA) Daily Newswire. 30 May 2004.)
May 28, 2004 MONUC helicopters opened fire on Banyamulenge Mutebusi’s troops after he had threatened civilians. MONUC also threatened to arrest him and his men if they did not return to their headquarters. Mutebusi claims that some of his men died in the exchange (Fontemaggi, Francesco. “Bukavu clashes reflect fragility of DR Congo peace process.” Agence France Presse. 28 May 2004.).
Jun 1, 2004 Nkunda, a Banyamulenge militia leader, and Mabe, FARDC, clashed near the Bukavu airport killing at least 50 people (“DR Congo general tells 'dissident' troops to leave region.” Agence France Presse. 1 June 2004.).
Jun 1, 2004 Banyamulenge issue a formal memorandum to MONUC in which they condemn the DRC government for having armed the groups currently fighting in Bukavu (“Fighting in eastern DRCongo akin to 1994 Rwanda genocide – commentary.” BBC Worldwide Monitoring. 1 June 2004.).
Jun 9, 2004 Army soldiers killed a Banyamulenge in civilian clothes, claiming that he had been armed with grenades (“DRCongo: Troops Said Protecting Banyamulenge Minority in Bukavu.” BBC Monitoring International Reports. 9 June 2004.).
Jun 9, 2004 Bukavu residents celebrated the departure of the Banyamulenge and destroyed the houses of those who fled (“DR Congo Rebels Threaten to Return to Bukavu if Banyamulenge Not Protected.” BBC Monitoring International Reports. 9 June 2004)
Jun 29, 2004 A Congolese Banyamulenge deserter returned to the government’s FARDC army, turning himself in. During questioning he was tortured and died as a result of the torture he suffered (“Congo, Democratic Republic of the.” US Department of State. Country Reports on Human Rights Practices, 2004. [accessed 05/10/07]).
Jul 14 - 19, 2004 Eight members of the Rassemblement Congolais pour la democratie left the transitional Parliament (“DRCongo: Party to decide on fate of renegade MPs shortly.” BBC Worldwide Monitoring. 14 July 2004.). Eight members from the RCD then step forward to replace those who left. The replacements all come from the Banyamulenge community. Bosongo, Barthelemy (“DR Congo former rebels replace renegade parliament members.” Agence France Presse. 19 July 2004.).
Jul 26, 2004 About 20,000 people fled the Lake Kivu region after renewed fighting between Nkunda and government forces (“Congo-Kinshasa; 20,000 Fleeing Fighting in East in 'Critical Humanitarian State' – UN.” Africa News. 26 July 2004.).
Aug 13, 2004 Rwasa Agathon’s Palipehutu-FNL (Party for the Liberation of Hutu People- National Liberation Forces) attacked and killed 160 Banyamulenge who had fled the DRC to Burundi (“Burundi: Shady organization threatens to kill Congolese refugees again.” BBC Worldwide Monitoring. 21 Jan. 2005.).
Oct 1 - Dec 31, 2004 Tutsi refugees attempting to return to the DRC were arrested and released (“Congo, Democratic Republic of the.” US Department of State. Country Reports on Human Rights Practices, 2004. [accessed 05/10/07]).
Dec 2004 A new nationality law was approved granting citizenship to Banyarwanda (“Congo, Democratic Republic of the.” US Department of State. Country Reports on Human Rights Practices, 2005. [accessed 05/10/07]).
Dec 9, 2004 A Rwandaphone demonstration in Goma is held to protest the government's decision to send 10,000 troops to eastern DRC (“Democratic Republic of Congo: North-Kivu: Civilians pay the price for political and military rivalry.” Amnesty International. 28 Sep. 2005. [accessed 05/10/07]).
Jan 19, 2005 The Congolese military fired in the air after 100 Banyamulenge, all young men, attempted to bypass the border post and enter Burundi. The youth claimed to be students seeking medical treatment (“DRCongo Army Disperses 100 Kinyarwanda-Speaking Nationals.” BBC Monitoring International Reports. 21 Jan. 2005.).
Mar 31, 2005 Banyamulenge refugees in Burundi were shot by members of the South African UN operation in Burundi in charge of their protection. One was killed and another three were injured (Burundi: One Dead, Three Injured as SAfrican Peacekeepers Open Fire on Refugees.” BBC Monitoring International Reports. 1 Apr. 2005.).
Sep 14, 2005 About 50 Banyamulenge form Mutebusti’s militia are arrested in South Kivu (“DRCongo: About 50 Congolese Tutsi soldiers arrested in east.” BBC Worldwide Monitoring. 14 Sep. 2005.).
Mar 23 - 23, 2006 About 500 Banyamulenge and Shi were arrested and accused of being "Rwandan". ("DRCongo: More than 500 traders arrested in south.” BBC Worldwide Monitoring. 30 Mar. 2005.)
Apr 2006 34 Banyamulenge students, accused of being infiltrators, were arrested and held for a number of days before being released. They were held without charge in what was described as “deplorable conditions.” (“Human Rights; The Human Rights Situation in April 2006.” Africa News. 18 May 2006.)
Jul 30, 2006 Manywa, a Congolese Tutsi, runs for president but loses to Kabila (“Main candidates in DRC's presidential election.” Xinhua General News Service. 29 July 2006.).
Jul 30, 2006 One Tutsi from North Kivu is elected to the National Assembly (“Congo, Democratic Republic of the.” US Department of State. Country Reports on Human Rights Practices, 2006. [accessed 05/10/07]).


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Information current as of July 16, 2010