The Rwandan Patriotic Army (RPA) and the Alliance of Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Congo-Zaire (ADFL) carried out massive killings of civilian refugees and other violations of basic principles of international humanitarian law during attacks on refugee camps in the former Zaire (now the Democratic Republic of Congo) that began in late 1996, and in the ensuing seven months as war spread across the country. The war pitted the ADFL, used here to mean all forces under the nominal command of Laurent-Desiré Kabila,(1) with important backing from Rwanda, Uganda, Burundi, Angola and other neighboring states, against a coalition of then President Mobutu Sese Seko's Zairian Armed Forces (FAZ), former Rwandan Armed Forces (ex-FAR), Rwandan Interahamwe militia, and mercenaries. In addition to overthrowing former Zairian President Mobutu, the RPA and ADFL sought to disperse the refugee camps in Eastern Zaire, home to hundreds of thousands of civilian refugees as well as the ex-FAR and Interahamwe. Since the beginning of the war in the former Zaire gross violations of international humanitarian law have been committed by all parties to the conflict.

The nature and scale of abuses by different armed parties during the war varied significantly. The FAZ, ill-equipped and poorly motivated to combat the ADFL, were responsible along with their mercenary allies for countless acts of looting, destruction, and rape, in addition to indiscriminate bombings of Congolese populations resulting in numerous civilian casualties. Prior to the war, the FAZ, Interahamwe and local militia had carried out attacks on civilian populations in the east, as part of a national intimidation campaign against ethnic Tutsi Congolese.(2) The ex-FAR and Interahamwe militia supported their combat with and flight from the ADFL and its allies by widespread theft from Congolese communities and using civilian refugees as a shield. Ex-FAR and armed militia who had fled Rwanda in the wake of the genocide were responsible for sporadic killings of Congolese and reportedly some civilian refugees. Members of the ADFL military, in particular its Kinyarwanda and Kiswahili-speaking elements, regular troops of the Rwandan Patriotic Army (RPA), and their allies were responsible for large-scale killings of civilian refugees from Rwanda throughout their military advance across the Democratic Republic of Congo (Congo). One Rwandan officer who had been in charge of troops at several massacre sights in Congo commented, "It's so easy to kill someone; you just go--[pointing his finger like a pistol]--and it's finished."

These killings represent the latest in a cycle of massive violations of international humanitarian and human rights law in the Great Lakes Region in which impunity for the perpetrators has been the rule. Human Rights Watch/International Federation of Human Rights Leagues (FIDH) will soon publish a major account of the 1994 genocide in Rwanda, including precursor events and the entirely inadequate response of the international community.

Human Rights Watch/FIDH interviewed Congolese, refugees, international humanitarian workers, and long-time foreign residents in several provinces of Congo and the subregion during a six-week mission. Human Rights Watch/FIDH visited an eighty-kilometer stretch of road in one region of Congo, far from areas where combat took place, along which civilian refugees were slaughtered by members of the ADFL and RPA. In this area, Human Rights Watch/FIDH photographed mass grave sites of refugees and areas of road still littered with their decomposed bodies, among which the remains of women and children were clearly identifiable. Many of the skulls seen and photographed contained holes or were fractured, suggesting blows with a heavy object. The testimony of eyewitnesses describing how certain refugees were killed corroborated with physical evidence on the site, such as smashed skulls or other physical trauma. The refugees in this particular area were killed largely with machetes and knives by Kinyarwanda and Kiswahili-speaking members of the ADFL and members of the RPA. Prior to the arrival of the ADFL and RPA to this area, the ex-FAR and armed Rwandan exiles operating with them were responsible for widespread theft, destruction and reportedly some killings of Congolese civilians.

The killings and violations of international humanitarian law in this area represent a cross-section of events that occurred throughout Congo. Thousands of refugees, often young men, the sick, and those too weak to flee were killed by soldiers of the ADFL and RPA as they advanced across Congo. Thousands of other civilian refugees were deliberately cut off from humanitarian assistance, resulting in thousands of deaths due to starvation, dehydration, and disease. Many of the remains of refugees that were killed by the ADFL or the RPA have been exhumed, burned, or otherwise disposed of out of sight of potential witnesses. Congolese have been intimidated to keep them from providing information about the killings through arrests, beatings, and killings of those who have dared to speak out. Killings of civilians from several ethnic groups continue in Congo, most notably in the east where the unresolved issues of land rights, citizenship, and customary power have aggravated violence between remnants of the ex-FAR, Mobutu's former Army (ex-FAZ), and other ethnic-based Congolese militia, all aligned against the troops of the Rwandan Patriotic Army still garrisoning the region.

Some members of the international community, including the United States, were aware of Rwanda's intention to attack refugee camps in Eastern Zaire well in advance and either supported the idea, were unable to propose alternative solutions to the challenges posed by the camps, or did nothing to prevent it. After months of denial, Rwandan Vice-President Paul Kagame in early July 1997, claimed responsibility for planning and leading the invasion of the former Zaire and explained that his objective of dispersing refugees and destroying the ex-FAR and Interahamwe had been made known to officials of the United Nations and the United States among other members of the international community. The United States provided key political support to the Rwandan authorities throughout the military campaign in Congo and up to the present; knowledgeable witnesses have claimed that U.S. military provided training and assistance to the RPA on Congolese territory.

In April 1997, upon the recommendation of the United Nations special rapporteur on Zaire, the United Nations Commission on Human Rights requested that an investigation be conducted into mass killings and other gross violations of human rights in Congo. Since then, the Congolese government has demanded changes in the mandate of the U.N. investigation and repeatedly stalled the investigation. International support for the investigation has fluctuated: negotiations between Kabila and U.S. Ambassador Bill Richardson and U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan led to a change in the head of the U.N. mission and its mandate; as of this writing, however, the United Nations, European Union and United States have taken a firmer stand on the investigation taking place, insisting that international aid be conditioned on cooperation with the U.N. mission. Key members of the Organization of African Unity (OAU) have been firm in their support of Kabila as he defies the U.N. investigation.

The Congolese and Rwandan governments, along with the international community, should take all measures necessary to put an end to impunity in the region. This includes public recognition by all governments concerned that massacres of civilians took place during the armed conflict in Congo, as well as insisting that war criminals are investigated and held accountable for their acts. In parallel, efforts should be reinforced to bring the perpetrators of the 1994 genocide in Rwanda to justice. The international community should encourage the growth of Congolese organizations of civil society and provide aid in key areas such as health and education through nongovernmental organizations, but condition its other non-humanitarian aid on full compliance and cooperation with the United Nations Secretary-General's Investigative Mission and respect for international human rights norms. International support for national institutions of justice should be an urgent priority once the Congolese government has fully cooperated with the U.N. Investigative Mission.


To the Government of the Democratic Republic of Congo

Suspend and investigate members of the ADFL suspected of involvement in civilian massacres and other violations of humanitarian law, and hold individuals accountable for such abuses; members of the ADFL who obstructed humanitarian assistance to civilian populations should be subject to investigation, and prosecution where appropriate. ADFL officers and troops under investigation should be suspended from positions of authority for the duration of the investigation.

Publicly denounce deliberate killings of civilians in Congo by all parties, including foreign military from Rwanda and other neighboring states, during the seven-month war that brought the ADFL to power, as well as ongoing killings. Insist that those responsible are immediately withdrawn from the field and subject to investigation, and prosecution where appropriate, either in Congo or their home country.

Protect refugees, internally displaced, and other civilian populations from abuses committed by members of the former Rwandan Army (the ex-FAR, Forces Armées Rwandaises), Interahamwe and other armed militia, and FAZ; in doing so, respect international humanitarian law and take all possible measures to limit civilian and refugee casualties during military operations.

Cooperate fully with the International Criminal Tribunal in Arusha in bringing those responsible for the 1994 Rwanda genocide to justice.

Allow the United Nations Secretary-General's Investigative Mission unhampered access to all regions of Congo and ensure its security and independence in accordance with its mandate. Instruct members of the ADFL and other military forces present in Congo to cease the destruction of evidence of civilian massacres and other abuses. Encourage the Congolese population and ADFL military to cooperate with the U.N. mission and ensure the protection of those who provide information.

Cease its intimidation campaign against potential witnesses of civilian massacres. Investigate human rights abuses committed by ADFL or other military forces on Congolese territory against individuals suspected of collaboration with the U.N. Investigative Mission.

Guarantee the protection and assistance of refugees on Congolese territory in accordance with international standards, including the right to non-refoulement. Create the conditions necessary for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) to provide assistance and protection to refugees remaining in Congo.

Support the work of Congolese organizations of civil society, especially those involved in the protection and promotion of human rights.

Establish national institutions to promote the rule of law and respect for human rights, in particular an independent judiciary and a permanent human rights commission.

Initiate training programs in basic principles of human rights and international humanitarian law for members of the police, army, and judiciary.

To the Government of Rwanda

Withdraw, suspend from active duty, and investigate Rwandan military suspected of being involved in civilian massacres in Congo, and hold individuals accountable for such abuses; members of the RPA who obstructed humanitarian assistance to civilian populations should be subject to investigation, and prosecution where appropriate.

Assist the U.N. Investigative Mission in Congo in fulfilling its mission by publicly disclosing the names of officers and Rwandan units deployed in Congo from September 1996 up to the present, as well as all other information relevant to their mandate.

Denounce deliberate killings of civilian refugees and Congolese civilians during the war that brought the ADFL to power and up to the present.

Protect and assist refugees upon repatriation to Rwanda. Cooperate fully with the UNHCR in its efforts to protect and assist refugees, in particular by providing access to recent returnees.

To all Members of the International Community, including the United Nations, the European Union and its member states, the United States, and the Organization of African Unity

Insist that accountability for human rights abuses in Congo and Rwanda not be sacrificed for economic or diplomatic reasons. Members of the ex-FAR and Interahamwe militia, as well as individuals from the ADFL, RPA, and other militaries or mercenaries responsible for massive civilian killings in Rwanda or in Congo should not be granted impunity

Consider extending the mandate of the International Criminal Tribunal in Arusha to include jurisdiction over war crimes and crimes against humanity committed during the war in Congo.

Make assistance for the Congolese judiciary an urgent priority once the government of Congo fully complies and cooperates with the U.N. Investigative Mission. Insist on the development of the judiciary as an independent institution. Assist the Congolese government in the establishment of other national institutions that will help to promote the rule of law, such as a permanent human rights commission, once full cooperation with the U.N. team takes place.

Provide immediate aid to the Congolese population via nongovernmental channels for humanitarian relief. Condition the convening of any donor meetings and the granting of non-humanitarian aid, particularly balance of payments support, on full compliance and cooperation with the U.N. Secretary-General's Investigative Mission and respect for human rights. The European Union should lift the suspension of development aid to Congo, as outlined in the Lomé Convention, only upon full compliance and cooperation with the U.N. Secretary-General's Investigative Mission.

Support Congolese organizations of civil society in their efforts to promote and protect human rights. Encourage the Congolese government to foster the growth of and consult with such organizations.

Make sufficient human and financial resources available to the UNHCR to enable a process of individual determination of refugee status for Rwandans, Burundians, and other refugees in the subregion. Protection, assistance, and the right to asylum should be provided to those who qualify by the states of the Great Lakes region as well as the international community.

Assure that ex-FAR, Interahamwe militia, and others implicated in the 1994 genocide in Rwanda, as well as these forces and Mobutu's FAZ who have committed war crimes and other humanitarian law violations under the Mobutu government or since the ADFL took power, are pursued wherever they may be and brought to justice.

The United Nations should continue its human rights investigation in Congo regardless of whether the Kabila government cooperates with the investigation. If access to Congolese territory is impossible, the U.N. should continue the investigation based on sources available outside the country. The U.N. team should also investigate the various levels of responsibility for the crisis, including the failure of the international community to remove armed elements from the camps in eastern Zaire and in permitting them to prepare new combat against Rwanda.

Specific recommendations to the U.S. government

Publicly acknowledge and denounce deliberate killings of civilians in Congo by the members ADFL, troops of the Rwandan Patriotic Army (RPA) and members of other foreign militaries allied with the ADFL, and release all information available regarding these atrocities.

U.S. Department of Defense and other government agencies should fully disclose the nature of all present and past involvement in training, tactical support, field assistance, or arms shipments to Rwanda or Congo for use by the ADFL or Rwandan, Ugandan or other forces operating in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Conduct investigations to determine whether any of the military involved in civilian massacres or other gross violations of international humanitarian law have received training from the U.S. armed forces or other U.S. agencies, either in the region or in the U.S. Make public the identities of any such military and insist on their prosecution where appropriate.

Immediately suspend any tactical support, field assistance, or arms shipments to Rwanda. The U.S. should conduct a thorough evaluation of the efficacy of U.S. military training to Rwanda in the areas of international humanitarian law, military justice, and other areas pertaining to the respect of human rights. The U.S. should make public its findings of this investigation.


The Origin of the Refugees

In April 1994, Hutu extremists used the military, administrative and political structures of Rwanda to carry out a genocide against the minority Tutsi and to kill moderate Hutu who were seen as Tutsi collaborators. Soldiers of the Rwandan Armed Forces (FAR) and members of militia groups known as the Interahamwe took the lead in slaughtering more than 500,000 people.(3)

In July 1994, the Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF), a predominantly Tutsi movement, overthrew the genocidal government, against which it had waged war since 1991. Some two million Rwandans then fled to surrounding countries, some because they feared retribution from the RPF, some because they were ordered to follow government leaders into exile. The estimated 1.1 million who ended up in Zaire included both refugees as well as others who were implicated in crimes against humanity in their home country and remained armed, planning to continue the genocide--and their war against the RPF--from adjacent countries. This mixed population settled in camps, the great majority in Zaire and the next largest number in Tanzania, where they were nourished at the expense of the international community. Human rights organizations like Human Rights Watch and the International Federation of Human Rights (FIDH), humanitarian agencies, including the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), and the Rwandan government repeatedly demanded international intervention to separate the refugees, many of them women and children, from the armed elements, former soldiers (ex-FAR) and militia members. Although the U.N. prepared plans for such action, the Security Council rejected them as too expensive and perhaps unworkable.

Administrative officials and military and political leaders responsible for the genocide controlled the camps and with the ex-FAR and militia intimidated many refugees into staying in the camps instead of returning home. Within Rwanda, human rights abuses, particularly killings by soldiers, massive arrests without regard to due process, and the paralysis of the judicial system also discouraged refugees from returning.

Beginning almost immediately after settling in the enormous border-area camps, the ex-FAR and militia reorganized, trained new recruits and bought new arms from abroad. (4) As their incursions into Rwanda increased in number and impact, the government of Rwanda signaled that it would act on its own to end the threat from the camps in Zaire if the international community failed to intervene. In the face of stepped-up infiltration in 1996, a rash of killings of civilians in border areas, and apparently aware of preparations for an invasion, Rwandan leader General Paul Kagame again alerted leaders of the U.S. and perhaps other countries that Rwanda would act if conditions did not change.

Banyarwanda and Banyamulenge

Before the massive influx of Rwandans in 1994, about half of the 3 million people of North-Kivu, in the former Zaire's extreme northeast, were speakers of Kinyarwanda, the language of Rwanda. Known collectively as Banyarwanda, they included about four times as many Hutu as Tutsi.(5) Some had been present before the drawing of colonial boundaries, while others had migrated from Rwanda for economic reasons or as political refugees during the twentieth century, many with official encouragement from the Belgian authorities in the 1930s. In some areas, such as Masisi, the Banyarwanda comprised a large majority of the population.(6)

Of the Banyarwanda in South-Kivu, a group of pastorals on the Itombwe plateau, principally near Mulenge, became known, at least to themselves, as the Banyamulenge (the people of Mulenge hill or forest) during the rebellions against Mobutu in 1964. Most of the Banyamulenge are descendants of Rwandans who fled political repression and population pressure in Rwanda during the 18th and 19th centuries;(7) other Banyarwanda immigrated to the area in more recent times, some fleeing oppression in Rwanda in 1959. Many Banyamulenge came under threat from the rebel forces led by Kabila and others in the 1964 uprisings and sought protection from the Mobutu regime in Kinshasa, while others sided with the rebellion. The term Banyamulenge came to be used widely in Congo to refer to ethnic Tutsi Congolese in general from mid-1996.

The Citizenship Question

The right to Zairian citizenship, recognized for Banyamulenge and Banyarwanda by earlier laws and constitutions, was limited in 1981 to those people who could prove that their ancestors lived in Zaire before 1885. But the 1981 law was not actively enforced and identity cards of Kinyarwanda-speakers were not revoked. Politicians who feared the number of votes represented by Kinyarwanda-speakers in proposed elections stirred up feelings against them among people of neighboring ethnic groups. At the time of the National Conference in 1991,(8) Celestin Anzuluni, a Bembe from South-Kivu, led a move to exclude the Banyamulenge, claiming they were not Zairians but Rwandan immigrants.(9) Banyarwanda from North-Kivu were similarly to be excluded. After this, leaders of other ethnic groups increasingly challenged the rights of Banyamulenge and Banyarwanda generally to Zairian citizenship.

Violence Against Speakers of Kinyarwanda

In 1993, Hunde, Nande, and Nyanga civilian militia known as Mai-Mai and Bangilima, encouraged by government officials and sometimes supported by the Zairian military, attacked Hutu and Tutsi communities in North-Kivu, killing thousands and displacing some 300,000.(10) The arrival in Eastern Zaire of the enormous number of Rwandans in flight in 1994 exacerbated tensions between previously resident Kinyarwanda-speakers and other ethnic groups. The Interahamwe militia and many of the former military and civilian authorities of Rwanda encouraged hatred of Tutsi among adjacent populations. Local ethnic groups which had once viewed Hutu and Tutsi as a common enemy sided increasingly with Hutu, both refugees and local residents, in attacking Tutsi, who were sometimes branded as loyal to the new government of Rwanda. In South-Kivu, Bembe and Rega, encouraged by comments by regional politicians, began to organize militia, following the model of the Interahamwe of Rwanda and the Mai-Mai and Bangilima of North-Kivu.(11)

Feeling increasingly threatened by harassment and arrests and talk of expulsion,(12) numbers of Banyamulenge young men went to Rwanda where they joined or were trained by the Rwandan Patriotic Army (RPA), which also supplied them with weapons. In South-Kivu, others organized their own militia and bought arms during 1995. According to one witness, "The Banyamulenge [even] bought rifles from the Interahamwe [in the refugee camps]. . . . With the crisis in Zaire, the Interahamwe sold their guns."(13)

In early 1996 Interahamwe, Mai-Mai, and Bangilima killed hundreds of Tutsi and drove more than 18,000 from North-Kivu into exile in Rwanda and Uganda.(14)

The Banyamulenge Revolt

In August 1996, Zairian authorities banned MILIMA, a development and human rights nongovernmental (NGO) working among the Banyamulenge, and arrested several prominent Banyamulenge. In early September Zairian authorities said Banyamulenge should leave the country, an order formalized on October 7 by the deputy governor of South-Kivu, Lwasi Ngabo Lwabanji, who ordered all Banyamulenge to leave Zaire within a week.(15)

In early September, Bembe militia, supported by FAZ soldiers, began attacking Banyamulenge villages, killing and raping, and forcing survivors to flee. The Banyamulenge, joined by other groups, rose up against the Zairian government. They later formed a coalition, the Alliance of Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Congo-Zaire (ADFL), and chose Laurent-Desiré Kabila as spokesman, a post he later transformed into president of the movement. Rwandan, Ugandan and later Angolan troops supported the ADFL and quickly overran the demoralized and poorly disciplined Zairian Armed Forces (FAZ).(16) After a rapid advance from east to west, during which he was generally hailed as a liberator, Kabila proclaimed himself head of the newly declared Democratic Republic of Congo on May 18, 1997.

Attacks on the Camps

As the ADFL forces and their allies began combat against the FAZ they simultaneously attacked the camps sheltering the Rwandans, breaking the control of the former administrative and military authorities. In some camps, the ex-FAR and militia retreated quickly, sometimes after briefly resisting the ADFL advance. The majority of people in the camps, perhaps 600,000 of the 1.1 million estimated to have been in residence in October 1996, returned to Rwanda in November. Of those who returned, many went voluntarily, while others were forced back by the ADFL, fearful of the conditions in Rwanda. A number estimated in the thousands died in the first weeks of the attacks on the camps, caught in crossfire between the ADFL and elements of the ex-FAR, militia and FAZ; killed by the former camp authorities in an effort to prevent their return to Rwanda or to force them to accompany the ex-FAR and militia on their retreat westward; or killed by ADFL and RPA troops. Hundreds of thousands of Rwandans fled westward, some in relatively organized caravans, others in scattered small groups. Tens of thousands of these were armed elements, but the rest were unarmed civilians, many of them women and children.

Many of the civilians who fled to the west were attacked again, some of them repeatedly as they sought safety. In a few cases, ex-FAR and militia used the refugees as human shields or even injured and killed them. But in the vast majority of instances, it was clearly ADFL soldiers and their foreign allies who slaughtered the refugees. In addition, untold thousands died of hunger or disease because ADFL and Zairian authorities denied humanitarian agencies permission to enter their zones to deliver assistance or because the security conditions prevented them from doing their work. Some humanitarian workers testified that ADFL soldiers accompanied them, supposedly to facilitate their work but really to find out where refugees were hidden in order to return later to eliminate them.

The UNHCR states that it helped an additional 234,000 Rwandans return to Rwanda between December 1996 and June 1997 and that it had located an additional 52,600 Rwandans, about half of them in Congo and the other half dispersed in the Central African Republic, Congo (Brazzaville) and Angola by July 1997. According to the refugee agency's figures, an estimated 213,000 Rwandans remain unaccounted for, either dead in the period of violence or hidden in the forests or among the people of Congo.(17)

Controversy continues about the exact number of refugees who perished during the conflict due to massacres, malnutrition, or disease. Kabila's government has effectively denied the U.N. Secretary-General's Investigative Team and other diplomatic missions or human rights organizations access to reported massacre sites and thus has made assessment of the casualties impossible.

The Laws Violated

All parties to the war in Congo, whether rebel or governmental, are bound by international humanitarian law to respect basic norms concerning victims of armed conflict. In particular, regardless of whether a government or an insurgent group, all sides are obliged to apply common Article 3 of the Geneva Conventions of 1949:

In case of an armed conflict not of an international character occurring in the territory of one of the High Contracting Parties, each Party to the conflict shall be bound to apply, as a minimum, the following provisions:

(1) Persons taking no active part in the hostilities, including members of the armed forces who had laid down their arms and those placed hors de combat by sickness, wounds, detention, or any other cause, shall be in all circumstances treated humanely, without any adverse distinction founded on race, colour, religion or faith, sex, birth or wealth, or any other similar criteria.

To this end the following acts are and shall remain prohibited at any time and in any place whatsoever with respect to the above-mentioned persons:

(a) violence to life and person, in particular murder of all kinds, mutilation, cruel treatment and torture;

(b) taking of hostages;

(c) outrages upon personal dignity, in particular humiliating and degrading treatment;

(d) the passing of sentences and the carrying out of executions without previous judgment pronounced by a regularly constituted court, affording all the judicial guarantees which are recognized as indispensable by civilized peoples.

Furthermore, all parties to the conflict in Congo should respect the principles of U.N. General Assembly Resolution 2444, which recognizes the customary law principle obliging all factions of an armed conflict at all times to treat civilians distinctly from combatants. It states that,

the following principles for observance by all government and other authorities responsible for action in armed conflicts:

(a) That the right of the parties to a conflict to adopt means of injuring the enemy is not unlimited;

(b) That it is prohibited to launch attacks against the civilian populations as such;

(c) That distinction must be made at all times between persons taking part in the hostilities and members of the civilian population to the effect that the latter be spared as much as possible.

While the above principles apply to all parties to the war in Congo, additional bodies of international humanitarian and human rights law place further obligations on certain parties to the conflict, notably the government of the former Zaire, the ADFL authorities who succeeded to the international obligations of the former government, the government of Rwanda and other governmental allies of the ADFL.(18)

1. In addition to being president of Congo, Kabila is minister of defense and commander in chief of the armed forces, but clearly he does not control all the soldiers participating in or allied with the ADFL who fought on his behalf. Substantial numbers of non-Congolese, including Rwandans, Ugandans, Burundians, and Angolans assisted Congolese who helped put Kabila in power, with Rwandans playing the most visible role. Throughout this report, we refer to all these soldiers as the ADFL forces. Military leaders responsible for massacres are discussed in greater detail in the "Who's in Charge: Towards Establishing Responsibility" chapter of this report.

2. See Human Rights Watch/Africa and Federation Internationale des Ligues des Droits de l'Homme, "Forced to Flee: Violence Against Ethnic Tutsi in Zaire," vol. 8, no. 2(A), July 1996.

3. Interahamwe were a militia organized by former Rwandan President Juvenal Habyarimana's political party. During the genocide in Rwanda, the militia were transformed into bands of killers.

4. See Human Rights Watch/Arms Project, "Rearming with Impunity," A Human Rights Watch Short Report. (New York: May 1995) vol. 7, no. 4.

5. Mgr. Ngabu, "Situation qui prévaut dans le diocèse autour des massacres dans les zones de Walikale et Masisi," May 11, 1993. Cited in Aloys Tegera, "La réconcilliation communautaire: Le cas des massacres au Nord Kivu," in André Guichoua, ed., Les Crises politiques au Burundi et au Rwanda (Lille: Université des Sciences et Technologies de Lille, 1995), p. 399.

6. For a more detailed discussion of the origins of the Banyarwanda, see Human Rights Watch/FIDH, "Forced to Flee: Violence against the Tutsi in Zaire," A Human Rights Watch Short Report, vol. 8, no. 2(A), July 1996.

7. David Newbury, "Irredentist Rwanda: Ethnic and Territorial Frontiers in Central Africa," Africa Today, vol. 44, no. 2, 1997.

8. The National Sovereign Conference was a meeting of all sectors of Zairian society that set the framework for the transition to democracy in Zaire.

9. J. Bruno Kadima Abuika, "Large complot ourdi contre le Congo-Kinshasa dans sa partie Est," Umoja, February 26, 1996; Human Rights Watch/FIDH interview with Jonas, a Munyamulenge, in Butare, January 10, 1996.

10. United States Committee on Refugees, "Inducing the Deluge," July 1993.

11. Originaires des Zones de Fizi, Mwenga et Uvira, "Droit de réponse au Mémorandum du 05/10/95 des immigrés rwandais sous le pseudonyme 'Banyamulenge,'" letter to Minister of the Interior, November 4, 1995.

12. Heritiers de la Justice, "Vue synoptique des violations des droits de l'homme au sud-kivu en 1995, Bukavu, December 10, 1995; Human Rights Watch/FIDH interview with Jonas, a Munyamulenge, in Butare, January 10, 1996.

13. Human Rights Watch/FIDH interview at Bugarama Transit Camp, Cyangugu, November 4, 1996.

14. See Human Rights Watch/FIDH, "Forced to Flee: Violence against the Tutsi in Zaire"

15. Sam Ngoza, "Zaire's People of Tutsi Origin Say 'Enough is Enough,' " All Africa Press Service, November 12, 1996; "Crisis Grips Central Africa," The Jakarta Post, December 23, 1996.

16. For details of human rights abuses in the early days of the war, see Human Rights Watch/FIDH, "Forced to Flee: Violence Against the Tutsis in Zaire"; Human Rights Watch/Africa & Fédération Internationale des Ligues des Droits de l'Homme,"'Attacked By All Sides,' Civilians and the War in Eastern Zaire," A Human Rights Watch Short Report, vol. 9, no. 1(A), March 1997; Human Rights Watch/Africa, "Transition, War and Human Rights," A Human Rights Watch Short Report, vol. 9, no. 2(A), April 1997.

17. UNHCR public information fact sheet, July 2, 1997.

18. Notably, the former Zaire had ratified, among other treaties, the four Geneva Conventions of 1949 and Protocol 1 Additional to the Geneva Conventions. The ADFL government of Congo succeeded to these obligations on May 17, 1997 when it ousted the Zairian authorities. The Rwandan government has also ratified, among other treaties, the four Geneva Conventions of 1949 and Protocols 1 and 2 Additional to the Geneva Conventions.