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Annex:  Who is who among the combatants in eastern Congo?

Armed Forces of the Democratic Republic of Congo (FARDC)

The new, nominally integrated Congolese army, formed from the forces of the former Kabila government and several rebel movements that signed the Pretoria Agreement in 2002.  Despite allegations of war crimes and crimes against humanity, some commanders from armed groups were granted senior ranks.

Congolese Armed Forces (FAC)

Former Congolese government army during the Congo war. It has now become part of the FARDC.

Congolese Rally for Democracy – Goma (RCD-G)

Leader: Azarias Ruberwa. Rwandan-backed rebel group which makes up a major component of the transitional government in Kinshasa. Ruberwa was appointed as one of the Congo’s four Vice Presidents in its new transitional government in June 2003. The headquarters were in Goma, North Kivu. 

Congolese Rally for Democracy – Kisangani – Liberation Movement (RCD-ML)

Leader: Mbusa Nyamwisi, now Minister of Regional Cooperation. The RCD-ML was launched in 1999 as a breakaway faction of the RCD-Goma. Backed at the start by Uganda, the RCD-ML has been fractured by leadership struggles and infighting. Their headquarters were Kisangani, then Bunia, and are now in Beni.

Mai Mai

Local Congolese combatants who took up arms to fight against what they saw as foreign occupation. They operate in many parts of eastern Congo but did not have a centralized command structure. One of the key leaders, Padiri, is now Head of the Military region of Orientale province.

Movement for the Liberation of Congo (MLC)

Leader: Jean-Pierre Bemba, now Vice-President. Based in Gbadolite, the MLC has been backed by Uganda since the start of the war. The MLC is now a powerful player in the transitional government. 

Local Defense Forces (LDF)

The Local Defense Forces were created as auxiliary force of the RCD-G, and then operated as a private militia of current North Kivu Governor Eugène Serufuli. The group was officially dissolved in February 2004 but many its combatants seem to show continued loyalty to Serufuli.

People’s Armed Forces of Congo (FAPC)

Leader: Jérôme Kakwavu. An Ituri armed group based in northeastern Congo (Aru and Ariwara), established in 2003 with the support of Uganda. Despite serious allegations of war crimes carried out on the order of Jerome Kakwavu, he was integrated into the FARDC as General in January 2005.

Union of Congolese Patriots (UPC)

The UPC is an armed group in Ituri promoting the interests of the ethnic Hema. It took control of Bunia in August 2002 with the help of Uganda. Soon after, it received support from Rwanda. In early 2004 the UPC split into two factions under Kisembo (known as UPC-K) and Lubanga (known as UPC-L).

Democratic Liberation Forces of Rwanda (FDLR)

A Rwandan Hutu armed group based in Kivu. It has in its ranks Rwandans dissatisfied with the current regime, former refugees, and former members of the Rwandan army and individuals some of whom may have been involved in the 1994 Rwandan genocide.

Forces for the Defence of Democracy (FDD)

Leader: Pierre Nkurunziza. Formerly the largest Burundian Hutu rebel group. They signed a ceasefire with the Burundian government in December 2002. Nkurunziza is standing as a strong presidential candidate in the upcoming elections. During the Congo war, the FDD had bases in Congo, and the government of Laurent-Désiré Kabila supported and supplied the FDD.

<<previous  |  index  |  next>>March 2005