Somalia and AMISOM – Recent Situation Updates

Last update on: 7 June 2021

Updates from Somalia by IPI, Global Conflict Tracker, and ZIF:

Assessing the Effectiveness of the African Union Mission in Somalia – AMISOM, by EPON (Effectiveness of Peace Operations Network) – Report 1/2018

Other information about Somalia can be located on:

These products are the results of academic research and intended for general information and awareness only. They include the best information publicly available at the time of publication. Routine efforts are made to update the materials; however, readers are encouraged to check the specific mission site at

Congo (DRC) and MONUSCO – Recent Situation Updates

Last update on: 24 November 2020

Updates from Congo (DRC) by IPI, Global Conflict Tracker, and ZIF:

Assessing the Effectiveness of the United Nations Mission in the DRC – MONUC / MONUSCO, by EPON (Effectiveness of Peace Operations Network) – Report 3/2019

Other sources about CONGO (DRC):

These products are the results of academic research and intended for general information and awareness only. They include the best information publicly available at the time of publication. Routine efforts are made to update the materials; however, readers are encouraged to check the specific mission sites at or

Congo (DRC) – Current Political and Security Dynamics

Last update on: 3 June 2021

from Security Council ReportUN Press​​​​​​​​​​​​​​, and Conflict Research Programme ​​

​​​​​​​​​​​The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is currently undergoing a post-electoral political transition that will have a decisive impact on its near political future. For the first time in history, we are witnessing a peaceful transition from one president to another. Despite the multiple flaws in the electoral process, the elections held in December 2018 enticed widespread hopes among the Congolese population that a true shift of power can be an outcome of such a process. Half a year later, however, much of this popular optimism has waned and doubts are being raised as to whether this transition will in fact lead to a substantial change in the daily lives of the Congolese. Current dynamics suggest a deepening political crisis and uncertainty and will have a major impact on existing political stability and security conditions, despite the appointment of a new government at the end of July 2019.

Two major issues undermine the new President Tshisekedi’s legitimacy. One is the credibility of the official December 2018 election results, which have been subject to heated debates. The election results have been widely read as not representing the popular vote because of numerous irregularities. In response, concerns about the legitimacy of the results were expressed by international, bilateral, and multilateral partners, as well as a significant amount of the Congolese population who overwhelmingly voted for the opposition candidate Martin Fayulu. The second issue is the widespread speculation about a ‘power-sharing deal’ between former President Kabila and the new President Tshisekedi that was created in order to protect Kabila’s interests after leaving office. The July agreement on a new government between the Tshisekedi’s and Kabila’s political camps is in the spirit of this deal.

Strikingly, with the exception of a number of protests following immediately after the proclamation of the results, a massive popular rejection so far has remained absent. Indeed, despite the official outcome, the elections raised a lot of hope among the millions of Congolese who were expecting that a change of regime would create the necessary conditions for an improvement of their living conditions and would, in the end, gradually lead to democracy. It explains why, despite the Kabila-Tshisekedi deal, many remained optimistic about the possibility of real change.

Most Congolese are convinced that Felix Tshisekedi is aware of his electoral illegitimacy and thus would do everything possible to gain popular support through increased investment in good governance and development. His first 100 days in office were largely welcomed as an announcement of real change and proof of his commitment to respond to the social concerns of the population, such as the payment of salaries, the reduction of school fees, the rehabilitation of roads and public services, etc. The political legacy of his father and major opposition leader under Mobutu, Étienne Tshisekedi, further helped him to gain popular legitimacy.

Half a year after his inauguration, however, the signals are no longer positive. While President Tshisekedi spends a good deal of his time abroad attempting to consolidate his legitimacy through support from regional and international partners, at home, Congo is moving towards a deepening political crisis. The new president is faced with a constant challenge to limit Kabila’s political power and does not many options besides ‘co-leading’ the country. The agreement on a new government has proved to be subject to a sensitive power-sharing exercise and is being dominated by members of Kabila’s political camp, which has won a majority of seats in the National Assembly, Senate, Provincial Assemblies and has a majority of newly elected Provincial Governors. This leaves little room for Tshisekedi to maneuver. Kabila is also keeping firm control over the economy and security services. Tshisekedi’s attempts to increase his political space are adding to existing tensions between both political families and may eventually lead to an unprecedented crisis and a point of no-return that could end in new rounds of violence.

Two recent issues illustrate current dynamics. The first is the meddling by the Constitutional Court. Thirty-three national members of parliament, including 23 opposition members have been disqualified by the Court (of which 6 out of 9 judges were nominated during Kabila’s presidency). Most of the disqualified members of parliament have been replaced by members of Kabila’s political camp, which supports the assumption that the old regime is keeping a firm grip on the political rule in the DRC. The cycle of validation, invalidation, and revalidation of parliamentarians by the Constitutional Court witnessed in June further adds to the growing mistrust in the court and contributes to a loss of legitimacy towards state institutions in general.

Another example is the Presidential appointment of state agents of the National Society of Railways of Congo (SNCC) and the State-owned mining company, Gécamines. The Kabila camp claims that these appointments are a violation of the constitution, as they were not to be signed in the absence of a new government.

These and other issues have a major impact on existing political tensions and further contribute to rising uncertainty and mistrust both between political elites and within the Congolese population. It also contributes to political speech inspired by identity narratives, which revive aspirations of political autonomy in Katanga, Bas-Congo, and other provinces. These aspirations express a quest to assume public authority over key resources and populations and promote development ‘from below’ but also express a wish to move away from Kinshasa, which is considered as being the cause of a lack of progress. The absence of a firm response and discourse that advocates Congolese unity is only illustrating the current state of affairs.

Many fear that in order to politically survive, President Tshisekedi will have no choice but to end the existing power-sharing agreement and organize a counter-strategy limiting former President Kabila’s political control. In the event of such cessation, the consequences risk producing the conditions for an unprecedented political crisis. Today, the fear of such a rupture is palpable. The schism growing within Kabila’s camp as a result of the disagreement between former President Kabila and Modeste Lukwebo about the latter’s decision to run for President of the Senate- opposing Alexis Thambwe Mwamba, Kabila’s preferred candidate- is only contributing to these fears.

The initial optimism of political stability held amongst the Congolese and the international community today has largely waned. Current dynamics leave us with no other option than to keep a close eye on Congo’s immediate political future. While the agreement concluded between Tshisekedi and Kabila could be read as a step towards some form of stability based on the sharing of power, in the long run, it risks further reducing Tshisekedi’s popular support and a key ingredient of his power base.

These products are the results of academic research and intended for general information and awareness only. They include the best information publicly available at the time of publication. Routine efforts are made to update the materials; however, readers are encouraged to check the specific mission sites at or

Congo (DRC) Country Profile – Government/Politics

Last update on: 13 September 2020

from  CIA Factbook (Page last updated on October 06,2020)

Government type: semi-presidential republic.

Capital: Kinshasa

Administrative divisions: 26 provinces (provinces, singular – province); Bas-Uele (Lower Uele), Equateur, Haut-Katanga (Upper Katanga), Haut-Lomami (Upper Lomami), Haut-Uele (Upper Uele), Ituri, Kasai, Kasai-Central, Kasai-Oriental (East Kasai), Kinshasa, Kongo Central, Kwango, Kwilu, Lomami, Lualaba, Mai-Ndombe, Maniema, Mongala, Nord-Kivu (North Kivu), Nord-Ubangi (North Ubangi), Sankuru, Sud-Kivu (South Kivu), Sud-Ubangi (South Ubangi), Tanganyika, Tshopo, Tshuapa.


  • history: several previous; latest adopted 13 May 2005, approved by referendum 18-19 December 2005, promulgated 18 February 2006.
  • amendments: proposed by the president of the republic, by the government, by either house of Parliament, or by public petition; agreement on the substance of a proposed bill requires absolute majority vote in both houses; passage requires a referendum only if both houses in joint meeting fail to achieve three-fifths majority vote; constitutional articles, including the form of government, universal suffrage, judicial independence, political pluralism, and personal freedoms, cannot be amended; amended 2011.

Legal system: civil law system primarily based on Belgian law, but also customary and tribal law.

Executive branch:

  • chief of state: President Felix TSHISEKEDI (since 24 January 2019).
  • head of government: Prime Minister Sylvestre ILUNGA Ilunkamba (since 20 May 2019); Deputy Prime Ministers Jose MAKILA, Leonard She OKITUNDU, Henri MOVA Sankanyi (since February 2018).
  • cabinet: Ministers of State appointed by the president.
  • elections/appointments: president directly elected by simple majority vote for a 5-year term (eligible for a second term); election last held on 30 December 2018 (next to be held in December 2023); prime minister appointed by the president.
  • election results: Felix TSHISEKEDI elected president; percent of vote – Felix TSHISEKEDI (UDPS) 38.6%, Martin FAYULU (Lamuka coalition) 34.8%, Emmanuel Ramazani SHADARY (PPRD) 23.9%, other 2.7%; note – election marred by serious voting irregularities.

Legislative branch:

description: bicameral Parliament or Parlement consists of:

  • Senate (108 seats; members indirectly elected by provincial assemblies by proportional representation vote; members serve 5-year terms).
  • National Assembly (500 seats; 439 members directly elected in multi-seat constituencies by proportional representation vote and 61 directly elected in single-seat constituencies by simple majority vote; members serve 5-year terms).


  • Senate – last held on 19 January 2007 (follow-on election has been delayed).
  • National Assembly – last held on 30 December 2018.

election results: 

  • Senate – percent of vote by party – NA; seats by party – PPRD 22, MLC 14, FR 7, RCD 7, PDC 6, CDC 3, MSR 3, PALU 2, other 18, independent 26; composition – men 103, women 5, percent of women 4.6%.
  • National Assembly – percent of vote by party – NA; seats by party – PPRD 62, UDPS 41, PPPD 29, MSR 27, MLC 22, PALU 19, UNC 17, ARC 16, AFDC 15, ECT 11, RRC 11, other 214 (includes numerous political parties that won 10 or fewer seats and 2 constituencies where voting was halted), independent 16; composition – men 456, women 44, percent of women  8.8%; total Parliament percent of women 8.1%;note – the November 2011 election was marred by violence including the destruction of ballots in 2 constituencies resulting in the closure of polling sites; election results were delayed 3 months, strongly contested, and continue to be unresolved.

Judicial branch:

  • highest courts: Court of Cassation or Cour de Cassation (consists of 26 justices and organized into legislative and judiciary sections); Constitutional Court (consists of 9 judges)
  • judge selection and term of office: Court of Cassation judges nominated by the Judicial Service Council, an independent body of public prosecutors and selected judges of the lower courts; judge tenure NA; Constitutional Court judges – 3 nominated by the president, 3 by the Judicial Service Council, and 3 by the legislature; judges appointed by the president to serve 9-year non-renewable terms with one-third of the membership renewed every 3 years
  • subordinate courts: State Security Court; Court of Appeals (organized into administrative and judiciary sections); Tribunal de Grande; magistrates’ courts; customary courts

Political Geography. 

Elections were held in January 2019, naming Felix Tshisekedi of the Union for Democracy and Social Progress (UDPS) and the CACH Coalition for Change, the new President. The electoral commission upheld the election results, despite known irregularities in voting. The Constitutional Court also upheld the decision after several days of legal challenges (MONUSCO at a Glance Feb 2019).[i]

Tshisekedi is largely considered to be former President Joseph Kabila’s chosen successor. Kabila ruled the country for 20 years (1998-2018). His administration was characterized by corruption and human rights abuses.

The CACH coalition won a majority of Parliamentary seats, allowing them to select a Prime Minister to run the government (Guardian 09 February 2019).[ii] On 20 May 2019, Sylvestre Ilunga Ilunkamba, former head of the railway system, was named the next Prime Minister (France 24, 20 May 2019).[iii] After his appointment was announced, Ilunkamba thanked former President Kabila for selecting him (France 24). Ilunkamba also said he would prioritize “education, health, security and establishing peace” (France 24).

[i] MONUSCO At a Glance, February 2019

[ii] Congo’s Election: A Defeat for Democracy, a Disaster for the People. The Guardian, 9Feb2019 by Ibrahim, Mo and Doss, Alan. Doss is the President of the Kofi Annan Foundation.

[iii] DR Congo’s Tshisekedi names new Prime Minister, France 24, 20 May 2019.

These products are the results of academic research and intended for general information and awareness only. They include the best information publicly available at the time of publication. Routine efforts are made to update the materials; however, readers are encouraged to check the specific mission sites at or

Congo (DRC) Country Profile – Military / Security

Last update on: 13 September 2020

From Cia Factbook (Page last updated on October 06, 2020)

Military and security forces: Armed Forces of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (Forces d’Armees de la Republique Democratique du Congo, FARDC): Land Forces, National Navy (La Marine Nationale), Congolese Air Force (Force Aerienne Congolaise, FAC); Republican Guard (responsible for presidential security) (2019).

Military expenditures:

  • 0.7% of GDP (2019)
  • 0.7% of GDP (2018)
  • 0.7% of GDP (2017)
  • 1.3% of GDP (2016)
  • 1.4% of GDP (2015)

Military and security service personnel strengths: size estimates for the Armed Forces of the Democratic Republic of Congo (FARDC) vary widely because of inconsistent and unreliable data, as well as the ongoing integration of various non-state armed groups/militias; approximately 100,000 active troops (80,000 Army; 7,000 Navy; 2,000 Air Force; 10,000 Republican Guard) (2019 est.).

Military equipment inventories and acquisitions: the FARDC is equipped mostly with a mix of second-hand Russian and Soviet-era weapons acquired from Ukraine and other former Warsaw Pact nations, as well as some equipment provided by Brazil and France; most equipment was acquired between 1970 and 2000; since 2010, Ukraine is the largest supplier of arms to the FARDC (2019 est.).

Military service age and obligation: 18-45 years of age for voluntary and compulsory military service (2012).

Military – note: the modern FARDC was created out of the armed factions of the two Congo wars of 1996-1997 and 1998-2003; as part of the peace accords that ended the last war, the largest rebel groups were incorporated into the FARDC; many armed groups (at least 70 and by some recent estimates more than 100), however, continue to fight; as of September 2020, the FARDC is actively engaged in combat operations against numerous armed groups inside the country, particularly in the eastern provinces of Ituri, North Kivu, and South Kivu, although violence also continues in Maniema, Kasai, Kasai Central, and Tanganyika provinces; the military is widely assessed as being unable to provide adequate security throughout the country due to insufficient training, poor morale and leadership, ill-discipline and corruption, low equipment readiness, a fractious ethnic makeup, and the sheer size of the country and diversity of armed rebel groups.

MONUSCO, the United Nations peacekeeping and stabilization force in the Democratic Republic of Congo, has operated in the central and eastern parts of the country since 1999; as of March 2020, MONUSCO comprised around 18,500 personnel, including nearly 14,000 military troops; in December 2019, the UN extended MONUSCO’s s mandate until 20 December 2020; MONUSCO includes a Force Intervention Brigade (FIB; 3 infantry battalions), the first ever UN peacekeeping force specifically tasked to carry out targeted offensive operations to neutralize and disarm groups considered a threat to state authority and civilian security (2020).

Other information on Congo (DRC) – Military / Security

The security situation in the DRC remains volatile. The main threats are rebel groups and criminal networks, although the number of armed community self-defense entities is increasing. Allegedly:

“…over 120 armed groups are active in eastern Congo. Many of these groups receive support from the Congolese government and security forces, while others have formed coalitions against the Kabila government. Yet the gravest threat to Congolese civilians comes from the security forces meant to protect them. According to the UN human rights office in Congo, some 1,180 people were extrajudicially [sic] executed by Congolese “state agents” in 2017, far more than those killed by any of the armed groups and a threefold increase over two years.”

MONUSCO has responded with aerial operations and taken immediate steps to strengthen the protection of civilians through increased joint police and military patrols and redeploying additional troops of its FIB. Serious tensions exist between communities, especially local ethnic groups, migrants and the internally displaced (IDPs), who increased from 50,000 to 500,000 in a three-year span (2011-14) and continues to grow. There are several influential players in the military/security arena:

​​​​​​​State Armed Groups

Estimated at 140K in strength, the FARDC was formed after the Second Congo War to integrate various armed groups and serve as a unified national armed force. By 2010, the international community funded over $14 billion in military professionalism initiatives, training, and education. Additionally, the FARDC has at least 14 bilateral technical assistance agreements. Despite these efforts, the FARDC appears to lack any commitment to neutralizing the other armed groups. In many cases, there is evidence of collusion between the FARDC and armed group “allies.” Coordination of operations between MONUSCO and the FARDC was suspended during a dispute over the professionalism of two Congolese generals. Attempts to renew the relationship have faltered over reports of the GoDRC’s forces participating in violent activity against civilians(particularly against opposition parties and demonstrators) either directly or indirectly (by allowing non-state armed groups to attack the population and communities in their stead). 

In 2013, FARDC members trained by U.S. Special Operations“joined with other Congolese soldiers to rape 97 women and 33 girls as they fled a rebel advance in eastern Congo in November,” according to the United Nations. The training program was called Operation Olympic Chase, and was led by the State Department and the U.S. Africa Command, which oversees U.S. military operations on the continent.
Thierry Vircoulon, Central Africa project director for the International Crisis Group, said the U.S. government underestimated what it would take to reform the Congolese armed forces:“The state of the army in itself is a disaster, so you train people and you send them back to a dysfunctional army,” he said. “You are trained, but you still have a very low wage, no logistics, a very poor command system, and no sense of belonging and cohesion because the Congolese army is still a patchwork of very different groups. Even if you’re trained, at the end of the day, you’re still a hungry and unpaid soldier.” Whitlock, Craig. Washington Post 13 May 2013

The violence extends to the UN and other humanitarian workers, as demonstrated by the kidnapping and deaths of two UN human rights monitors in early March 2017. The kidnapping was allegedly committed by unknown parties, yet some sources indicate the DRC military found the bodies within a day of the disappearance but did not share that information with UN authorities until several days later, implying some complicity in their initial loss. 

Seven DRC military officers were arrested and chargedwith war crimes by a DRC investigative authority, stemming from allegations by several international organizations and other nations accusing them of “summary executions”among other atrocities, based on a video of the same. The United States, France, the European Union (EU) and the United Nations (UN) each called for an investigation into a video that purports to show soldiers casually killing several unarmed civilians along a roadway. Initially, the DRC’s information minister claimed the video was filmed in another African country, and that it was produced by nongovernmental organizations “to destroy the image of the D.R.C.”
  • Garde Républicaine. The Republican Guard was previously known as the Special Presidential Security Group. It is estimated to be a division-strength unit that is much “better trained, equipped, and paid than the FARDC.”
  • Agence Nationale de Renseignements (ANR). The 12,000-strong ANR is the DRC’s national intelligence agency. Despite constitutional limitations, the ANR “routinely carries out surveillance of political opponents and is deployed in anti-riot roles alongside the police and military. It has also been accused of widespread human rights violations, including beatings, torture, disappearances, and extra-judicial killings.”
  • The Congolese National Police. The European Union (EU) supported a decade-long comprehensive multiyear police training program that ended in 2016. “Despite these initiatives, the PNC largely remains in the mold of a partisan force that…has been…part of an array of security institutions over which the presidency has direct control.” In June 2016, the U.S. imposed sanctions on the Kinshasa police chief, known as esprit de morts” or “spirit of death”.
  • Youth Recruits. According to Human Rights Watch:

In the days leading up to the February 25 (2018) protests, ruling party officials and senior security officers paid at least several hundred youth recruits – including many from the ruling party’s youth league – and gave them instructions to infiltrate churches, arrest priests when they attempted to march after the services, beat those who resisted, and provoke violence and disorder to prevent the marchers from going forward and to “justify” a brutal response from the security forces.

Non-State Armed Groups (AGs)

Over seventy armed groups operate in the DRC, particularly in the eastern part. Many armed groups are remnants from the various wars or spill-over from neighboring country wars. Several are part of local self-defense groups. Many of the AGs are considered Mai Mai (MM) groups that fight against larger groups to protect their resources, territorial, and ethnic interests (USMOG SUSMO Outbrief October 2018). Some of the armed groups are part of a political party. Only a few armed groups are any part of any regional or global terrorism movement, although alliances of convenience do exist. Disarmament, demobilization, and reintegration (DDR) campaign is in its third phase, initiated in late 2015. While the programs appear successful, the participants have been known to be “recycled” frequently. According to the Council on Foreign Relations Conflict Tracker, the largest and/or most significant of the non-state armed groups appear to be (in alphabetical order):

  • Allied Democratic Forces (ADF)The ADF is a Ugandan-led Islamist rebel group and is one of the oldest in the DRC, operating in the mountains of eastern DR Congo. Members want to establish Shari’a law in Uganda. The ADF was formed around 1998 from discontented sectors of Ugandan society after the overthrow of Idi Amin. In June 2010, the FARDC launched an attack called “Operation Ruwenzori” against the ADF. The ADF currently number approximately 500 combatants but the high level of secrecy in the organization and its compartmentalized structure make it difficult to ascertain its overall strength. Despite two years of operations against it, the ADF remains able to coordinate simultaneous attacks on the FARDC and MONUSCO, with several hundred civilians killed since 2014, and tens of thousands of others displaced. They are suspected in the December 2017 attack that killed fifteen Tanzanian peacekeepers as well as the earlier September and October 2017 attacks that killed another three peacekeepers. 

However, some observers note that the ADF may not be as strong as the GoDRC purports and that, in fact, the ADF may serve as a “scapegoat” for the FARDC’s own actions or inactions. In addition: “The group, which is largely composed of converts, is not thought to have any significant links to other Islamist extremist organizations [sic] in Africa or the Middle East, though a video recently surfaced showing fighters apparently in DRC claiming allegiance to Islamic State.”

  • Bakata Katanga: The Bakata Katanga  (“Cut off Katanga” in Swahili) is based on Katangan identity issues and claims to defend the region against exploitation by Kinshasa and reportedly has ties with secessionist organizations. The Bakata Katanga are allegedly connected to politicians with national prominence.
  • The Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR):  The FDLR is the largest illegal foreign armed group operating in DR Congo and often considered the most abusive. While there is currently a growing number of Congolese among their ranks, the group is primarily formed from Hutu members of the Rwandan government and army ousted in 1994 as well as Rwandan refugees. Its public purpose is to use military pressure to open “inter-Rwandan dialogue” with the current Rwandan government, but its covert purpose appears to be to overthrow the Rwandan government. The FDLR currently operates in eastern DR Congo and Katanga province. Its current strength is estimated to be 2000 combatants.
  • Enyelle and Independent Movement of Liberation and Allies (MILIA):  MILIA conducted targeted killings against the Boba before moving south.
  • Front for Patriotic Resistance in Ituri (FRPI): FRPI is an active armed militia and cattle thieves, attempting to evolve into a political party in DRC’s north-eastern region of Ituri. Meanwhile, some estimate the FRPI account for almost 25% of human rights violations in DRC. 
  • Kamwina (Kamuina) Nsapu Militia. DRC soldiers allegedly killed over 100 civilians of the regionally dominant Luba ethnic group, to include almost 40 women in February 2017, and thousands were displaced. The militia group—many of whom were children–apparently sought “to avenge the death of their leader, Jean-Pierre Mpandi, whom the tribe had named their “Kamwina Nsapu”. The DRC called it an inter-tribal conflict that they forcefully resolved. However, in March 2017 the militia group claimed responsibility for the kidnapping of two UN workers (including one American) and the beheading of 42 police officers
Jean-Pierre Mpandi was the son of a deceased clan chief but was not officially recognized by the provincial governor as his father’s replacement. His home was raided by government authorities, and he responded by inciting his tribe to attack “any and all representatives of the state”. He was subsequently killed in August 2016 in a fight with security forces. 
  • The Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA): The LRA is a Ugandan rebel group currently operating along with the northern border areas of Congo as well as in the eastern Central African Republic. In 1988, Joseph Kony created the LRA with the claim of restoring the honor of his ethnic Acholi people. It was based in a spiritual rebel movement “Holy Spirit Movement.” In September 2005, the LRA moved to the DRC and began a violent expansion campaign. The LRA includes “recruits” forcefully abducted from the DRC, South Sudan and the Central African Republic to use as sex slaves and child soldiers. LRA soldiers quickly gained a reputation for murder, torture, rape, and mutilations. In May 2010, the U.S. Congress passed the “Lord’s Resistance Army Disarmament and Northern Uganda Recovery Act,” which follows the U.S. State Department inclusion of the LRA on the Terrorist Exclusion List in 2001 and designation of Joseph Kony as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist under Executive Order 13324 in 2008. In October 2011, 100 U.S. soldiers assumed advisory roles in support of regional militaries. In 2013, the U.S. military launched Operation Observant Compass, increasing the number of soldiers and military aircraft. By March 2017, the U.S. announced it is removing its military and high-technological equipment from the operations. While the LRA appears significantly reduced in size and number of attacks on civilians per year, it is not eliminated yet. 
  • Maï ShekaA group formed in 2009 by mineral resource businessmen, it believes that the land should belong to the original, indigenous inhabitants. Sometimes referred to as a “self-defense militia” it is primarily “composed of members of DRC’s Nande, Hunde and Kobo communities…in opposition to rivals from the Nyaturu group, which also represents ethnic Hutus.”  They gained attention due to their aggressive sexual violence campaign in 2010. In conjunction with the FDLR, they mass-raped more than 240 civilians and, afterward, looted their homes and shops. A MONUSCO base was within miles of the sexual attack but was not notified until days later, and therefore was unable to protect the citizens. Mai-Mai groups are the most prolific recruiters of child soldiers and perpetrators of human rights abuses, including a recent attack on 25 Hutus, who were hacked to death and beheaded.
  • March 23 Movement (M23):  M23 was made up primarily of ethnic Tutsis allegedly supported by the Rwandan government, rebelling against the GoDRC for supposedly reneging on the 2009 peace deal which included issues of land and mineral resource control. By 2013, it was defeated by the FARDC and MONUSCO’s FIB. The DRC conducted an amnesty program with some measure of success and the M23 allegedly converted to a strictly political movement. However, there are continuing reports of M23 (or ex-M23) members still operating as armed members, although the political movement leadership denies these claims. In particular, in February 2017, Uganda announced its authorities detained tens of M23 members trying to return into the DRC from Ugandan camps “into the general public.” It is not clear if those members intended to continue opposition activities, or if the current M23 leader, Sultani Makenga, remained in the custody of Ugandan authorities. (Makenga is the subject of U.S. and EU sanctions.)
  • National Congress for the Defense of the People (CNDP): CNDP became a political party in 2009 and a few thousand of its fighters joined the Congolese army.
  • The National Liberation Forces (FNL): The FNL is a Burundian rebel group originally formed in 1985 as the military wing of a Hutu-led rebel group called the PALIPEHUTU. Both the PALIPEHUTU and the FNL signed a peace agreement in September 2006 and became simply FNL. Many FNL integrated into the national Burundian army in 2010, and the remnants restarted rebel activities to fight the Burundian armed forces. The FNL currently appears to be in an alliance with Mai Yakutumba and FDLR.
  • Nyatura Rebels: Nyatura Rebels, a Congolese Hutu militia, collaborated with FDLR rebels and the Congolese army to defeat M23.
  • Patriotic Forces for the Liberation of Congo (FPLC): FPLC is involved in human rights violations including ethnic killings, torture, rape, and mutilation.
  • Raia Mutomboki: Raia Mutomboki started operating in 2011 for self-defense against attacks perpetrated by the FDLR.
  • Organized Criminal Elements (Domestic and Transnational): Organized crime in the DRC exists at all levels of society. Local collaborators include a complex and dynamic mix of legitimate business people; Islamist extremists, terrorists, and kidnappers; police and army officers; militia groups; and local politicians. Crime exists in many forms, the most prevalent being corruptionlooting of mineral resources, drug and human trafficking, kidnapping, and poaching.

Other International Actors. In 2015, the DRC made it very clear to its international partners that it would no longer tolerate what it sees as interference with its sovereign prerogatives, the sharpest anti-international-partner rhetoric since 2011. The DRC singled out MONUSCO for additional criticism, declaring the head of MONUSCO’s human rights division as persona non grata for supposed anti-DRC government bias. This perspective appears unchanged.

​​​​​​​Regional Neighbors: Burundi, Rwanda, and Uganda. Burundi shares a border with the DRC as well as significant concerns about Rwanda and alleged Rwandan actions that contribute to the instability in both countries. Burundi believes Rwanda is recruiting refugees to oust its government. At the same time, the DRC suggests that Rwanda is recruiting and arming Burundian refugees, providing them Congolese ballot cards, then sending them into the DRC “to cause trouble.” Uganda allegedly supports many of the rebel armed groups, including the M23, although Uganda denies this claim. Compounding the DRC’s relationship with Uganda is the issue of the 40,000 DRC refugees in Uganda.

Other Countries.

  • ChinaChina’s ongoing interest in Congo’s minerals, which includes the purchase of mines and mining rights, has geopolitical ramifications despite the global economic slowdown.China is a TCC for MINUSCO and other African peace missions. It also pledged the African Union with USD$100 million in military assistance for its peacekeeping operations. China certainly has significant—and increasing—business interests in Africa. Some observe that: in essence, China deploys peacekeeping troops because it needs to protect its multi-billion investments and numerous assets, enterprises, and citizens abroad. Through its peacekeepers, Beijing can also elevate its status as a responsible stakeholder and security provider in the international community and improve the operational capabilities of the Chinese military and police forces.
  • Russia. It is unclear what bilateral formal relationships—other than diplomatic—may exist between Russia and the DRC. However, in September 2017 a Russian plane carrying military cargo crashed in the DRC, killing all aboard. Allegedly, the plane was chartered from Russia in support of the FADRC. 

International Organizations. There are many other international agencies operating in DRC, beyond the UN. Some examples are: 

  • The African Union (AU) and the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region (IGCLR). The AU is engaged in many activities to reduce or mitigate instability in the DRC. On 6 April 2016, the AU formally named former Togolese Prime Minister Edem Kodjo to facilitate a dialogue to address the electoral processes for the planned—but not conducted—November presidential elections. However, most major opposition parties refused to participate and doubted the AU’s impartiality. Regardless, the AU and IGCLR endorsed the October agreement, which contributed to Kabila motivation to remain in power. The AU may be losing patience with Kabila, however, as indicated in the March 2018 meeting of its Peace and Security Council (PSC) where it “…reaffirmed its commitment to the independence and sovereignty of the DRC, in conformity with the relevant instruments of the AU…[and]…the need for the full implementation of the Political Agreement of 31 December 2016…” 
  • The European Union (EU). The EU deployed a short term mission to DRC in 2007, to assist the UN mission then known as MONUC. By 2010, the EU spent $14 billion to support rebuilding efforts, including security sector reform, and in 2014 committed to another $1 billion to fund these initiatives through 2020. The EU also designated DRC officials for the first time in 2016.​​​​​​​
  • The Southern African Development Community (SADC). The SADC has “decades of security engagement and regional diplomacy” in the DRC, intervening twice by force: 1) 1998, with intervention by Angola, Namibia, and Zimbabwe to beat back a Rwandan and Ugandan invasion; and 2) 2003, leaving a force to assist the DRC’s security sector after the war. MONUSCO’s FIB, deployed in 2013, is essentially a SADC force. However, the SADC involvement in the DRC’s failed 2016 peace negotiations may have weakened its reputation as an impartial and highly influential actor

Other source:

These products are the results of academic research and intended for general information and awareness only. They include the best information publicly available at the time of publication. Routine efforts are made to update the materials; however, readers are encouraged to check the specific mission sites at or

MONUSCO – Mandate

Last update on: 13 September 2020

Information on the MONUSCO Mandate can be found at

Current mandate – UNSecurity Council Resolution 2502 (2019).

Previous mission mandates emphasized support for national elections. Since the 2018 elections are over, the March 2019 mandate prioritized support for stabilization and strengthening state institutions, as well as governance and security reforms. However, “the protection of civilians remains the first priority task of the mission” (Pass Blue 29 March 2019).[i]

During the mandate renewal process, some nations wanted to renew MONUSCO’s mandate for a 12-month period (South Africa), yet other nations wanted to review the mandate after 6-months to see how the new government fares (France). The representative of the DRC stated that the short-term mandate would not offer sufficient time for the evaluation of the mission’s strategic review and eventual exit strategy (Pass Blue).

The DRC government also requested that the UN-designated the Ugandan Islamist Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) a terrorist group. In November 2018, MONUSCO and Congolese forces (FARDC) planned joint offensive operations against the ADF in Beni state. The updated mandate preserved the Force Intervention Brigade (FIB) which allows the mission to conduct offensive operations and continued to emphasize the U.S. priority of troop performance.

MONUSCO’s strategic priorities are to protect civilians and support the stabilization and strengthening of State institutions, as well as governance and security reforms (UN Press 29 March 2019).[ii] In addition, the Council reaffirmed support for the development of a comprehensive and integrated performance policy framework that identifies clear standards for evaluating all United Nations civilian and uniformed personnel working in and supporting peacekeeping operations (UN Press). 

UNSCR 2424 on 29 June 2018 renewed the DRC sanctions and the mandate of the Group of Experts. The DRC sanctions are essentially an arms embargo, travel ban, and assets freeze. Thirty-five individuals and nine entities are named in the current version, which was updated with four new names on February 1, 2018. While the sanctions will expire in July 2019, they are expected to be renewed for another year. 

​​​​​​​Although the mission has been largely credited with preventing a return to large-scale violence and supporting the transition to democratic governance, it has struggled to enact Security Sector Reform (SSR) within the FARDC and Congolese National Police (PNC). This is largely due to the fact that the security forces serve the interests of political elites who want to use the force for select purposes. One report emphasizes that the state has sought to “maintain patronage networks over the security of its citizens, and elite survival over institutional reform” (Norwegian Institute International Affairs).[iii]

[i] UN Organization Stabilization Mission in the DRC (MONUSCO) Mandate Renewal, Pass Blue, 29 March 2019

[ii] Security Council, Adopting Resolution 2463 (2019), Calls for Strategic Review of Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Extends Mandate, SC/13759 29 March 2019,

[iii] Dr. Novosseloff, Alexandra. Assessing the Effectiveness of the UN Mission to the DRC – MONUC/MONUSCO, Norwegian Institute of International Affairs (NUPI), Oslo 2019

These products are the results of academic research and intended for general information and awareness only. They include the best information publicly available at the time of publication. Routine efforts are made to update the materials; however, readers are encouraged to check the specific mission sites at or

MONUSCO – Casualties

Last update on: 24 November 2020

Information on MONUSCO casualties can be found on Fatalities by Mission and Incident Type or UN Peacekeeping Fatalities

These high-risk missions face the greatest threat from armed actors. The number of MONUSCO fatalities is higher than that experienced by its predecessor mission, MONUC. In the twenty years of MONUC (1999-2019), it suffered 161 fatalities, of which 72% were uniformed personnel and 21% of the total fatalities were due to malicious acts. 

The DRC itself lost the largest number of peacekeepers in MONUSCO, for a total of 38 persons and 35 in the earlier MONUC. The next largest fatality number is Tanzania which lost 32 peacekeepers in MONUSCO. Of that total, fifteen were killed in a single December 2017 attack, an event that highlighted the capabilities gap inherent in MONUSCO at the time.  The U.S. accounts for four total peacekeeper fatalities across ONUC, MONUC, and MONUSCO.

In November 2017, the UN Secretary-General appointed Lieutenant General (Retired) Carlos Alberto dos Santos Cruz of Brazil to conduct a review of peacekeeper fatalities and injuries due to hostile (malicious) acts and to make recommendations. General Cruz has 40 years of military experience, to include service asForce Commander of the United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO) from 2013 to 2015. His review did not address mandates but focused on operational issues in the five “most dangerous” of the UN’s current peacekeeping missions: MONUSCO; The UN Multidimensional Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA); the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA); the UN Mission in the Republic of South Sudan (UNMISS); and the UN-African Union Hybrid Mission in Darfur (UNAMID).

In January 2018, the UN released its “Cruz Report” which argues that “a lack of leadership and a reluctance to move aggressively against potential attackers are responsible for the worst spate of United Nations peacekeeping fatalities in the organization’s history.” The report identified four broad areas where the UN “must take actions to reduce fatalities”:

(1) Increase personnel awareness of the risks and empower them “to take the initiative to deter, prevent, and respond to attacks”; 

(2) Equip and train personnel “to operate in high-threat environments”; 

(3) Achieve a “threat sensitive mission footprint,” aligning mission mandates to limit threat exposure; and 

(4) Ensure leadership accountability to prevent fatalities and injuries.

While many observers applauded the report for its candor, critics highlighted that the report “explicitly sidesteps the fundamental discussion of whether peacekeeping should deploy to such dangerous and problematic environments in the first place.”[i]

[i] Haeri, David. Strengthening UN Peacekeeping: Placing the Santos Cruz Report in Context, IPI Global Observatory, 28 February 2018.

These products are the results of academic research and intended for general information and awareness only. They include the best information publicly available at the time of publication. Routine efforts are made to update the materials; however, readers are encouraged to check the specific mission sites at or

MONUSCO – Background of Conflict

Last update on: 13 September 2020

from MONUSCO​​​​​​​ website

Following the 1994 genocide in Rwanda and the establishment of a new government there, some 1.2 million Rwandese Hutus — including elements who had taken part in the genocide — fled to the neighboring Kivu regions of eastern DRC, formerly Zaïre, an area inhabited by ethnic Tutsis and others. A rebellion began there in 1996, pitting the forces led by Laurent Désiré Kabila against the army of President Mobutu Sese Seko. Kabila’s forces, aided by Rwanda and Uganda, took the capital city of Kinshasa in 1997 and renamed the country the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).

In 1998, a rebellion against the Kabila government started in the Kivu regions. Within weeks, the rebels had seized large areas of the country. Angola, Chad, Namibia, and Zimbabwe promised President Kabila military support, but the rebels maintained their grip on the eastern regions. Rwanda and Uganda supported the rebel move­ment, the Congolese Rally for Democracy (RCD). The Security Council called for a ceasefire and the withdrawal of foreign forces and urged states not to interfere in the country’s internal affairs.


Following the signing of the Lusaka Ceasefire Agreement in July 1999 between the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and five regional States (Angola, Namibia, Rwanda, Uganda, and Zimbabwe) in July 1999, the Security Council established the United Nations Organization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUC) by its resolution 1279  of 30 November 1999, initially to plan for the observation of the ceasefire and disengagement of forces and maintain liaison with all parties to the Ceasefire Agreement. Later in a series of resolutions, the Council expanded the mandate of MONUC to the supervision of the implementation of the Ceasefire Agreement and assigned multiple related additional tasks.

The country’s first free and fair elections in 46 years were held on 30 July 2006, with voters electing a 500-seat National Assembly. Following a run-off election for the presidency on 29 October, and resolution of a subsequent legal challenge, President Joseph Kabila (son of late Laurent Désiré Kabila assassinated in 2001) was declared the winner. The entire electoral process represented one of the most complex votes the United Nations had ever helped organize.

Following the elections, MONUC remained on the ground and continued to implement multiple political, military, rule of law and capacity-building tasks as mandated by the Security Council resolutions, including trying to resolve ongoing conflicts in a number of the DRC provinces.

MONUSCO established

On 1 July 2010, the Security Council, by its resolution 1925, renamed MONUC the United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO) to reflect the new phase reached in the country.

The new mission was authorized to use all necessary means to carry out its mandate relating, among other things, to the protection of civilians, humanitarian personnel and human rights defenders under imminent threat of physical violence and to support the Government of the DRC in its stabilization and peace consolidation efforts.

The Council decided that MONUSCO would comprise, in addition to the appropriate civilian, judiciary and correction components, a maximum of 19,815 military personnel, 760 military observers, 391 police personnel and 1,050 members of formed police units. Future reconfigurations of MONUSCO would be determined as the situation evolved on the ground, including the completion of ongoing military operations in North and South Kivu as well as the Orientale provinces; improved government capacity to protect the population effectively; and the consolidation of state authority throughout the territory.

Intervention Brigade approved 

Although significant progress has been achieved in the DRC since the establishment of UN peacekeeping operation there and the situation in many regions of the country has generally stabilized, the eastern part continued to be plagued by recurrent waves of conflict, chronic humanitarian crises and serious human rights violations, including sexual and gender-based violence. Contributing to the cycles of violence have been the continued presence of Congolese and foreign armed groups taking advantage of power and security vacuums in the eastern part of the country; the illegal exploitation of resources; interference by neighboring countries; pervasive impunity; inter-communal feuds; and the weak capacity of the national army and police to effectively protect civilians and the national territory and ensure law and order.

The recurrence of such cycles of violence, as exemplified by the major crisis in North Kivu which started in April 2012, continued to be an obstacle to peace in the DRC and threatened the overall stability and development of the Great Lakes region. In order to address the underlying causes of conflict and ensure that sustainable peace takes hold in the country and the wider region, the Peace, Security and Cooperation Framework for the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the region was signed by representatives of 11 countries in the region, the Chairs of the African Union, the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region, the Southern African Development Community and the United Nations Secretary-General on 24 February 2013 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

On 28 March 2013, acting in support of the objectives of the Framework Agreement for Peace, Security, and cooperation for the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the region, and answering the call of Governments in Africa’s Great Lakes region, the Security Council unanimously adopted resolution 2098, by which it extended until 31 March 2014, the mandate of MONUSCO and created a specialized “intervention brigade” to strengthen the peacekeeping operation.

Acting on the recommendations contained in the 27 February special report, the Council decided that such a brigade would be set up for an initial period of one year and within the authorized troop ceiling of 19,815, on an exceptional basis and without creating a precedent or any prejudice to the agreed principles of peacekeeping. It would consist of three infantry battalions, one artillery, and one special force and reconnaissance company with headquarters in Goma, and operate under the direct command of the MONUSCO Force Commander, with the responsibility of neutralizing armed groups and the objective of contributing to reducing the threat posed by armed groups to state authority and civilian security in eastern DRC and to make space for stabilization activities. It was also decided that the intervention brigade would have a clear exit strategy and that the Council would consider extending its mandate beyond one year on the basis of its performance, and of whether the DRC had made sufficient progress in implementing the Peace and Security Framework for the region.

The resolution strongly condemned the 23 March Movement (M23), the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR), the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) “and all other armed groups and their continuing violence and abuses of human rights”.  It tasked the new brigade with carrying out offensive operations, either unilaterally or jointly with the Congolese armed forces, “in a robust, highly mobile and versatile manner” to disrupt the activities of those groups.

With regard to the Peace and Security Framework for the region, brokered by the Secretary-General, the Council demanded that all signatory States implement their commitments in good faith, and encouraged the establishment of an oversight mechanism involving regional leaders, as well as a national mechanism to oversee implementation of reform measures agreed by the Democratic Republic of Congo. 

On 28 March 2014, the Security Council, by its resolution 2147, extended the mandate of MONUSCO until 31 March 2015 and decided that the renewed mandate would also include MONUSCO’s Intervention Brigade — “on an exceptional basis and without creating a precedent or any prejudice” — within the authorized troop ceiling of 19,815 military personnel, 760 military observers and staff officers, 391 police personnel and 1,050 formed police units.

At the same time, the Council noted the need for a clear exit strategy and decided that the Mission’s further reconfigurations and mandates should be based on the evolving situation and progress towards several objectives set out in accordance with its three priorities — protecting civilians, stabilizing the country, and supporting the implementation of the Peace, Security and Cooperation Framework for the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the region.

On 30 March 2016, the Security Council extended the mandate of the United Nations mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) for another year (Resolution 2277), warning that the humanitarian situation remains of great concern, as well as the delays in preparing for the November presidential elections.

The Resolution 2348unanimously adopted on 31st March 2017, the 15-member body decided to keep the UN Organization Stabilization Mission (MONUSCO) until 31 March 2018 but approved 16,215 military personnel, 660 military observers and staff officers, 391 police personnel, and 1,050 personnel of formed police units.

On March 27, 2018, the Security Council adopted Resolution 2409 extending until March 31, 2019, the mandate of MONUSCO in the DRC, including its intervention brigade. The Council also authorized a troop ceiling comprising 16,215 military personnel, 660 military observers and staff officers, 391 police officers, and 1,050 members of formed police units. MONUSCO’s strategic priorities are to contribute to the following objectives: a) Protection of civilians; b) Support for the implementation of December 31, 2016, Agreement and the electoral process.

MONUSCO’s current mandate can be found in Resolution 2502 adopted by the Security Council on December 19, 2019, by which the Security Council decides to extend until December 20, 2020, the mandate of MONUSCO in the DRC, including its Intervention Brigade. The authorized MONUSCO troop ceiling includes 14,000 soldiers, 660 military observers and staff officers, 591 police officers, and 1,050 members of formed police units. The Council also approved the temporary deployment of 360 other formed police units provided that they are deployed to replace military personnel. MONUSCO’s strategic priorities are to contribute to the following objectives: (a) Protection of civilians, (b) Support for the stabilization and strengthening of State institutions in the DRC and for the main governance and security reforms.

These products are the results of academic research and intended for general information and awareness only. They include the best information publicly available at the time of publication. Routine efforts are made to update the materials; however, readers are encouraged to check the specific mission sites at or

MONUSCO – Timeline

Last update on: 13 September 2020

Chronology of Events

from BBC

Timeline – the short version

  • 1870s – Belgian King Leopold II sets about colonizing the area as his private holding
  • 1908 – Congo Free State placed under Belgian rule-following outrage over the treatment of Congolese
  • 1960 – Independence, followed by civil war and temporary fragmentation of the country
  • 1965 – Mobutu Sese Seko seizes power 
  • 1997 – Rebels oust Mobutu. Laurent Kabila becomes president
  • 19972003 – Civil war, drawing in several neighboring countries (Africa’s first world war).
  • 2006 – Presidential elections

A chronology of key events:

1482 – Portuguese navigator Diogo Cao becomes the first European to visit the Congo; Portuguese set up ties with the king of Kongo.

16th-17th centuries – British, Dutch, Portuguese, and French merchants engage in the slave trade through Kongo intermediaries.

1870s – Belgian King Leopold II set up a private venture to colonize Kongo.

1874-77 – British explorer Henry Stanley navigates the Congo river to the Atlantic Ocean.

Belgian colonization

1879-87 – Leopold commissions Stanley to establish the king’s authority in the Congo basin.

1884-85 – European powers at the Conference of Berlin recognize Leopold’s claim to the Congo basin.

1885 – Leopold announces the establishment of the Congo Free State, headed by himself.

1891-92 – Belgians conquer Katanga.

1892-94 – Eastern Congo wrested from the control of East African Arab and Swahili-speaking traders.

1908 – Belgian state annexes Congo amid protests over killings and atrocities carried out on a mass scale by Leopold’s agents. 

Millions of Congolese are said to have been killed or worked to death during Leopold’s control of the territory.

1955 – Belgian Professor Antoin van Bilsen publishes a “30-Year Plan” for granting the Congo increased self-government.

1959 – Belgium begins to lose control over events in the Congo following serious nationalist riots in Leopoldville (now Kinshasa).

Post-independence turmoil

1960 June – Congo becomes independent with Patrice Lumumba as prime minister and Joseph Kasavubu as president.

1960 July – Congolese army mutinies; Moise Tshombe declares Katanga independent; Belgian troops sent in ostensibly to protect Belgian citizens and mining interests; UN Security Council votes to send in troops to help establish order, but the troops are not allowed to intervene in internal affairs.

1960 September – President Kasavubu dismisses Mr. Lumumba.

1961 February – Patrice Lumumba murdered, reportedly with US and Belgian complicity.

1961 August – UN troops begin disarming Katangese soldiers.

1963 – Moise Tshombe agrees to end Katanga’s secession.

1964 – President Kasavubu appoints Mr. Tshombe prime minister.

Mobutu years

1965 – Army chief Joseph Mobutu seizes power.

1971 – Joseph Mobutu renames the country Zaire and himself Mobutu Sese Seko; Katanga becomes Shaba and the river Congo becomes the river Zaire.

1973-74 – President Mobutu nationalizes many foreign-owned firms and forces European investors out of the country.

1977 – President Mobutu invites foreign investors back, without much success; French, Belgian and Moroccan troops help repulse an attack on Katanga by Angolan-based rebels.

1989 – Zaire defaults on loans from Belgium, resulting in a cancellation of development programs and increased deterioration of the economy.

1990 – President Mobutu agrees to end the ban on multiparty politics and appoints a transitional government, but retains substantial powers.

1991 – Following riots in Kinshasa by unpaid soldiers, President Mobutu agrees to a coalition government with opposition leaders, but retains control of the security apparatus and important ministries.

1994 – President Mobutu agrees to the appointment of Kengo Wa Dondo, an advocate of free-market reforms, as prime minister.

1996-97 – Tutsi rebels capture much of eastern Zaire while President Mobutu is abroad for medical treatment.

Rule of the Kabilas

1997 May – Tutsi and other anti-Mobutu rebels, aided principally by Rwanda, capture the capital, Kinshasa; Zaire is renamed the Democratic Republic of Congo; Laurent-Desire Kabila installed as president.

1998 August – Rebels backed by Rwanda and Uganda rise up against Mr. Kabila and advance on Kinshasa. Zimbabwe, Namibia send troops to repel them. Angolan troops also side with Mr. Kabila. The rebels take control of much of the east of DR Congo.

1999 July – The six African countries involved in the war sign a ceasefire accord in Lusaka. The following month the Congolese Liberation Movement (MLC) rebels supported by Uganda and Rally for Congolese Democracy (RCD) rebels backed by Rwanda also sign.

2000 – UN Security Council authorizes a 5,500-strong UN force to monitor the ceasefire but fighting continues between rebels and government forces, and between Rwandan and Ugandan forces.

2001 January – President Laurent Kabila is shot dead by a bodyguard. Joseph Kabila succeeds his father.

2001 May – US refugee agency says the war has killed 2.5 million people, directly or indirectly, since August 1998. 

Later, a UN panel says the warring parties are deliberately prolonging the conflict to plunder gold, diamonds, timber, and coltan, used in the making of mobile phones.

2002 January – Eruption of Mount Nyiragongo devastates much of the city of Goma.

Search for peace

2002 July – Presidents of DR Congo and Rwanda sign a peace deal under which Rwanda will withdraw troops from the east and DR Congo will disarm and arrest Rwandan Hutu gunmen blamed for the killing of the Tutsi minority in Rwanda’s 1994 genocide.

2002 September – Presidents of DR Congo and Uganda sign peace accord under which Ugandan troops will leave DR Congo.

2002 December – Peace deal signed in South Africa between the Kinshasa government and the main rebel groups. Under the deal, rebels and opposition members are to be given portfolios in an interim government.

2003 June – French soldiers arrive in Bunia, spearheading a UN-mandated rapid-reaction force.

Interim government

2003 June – President Kabila names a transitional government to lead until elections in two years’ time. Leaders of main former rebel groups are sworn in as vice-presidents in July.

2006 February – New constitution comes into force; a new national flag is adopted.

2006 March – Warlord Thomas Lubanga becomes the first war crimes suspect to face charges at the International Criminal Court in The Hague. He is accused of forcing children into active combat.

2006 May – Thousands are displaced in the north-east as the army and UN peacekeepers step up their drive to disarm irregular forces ahead of the elections.

Free elections

2006 July – Presidential and parliamentary polls are held – the first free elections in four decades. 

2006 November – Joseph Kabila is declared the winner of October’s run-off presidential election. The poll has the general approval of international monitors.

2007 April – DRCongo, Rwanda, and Burundi relaunch the regional Great Lakes Countries Economic Community (CEPGL).

2007 September – Major outbreak of the deadly Ebola virus.

2008 October – Rebel forces capture major army base of Rumangabo; the Congolese government accuses Rwanda of backing Tutsi rebel leader Laurent Nkunda, a claim Rwanda denies.

2008 November – UN Security Council approves a temporary increase of troops to bolster the strained UN peacekeeping effort in the east.

2010 July – $8 billion debt relief deal approved by the World Bank and IMF.

2010 November – Paris Club of creditor countries scrap half of DRCongo’s debt.

Kabila re-elected

2011 November – Presidential and parliamentary elections. Mr. Kabila gains another term. The vote is criticized abroad and the opposition disputes the result. 

2013 February – Representatives of 11 African countries sign an accord in Ethiopia pledging to help end the conflict in DR Congo. The M23 rebel group declared a ceasefire ahead of the talks, and its leader Bosco Ntaganda surrenders the following month.

2013 July – 3,000-member UN Intervention Brigade deployed to fight and disarm rebels in the east. 

2015 January – Dozens killed in protests against proposed electoral law changes which the opposition said were designed to allow President Kabila to remain in power.

2016 November – A political deal signed between President Kabila’s ruling coalition and the opposition to delay the presidential election until 2018 sees Prime Minister Augustin Matata Ponyo and his cabinet resign, paving the way for a new cabinet to include opposition figures.

2017 December – DR Congo is experiencing a “mega-crisis”, with conflict having forced 1.7 million people to flee their homes during the year, aid agencies say. DR Congo is worst-affected by conflict displacement in the world, they say.

Controversial elections

2018 March – Main opposition Union for Democracy and Social Progress chooses Felix Tshisekedi as its candidate for the December presidential election.

2018 June – The government asks commissions to look at declassifying parts of Virunga and Salonga national parks, both Unesco World Heritage Sites, for oil exploration. Environmentalists claim drilling would endanger wildlife and contribute to global warming. 

2018 August – Governing People’s Party for Reconstruction and Democracy chooses former interior minister Ramazani Shadary as its presidential candidate, as President Kabila cannot run for another term.

2019 January – Officials declare opposition candidate Felix Tshisekedi the winner of December’s presidential election, prompting protests from rival opposition candidate Martin Fayulu of a deal with the government, whose candidate Emmanuel Ramazani Shadary came third.

These products are the results of academic research and intended for general information and awareness only. They include the best information publicly available at the time of publication. Routine efforts are made to update the materials; however, readers are encouraged to check the specific mission sites at or

MONUSCO – Senior Leaders of the Mission

Last update on: 13 September 2020

Information on MONUSCO’s Leadership can be found at

Special Representative of the Secretary-General (SRSG):  Leila Zerrougui (Algeria)

Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General (DSRSG), for Protection and Operations: David Gressly (United States)

Deputy Special Representative ad interim of the Secretary-General: David McLachlan-Karr (Australia)

Force Commander: Lieutenant General Ricardo Augusto Ferreira Costa Neves (Brazil)


BENI – Mr. Omar Aboud

BUKAVU – Mr. Soro Karna

BUNIA – Ms. Cecilia Piazza

GOMA – Mr. Julius Fondong

KALEMIE – Mr. Jacob Mogeni

KANANGA – Ms. Sophie Stecher 

KINDU – Mr. Tankoane Boubacar

UVIRA – Mr. Abdourahamane GANDA

BUTEMBO – Mr. Guirane N’Diaye
Leila Zerrougui, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, arrives in Fataki, Ituri Province, following deadly attacks on the populace by armed elements. 1 April 2018. © MONUSCO/Michael Ali

These products are the results of academic research and intended for general information and awareness only. They include the best information publicly available at the time of publication. Routine efforts are made to update the materials; however, readers are encouraged to check the specific mission sites at or