IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Rwandan economic involvement in the conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo


  • Marysse, Stefaan
  • Cuvelier, Jeroen


According to the International Rescue Committee, as many as 3.3 million people have lost their lives, either in direct fighting or from the outbreak of diseases as a result of the war. Despite the formation of a two-year national transition government, composed of representatives of the former Kinshasa regime, the pro-government Mayi Mayi-militias, rebel movements, the unarmed political opposition and civil society, the prospects for durable peace remain bleak. While intensified ethnic strife between Hema and Lendu militias in the resource-rich Ituri province has triggered a massive flow of refugees and the creation of a multilateral intervention force in June 2003, the Kivu provinces have witnessed renewed fighting between rebel forces of the Rwandan-backed RCD-Goma rebel movement and Mayi-Mayi militiamen. Even the south-eastern Katanga province has shown signs of evolving instability: on 8 August 2003, the international relief non-governmental organisation GOAL reported that six different armed groups were occupying the town of Manono, following the ejection of the local RCD-Goma administrator by the 8th Brigade, a mysterious group of 150 men claiming to be members of the former Kinshasa government’s army. Unfortunately, the spiral of violence in Congo’s border regions is not the only source of concern to diplomats involved in overseeing the peace process. The dubious track record of some of the key members of the national transition government does not inspire much confidence in the preparatory work for the country’s first democratic elections since independence. Whereas a Belgian court has sentenced vicepresident Jean-Pierre Bemba to one year’s imprisonment for human trafficking, his colleague Abdoulaye Yerodia Ndombasi has also faced a Belgian judicial inquiry for his inflammatory statements concerning the DRC’s Tutsi population in August 1998. Finally, one of the biggest impediments to the Congolese peace process may be the issue of resource trafficking. According to the UN expert panel investigating the illegal exploitation of natural resources and other forms of wealth of the DRC, members of the Rwandan and Ugandan regime have developed mechanisms to continue the looting of diamonds, gold, coltan and timber after the official withdrawal of their troops from Congolese territory, as agreed in the Pretoria and Luanda peace accords. Previous reports by the Panel contained a detailed account of the multiple ways in which a selected group of Rwandan and Ugandan military officers, politicians and businessmen have taken advantage of the military presence of the Rwandan Patriotic Front and the Ugandan People’s Defence Forces to secure their stake in the Congolese mining business.

Suggested Citation

  • Marysse, Stefaan & Cuvelier, Jeroen, 2003. "Rwandan economic involvement in the conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo," IOB Discussion Papers 2003.07, Universiteit Antwerpen, Institute of Development Policy (IOB).
  • Handle: RePEc:iob:dpaper:2003007

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    More about this item


    This item is featured on the following reading lists or Wikipedia pages:
    1. Zweiter Kongokrieg in Wikipedia German ne '')


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:iob:dpaper:2003007. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Hans De Backer). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.