Get AfricaFocus Bulletin by e-mail!
Print this page
This document is from the archive of the Africa Policy E-Journal, published
by the Africa Policy Information Center (APIC) from 1995 to 2001 and by Africa Action
from 2001 to 2003. APIC was merged into Africa Action in 2001. Please note that many outdated links in this archived
document may not work.
Congo (Kinshasa): Disarmament
Congo (Kinshasa): Disarmament
Date distributed (ymd): 011217
Document reposted by APIC
Africa Policy Electronic Distribution List: an information
service provided by AFRICA ACTION (incorporating the Africa
Policy Information Center, The Africa Fund, and the American
Committee on Africa). Find more information for action for
Africa at http://www.africapolicy.org
Region: Central Africa
Issue Areas: +political/rights+ +economy/development+
This posting contains (1) the executive summary and recommendations
from a new report on disarmament in the Democratic Republic of
Congo by the International Crisis Group, (2) a short note released
by the World Bank prior to the Dec. 20 "technical update meeting"
on the Congo with donors in Brussels.
International Crisis Group
Disarmament in the Congo:
Jump-Starting DDRRR* to Prevent Further War
* disarmament, demobilisation, repatriation, reintegration, and
Nairobi/Brussels, 14 December 2001
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY AND RECOMMENDATIONS
[full report available on http://www.crisisweb.org]
The Democratic Republic of Congo remains a failed state, occupied
by six foreign armies, tormented by militias and unable to meet
the most basic needs of its people. The war, which began in August
1998, has not yet ended. The cease fire agreement signed at Lusaka
in July 1999 is respected on the conventional front lines, but the
underlying causes of conflict remain to be resolved, and people
are still dying every day from fighting, hunger and disease. This
report addresses in detail one of the factors critically necessary
for peace: the process of disarmament, demobilisation,
repatriation, reintegration, and resettlement (DDRRR) of the armed
There are in fact three interlocking processes that must succeed if
peace is ever to be achieved. First, is the disarmament of the
non-Congolese armed groups based in the DRC, addressed in this
report. The most significant of these predominantly Hutu rebel
forces, the Armee de Liberation du Rwanda (ALiR), is led by the
masterminds of the Rwandan genocide who fled to the Congo in 1994.
They are still supported by the government in Kinshasa because the
DRC lacks an effective military force against the occupying forces
of Rwanda and Uganda. The Hutu groups, fed and armed by Kinshasa,
have become proxy fighters for the DRC.
DDRRR is not well advanced. There is very little contact by MONUC
or other international officials with the AliR leaders, many of
whom fear arrest because of their alleged role in the Rwandan
genocide. Resolving the AliR leadership's demands for amnesty and
political dialogue with the Rwandan government is further
complicated because the government understandably refuses to
negotiate with genocidaires. But the AliR members, most of whom
were recruited after 1994, have legitimate security and political
demands, and the Rwandan government is also keen for these men to
disarm and return to society, or be reintegrated as soldiers in
the Rwandan Patriotic Army (RPA), so long as their leaders face
The second process that must be successfully completed if the
country has any chance of survival is the withdrawal of foreign
forces from the DRC. Tutsi-dominated regime in Rwanda, afraid of
renewed Hutu attacks, maintains its own occupying forces in
eastern Congo, refusing to withdraw until the Hutu groups are
disarmed. And for reasons of their own Angola, Zimbabwe, Namibia,
Uganda and Burundi all have forces in the Congo as well.
The third factor that will be vital to peace in the Congo is the
Inter-Congolese Dialogue - the only forum through which DRC can
rebuild its political institutions. But this too is stuck in a
deadlock . President Joseph Kabila and his backers, Angola and
Zimbabwe, refuse to consider power-sharing through the Dialogue
with anti-government rebels without guarantees of Rwanda and
Uganda's full withdrawal. The rebels and their sponsors, on the
other hand, refuse to consider withdrawal until a transition
government is established through the Dialogue and Rwanda's border
security is guaranteed. These external demands have to be
addressed as part of Congo's political transition. In total these
challenges appear to present a near-impossible Catch-22. But they
can be resolved if the international community, and especially the
UN, is prepared to make a greater commitment to completing all
three parts of the peace process.
There is room for cautious optimism at the moment - especially on
the issue of disarmament. The United Nations Observer Mission to
the Congo (MONUC) has recently taken the lead in a limited,
voluntary disarmament program of AliR. In November the DRC
authorised MONUC to conduct a census of about 1800 unarmed AliR
combatants in the Kamina military camp in the DRC and further
screening is taking place in hospitals in Lubumbashi and Kinshasa.
These small steps forward also stem from the capture of around 2000
AliR fighters by the Rwandan Patriotic Army (RPA) in May/June this
year. The RPA placed the captured fighters in re-education camps
and appealed to the international community for assistance in
their rehabilitation and reintegration. If the AliR groups in
Rwanda and in DRC are properly rehabilitated, their 20,000 (or
more) fellow fighters may also be persuaded to return to Rwanda.
The opportunity offered by these events must be seized quickly.
Despite the limited progress described above, the war is
continuing in eastern Congo between Rwandan armed forces and
several DRC-backed Hutu factions. Tensions have also risen between
Rwanda and its former ally Uganda, with confirmation of a build-up
of armed forces of both countries in the Kivus in eastern Congo.
In this context, the DDRRR program may simply recycle demobilised
Hutu rebels into a new war with new military alliances.
Bilateral talks between President Kabila and President Kagame have
failed to produce results, mainly because of intransigence and a
lack of trust on both sides, but also because of the lack of
mediation and international involvement in the Congo peace
process. In order to avoid another war, it is vital that the
international community persuades the DRC and its ally Zimbabwe to
stop supporting the armed groups. MONUC and the international
community must assist the government in Kinshasa to build up its
own army, while pressing neighbouring countries to withdraw their
The peace process would also be greatly assisted if President
Kagame would restate his commitment to the withdrawal of his
soldiers from the Kivus. This would limit the justification for
DRC and Zimbabwe to rearm the rebel groups and help President
Kabila maintain his disarmament policy in the face of hard-line
opposition inside his own government.
Without considerable improvement in international support, the
Democratic Republic of Congo may not survive. The resumption of
war would probably mean the partition of the country, hundreds of
thousands more dead and millions more refugees. The war and the
subsequent humanitarian catastrophe have already claimed 2 million
lives. Now is the time for the Lusaka signatories and the
international community to start the DDRRR process to build
momentum, and to take the rest of the peace process forward.
TO THE UN SECURITY COUNCIL
- Urge a personal, ongoing mediation role for the UN Secretary
General between Rwanda and the DRC with the ultimate objective of
concluding a non-aggression pact between the two countries and
complete withdrawal of foreign forces.
- Urge the Secretary General to emphasise the importance of the
DDRRR process by appointing a new Special Envoy for DDRRR, or by
formally including DDRRR in the mandate of the SRSG for MONUC. In
either case the envoy's task would be to negotiate a political
agreement on DDRRR, local cease-fires in the Kivus and then
oversee DDRRR implementation.
- Assist and co-ordinate political processes in the region, in
- supporting shuttle diplomacy efforts ahead of the next meeting of
the Inter-Congolese Dialogue in South Africa;.
- supporting a parallel dialogue and inter-community reconciliation
effort in the Kivus between the Mai Mai, traditional leaders,
civil society leaders and the church; and
- supporting the implementation of the Arusha agreement in Burundi
and the efforts of the President of Gabon and the Vice-President
of South Africa to reach a cease-fire with the FDD and FNL.
- Establish a sanctions committee mandated to report support to
the armed groups, based on UNSC Resolutions 918, 997, 1011, and
1341, and on the recommendations of the UN Commission of Inquiry
on Rwanda. All UN members should be required to provide
information they have about the resupply of these groups. Consider
trips to the field by sanctions committee members, and provide
staff experts to evaluate information provided.
- Support the efforts of MONUC to deploy in eastern Congo and
encourage the opening of a DDRRR camp in the Bukavu area in South
Kivu where AliR combatants captured and disarmed by the Mai Mai
can be cantoned.
- Desirably, while recognising the significant human, logistical
and communications resources needed to carry this out, task MONUC,
once deployed in eastern Congo, to monitor and report on the
resupply of armed groups.
- Consider action on the exploitation of DRC resources. Strong
consideration should be given to implementing the primary
recommendation of the UN Panel of Experts on the Illegal
Exploitation of Natural Resources in the DRC: a moratorium on the
purchase and importation of minerals originating in areas where
foreign troops are present in the DRC.
- In this context, initiate action to review and revise all
contracts signed since 1997 in the DRC to address and correct any
irregularities. This should be used as leverage to accelerate
DDRRR and the withdrawal of foreign forces.
TO DONOR GOVERNMENTS AND INTERNATIONAL FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONS
AHEAD OF THE 19 DECEMBER WORLD BANK MEETING IN BRUSSELS
9. Provide urgent financial support to the DDRRR process,
especially for the AliR forces that are already being screened in
DRC and Rwanda.
10. Provide international observers in Rwanda to monitor the
reintegration and rehabilitation of AliR ex-fighters.
11. Help Rwanda's local authorities and Community Development
Committees to absorb and manage international funds for DDDRR,
recognising that local control and management of DDRRR is vital to
the successful reintegration of former fighters.
12. Provide funds for information campaigns on DDRRR aimed at AliR
forces in the Congo, in particular the 1200 men based in the
Nyungwe forest in Rwanda.
13. Support a Reconciliation Economic Recovery plan in eastern
Congo as an incentive for a peace agreement in the Kivus.
14. Establish an international trust fund to support the DDRRR
process. The fund's managers would work to mobilise resources and
work with the Rwandan government to ensure transparency in the
TO THE WORLD BANK
15. Clearly distinguish between the existing RPA demobilisation
program and the proposed DDRRR programs for AliR, and give
priority to DDRRR.
TO THE RWANDAN GOVERNMENT
16. Create conditions that will encourage the return of
ex-combatants, providing amnesties where appropriate, ensuring
strict adherence to the rule of law, and total transparency of the
17. Further and more fundamentally, show commitment to
reconciliation and political liberalisation by accepting opposition
voices in internal debate, and freeing political activity from
interference, recognising that persuading Hutus to return will be
difficult if political freedoms continue to be restricted .
18. Accept the demilitarisation of Kisangani and MONUC's deployment
in eastern Congo, as required by UNSC Resolution 1376.
19. Reiterate commitment to a full withdrawal of RPA forces from
TO THE DRC GOVERNMENT AND ITS ALLIES
20. End support for the armed groups immediately, more specifically
AliR, now considered by the US government as a terrorist
21. Arrest and transfer to Arusha all genocide suspects indicted by
the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda.
The World Bank
AFREX (Africa External Affairs)
Media Contacts : Anne Davis Gillet (33) 1 40 69 30 28
Veronique Jacobs (32 2)522 00 42
http://www.worldbank.org (look under Countries and Regions;
Democratic Republic of Congo)
Donors reconvene to review progress towards economic recovery in
the DR Congo since last July
December 12, 2001
A Donor Information Meeting on the Democratic Republic of the Congo
(DRC) was held in Paris on July 3, 2001. This meeting was aimed at
taking stock of recent developments, and at discussing ways by
which the international community could support the nascent
At that meeting donor representatives observed that the Government
had put in place a credible reform program, supported by the
International Monetary Fund (IMF). They agreed on the need to
quickly address the country's debt overhang (estimated at about
US$12.9 billion), to organize an orderly demobilization and
reintegration of former combatants, to develop effective mechanisms
for donor coordination and implementation of assistance, to enhance
transparency, in particular in the mining sector, and to support a
series of urgent activities. Donors also agreed on the need to
ensure that foreign assistance is equitably distributed across the
country and to take a regional approach in addressing some issues.
The delegates noted that a number of donor programs worth about
US$280 million were currently underway in the country and projects
amounting to some US$240 million were planned for the coming
months. The planned projects would cover a large part of those
contained in a US$156 million request by the government.
At the end of this meeting, donors asked the Bank to organize a
follow-up meeting, before the end of 2001. Indeed, much has
happened over the last six months, both in Kinshasa and among the
DRC's partners. The Technical Update Meeting, to take place in
Brussels on December 20, 2001, aims to brief participants on recent
developments, in particular with regard to a few critical technical
issues which were raised at the July Meeting and which will loom
large in the weeks and months ahead, including debt, disarmament,
demobilization and reintegration (DDR), donor coordination,
implementation, transparency and urgent activities. It will be
preceded by a meeting on December 19, 2001, to discuss a regional
DDR initiative for the Greater Great Lakes Region. These briefings
will be shared with the press on December 20, 2001.
Area: 2.3 million square kilometers (about one fourth of the United
States, more than two thirds
of the European Union).
Population: about 55 million (including more than 350 ethnic
groups), ranks fourth in Africa.
Impact of the recent conflict: the conflict-induced increased
mortality is estimated at 1.5 to 3 million deaths since 1997 (1),
including about 200,000 persons, mostly civilians, killed in
Damage on infrastructure is extensive, including the collapse of
the transport system.
Pre-war social indicators:
Life expectancy (1995): 53 years in the cities, 43 years in rural
Illiteracy (1995): 32.7% overall, 42% for women.
Infant mortality (1995): 101 per 1,000 in the cities, 161 per 1,000
in rural areas.
HIV/AIDS prevalence: about 5% (over 2 million people), with large
regional disparities (4.6% in Kinshasa, 16% in Goma). In Kinshasa,
15% of the infants less than 5 years old are infected. (2)
GDP (1999): About US$3.9 billion (US$78 per capita), to be compared
with about US$10 billion in 1990 (US$250 per capita).
Inflation (2000): in excess of 500%.
Updated December 2001
(1) International Rescue Committee, June 6, 2000.
(2) Data provided by the "Programme National de Lutte contre le
This material is being reposted for wider distribution by
Africa Action (incorporating the Africa Policy Information
Center, The Africa Fund, and the American Committee on Africa).
Africa Action's information services provide accessible
information and analysis in order to promote U.S. and
international policies toward Africa that advance economic,
political and social justice and the full spectrum of human rights.