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Democratic Republic of the Congo

Yearbook 1999

Congo. Hard fighting was fought during the beginning of the year between the army and rebel forces. Both sides accused each other of massacres on civilians. In March, the African Cooperation Organization appointed OAU Zambia President Frederick Chiluba as mediator. However, the conflict was complicated in May, when Ernest Wamba dia Wamba was deposed as leader of the rebel movement Assembly for a Democratic Congo (RCD) and replaced by Emile Ilunga. RCD was divided into two factions, one of which was led by Wamba dia Wamba with headquarters in the city of Kisangani supported by Uganda, while a larger faction under Ilunga with headquarters in Goma was supported by Rwanda. Already in the fall of 1998, a smaller group had broken out of RCD and formed the Congolese Liberation Movement (MLC), led by Jean-Pierre Bemba. It dominated with Ugandan support parts of northern Democratic Republic of the Congo.

According to Countryaah official website, intensive peace efforts by several African governments in July led to a conference in Lusaka, Zambia, which resulted in a peace agreement. But only the six governments involved in the conflict - Congo, Angola, Zimbabwe and Namibia on the one hand, and Uganda and Rwanda on the other - signed. The rebels refused because RCD could not agree on who of Wamba dia Wamba or Ilunga would sign. RCD and MLC intensified the fighting, and an already difficult refugee situation was sped up.

The schism within the RCD reflected a growing disagreement between the Rwanda and Uganda allies, who were believed to have different views on how to end the war and carry out troop uprising. This conflict in August led to four days of fighting in Kisangani between regular allies from both countries. The fighting was interrupted following personal intervention by the leaders of both countries.

The MLC accepted the peace agreement on August 1, and both factions of RCD signed during August 31. Both Wamba dia Wamba and Ilunga were allowed to put their signatures on the document. The peace agreement stipulated immediate ceasefire and the formation of a joint military commission to oversee it. Subsequently, the United Nations would send military liaison officers to all countries concerned and a three-month national political dialogue followed by general elections.

After only a few weeks, however, accusations of a ceasefire were heard, and in November, both rebel movements said they considered the peace agreement to be outdated. Both RCD and MLC accused the government side of launching new offenses.

In the fall, the UN described the humanitarian situation in Congo as disastrous. More than a million civilians had been made homeless, and severe malnutrition prevailed. Hundreds of thousands of starved people.

1999 Democratic Republic of the Congo

In February, the government initiated a decentralization process in which the country's 11 provinces were divided into 26 units. The Independent Electoral Commission (CENI) was unable to organize elections of, among other things, governors of the new provinces, otherwise scheduled to be held in October. At the end of the month, the president instead appointed governors to lead the provinces. CENI's chairman and vice-president resigned, raising fears that the 2016 presidential election would not be conducted within the time limits provided by the constitution.

On March 15, 26 activists, journalists and diplomats were arrested in Kinshasa during a freedom of speech workshop. The journalists were from BBS, AFP and RTBF. They were beaten by security forces and brought to the attention of the intelligence service. Two days later, 10 were arrested in Goma for demonstrating against the arrests in Kinshasa.

In September, the G7 coalition of parties was excluded by the government coalition after calling on the president to abide by the constitution.

The military continued its operation Sokola 1 ( operation cleanupat Lingala) aimed at the ADF rebel group in North Kivu. In September, there was an escalation of suspected ADF attacks on the civilian population after several months of break. After a 6-month ultimatum to the Democratic Forces of Rwanda (FDLR) to lay down arms expired, the army launched Operation Sokala 2 for the purpose of fighting the FDLR. The government appointed 2 generals to lead Sokala 2. They were suspected of committing human rights violations and this prompted UN MONUSCO to cease cooperation with the Army on Sokala 2. However, the cooperation continued around the fight against the FRPI rebel group. The deteriorating relationship between the army and MONUSCO reduced their ability to protect the civilian population and led to the emergence of a large number of "self-defense groups".

 

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