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  • Writer's pictureNicoletta Fagiolo


North Kivu, 2007. Copyright Keith Harmon Snow. More of his work

Nicoletta Fagiolo

The war in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo is by far the worst crisis in numbers of people killed and uprooted, before Syria, Yemen and other severely war-torn areas in the 21stcentury, yet it rarely makes world headlines. The recent surge of extreme violence which began in the latter part of 2014 in Beni, North Kivu, an oil and mineral-rich region in the eastern part of the country bordering Uganda, is part of an on-going war which has plagued the area since 1996 causing the death of circa one million Hutu Rwandan refugees and over 10 million Congolese.[1]

In the forthcoming book Congo’s Beni massacresFake Islamists, Rwandan Unending Occupation, Lyon University law graduate Boniface Musavuli, unmasks many myths and his analyses accomplishes authenticity through its wide range of sources, from personal interviews with politicians and regional experts [2]; testimonies of people who have been on the front line of this war; UN reports, local and international newspapers: local and international NGOs reports; social media sites; local authorities’ declarations, as well as evidence revealed at recent regional military trials.

Congolese and international mainstream media, as well as expert reports, have attributed the recent Beni killings to a former Ugandan rebellion, the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF), often underlining that it has international jihadist connections. Yet Musavuli, by outlining the movement’s history and its main characteristics, reveals how from April 2014 onwards Jamil Mukulu’s ADF, which had been operating in the region for two decades, disbanded after its leader fled and was subsequently arrested in Tanzania.

What is left of the historical ADF in the region are barely thirty combatants facing a 20,000 strong UN mission as well as the Congolese army (known as Armed Forces of the Democratic Republic of the Congo or FARDC) deployments.

So, Musavuli asks, who are these rebels coming from nowhere, called ADF, which the Kinshasa government is accusing of being behind the Beni massacres, yet the local population and survivors of their onslaughts define differently? Are the Nande ethnic group and their representatives in the region particularly targeted?

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