Democratic Republic of the Congo (formerly
2008: Congo's main opposition leader, Jean-Pierre Bemba of the Movement for
Liberation of Congo (MLC), remains in exile in Portugal. Recently Bemba claimed
that his life would be in danger if he returned to Congo. Bemba faces removal
from parliament because members of parliament must attend at least one-fourth
of parliamentary meetings. Bemba is a rebel warlord who made peace with the
government, but expected to succeed in getting himself elected president of the
country. Failing at this, he came to believe Laurent Kabila, who was re-elected
president, would not tolerate such an ambitious rival, and would seek to kill
him. So Bemba fled the country.
2008: According to a recent UN Security
Council study, the UN decision to reinforce operations in eastern Congo has
left other regions less secure. The specific concern is Bas-Congo province
(western Congo) where the BDK has become
increasingly militant. In 2007 the UN deployed more troops to South and North
Kivu provinces in an attempt to defeat and disarm militias operating in the
2008: Several riots broke out in copper mines located near the town of Kolwezi.
Police claimed "several hundred" miners rioted. The death of a child during an
eviction was the ostensible cause of the riots. However, "illegal miners" are a
political problem in Congo. "Illegals" are miners who have moved on to
shut-down mining properties and set up their own freelance operations.