Congo: The War on Rebel Militias



Democratic Republic of the Congo (formerly Zaire)

March 14, 2006: The army is performing not much differently from the warlord militias they fight, because the army is poorly paid, and led. Often former warlord fighters, the soldiers have not had much training, and are often commanded by officers and sergeants who are also former irregulars. Just renaming poorly trained gunmen as "soldiers" doesn't make it so. And in the field, the "soldiers" behave as they used to, raping and looting more than fighting the bandits and warlord gunmen.

March 13, 2006: In eastern Congo, the FNI militia clashed with the army, leaving 13 rebels dead, and several soldiers wounded. Some 10,000 local civilians fled the fighting. The FNI retreated, killing civilians they encountered as they went. Along the Ugandan border, troops coordinated their operations with Ugandan army units across the border, to prevent rebel units from escaping.

March 10, 2006: In the capital, political demonstrations clashed with riot police.

March 8, 2006: In the east, the UN declared South Kivu province free of rebel units, although small groups of bandits are still wandering around. The fighting had been going on since February 22nd, and mainly targeted the Rwandan FDLR militia.

March 7, 2006: In the east, UN and army troops continue fighting rebels.


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