Great African War (Second Congo War)- Lauren Quincy

     The Great African War was a war with Rwanda and Uganda against the Democratic Republic of Congo backed by Namibia, Zimbabwe, Angola. It began in August 1999 and ended July 2003 after killing around 5 million people. The conflict was over unresolved issues from the First Congo War.

In the First Congo War, Hutu-power groups began murdering Tutsis in 1944 which led to an estimated 2 million refugees fleeing to the Democratic Republic of Congo named Zaire at that time. In October 1996, the Congolese Banyamulenge led an uprising to force the Rwandans out of the Congo. In response, Rwandan and Ugandan armies supporting Laurent-Desire Kabila invaded the Congo and overthrew the government. In September 1997, Kabila took over as president and renamed the country the Democratic Republic of Congo.

The Second Congo War began when Kabila turned on Rwanda and Uganda by accused them of exploiting the DRC’s mineral and asking for the two countries to remove their presence in the DRC.When they refuse to leave, Kabila removed his Rwandan chief of staff and replaced him with a Congolese native. This caused tension between the two sides. Rwanda also claimed that Kabila was planning a genocide of Tutsi groups in the Kivu region. As a result, Rwanda and Uganda invaded in 1998. Forces from Namibia, Zimbabwe and Angola came to aid Kabila and temporarily halted the Rwandan and Ugandan troops. Many surrounding states stayed neutral, but urged to end violence.The war lasted for five years until the signing of the Lusaka Peace Accord in July 1999, and 5,000 UN peacekeepers were sent to monitor the situation. In 2001 President Kabila was assassinated and his son took over power. In 2002, Rwandan and Ugandan troops withdrew from the Congo due to peace deals. In December of 2002, Kabila negotiated with internal rebel groups, promising them a power-sharing interim government. This became official in April 2003 when Kabila signed a transitional constitution.

The views of Rwanda and Uganda on invading the DRC were that they wanted to overthrow Kabila and give the presidency to  Tutsi who would report directly to the Rwandan president. Rwanda would then have control over the DRC and would have access to all of their minerals. Kabila and allied countries view was to stop Uganda and Rwanda from taking control over the Congo and to protect the minerals available. Kabila did not want to lose presidency and other countries were scared of the power that Rwanda would gain.

My suggestion to keep peace is for Kabila to hold up his end of the treaty and keep the power-sharing government. I also suggest that the government enforce higher countability for violent offences committed by citizens. Another thing I suggest is that the United Nations continue to work with the Congo on building the economy and reducing violence throughout the country. I also believe that the Congo should work to develop peace between Uganda and Rwanda.

   soldiers

This shows the presence of the UNHCR in the refugee camps and the aid to the citizens.
This shows the presence of the UNHCR in the refugee camps and the aid to the citizens.

 

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7 thoughts on “Great African War (Second Congo War)- Lauren Quincy

  1. I really agreed with your ways of peace. If Kabila had held up their treaty, then these wars might have not happened in the first place. I really enjoyed learning about the first AND Second Congo war. In the end, do we know if Rwanda and Uganda were really exploiting Kabila’s minerals? Otherwise, thank you for the short history! It was Fun!

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    • What I meant to say was if Kabila holds their treaty, then this could prevent future wars. Not if they held their treaty, it wouldn’t have started the war in the first place.

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    • Thank you, and yes Rwanda and Uganda did exploit the DRC’s minerals. There is an abundance of minerals in eastern DRC, mainly Tantalum, Tin, Gold and Tungsten, and the chaos from war helped allow the two countries to smuggle them across borders. The money from the minerals was used to back up rebel fighters and troops in the war.

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    • Africa is very interesting over all and there is always a lot going on. I chose this conflict mainly because it had such an impact on Africa as a whole. The Second Congo War was the deadliest war in Africa’s history and the deadliest war worldwide since World War II. We learn so much about World War II so I was very interested on the happenings and history to this huge conflict. It is also a never ending war because although they have signed treaties and the war is over, there is still fighting and disagreements between the two sides and mineral exploitation is always going on. It is important to know current happenings around the world and there is so much to know about Africa.

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  2. What a cool post! I am glad to hear that the main conflict has ended but I wish there was a way to end the ongoing disputes. Do you know if there have been any further UN or other organization help after the Lusaka Peace Accord? I am glad to hear that a transitional constitution was signed and i hope that it really does work to equally represent the two parties. Thanks for the post!

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    • The UN continues to monitor the situation in the Congo, but many other peace treaties have been signed after the Lusaka Peace Accord in efforts to further end conflict. There was the Sun City Agreement signed in 2002 that gave the DRC a unified, multipartite government and democratic elections. There was also the Pretoria Accord between the DRC and Rwanda which removed 20,000 Rwandan troops from eastern DRC. There was also the Luanda Agreement that further formalized peace between the Congo, Rwanda and Uganda. Lastly, Congolese parties signed the Global and All-Inclusive Agreement that described a plan for transitional governance that would result in legislative and presidential election within two years of its signing, helping decrease conflict within the Congo.

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