Congo. A series of serious incidents during the year showed that the cooperation between the government and the former rebel movements was very fragile. A few thousand soldiers from the rebel movement RCD, which would have been included in the army, in June took the city of Bukavu in eastern K. The offensive was said to have been carried out to prevent the persecution of banyamulenge, Congolese Tutsis, which form a significant part of RCD’s cadets. President Joseph Kabila accused the government of Rwanda, which was RCD’s main ally, of being behind the attack. The rebel troops soon left the city, but the attack was seen as a serious threat to the peace process and also caused major humanitarian problems in the area, since over 30,000 people were displaced.
In Kinshasa, demonstrations erupted against the UN, whose approximately 1,000 peacekeepers in Bukavu did not intervene against the RCD’s intrusion. The government’s decision to send 10,000 soldiers to the eastern border areas was seen in Rwanda as a provocation and the neighboring army said it was prepared to defend itself against an attack.
According to CountryAAH, the total population in DR Congo is 89,561,414 people in 2020. A severe crisis ensued after the August assassination of about 160 Congolese banyamulenge in a refugee camp in Burundi. The Burundi and Rwanda governments accused Congolese forces of participation and threatened retaliation. Also, Hutu extremists from Rwanda were suspected of participating in the massacre, for which the Burundian hutumilis FNL took the blame. The UN began patrolling the eastern K. border area in the fall in cooperation with the Congolese army, but Rwanda rejected the UN plan to voluntarily disarm the Rwandan Hutu extremists who have bases in the eastern K. and threatened with its own intervention, which raised concerns about a late fall. new war in the region.
Data on two coup attempts in Kinshasa in March and June caused headaches and were interpreted as possible expressions of dissatisfaction with the peace process. Reports of continued attacks on civilians came from the northeastern Ituri region, despite the relatively strong presence of the UN troops. Only one of six rebel movements in the area obeyed the call to leave their weapons. Information that UN employees have sexually abused K. was very embarrassing for the World Organization.
Kabila’s tenure formally expired in December 2016. Already this spring, officials hinted that presidential elections would be held in November. The Constitution restricts the president from being able to sit for two terms of office. The threat that Kabila would run for a third term triggered violent demonstrations in Kinshasa in September that killed 17 people. In an effort to reduce tensions, the country’s top electoral council then announced that the election would not be held until early 2018. Before that, a census should be conducted. In October and November negotiations were held between Kabila and the opposition, resulting in an agreement that Kabila could continue as president until April 2018, but that the opposition should in turn hold the post of prime minister. Kabila then appointed Samy Badibanga as prime minister. Badibanga was part of the opposition until 2011, but then took up his seat in parliament contrary to the rest of the opposition. His appointment as prime minister triggered new clashes in Kinshasa that cost 40 people their lives. With the Catholic Church as a mediator, a new agreement was reached at the end of December, after which Kabila promised not to stand for the third term and presidential elections to be held in late 2017.
After the September government crackdown on protesters in Kinshasa, the ICC announced that the court would closely follow the aggravated political situation.
Violence in the eastern part of the country continued through 2016. More than 1,000 civilians were killed. Government forces accounted for serious human rights violations, as did the wide range of armed groups from the Congo itself and neighboring countries active in the region. Over ½ million had fled to neighboring countries and 1 million were internally displaced. The EU and the United States sanctioned people in Kabila’s inner circle, but continued their economic activities in the Congo, which was the source of the violence.
In March 2017, two UN experts, their interpreters and drivers, were kidnapped in the Kasai province of eastern Congo. They were found killed 2 weeks later. Through 2016, the armed groups had increasingly gone on to kidnap foreigners and Congolese to fund their activities.
In April 2017, Kabila appointed Bruno Tshibala to the post of Prime Minister. Tshibala was arrested in October 2016 at Kinshasa airport, accused of organizing demonstrations the month before. In November, he was released again.