Democratic Republic of the Congo: Peace Process and Current Developments [October 17, 2011] [open pdf - 376KB]
"In October 2008, the forces of the National Congress for the Defense of the Congolese People (CNDP), under the command of General Laurent Nkunda, launched a major offensive against the Democratic Republic of Congo Armed Forces (FARDC) in eastern Congo. Within days, the CNDP captured a number of small towns and Congolese forces retreated in large numbers. Eastern Congo has been in a state of chaos for over a decade. The first rebellion to oust the late President Mobutu Sese Seko began in the city of Goma in the mid-1990s. The second rebellion in the late 1990s began also in eastern Congo. The root causes of the current crisis are the presence of over a dozen militia and extremist groups, both foreign and Congolese, in eastern Congo, and the failure to fully implement peace agreements signed by the parties. Over the past 14 years, the former Rwandese armed forces and the Interhamwe militia used eastern Congo as a safe haven and carried out many attacks inside Rwanda and against Congolese civilians. […] The DRC [Democratic Republic of Congo] received a total of $296.5 million in FY2009, $282.6 million in FY2010, and $215.9 million in FY2011. The Obama Administration has requested $230.8 million for FY2012. In late July 2010, President Obama signed into law the Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (P.L. 111-203). The 2,300-page legislation contains an amendment on Congo Conflict Minerals. The law requires that American companies disclose what kind of measures they have taken to ensure that minerals imported from Congo do not contain 'conflict minerals.'"
CRS Report for Congress, R40108