Democratic Republic of Congo: Background and Current Developments [February 17, 2011] [open pdf - 299KB]
"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 have been given a safe haven in eastern Congo and have carried out many attacks inside Rwanda and against Congolese civilians. A Ugandan rebel group, the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA), is also in Congo, despite an agreement reached between the LRA and the government of Uganda. […] The United States has been actively engaged in facilitating the Tripartite Plus talks among the four key players in the Great Lakes region: Rwanda, DRC, Burundi, and Uganda. The Tripartite Plus process has led to a number of agreements over the past several years, including the creation of a Joint Verification Mechanism (JVM) to address cross-border issues. The United States provided $205.1 million in FY2008 and $111.6 million in FY2009. The DRC received a total of $296.5 million in FY2009 and an estimated $183 million in FY2010. The Obama Administration has requested $213.2 million for FY2011."
CRS Report for Congress, R40108