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General Kisempia Sungilanga, former Chief of Staff of the FARDC, in December 2006

The Armed Forces of the Democratic Republic of Congo (French: Forces Armées de la République Démocratique du Congo (FARDC)) is the state military organisation responsible for defending the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).

The FARDC is dominated by its land forces but also includes a small air force and a smaller navy, which together number around 130,000 personnel. There is also the National Congolese Police, which are not part of the Armed Forces, and a presidential force called the Republican Guard.

The FARDC is being rebuilt as part of the peace process which followed the end of the Second Congo War in July 2003. The government, the United Nations, the European Union, and various bilateral partners are attempting to create a viable force with the ability to provide the DRC with stability and security. However, this process is hampered by corruption, the near-impotence of the government, and inadequate donor coordination. (Read more...)