Talk:Second Congo War

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Former featured article candidate Second Congo War is a former featured article candidate. Please view the links under Article milestones below to see why the nomination failed. For older candidates, please check the archive.
Article milestones
Date Process Result
October 13, 2004 Featured article candidate Not promoted
December 9, 2004 Featured article candidate Not promoted
August 4, 2005 Peer review Reviewed
Current status: Former featured article candidate

Move article[edit]

In India it is custom to name World War I and World War II for the first and second European Civil War. That may be a correct rendition, as may be said about Second Congo War. But it gives an ethnocentric impression if we're not consequent in this matter. In other words: If we keep on writing about the great European Wars under the heading of World Wars, we should also render the second Congo War as a World War. I call for immediate action: Move it! --Xact (talk) 15:29, 7 July 2010 (UTC)


Actually those are called world wars because they involved world powers. The Congo Wars did not involve world powers. They could be called the Africa Wars, but its not really up to wikipedia to invent names for these things. You must realize that you are far outside the mainstream on this if you consider all the separate European countries to be one country, right? This is not the Indian wikipedia.98.207.33.67 (talk) 21:30, 18 December 2010 (UTC)

Only about half the battles of WW2 occurred in or near Europe, the rest being in Africa and Asia and Australia/Oceania, with major combatants from Asia, Australia, and North America. I think the nomenclature is deserved. --108.3.214.69 (talk) 19:34, 14 May 2011 (UTC)

General Discussion[edit]

How about some comment on the motives of Zimbabwe, Angola and others for allying themselves with Kabila. It is well known by us africans that the commitment of outside pro-government forces (including zim's elite north korean trained 5th brigade) to the region was in exchange for extensive mining and timber concessions in the south of the congo. I believe that this can also be cited in a paper publication by Tim Butcher called 'Blood River' published by Random House.Jarobi (talk) 12:20, 21 June 2008 (UTC)

Just an observation: Libya's leader is referred to by a few different romanizations of his name at different points in the article. Someone should pick one and use it throughout. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 69.138.241.185 (talk) 07:03, 4 October 2007 (UTC)

This article is riddled with so many dubious propaganda-sounding claims and is seriously deficient in citations.

Just to say that this really deserves some attention. It's one of the biggest events in recent years on our planet. No need to wait for the collaboration of the week - contribute now. It doesn't matter if you know little - pick a few sources, read them, and then write. DJ Clayworth 14:36, 10 Sep 2004 (UTC)

Yes, I agree. I was really amazed that the article didn't exist, and wasn't even mentioned in the list of ongoing conflicts, so I created the stub at least. I guess the reason is that it's not in the Western media. - pir 14:59, 10 Sep 2004 (UTC)
I'm wondering how much should be merged in from the later paragraphs in History of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. They're fairly well writtten though of course, this page could explain the recent events in much more detail. --Junesix 15:52, Sep 10, 2004 (UTC)
I think that's a good idea. There's only three paragraphs on the Civil war in History of the Democratic Republic of the Congo but they would at least help. DJ Clayworth 15:55, 10 Sep 2004 (UTC)

I am hoping, if Congo Civil War is chosen as collaboration of the week, to deal with the coltan issue.--Xed 23:36, 20 Sep 2004 (UTC)

Question on agreements[edit]

Why was all the stuff on the various agreements removed? Filiocht 09:04, 8 Oct 2004 (UTC)

It appears that only the headings were removed. I put them back in. Maurreen 13:54, 8 Oct 2004 (UTC)

The text was also removed but User:Xed put it back earlier. I have no reordered them as they happened over time. Wonder if we could get amy more images for this article? Filiocht 13:55, 8 Oct 2004 (UTC)

Featured Article candidacy[edit]

Over at Wikipedia:Featured article candidates, the Congo Civil War nod is being shot down quickly. Anyone care to defend, further improve? -- user:zanimum

I am reading 3 books on the subject, and will improve the article over the next couple of weeks. The article is also CotW on WP:Bias. By November, I'm sure it will be a more likely candidate for a featured article- Xed 13:20, 14 Oct 2004 (UTC)
I intend to do some work on this when i get the time too, I don't think it feature quality yet though. O'Dubhghaill 20:16, 14 Oct 2004 (UTC)

BanyanTree[edit]

User:BanyanTree deserves major applause for all the work here. Grand job sorting out categories for combatants. Wizzy 11:32, Dec 12, 2004 (UTC)

Informative links[edit]

Here are some sources to help get you started:

More informative links[edit]

DJ Clayworth 14:36, 10 Sep 2004 (UTC)

Maps in chronological order[edit]

Other maps[edit]


Issues under Discussion/To Do[edit]

Structure and Organization[edit]

Organisation of the article is messy. The "Origins" section discusses parts of the war, while the "Course of the war" also discusses the war's characteristics.

  • After making the armed group section so long, it completely broke the flow between the Origins and Course sections, so I moved Groups to the bottom after Effects. Also moved the Course section header before the paragraph describing the events of 1996. The first sections are still confusing though. BanyanTree 05:51, 8 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Lead Section[edit]

The lead section should give a more extensive summary (given the length of the article).

It would be nice if the opening paragraph told where the war took place, the primary factions involved, and the cause of conflict. --Khaim 14:04, 4 September 2007 (UTC)

Specificity[edit]

  • The article has a lot of generallies, largelies, mostlies, and similar vagueness. Can we get a bit more specific?
  • Not much specificity about the commercial interests involved in the war

Timeline[edit]

suggestion: can't we make a timeline of this war? Bontenbal 14:28, 8 Oct 2004 (UTC)

  • No timeline

Armed Parties Section[edit]

  • The armed parties section should have more content than just a list of parties, which are mostly red links as well. "armed parties" needs to give a brief account of the objectives of each party, if any, and the extent to which the various parties are allied into factions. If there estimates of the number of combatants in the various parties, that also needs to be given.
    • I just did a Mai-Mai page (way too many red links!), and it seems that the term is general enough to include the "local militia" that was on the list. Once there's enough info on the armed parties it'll be a lot easier to write out short 'bios' of the groups, or even integrate it into the description of the conflict. BanyanTree 02:57, 23 Nov 2004 (UTC)
    • I managed to put something up for Banyamulenge, and decided to dump my notes on groups and acronyms into the armed group section of the article. It's the ugliest thing I've ever done on Wikipedia but hopefully it'll keep people from spending half an hour trying to figure out the difference between RCD-Wamba and RCD-Goma, or FDD and CNDD, like I did. BanyanTree 22:43, 7 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Diagram - [1], Human Rights Watch Armed Groups (Ituri) [2]

I added a template to the First Congo War and this page to try and cover all the names. Much of the content comes from the list of names already here, I just alpha-organized and sorted based on type, e.g. militia, army, etc. Hopefully this works well. Publicus 15:29, 19 September 2006 (UTC)

Pictures and Graphics[edit]

  • The pictures need to be better. The only photo is from a minor player. Pictures of Mugabe and Kabila senior and junior needed. Needs more (and more relevant) pictures
  • The map is semi-useful, but a map showing major incidents in the war (or so) would be better. needs a good map to show rough extent of the territory held by the various sides.
    • The map on page five of the ICG report "Scramble for the Congo" is incredibly good in showing the rough area held by various forces in 2000 but it gives credit to IRIN, where I can't find it and figure out if there's a copyright BanyanTree 19:17, 7 Dec 2004 (UTC)
      • There's a series of maps here: [3]
        • Now those are good maps. I really hadn't realized how much territory the RCD-N was holding. Unfortunately, the website copyright leaves no wiggle room. The good news is that it also has the "28 March 2000" IRIN-CEA map that ICG used, so I'm hoping that it's open source... and that someone can find it. BanyanTree 15:34, 8 Dec 2004 (UTC)
          • If not, they can be recreated. Another map (Jan 2000) is here: [4]. It's from this page: [5] - Xed 16:15, 8 Dec 2004 (UTC)
    • You folks are doing an outstanding job. Especially appreciate all the Lords Resistance Army related stuff. User:Wikiwizzy
      • Banyan deserves nearly all the credit for the LRA article - Xed 21:41, 8 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Resolved Issues and Finished To-Do[edit]

French vs English[edit]

Is there a Wikipedia convention for using the French names of groups, such as RCD or MLC, vs the English translations? I've been using the French versions, as the way the English gets contorted to fit the French acronyms annoys me, but I noticed that some of the links are for English translation, like "Rally for Congolese Democracy". Clarification would be much appreciated. BanyanTree 05:44, 8 Dec 2004 (UTC)

  • Ahhh, just found the relevant page stating it must be in the relevant language of the readers. I'm moving the content for RCD to Rally for Congolese Democracy, but not without being annoyed at using the English when most of the English-language sources use the French. Apologies to those who wrote the English versions, only to see me go all Housekeeping Zombie on them. BanyanTree 15:58, 9 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Disambiguation between the 1960, 1996 and 1998 conflicts[edit]

The globalsecurity.org link above is to the wrong war. The right one is here O'Dubhghaill 20:12, 15 Sep 2004 (UTC)

Well spotted. I read the right one but linked the wrong one. (Does this mean we need to disambiguate Congo Civil War?) DJ Clayworth 17:04, 16 Sep 2004 (UTC)

An earlier war?[edit]

A book that I was just flipping through absent mindedly this evening (The New Internationalist World Guide 2003/2004) places the start of the Congo Civil War in 1960 when the DRC gained independence, with its origins placed at the Berlin Conference in 1884. This is certainly diferent to the 1998 date given in the article. I'm far too tired to make a start on it tonight, but perhaps someone might wish to incorporate these earlier influences on the civil war into the article? -- Graham ☺ | Talk 23:44, 30 Sep 2004 (UTC)

It's a different war. I beleive the war they are referring to was the one concerning Lumumba, Tshombe, America and Belgium. Their influences on the more modern conflict are possibly better left to the article on the history of the DRC. The BBC give a brief timeline of DRC history you can check. [6] We will have to note that the title Congo Civil War can refer to a number of wars. O'Dubhghaill 16:39, 1 Oct 2004 (UTC)
The articles on the two wars should be called something like Congo Civil War (1960-1965) and Congo Civil War (1996-) or maybe First Congo Civil War and Second Congo Civil War, with Congo Civil War being a disambiguation page. Gdr 14:43, 2004 Oct 11 (UTC)
The problem with this solution is that some refer to the two main phases of the Congo Civil War (the current one) as the first and second congo civil wars --- Xed
  • Article name. There was an earlier Congo Civil War (1960–1965), so Congo Civil War should be a disambiguation page with the articles on the two conflicts somewhere like Congo Civil War (1960) and Congo Civil War (1998).

Second Congo War[edit]

I believe the article should be renamed "Second Congo War", with "Congo Civil War" redirecting to it. An article on the "First Congo War" (the war that brought L Kabila to power) would need to be written (currently it's only mentioned in passing in the Origins section). The red link at the top of the page ("Congo Civil War (1960)") would be better named as the "Congo Crisis". I've got these names from various books on the Congo. - Xed 17:51, 5 Dec 2004 (UTC)

  • Yeah, I have to admit to being a bit confused by how the article, and conversations on this page, bounce between the 1996 and 1998 start dates. I haven't heard a definitive labeling of the various phases, though "AFDL war" (used in an ICG report) for the earlier conflict has a certain elegance.  ;) A brief "Congo Civil War" article leading into "First Congo War" and "Second Congo War", perhaps with a separate "Armed Groups" article, and placed in a network of related articles (that aren't all red-linked) sounds ideal. I'm just not sure the article is ready to be split. Thoughts? BanyanTree 06:13, 8 Dec 2004 (UTC)
    • I think there could be an 'armed group' section within both "First Congo War" and "Second Congo War" articles, since many of the groups had split and changed alliances in the 2nd. Also, there were many more groups in the 2nd. So it would be confusing for someone researching the 1st to read about the groups in the 2nd. - Xed 14:45, 8 Dec 2004 (UTC)
      • Good point. I get confused just with the ones in the 2nd. BanyanTree 17:24, 8 Dec 2004 (UTC)

After doing a little poking around on the web, I agree strongly with Xed's suggestions above, namely 1960 Congo Crisis[7], 1996 First Congo War and 1998 Second Congo War. As this issue has plagued the page for a while, it's probably worth expediting unless there is an objection. Unless someone else wants to do the honors of moving the article to a new page, I'll try to calm my itchy fingers and wait a few days.

As a secondary issue, I would like to propose that we take Gdr's suggestion that Congo Civil War be disambiguation, with text that points out that the phrase has been used for the 1st and 2nd civil wars together as well as just listing the three conflicts separately. Thoughts? BanyanTree 07:04, 11 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Is there really a reason to distinguish between the "First" and "Second" Congo wars? Historically, there are plenty of examples of wars that were really several periods of warfare just like these two wars. For example, the Hundred Years War, the Thirty Years War, and the Wars of the Roses. Given the extremely short break between the two stages (and that many of the combatants were in both wars), I don't see the reason this is seperated into two wars. In the long run, even the Rwanda genocide might be part of this conflict. After all, huge numbers of fleeing Hutus (some who had a part in the Rwanda genocide) from Rwanda were a key reason Rwanda and ally (IIRC), Burundi became involved in the Congo wars. -- KarlHallowell 00:04, 1 October 2007 (UTC)
I also forgot to ask whether the naming of phases of this war(s) as "First" and "Second" is supported by credible outside references. I hope this isn't more "original research". -- KarlHallowell 00:09, 1 October 2007 (UTC)
The First and Second Congo wars are usually considered separate wars and thus are distinguished between on Wikipedia. Perspicacite 02:04, 1 October 2007 (UTC)

Death Toll[edit]

I thought the death toll was a matter of much debate. How cewrtain is this number we are reporting? Rmhermen 15:18, Oct 7, 2004 (UTC)

  • IRC report appears credible. BanyanTree 18:36, 13 Dec 2004 (UTC)
  • The front page currently suggest two different death tolls. The first is backed up with a link to the IIRC. Surely there should at least be a footnote to back up the claim of 6.5 million? Caillan 10:11, 19 October 2005 (UTC)
  • The second figure, as well as a number of other unsourced and seemingly POV additions, were added by 69.228.26.60. More specifically, it seems that the editor has been inserting anti-Ugandan and Rwandan material, but I don't know enough about the situation to make a proper judgement on that. Still, I would recommend deleting most of the addition in the absence of any sources. Impi 10:34, 19 October 2005 (UTC)
I've removed all of 69.228.26.60's edits. - BanyanTree 17:41, 19 October 2005 (UTC)
Apart from the death toll, some of the edits were accurate, if emotive. - Xed 22:19, 20 October 2005 (UTC)
True. I did pause over the "1000 deaths a day currently" as I've certainly seen sources that back that up, but this leads into the definitional issue of if it belongs in an article that whispers that it only covers up to 2002, and then keeps going at the end. I'm frankly not sure what the total is for post-2002 deaths. Also, the anon definitely overstates his case, lumping Rwandan Tutsi and Congolese Banyamulenge into the term "Tutsi" and then stating that the Uganda and Rwanda and their proxies alone are to blame for the deaths. The sentence that implies that Kagame is under the control of Uganda - once again overstating relationships. Given the tone and phrasing, I felt it would be better to start anew, though if someone thinks they can salvage something, by all means do so. - BanyanTree 22:43, 20 October 2005 (UTC)
Many Banyamulenge would be happy to lumped into the term "Tutsi". And who can deny that Rwanda is to blame for many (most?) of the deaths?. Due to the genocide in Rwanda, I feel that people are often over-sensitive in criticizing Rwandan Tutsis.- Xed 23:33, 20 October 2005 (UTC)
It's the use of those "many" and "most"s that distinguish us from the anon. There was certainly tensions within the RCD that illustrated that it and the RPF were not identical. Like I said, there were some things that may be worth drawing out. I do not feel a need to rush and do so, but the article is better off with the POV additions out than in.
As for shying away from criticism of the Tutsis, I think this article basically says Rwanda (and Uganda) started a war that killed almost three four BanyanTree 00:20, 21 October 2005 (UTC) million people, during which they looted the countryside under their control and stood by as tens of thousands of women were raped. I don't think we're in any danger of being called Tutsi apologists. The facts speaking for themselves and the emotionalism simply distracts from and discredits the facts being presented. - BanyanTree 00:18, 21 October 2005 (UTC)

The Case for Genocide[edit]

The following links were assembled by El C. They should be assembled into a section on the case for genocide in the Second Congo War article. Dosai 18:03, 10 July 2005 (UTC)

  • http://web.amnesty.org/library/Index/ENGAFR620222002?open&of=ENG-COD -- "The organization receives consistent reports of large-scale killings of unarmed civilians that are carried out, ordered and condoned by leaders using ethnic affiliations to acquire or maintain economic and political power. As a result, armed clashes between members of the Hema and Lendu ethnic groups has left an estimated 50,000, mainly civilian, dead since June 1999, and forced around 500,000 people to flee, with 60,000 displaced in Bunia, the capital of Ituri province, alone." (emphasis added)
  • http://www.unis.unvienna.org/unis/pressrels/2001/sc7186.html -- "RUHUL AMIN [Bangladeshi Director General for Multilateral Economic Affairs (MEA) of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Counsellor Permanent Mission of Bangladesh to the United Nations at the Security Council] said he was outraged to learn of the crimes of genocide in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the extremely disturbing reports of some 750 civilians being been massacred. Armed forces continued to harass and make arbitrary arrests and there was forced recruitments and rape. He said the Interahamwe had committed a reign of terror; it was time to bring an end to such activities."
  • http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/3869489.stm -- DR Congo pygmies 'exterminated.' The International Criminal Court is being urged to investigate "a campaign of extermination" against pygmies in the Democratic Republic of Congo. (6 July, 2004)
  • Google cache -- "Media echoes Nujoma's [President of Nambia] condemnation of genocide in DRC"
  • http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/africa/1340266.stm -- UN warned of DR Congo 'genocide' (2001) *** "The Democratic Republic of Congo and its allies have accused the UN of ignoring a "genocide" of 2.5 million people in the rebel-held east of the country. '[W]e call upon the international community, especially the UN, to condemn this genocide being committed,' said Namibian President Sam Nujoma."
  • http://www.allthingspass.com/uploads/html-UVM_Lecture.htm -- [keith harmon snow lecture: WAR CORRESPONDENT, GENOCIDE EXPERT AT UNIVERSITY OF VERMONT, 15 March 2005] In 2004, Snow worked for Genocide Watch and Survivors Rights International documenting crimes against humanity and genocide in Ethiopia and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). His reports have influenced the World Organization Against Torture, Human Rights Watch, the United Nations and the US Government. *** he big story is Congo, Snow says, where some six million people have died since 1998. And the war started in 1996, and before that there was Mobutu Sese Seko, the dictator of thirty some years. Thousands and thousands of women and girls have been raped in Congo, but its pretty much kept quiet in the news. There's a lot of powerful mining interests in Congo, and you wonÕt believe who is involved.
  • http://www.mg.co.za/articlePage.aspx?articleid=242324&area=/insight/insight__comment_and_analysis/ -- which brings us back to Njabu Ngabu: "'If you put the meetings, the financial support and the house together, clearly it’s a relationship,' Anneke van Woudenberg, author of the HRW report, told the M&G. 'There is no way AGA could have got access to the Mongbwalu area without developing a relationship with the FNI,' she added. The report quotes FNI leader Floribert Njabu Ngabu as saying: 'I am the one who gave AGA permission to come. I am the boss of Mongbwalu.' "
  • http://www.crimesofwar.org/onnews/news-congo.html -- 'Can the Inetrnational Communityavert genocide in the DRoC?' May 21, 2003] "'Our evaluation, from what we know, it could be a genocide' said Carla del Ponte, prosecutor for the UN war crimes tribunals for Yugoslavia and Rwanda on May 13, referring to the latest outbreak of violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo."
  • http://www.monuc.org/News.aspx?newsID=2874 -- Apperently rebel leader, General Laurent Nkunda, self-corrected himself on whether genocide had taken place in Banyamulenge. *** " 'I withdraw unconditionally. I was mistaken. There has been no genocide against Banyamulenge in Bukavu,' Laurent Nkunda told MONUC officials yesterday evening."
  • http://www.monuc.org/NewsPrint.aspx?NewsID=2908 -- rebel leader, General Laurent Nkunda misquoted? *** Interview: VOA: "Apparently you told MONUC your were misguided as to the genocide of Banyamulenge. When did you find out you were mistaken?" G.N: "I didn't say that, and I was surprised that they put those words in my mouth. Once we began the war, they asked me to speak, but today at least people spoke in my place. That is what surprised me. But I never said that I had made a mistake, because until now I known there was genocide. I have the names of the victims. Until now, I am waiting for an investigation to be set up so responsibilities can be established."

Uganda to pay?[edit]

[8] [9]

Operation North Night Final[edit]

Operation North Night Final started.--TheFEARgod 11:32, 26 December 2005 (UTC)

Cuba???[edit]

"Nevertheless, the fall of the capital and Kabila, who had spent the previous weeks desperately seeking support from various African nations and Cuba, seemed increasingly certain." Why would he seek support from cuba?--216.201.175.194 15:15, 2 August 2006 (UTC)

In one of those unexpected historical interactions, Che Guevara was briefly a sub-commander under Kabila during the Congo Crisis. I don't think I know of any sources that address it directly, but I figure that Kabila thought he would try his old revolutionary contacts. - BT 18:45, 18 September 2006 (UTC)

Course of War section needs a rewrite[edit]

I've been looking over the "course of war" section and it needs some work. Most of it belongs on the First Congo War page, not this one. The whole Kabila's march section is unnecessary for this article and really needs to fit into the First Congo war article. I'll take a stab at in a bit, but it looks like some serious editing, so if someone else is up to it, please help yourself.Publicus 18:24, 18 September 2006 (UTC)

Recent elections[edit]

This page still says that the first AND LAST free democratic elections in Congo were held in 1960. Could anyone who knows about it add some information about the recent (2006) EU-sponsored election?

I've added a link to Democratic Republic of the Congo general election, 2006. - BT 13:14, 23 September 2006 (UTC)

In the factions part(and (less) in a refugee camp remark), it says:<start quote>

Extremist Hutu-aligned forces  

Included Rwandan Hutus responsible for the 1994 genocide, <end quote> I think this is not accurate, and rather a result of the rwandese media-outlet. Most probably it included a few 'responsibles' (perhaps 'involved'), but quitte some refugees and radicalised hutu's(victims) from after the rwanda genocide. This way Kagame's excuse for genocide in Congo is validated, i fear because of our own embarrasment that we let it happen. Since most african country's find reconcilliation an answer rather then revenge (Kagame ), perhaps someone can rephrase these instances. eg. by putting perhaps or supposedly or held .

I prefer: included rwandan hutus held<< responsible etc. Yet it doesn't say all, because it was probably a mix of people involved (not persee responsible), ppl. held responsible(as in involved) by mistake (eg. for organising a refugeecamp), people just called 'responsible' for ease (in fact for being hutu), and ppl. traumatised in other ways (many dead village/family members etc). Similarly the swift takeover of power in refugeeareas in congo by hutu militants was facilitated through their persecution and fear for more of that 80.56.39.16 03:43, 16 November 2006 (UTC)

Useful info[edit]

The CWII section in the Paul Kagame article, contains important information that may be missing here. Can someone take a look? Thanks.Themalau 13:03, 27 December 2006 (UTC)

Recommendations[edit]

Ideally the "factions" section will be incorporated into the rest of the article. Sourcing seems to be a serious problem as there are an unimpressive eight attributed sections. The origins section is completely unclear and yet is still to long. Lots of work to be done. Perspicacite 05:01, 20 August 2007 (UTC)

I just re-read this article for the first time in a long long while and I have to agree. It looks like someone has rearranged paragraphs without ensuring that there are transitions or that the reader gets an explanation of an idea before proceeding. It also looks like some serious POV problems has crept in. Unless someone protests, I will probably take a chainsaw to the article at some point. - BanyanTree 05:33, 24 January 2008 (UTC)

Darfur, Congo, and Politics[edit]

Should be incorporated into general article and referenced...

From The Guardian (UK):

"Where anti-Arab prejudice and oil make the difference" 2

"The contrast in western attitudes to Darfur and Congo shows how illiberal our concept of intervention really is"

In a remote corner of Africa, millions of civilians have been slaughtered in a conflict fuelled by an almost genocidal ferocity that has no end in sight. Victims have been targeted because of their ethnicity and entire ethnic groups destroyed - but the outside world has turned its back, doing little to save people from the wrath of the various government and rebel militias. You could be forgiven for thinking that this is a depiction of the Sudanese province of Darfur, racked by four years of bitter fighting. But it describes the Democratic Republic of Congo, which has received a fraction of the media attention devoted to Darfur. ...

—Preceding unsigned comment added by 71.227.191.140 (talkcontribs)

Opinion pieces generally make for poor reference sources. For example, I would take issue with the word "slaughtered" - most of the deaths result from health issues resulting from forced displacement and the disruption of basic services, not direct killings, which is undoubtedly horrific, but not what I envision from the word "slaughter". There's also the point, if one wants to break down metaphors, that the world can hardly turn its back on a problem that it never faced. A more objective analysis of Western media coverage relative to lives affected would probably be worth mentioning. - BanyanTree 00:10, 12 September 2007 (UTC)

Factions paragraph[edit]

I just reverted a revert because there is enough material in each paragraph to justify the seperation of the "Factions" into multiple pieces. I know writing styles differ (I have been known to employ short one sentence paragraphs in my personal writing), but I think the decomposition of this paragraph was well done, hence why I reverted to it. -- KarlHallowell 15:31, 25 October 2007 (UTC)

That's fine. The thing to really focus on in that section is attribution. It has no sources as of yet. Perspicacite 00:32, 26 October 2007 (UTC)
Ah, yes. That's a remnant from a more innocent age when the footnotes feature wasn't even developed. As I recall, I added those paragraphs way back when the article had zero understanding of who was involved in the war and their interests, and when several sources I had read were fresh in my mind. As it is largely the result of many sources strained through my brain, it should probably just be removed as I rather doubt there is any one source that can be used for support in dividing the combatants precisely in the manner. - BanyanTree 01:03, 26 October 2007 (UTC)

All armed parties are guilty of rape?[edit]

The article says: All armed parties in the conflict are guilty of rape, though the militia and various insurgent groups have been most culpable. No source for this statement is cited.

Is this article actually asserting that every single armed party in this massive conflict is guilty of rape? Am I misreading this? I put a [citation needed] flag on it. I suspect it cannot be reliably sourced, as I suspect the claim is unprovable.

Also, most of this article is unsourced. Unsourced, challenged material is subject to deletion per WP:V. Blackworm (talk) 22:58, 2 March 2008 (UTC)

I believe it was intended indicate that all the armed groups in the conflict have committed rape rather than all individuals in the armed conflict. I've changed it to "forces", a more specific grouping and in accord with the AI source I've added. "Forces" should more accurately reflect "groups". Pigman 18:50, 3 March 2008 (UTC)
Thank you Pigman, for addressing this. I'm still not quite sure how a group can be labeled "guilty of rape" (a phrase not used in the source), unless all of its members have committed rape, or its leadership has encouraged, condoned, or tolerated rape. It's not clear from the source that this is the case. The part about the militia and less disciplined groups being responsible could also more closely reflect the source. Perhaps it should read, Rape has been perpetrated by members of each of the armed forces in the conflict, with most allegations of sexual violence made against the militia and various insurgent groups. What do you think? Your source also says, Rape of men and boys has also taken place, while the entire paragraph discusses only women, and thus seems to imply that only women were raped. Do you think that's worth addressing? Blackworm (talk) 22:52, 3 March 2008 (UTC)

BBC Today Programme Reports[edit]

The Today Programme on BBC Radio Four in the UK is running a series of reports from Congo from 22nd to 25th April. The first one detailed truly horrific abuses of men, women and children. Does this information have a place in this article, especially since the reports are only audio without transcripts? The web address is http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio4/today/reports/international/congo_20080410.shtml 137.222.140.185 (talk) 12:42, 22 April 2008 (UTC) DaveEvens 22 April 2008

Need for section on origins[edit]

This article does not have a distinct section for this war's origin. It also fails to summerize what the war was over, and which side was the de facto winner. Fusion7 (talk) 18:38, 1 July 2008 (UTC)

Anti-Zimbabwean propaganda[edit]

Wow, I am getting truly sick of this. Everywhere I go I am bombarded with "Mugabe = bad, Tsvangirai = saviour of humanity". I understand that this is on the news all the time and this is what us in the west have shoved in our face, but can we PLEASE remain neutral. How can anyone see the Zimbabwean section of this article as unbiased. Oh yes, I believe there is a problem with the other sections of the article too. NPOV!--HandGrenadePins (talk) 20:20, 2 November 2008 (UTC)


Well, perhaps worth listing or not[edit]

But this article: [10] shows a picture left by the conflict from a charity perspectice... --BozMo talk 15:26, 11 November 2008 (UTC)

So, Who won?[edit]

Who would you say won the 2nd Congo War?Fusion7 (talk) 05:24, 29 January 2009 (UTC)

The Second Congo War is also called The First African World War. But unlike WW-I/WW-II, there was no winner nor among the combattands, nor at the MONUC. Perhaps, the former Colonial Lords of Africa (i.e. Europe) got profit from the war. Perhaps, governors, who want to abolish the UNO and/or the OAU, are the real winners. Perhaps, the winner might be the Continent of Africa, because nowadays Africa is so peaceful as it never had been in history - but it's a graveyard-peace (There are only 3 ongoing conflicts in Africa: LRA in Uganda, Niger-Delta riots in Nigeria and the war in Somalia). -- 188.46.57.18 (talk) 20:25, 22 September 2009 (UTC)
That's a lot of "perhaps" for one paragraph. You also miss the religious communal violence in Nigeria, FDLR in DR Congo, LRA attacks in the DR Congo and southern Sudan, rioting in Kampala, Uganda, north-south clashes in Sudan, Darfur in Sudan, general instability extending from Darfur into Chad and the Central African Republic, political rioting in Kenya, just to name the recent deadly violence I can think of off the top of my head. - BanyanTree 23:47, 22 September 2009 (UTC)
What did each side set out to do? Did the achieve their goal? If you answer that, then you can determine the winner. My view is the rebels/opposition did not take Kinshasa and takeover the country. This says to me they lost. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Tempest II (talkcontribs)

[outdent] I can see that argument but would prefer to break down each leader's motivation and see if they achieved it. (I wouldn't even bring national interest into it, since most of the citizens involved had no real way of directing or choosing their leaders.) The elder Kabila failed to keep control of the various interests and ended up shot for his troubles. Meanwhile, the younger Kabila has successfully not been assassinated while staying president, though much of the east of the country is only nominally under his control. Mugabe wanted to protect his large investment in DR Congo, in which he largely failed. The Angolan MPLA needed to prevent UNITA from regaining their bases in Congo before the civil war restarted, which they accomplished brilliantly. Namibia's Nujoma just followed the lead of Angola and Zimbabwe, so I suppose could be considered successful at not rupturing its alliance with those two countries.

Of the opposing side, Kagame failed to remove Kabila but largely managed to crush the ALiR insurgency while suppressing domestic turmoil. Museveni needed to clean up the Sudanese-supported anti-Ugandan rebel forces in eastern Congo and solidify extraction of resources, which had begun in 1996 - two objectives at which it was largely successful despite not taking the country. Burundi's military probably had the best claim to self-defense, as they were largely obsessed with the threat of the FDD rebels on their border, who signed a peace agreement in 2005.

So, in my mind, Angola's MPLA clearly accomplished its primary objective and Zimbabwe's Mugabe clearly does not, while everyone else is more mixed. Those two nations are nominally on 'the same side', so that doesn't really help figure out which side 'won.' And of course the civilians, who get killed, raped, robbed and forced from their homes while the leaders play these games, lose, but nobody really considers them players. - BanyanTree 08:23, 24 September 2009 (UTC)

What did investments did Mugabe try to protect? How did he fail? —Preceding unsigned comment added by Tempest II (talkcontribs)
Please sign your posts. You can either type four ~s yourself or use the "pen" icon on the toolbox above the editing window.
Anyway, by early 1998 Zimbabwe Defence Industries (ZDI) has received over $140 million in contracts for military supplies from Kabila. In September 1998, Kabila signed an agreement with Gécamines, Ridgepoint Overseas and the Central Mining Group, the latter two firms being branches of Billy Rautenbach's Wheels of Africa. Appointed by Mugabe to make some quick cash for the Kabila government, Rautenbach was extracting $6 million worth of cobalt from the Likasi slagheaps per month, for which Kabila rewarded him with the title of general manager of Gecamines. 30% of Gecamines' profit was earmarked to pay for the Harare military intervention but the whole deal rested on Rautenbach's position, so when he was removed for incompetence it fell apart. Zimbabwe continued to try various other ways to make their war pay for itself: Zimbawean Electricity Supply Authority signed a contract to double its power imports from Inga Dam at below-market cost but there wasn't any power lines to do so. 500,000 hectares of Katanganese farmland were given to a Zimbabwean state farm, that didn't have the money to invest in it anyway. Kinshasa gave Osleg Company, run by the Zimbabwean military and set up in late 1999, the diamond permits near Mbuji-Mayi, but the new company couldn't get any financing to develop its mines. The World Bank estimates Zimbabwean military expenditure in Congo as $27 million per month in 1999, and Zimbabwe wasn't making nearly enough money in the DRC to recoup this.
If Kabila had actually fallen, Zimbabwe would have lost all the loans he owned them, so I suppose keeping him in power was a win on their part as I assume that Kabila still owes all that money. But it's not at all clear to me that the amount of money Zimbabwe lost over the course of its intervention was less than they would have lost if they had simply let Kabila fall in the first place. In contrast, both Rwanda and Uganda seem to have made a sizable profit from their intervention, as best as one can tell from research into the black market transactions. - BanyanTree 10:02, 25 September 2009 (UTC)
Sorry for the unsigned replies. Thanks you have some interesting details on the deals and attempted ventures which I had not much looked into before. The business/profit part is debatable - I agree as facts are not as available as we would like. Kabila is in power and therefore likely to continue working with Zimbabwe and Zimbabwe to benefit. On the military part, I believe Uganda and Rwanda went in to remove Kabila and put in a new government and that did not happen. At some point I believe all parties reevaluated and reconsidered their positions and redefined goals. Besides the possible and very likely financial losses, which I don’t believe define victories in wars, Zimbabwe still has a friend in Kinshasa and who serving them loyally if you have following any of the arms embargo busting news on Zimbabwe. Less than two years ago, a battalion of Zimbabwean troops was still providing personal protection to Kabila and training for the local guard too = more or less how this were back in 1998 when the war started. Tempest II (talk) 17:09, 25 September 2009 (UTC)

So, after a long period of fighting, there was no clear winner? Lame. Curse these stupid modern wars and their nonconventional battles. Fusion7 (talk) 00:06, 21 October 2009 (UTC)

Change of front image?[edit]

Currently, the front image is of a bunch of refugees lining up to leave. I can understand why one would want such an image, (they want this to be about the civilians.) but most Wikipedia articles on the great wars of history have images of battle scenes or aftermaths or surrenders. This is war, after all. The 2nd Congo War was not fought by civilians (while they experience the brunt of it) but by armies and insurgencies. This war was not decided by international aid, but by bullets.

For this reason, I say that we should have an image more like that on the World War 2 article, where it shows different pivitol or defining moments of the entire strife. I mean, it would look pretty dumb if the article on World War 2 just showed an image of some displaced Polish Family. Fusion7 (talk) 00:13, 21 October 2009 (UTC)

The issue is image copyrights. All of the images used in File:Infobox image for WWII.png are in the public domain. I can't even recall any decent photos of the major events of the Congo war, nevertheless any that are under a free license. The only people taking relevant photographs and automatically putting them under a free license are employees of the U.S. Agency for International Development or, in the case of the refugee photo, a member of a U.S. Congressional delegation on a fact-finding trip, which explains the bias of the media coverage we have. Even if one could find some non-free images for a collage, you'd have to come up with a fair use rationale for why it's absolutely necessary to use multiple fair use images in a single article. Tricky.
However, feel free to switch out the image if you find something more appropriate. - BanyanTree 05:08, 21 October 2009 (UTC)
I also feel, though, that even if I did find a fair use image, it would be replaced with another refugee photo. With all due respect, I think that people characterize modern wars by the images of refugees, not of the images of the battles that are the real fighting. They care more about watching a UN official hand out grain to half starved people, not the war itself. Fusion7 (talk) 00:18, 23 October 2009 (UTC)
If you're going to refuse to contribute based on your speculation about others' motives, then that's your call. - BanyanTree 08:01, 23 October 2009 (UTC)

Causes[edit]

One of the causes of the war was the demand for raw materials, including Coltan. (http://www.kongo-kinshasa.de/kommentar/kom_062.php) Sarcelles (talk) 11:53, 3 March 2010 (UTC): How should this be entered into the article? Sarcelles (talk) 11:55, 3 March 2010 (UTC)

"...2nd Deadliest War SINCE WWII"[edit]

It would be nice if this line was clearer. I read it as "2nd deadliest war after WWII, which was the deadliest." Then I thought, hmmm, I think WWI was deadlier than this, so I look that up to confirm, and it was. Then I wondered and wondered how to get this straight. I emailed Wikipedia about what I THOUGHT was an error and they took the time to email back with all sorts of instructions about how to change it. Then I went to send you, the article editor, this email and reread the article and realized it says "since" WWII. Somehow the word since got lost in translation. Perhaps it would serve better to be phrased something like... "Since WWII, no war has been deadlier than the 2nd Congo War in which there were ## military and ## civilian casualties." Whadaya think? Just a thought! —Preceding unsigned comment added by 206.125.89.153 (talk) 23:52, 31 January 2011 (UTC)

the highest estimate for the Vietnam war is larger then the lowest estimate for this one. so its possible but unlikely that its not--173.63.7.27 (talk) 14:29, 8 April 2012 (UTC)

5.4 million dead?[edit]

That figure has been strongly criticized as exaggerated and ill-founded in peer-reviewed literature and should not be the only number cited in the lead.TheTimesAreAChanging (talk) 21:33, 7 February 2013 (UTC)

External links modified[edit]

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Factions and Leaders Card[edit]

The Factions and Leaders Card of this article is somewhat confusing: anti-rwandan, anti-ugandan and anti-burundi militias are listed under the same tab as the DR Congo coalition, which may mislead people not throughly familiarized with the subject into thinking that all of them were part of a common alliance, while actually many of these militias, such as the FDLR and LRA were genocidal and opposed by all of the states involved. That problem is not present on the Uganda-Rwanda-Burundi tab, as it does properly recognize the militias listed there as "rwandan- and ugandan-aligned" militias. I therefore suggest that a third tab or a proper subdivision on the second tab should be created, so that the pro-government coalition and factions aligned with it is left on one side and the militias working against Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi, but also against the DR Congo and its allies, be left on another side. I would do it myself but I have little editing expierence, so I make this call to my fellow Wikipedians to do it in my place. — Preceding unsigned comment added by ZhiliTayN (talkcontribs) 15:18, 4 October 2017 (UTC)