Union of Federalists and Independent Republicans
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The Union of Federalists and Independent Republicans (French: Union des fédéralistes et des Républicains Indépendants, UFERI) is a political party in Democratic Republic of the Congo. Since the actual electoral strength of the political parties in Congo is not known, the size of the party cannot be determined.
It was founded in August 1990 by former First State Commissioner Jean Nguza Karl-i-Bond, who led the party until he fell ill in May 1994. Gabriel Kyungu wa Kumwanza, then governor of Shaba region, was then named the president of the party, but a faction led by Karl-I-Bond's wife Wivine split from the organization, leaving Kyungu with the remainder of the party in Shaba region (now Katanga Province).
To the present day, most of the party's membership and leadership comes from the Katanga region, and the earlier days of the party's existence was filled with ethnopolitical battles between the predominantly-BaLunda UFERI and the predominantly-BaLuba UDPS of Karl-I-Bond's rival (and former First State Commissioner) Étienne Tshisekedi.
It, along with the UDPS and the PDSC, was part of the short-lived opposition-based Sacred Union in 1991, but was kicked out after Karl-I-Bond accepted the position of prime minister from Mobutu that year.
In 1998, Kyungu was given the ambassadorship of the DRC to Kenya by then-president Laurent Kabila; the Kenyan president's office was sent a letter of protest by UDPS against the appointment of Kyungu by Kabila due to Kyungu's usage of the UFERI's youth militia, JUFERI, in violence against the Luba supporters of the UDPS during his time as governor.
It is known to support greater autonomy for Katanga, and to be a BaLunda-ethnocentric party that sought to drive out the Luba minority from the Katanga region.
- "Union for Democracy and Social Progress". Congonline.com. 1998-11-23. Retrieved 2014-08-03.
- "immigration news: Asylum Resource Series: Congo, Democratic Republic of [Kinshasa, former Zaire]". Ilw.Com. Retrieved 2014-08-03.
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