2008 Nord-Kivu campaign

The 2008 Nord-Kivu campaign was an armed conflict in the eastern Nord-Kivu province of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The upsurge of violence in the Kivu conflict saw heavy battles between the Democratic Republic of Congo's army, supported by the United Nations, and Tutsi militia under General Laurent Nkunda.

2008 Nord-Kivu campaign
Part of the Kivu conflict of the Second Congo War

Villagers fleeing from a Kibati village
DateOctober 26, 2008[1] – March 23, 2009
Status Congolese government victory
CNDP  Democratic Republic of the Congo
Mai-Mai militia (until November, 18)
Commanders and leaders
Laurent Nkunda Joseph Kabila
Lieutenant General Babacar Gaye
Sikuli Lafontaine (Mai-Mai commander)[5]
Ignace Murwanashyaka
José Eduardo dos Santos
Robert Mugabe
6,000[6] 20,000 (government)[7]
6,000 (United Nations) (with 1000 in Goma)[6]
3,500 (Mai-Mai)[6]
6000-7000 (Rwandan Hutu rebels)[6]
Casualties and losses
Unknown 3+ soldiers killed (army),
4 soldiers wounded (UN)
~60 fighters killed (Mai-Mai)

100+ children raped

100+ civilians killed[8]

The fighting, which began on October 25, uprooted 250,000 civilians — bringing the total of people displaced by the Kivu conflict to more than 2 million. The campaign caused widespread civil unrest, large food shortages and what the United Nations called "a humanitarian crisis of catastrophic dimensions." After a week, a ceasefire was ordered by rebel forces amongst civil and military unrest in Goma. The rebel capture of all territory around Goma created a very fragile atmosphere of peace, caused enormous political damage, and called to question the efficacy of the peacekeepers stationed there. After a short cease-fire ordered by rebel general Laurent Nkunda, fighting broke out on November 17, after which a second ceasefire was called into effect on November 19. A buffer zone between rebel and government lines, referred to as a "humanitarian aid corridor", was created on November 23 to allow the transportation of aid to isolated civilian centers. On December 9, bilateral peace talks started between delegations from the Congolese government and Nkunda's rebels. Major fighting largely subsided after Nkunda's capture in January 2009.

The continuous state of conflict affecting DR Congo since 1997 has been referred to as the deadliest since World War II, with aid agencies estimating a death rate of 1,200 to 1,400 civilians a day.[9]

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