Armed Forces of the Democratic Republic of the Congo

The Armed Forces of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (French: Forces armées de la république démocratique du Congo [FARDC]) is the state organisation responsible for defending the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The FARDC was rebuilt patchily as part of the peace process which followed the end of the Second Congo War in July 2003.

Armed Forces of the Democratic Republic of the Congo
Forces armées de la République démocratique du Congo
Founded30 June 1960
Service branches Land Forces
 Air Force
HeadquartersColonel Tshatshi Military Camp, Kinshasa
PresidentFélix Tshisekedi
Minister of Defence and VeteransGilbert Kabanda[1]
Chief of General StaffArmy General Celestin Mbala Munsense
Military ageAs of 2008, there are 'nearly 20,000' soldiers that are over 60 years old.[2]
Active personnel134,250[3]
BudgetUS$93.5 million (2004 est.)
Percent of GDP1.34 (2016 est.)[4]
Domestic suppliersAt least one ammunition plant in Likasi.[5]
Foreign suppliers China[6]
 United States[6]
Related articles
RanksMilitary ranks

The majority of FARDC members are land forces, but it also has a small air force and an even smaller navy. In 2010–2011 the three services may have numbered between 144,000 and 159,000 personnel.[7] In addition, there is a presidential force called the Republican Guard, but it and the Congolese National Police (PNC) are not part of the Armed Forces.

The government in the capital city Kinshasa, the United Nations, the European Union, and bilateral partners which include Angola, South Africa, and Belgium are attempting to create a viable force with the ability to provide the Democratic Republic of Congo with stability and security. However, this process is being hampered by corruption,[8] inadequate donor coordination, and competition between donors.[9] The various military units now grouped under the FARDC banner are some of the most unstable in Africa after years of war and underfunding.

To assist the new government, since February 2000 the United Nations has had the United Nations Mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo (now called MONUSCO), which currently has a strength of over 16,000 peacekeepers in the country. Its principal tasks are to provide security in key areas, such as the South Kivu and North Kivu in the east, and to assist the government in reconstruction. Foreign rebel groups are also in the Congo, as they have been for most of the last half-century. The most important is the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR), against which Laurent Nkunda's troops were fighting, but other smaller groups such as the anti-Ugandan Lord's Resistance Army are also present.[10]

The legal standing of the FARDC was laid down in the Transitional Constitution, articles 118 and 188. This was then superseded by provisions in the 2006 Constitution, articles 187 to 192. Law 04/023 of 12 November 2004 establishes the General Organisation of Defence and the Armed Forces.[11] In mid-2010, the Congolese Parliament was debating a new defence law, provisionally designated Organic Law 130.