Country Fact Sheet - Democratic Republic of the Congo
|Publisher||Canada: Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada|
|Publication Date||April 2007|
|Cite as||Canada: Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada, Country Fact Sheet - Democratic Republic of the Congo, April 2007, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/46d2e2622.html [accessed 26 October 2014]|
|Comments||This document was prepared by the Research Directorate of the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada on the basis of publicly available information, analysis and comment. All sources are cited. This document is not, and does not purport to be, either exhaustive with regard to conditions in the country surveyed or conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim to refugee status or asylum. For further information on current developments, please contact the Research Directorate.|
|Disclaimer||This is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.|
1. GENERAL INFORMATION
Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC)
The Democratic Republic of the Congo is located in Central Africa. It borders the Central African Republic and Sudan to the north; Rwanda, Burundi, Uganda and Tanzania to the east; Zambia and Angola to the south; and the Republic of the Congo to the northwest. The country has access to the Atlantic Ocean through the mouth of the Congo River in the west. The total area of the DRC is 2,345,410 km². The climate of the DRC is tropical. The equatorial river basin is hot and humid, the southern highlands are cold and dry, and the eastern highlands are rainy. The wet season north of Equateur province is from April to October, and the dry season is from December to February. The wet season south of Equateur is from November to March, followed by a dry season from April to October.
Population and density
Population: 62,660,551 inhabitants (July 2006 estimate)A.
Density: 23.8 persons per km² (July 2004).
Principal cities and population
Kinshasa (capital) 5,276,958 (July 1984 estimate); Lubumbashi 564,830 (July 1984 estimate); Mbuji-Mayi 486,235 (July 1984 estimate); Kolwezi 416,122 (July 1984 estimate); Kisangani 317,581 (July 1984 estimate); Kananga 298,693 (July 1984 estimate); Likasi 213,862 (July 1984 estimate); Boma 197,617 (July 1984 estimate); Bukavu 167,950 (July 1984 estimate); Kikwit 149,296 (July 1984 estimate); Matadi 138,798 (July 1984 estimate); Mbandaka 137,291 (July 1984 estimate).
More than 400 Bantu and Sudanese dialects are spoken in the DRC. French remains the official language, but Kiswahili or Swahili, Kiluba, Kikongo, Lingala (lingua franca trade language) and Kingwana are the most widespread.
Roman Catholic 50%; Protestant 20%; Kibanguist 10%; Muslim 10%; other sects and indigenous beliefs 10%.
The DRC has over 200 ethnic groups, the majority of which are Bantu. The largest tribes are the Mongos, Lubas, Kongos (all Bantu) and the Mangbetu-Azandes (Hamitic); together they make up 45% of the population.
Demographics (2006 estimate unless otherwise indicated)
Population growth rate: 3.07%
Infant mortality rate: 88.62/1,000
Life expectancy at birth: 51.46 years
Fertility rate: 6.45 children born per woman
Literacy: 65.5% of people 15 years of age and older can read and write French, Lingala or Kingwana (2003 estimate).
Congolese franc (CDF).
496,403 Congolese francs = CAD 1.001
2006: 1 January (New Year's), 4 January (Commemoration of the Martyrs of Indpendence), 17 January (National Hero Day), 1 May (Labour Day), 17 May (National Liberation Day), 30 June (Independence Day), 1 August (Parents' Day), 14 October (Youth Day), 17 November (Army Day), 24 November (Anniversary of the Second Republic), 25 December (Christmas).
2007: 1 January (New Year's), 4 January (Commemoration of the Martyrs of Indpendence), 17 January (National Hero Day), 1 May (Labour Day), 17 May (National Liberation Day), 30 June (Independence Day), 1 August (Parents' Day), 14 October (Youth Day), 17 November (Army Day), 24 November (Anniversary of the Second Republic), 25 December (Christmas).
Head of state
Joseph Kabila (since 26 January 2001)
Head of government
Prime Minister Antoine Kizenga (since 30 December 2006).
Form of government (Sec. 1, 69, 70, 79 of the Constitution)
As its name indicates, the DRC is a republic. The president is directly elected to a fiveyear term by universal suffrage; the term may be renewed only once. The president is the head of state and the supreme commander of the armed forces. According to Section 78 of the Constitution, in a majority government, the president of the Republic consults with the government and then names a prime minister. The president of the Republic also names and dismisses the other ministers on the recommendation of the prime minister. The president presides over the Council of Ministers (Conseil des ministres). The prime minister is the head of government. He ensures that the laws are enforced and has regulative jurisdiction, with the exception of the prerogatives vested in the president of the Republic.
Legislative structure (Sec. 100, 101, 103, 104, 105 of the Constitution)
Legislative power is exercised by a bicameral parliament made up of two chambers: the National Assembly and the Senate. The National Assembly is made up of 500 members of parliament, and the Senate of 120 senators. Members of both chambers represent political parties or groups or represent themselves as independents. Members of parliament are directly elected by secret ballot with universal suffrage to fiveyear terms and can be re-elected. Senators are elected indirectly by the provincial assemblies2 to fiveyear terms and can be re-elected. Past elected presidents of the Republic have the right to be senators for life.
The DRC has 25 provinces, plus the city of Kinshasa, which has the legal status of a province. The provinces are as follows:
The judicial apparatus includes the Constitutional Court (Cour constitutionnelle), the Court of Cassation (Cour de cassation), the Council of State (Conseil d'État), the Military High Court (Haute Cour militaire), and civilian and military courts and tribunals, as well as the departments attached to these jurisdictions. In addition, specialized jurisdictions can be created by law. The Constitutional Court has nine members appointed by the president of the Republic: three are chosen by him, three are designated by parliament and congress, and three are selected by the Supreme Council of the Magistracy (Conseil supérieur de la magistrature). In addition, the president of the Republic, on the recommendation of the Supreme Council of the Magistracy, appoints judges and prosecutors, relieves them of their functions and dismisses them.
In the DRC, only citizens 18 years of age and over have the right to vote; exercising this right is mandatory. The president of the Republic and members of parliament are directly elected by universal suffrage. The most recent presidential elections, during which 33 candidates ran, were held on 30 July 2006 (first round) and 29 October 2006 (second round). Joseph Kabila won with 58% of the vote. He ran as an independent candidate, but received support from the Alliance for the Presidential Majority (Alliance pour la majorité présidentielle, AMP), formed by the People's Party for Reconstruction and Democracy (Parti du peuple pour la réconciliation et le développement, PPRD) and some 30 other political parties. His rival, JeanPierre Bemba, candidate for the Movement for the Liberation of Congo (Mouvement pour la libération du Congo, MLC), received support from about 23 other political parties in an alliance called the Group of Congolese Nationalists (Regroupement des nationalistes congolais, RENACO). He obtained 42% of the vote.
The last legislative elections were held on 30 July 2006, and about 213 parties ran candidates. The following are the main parties and their results: the People's Party for Reconstruction and Democracy (PRRD) 111 seats; the Movement for the Liberation of Congo (MLC) 64 seats; the Unified Lumumbist Party (Parti lumumbiste unifié, PALU) 34 seats; the Social Movement for Renewal (Mouvement social pour le renouveau, MSR) 27 seats; the Forces for Renewal (Forces du renouveau, FR) 26 seats; the Congolese Rally for Democracy (Rassemblement congolais pour la démocratie, RCD) 15 seats; the Coalition of Congolese Democrats (Coalition des Congolais démocrates, CODECO) and the Convention of Christian Democrats (Convention des chrétiens démocrates, CDC) 10 seats each. The remaining 200 seats are split among about 70 other political parties and 100 independent members of parliament in the 500-seat national assembly. The next elections are scheduled for 2011.
In the DRC, only males aged 18 to 45 years can serve in the armed forces. In August 2005, it was estimated that the Armed Forces of the Democratic Republic of Congo (Forces armées de la République démocratique du Congo, FARDC) had 64,800 members, distributed as follows:
In addition, at the end of January 2006, the United Nations Mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo (MONUC), deployed in the country since 1999, had 12,820 uniformed personnel, including 729 military observers and 1,072 police officers, and were assisted by 856 international civilian employees and 1,419 local civilian employees. During the election campaign, MONUC authorized the deployment of 16,700 soldiers and 475 civilian police officers, with the possibility of a future deployment of 841 police officers and 300 soldiers.
In 2002, the defence budget was estimated to be USD 1 billion.
Section 24 of the constitution of 18 February 2006 stipulates that [translation] "everyone has the right to information [but that] freedom of the press, freedom of information and freedom to disseminate information by radio, by television, through the press or by any other means of communication are guaranteed, as long as public order, public decency and the rights of others are respected.3" However, journalists are often arrested, and opposition parties accuse the public media of favouring the PPRD, which supports President Kabila, to the detriment of other political parties. In 2005, the government organization responsible for regulating the media suspended the licences of some radio stations that it accused of antigovernment activities.
The chief news agencies in the DRC are the Agence congolaise de presse (ACP), Agence France-Presse, Xinhua, and the Pan-African News Agency (PANA). The main newspapers in Kinshasa are Le Potentiel (circulation of 8,000), L'Avenir (4000), La Référence, Le Forum, Courrier d'Afrique (15,000), Le Salongo, Le Journal (three times a week), and L'Alerte. In addition, Mjumba and La Dépêche are published in Lubumbashi, and Boyoma is published in Kisangani.
La Voix du Congo and Télévision congolaise are, respectively, state-run radio and television stations, but a number of other privately run radio and television stations also broadcast from Kinshasa. According to a 1999 estimate, there were 5.2 million radios and 208,000 televisions in the DRC. According to 2002 estimates, there were 50,000 Internet users, 10,000 telephone service subscribers, and 560,000 cellular telephone users.
United Nations Human Development Index (HDI) and Country Rank B
Value: 0.391/1 (2004).
Rank: 167 out of 177 countries surveyed (2004).
United Nations Gender-related Development Index (GDI) and Country Rank C
Value: 0.378/1 (2004).
Rank: 167 out of 177 (2004).
Population below the national poverty line
Statistics on this issue could not be found.
Transparency International's Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI)D
Score: 2.0 out of 10 (2006).
Rank: 156 out of 163 countries surveyed (2006).
Transparency International's Global Corruption Barometer (GCB)E
Statistics on this issue could not be found.
[Information compiled from: African Elections Database 10 Jan. 2007; British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) 30 Dec. 2006; The Europa World Year Book 2006 2006; Keesing's Record of World Events Oct. 2006; Political Handbook of the World (PHW 2007) 2007; Transparency International (TI) 2006; United Nations (UN) 2006; United States (US) 19 Dec. 2006; Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) Feb. 2006.]
[A] This estimate takes into consideration the increased mortality rate as a result of AIDS[back]
[B] The HDI is a composite measurement of human development in a country, based on life expectancy, levels of literacy and education, and standard of living. Values are: 0.800 and higher (high human development), 0.500-0.799 (medium human development) and 0.500 and under (low development index). Countries are ranked in descending order by their HDI value[back]
[C] The GDI adjusts the rating of the HDI to reflect inequalities between men and women[back]
[D] The Transparency International CPI is based on composite survey data from 16 polls and 10 independent institutions. The data reflects the perceptions of resident and non-resident business people and country analysts. Scores range from 0 (highly corrupt) to 10 (highly clean). According to their score, countries are ranked in order from least corrupt (1) to most corrupt (163)[back]
[E] The Transparency International GCB is a public opinion survey used to gauge people's perceptions of corruption within their own state[back]
2. POLITICAL BACKGROUND
Two recent events have marked political life in the DRC: the adoption by referendum of a new constitution on 18 December 2005, and its promulgation on 18 February 2006.4 This promulgation was followed by several elections: the legislative elections on 30 July 20065, the presidential elections on 30 July 2006 (first round) and 29 October 2006 (second round)6, the senate elections on 19 January 20077, and the provincial elections for governor and vice-governor on 27 January 20078.
These elections ended the transitional period that had begun in July 2003 with the installation of a transitional government9, in compliance with the peace accord signed between the various Congolese representatives in Pretoria, South Africa10. This peace accord ended the armed conflict in which a number of countries had participated and which had resulted in an estimated three million deaths11.
The current president, Joseph Kabila, won the elections after obtaining 58 percent12 of the votes in the second round. His only rival, JeanPierre Bemba, received 42 percent13. In addition, the AMP, a coalition of some 30 political parties that supported President Kabila's candidacy14, won an absolute majority with 31615 out of the 500 seats in the National Assembly16. The AMP dominates both chambers of parliament, with approximately 60 percent of seats in each chamber17. RENACO, a coalition of some 20 parties that supported Jean-Pierre Bemba's candidacy, won about 100 seats18. The election campaign was marked by violent incidents, during which Congolese security forces used excessive force against members of opposition parties and attacked journalists and human rights advocates. However, voting took place in relatively calm conditions19.
3. POLITICAL PARTIES
According to the Congolese Independent Electoral Commission (IEC), on 3 March 2006, more than 260 political parties were accredited and authorized to operate20. Approximately 200 parties ran candidates in the 30 July 2006 legislative elections21, and nearly 70 parties had at least one member of parliament elected22. The main parties are the following:
People's Party for Reconstruction and Democracy (Parti du peuple pour la réconciliation et le développement, PPRD)
Founded in 200223, the PPRD is primarily made up of sympathizers of the old regime and members of the outgoing government24. In preparation for the most recent elections, the PPRD entered into an agreement with about 30 other parties to form the Alliance for the Presidential Majority (Alliance pour la majorité présidentielle, AMP), which supported President Joseph Kabila 25. The PPRD won 111 seats in the 30 July 2006 legislative elections,26 making it the biggest political party27. The AMP, of which the PPRD is the main component, holds 316 of the 500 seats in the Congolese National Assembly28. Vital Kamerhe, the current president of the National Assembly29, leads the PPRD as its secretary general30.
Movement for the Liberation of Congo (Mouvement pour la libération du Congo, MLC)
The MLC was founded by JeanPierre Bemba in Equateur in 199831. A former rebel group, the MLC is a signatory to the Pretoria Accord of December 2002 and was part of the transitional government installed on 30 July 200332. JeanPierre Bemba, the MLC's current president33, held the position of vice-president34. During the most recent elections, the MLC and approximately 20 other political parties joined forces to form a coalition known as the Group of Congolese Nationalists, which supported JeanPierre Bemba's presidential bid35. The MLC won 64 seats in the most recent elections36, coming in second after the PPRD37.
Unified Lumumbist Party (Parti lumumbiste unifié, PALU)
PALU was founded on 22 August 196438. In the 30 July 2006 elections, PALU won 34 seats39 and has the third highest number of members of parliament40. PALU is part of the AMP41, and on 30 December 2006, its leader, Antoine Gizenga42, was named prime minister of the first government installed after the elections43.
Social Movement for Renewal (Mouvement social pour le renouveau, MSR)
In September 2006, Le Potentiel, a Congolese daily, reported that the MSR (also called the Mouvement social, MS) had been founded [translation] "not quite a year" earlier44. Many of its candidates were former leaders of civil society45. The MSR won 27 seats in the most recent elections46, making it the fourth largest party in terms of members of parliament47. The MSR is led by Pierre Lumbi Okongo, who is described as an [translation] "associate" of President Kabila48. The MSR is part of the AMP49, and Pierre Lumbi Okongo was named Minister of State for Infrastructures, Public Works and Reconstruction (ministre d'État chargé des infrastructures, des travaux publics et de la reconstruction) in the new government50.
Forces for Renewal (Forces du renouveau, FR)
The FR is a coalition of five political parties and was founded on 17 March 200651. In the 30 July 2006 legislative elections, 26 FR candidates were elected52. The FR, led by Olivier Kamitatu53, is part of the AMP54. Olivier Kamitatu was named Planning Minister (ministre du Plan) in the current government55. Antipas Mbusa Nyamwisi, the Minister of Foreign Affairs (ministre d'État chargé des Affaires étrangères)56, represented the FR in the 30 July 2006 presidential elections, but won less than one percent of the vote57.
Congolese Rally for Democracy - Goma (Rassemblement congolais pour la démocratie - section Goma, RCD-Goma)
RCD-Goma was founded in October 2000, following internal dissent within the RCD, which was founded in 1998 in Goma, North Kivu58. A former armed group, RCDGoma is a signatory to the December 2002 Pretoria Accord59. In July 2003, RCDGoma participated in the transitional government, and Azarias Ruberwa, its current president, was named one of four vice-presidents60. RCDGoma won 15 seats in the latest legislative elections61.
Coalition of Congelese Democrats (Coalition des démocrates congolais, CODECO)
CODECO is a coalition of 30 political parties62. Ten of its candidates were elected members of parliament63 in the latest elections. CODECO is part of the AMP64 and is led by Pierre Pay-Pay wa Syakassighe65.
Convention of Christian Democrats (Convention des démocrates chrétiens, CDC)
The CDC is an [translation] "electoral alliance of Christian political parties"66. The CDC won 10 seats67 in the 30 July 2006 legislative elections. Florentin Mokonda Bonza ran as the CDC candidate in the 30 July 2006 presidential elections and won 0.29 percent68 of the votes cast.
Union of Mobutist Democrats (Union des démocrates mobutistes, UDEMO)
UDEMO is an alliance of various political parties, society associations and nongovernmental organizations. Its objectives are "the restoration of peace, national unity and territorial integrity"69. In the latest legislative elections, nine UDEMO candidates were elected70. It is part of the AMP71 and is led by François Joseph Mobutu Nzanga Ngangawe (the son of former president Mobutu)72. Nzanga Mobutu is the Agriculture Minister (ministre d'État chargé de l'agriculture) in the current government73.
Other political parties represented in the National AssemblyF
Action Movement for the Resurrection of the Congo - Labour and Brotherhood Party (Mouvement d'action pour la résurrection du Congo - Parti du travail et de la fraternité, MARC-PTF); Alliance for the Renewal of the Congo (Alliance pour le renouveau du Congo, ARC); Alliance of Congolese Democrats (Alliance des démocrates congolais, ADECO); Alliance of Congolese Nationalist Believers (Alliance des nationalistes croyants congolais, ANCC); Alliance of Congolese Nationalists/Platform (Alliance des nationalistes congolais/Plate-forme, ANC/PF); Alliance of the Kongo People (Alliance des bâtisseurs du Kongo, ABAKO); Camp of the Fatherland (Camp de la patrie, CP); Christian Convention for Democracy (Convention chrétienne pour la démocratie, CCD); Christian Democrat Party (Parti démocrate chrétien, PDC); Christian Democrats (Démocrates chrétiens, DC); Christian Rally for the Congo (Rassemblement des chrétiens pour le Congo, RCPC); Congolese Alliance of Christian Democrats (Alliance congolaise des démocrates chrétiens, ACDC); Congolese Democratic Front (Front des démocrates congolais, FRODECO); Congolese Ecologists' Rally - The Greens (Rassemblement des écologistes congolais - les verts, REC - LES VERTS); Congolese Nationalist Patriots Union (Union des patriotes nationalistes congolais, UPNAC); Congolese Party for Good Governance (Parti congolais pour la bonne gouvernance, PCBG); Congolese Party for the WellBeing of the People (Parti congolais pour le bien-être du peuple, PCB); Congolese People's Movement for the Republic (Mouvement du peuple congolais pour la République, MPCR); Congolese Union for Change (Union congolaise pour le changement, UCC); Congolese Union for Change (Union congolaise pour le changement); Convention for the Republic and Democracy (Convention pour la République et la démocratie, CRD); Democratic and Social Christian Party (Parti démocrate et social chrétien, PDSC); Democratic Convention for Development (Convention démocrate pour le développement, CDD); Federalist Christian Democracy-Convention of Federalists for Christian Democracy (Démocratie chrétienne fédéraliste - Convention des fédéralistes pour la démocratie chrétienne, DCF-COFEDEC); Innovative Forces for Union and Solidarity (Forces novatrices pour l'union et la solidarité, FONUS); Liberal Christian Democrats Union (Union des libéraux démocrates chrétiens, ULDC); Mai-Mai Movement (Mouvement Maï-Maï, MMM); Mai-Mai Resistant Patriots (Patriotes résistants Maï-Maï, PRM); Movement for Democracy and Development (Mouvement pour la démocratie et le développement, MDD); National Alliance Party for Unity (Parti de l'alliance nationale pour l'unité, PANU); National Convention for Political Action (Convention nationale d'action politique, CNAP); National Convention for the Republic and Progress (Convention nationale pour la République et le progrès, CNRP); National People's Party (Parti national du peuple, PANAP); National Union of Christian Democrats (Union nationale des démocrates chrétiens, UNADEC); National Union of Federalist Democrats (Union nationale des démocrates fédéralistes, UNADEF); National Unity Party (Parti de l'unité nationale, PUNA); Nationalists for Integral Development Party (Parti des nationalistes pour le développement intégral, PANADI); People's Conscience and Will (Conscience et volonté du peuple, CVP); People's Revolution Party (Parti de la révolution du peuple, PRP); Political Organization of Kasavubists and Allies (Organisation politique des kasavubistes et alliés, OPEKA); Popular Movement of the Revolution - Fait Privé (Mouvement populaire de la révolution "Fait Privé", MPR-Fait privé); Rally for Congolese Democrats and Nationalists (Rassemblement des Congolais démocrates et nationalistes, RCDN); Rally for Reconstruction and Edification (Action de rassemblement pour la reconstruction et l'édification nationale, ARREN); Rally for Social Democracy (Rassemblement pour le développement économique et social, RADESO); Rally of Social and Federalist Forces (Rassemblement des forces sociales et fédéralistes, RSF); Renewal Electoral Platform (Renaissance Plate-forme électorale, RENAISSANCE PE); Republican Generations (Générations républicaines, GR); Republican Majority Union (Union pour la majorité républicaine, UMR); Self-Defence Movement for Integrity and the Maintenance of Independent Authority (Mouvement d'autodéfense pour l'intégrité et le maintien de l'autorité indépendante, MAI-MAI MOUVE); Social Democrats for Development Front (Front des sociaux démocrates pour le développement, FSDD); Social Front of Independent Republicans (Front social des indépendants républicains, FSIR); Social Integration Front (Front pour l'intégration sociale, FIS); Solidarity for National Development (Solidarité pour le développement national, SODENA); Solidarity Movement for Democracy and Development (Mouvement Solidarité pour la démocratie et le développement, MSDD); Union for the Defense of the Republic (Union pour la défense de la république, UDR); Union of Nationalist Federalists of the Congo (Union des nationaliste féderalistes du Congo, UNAFEC); United Congolese Convention (Convention des Congolais unis, CCU)
Other accredited political partiesG
- 17 May Liberation Movement (Mouvement de libération du 17 mai, ML17)
- 17 May Movement (Mouvement du 17 mai, M17)
- African Alliance for Solidarity and Democracy (Alliance africaine pour la solidarité et la démocratie, ASOD)
- African Alliance of Executives (Alliance africaine des cadres, ACARRE)
- African Democracy and Development Party (Parti démocratique et du développement en Afrique, PDDA)
- African Democratic Congress (Congrès africain des democrates, CAD)
- African Democratic Labour Party (Parti démocrate travailliste africain, PDTA)
- African Democratic Union (Union démocratique africaine, UDA)
- African People's Movement (Mouvement populaire africain, MPA)
- Alliance and Peasants and Independents (Alliance des paysans et independents, API)
- Alliance for African Democracy (Alliance pour la démocratie africaine, ADA)
- Alliance of Congolese Nationalists (Alliance des nationalistes congolais, ANC)
- Alliance of Democratic Federalists of the Congo (Alliance des fédéralistes démocrates du Congo, AFDCO)
- Alliance of Liberal Democrats (Alliance des démocrates libéraux, ADEL)
- Alliance of Peasants and Ecologists (Alliance des paysans et ecologistes, APE)
- Alliance of Progressive Liberals (Alliance des libéraux progressistes, ALIPO)
- Alliance of Radical Liberal Democrats (Alliance des démocratiques libéraux radicaux, ADEL RADICALE)
- Alliance of the Wise for Development (Alliance des sages pour le développement, ASD)
- Assembly of Ecologists of the Democratic Congo (Regroupement des écologistes du Congo démocratique, RECOD)
- Assembly of Integrated Democrats (Assemblement des démocrates intégrés, ADI)
- Autonomous Organization of the People for Renewal (Organisation autonome du peuple pour le renouveau, ODAPR)
- Basic Alliance for Common Action (Alliance de base pour l'action commune, ABACO)
- Brotherhood for Labour and Progress (Union fraternelle pour le travail et le progrès, UFTP)
- Centre for Social Democrats (Centre des sociaux démocrates, CSD)
- Christian Democrat Movement (Mouvement démocrate chrétien, MDC)
- Christian Democrat Union (Union des démocrates chrétiens, UDC)
- Christian Democratic Liberal Party (Parti libéral démocrate chrétien, PLDC)
- Christian Democratic Patriots Union (Union des patriotes démocrates chrétiens, UPDC)
- Christian Forum for National Reconstruction (Forum des chrétiens pour la reconstruction nationale, FÔRENAC)
- Christian Party for African Solidarity (Parti chrétien pour la solidarité africaine, PCSA)
- Christian Revival (Réveil chrétien, RC)
- Christian Union for Renewal (Union chrétienne pour le renouveau, UCRJ)
- Christian Union for the Liberation of the Oppressed (Union chrétienne pour la libération des opprimés, UCLO)
- Compliant Democrats Rally (Rassemblement des démocrates conciliants, RADECO)
- Confederation of Redoubtable Peoples in Action (Confédération des peuples redoutables en action, CPRA)
- Congolese Action for Democracy (Action congolaise pour la démocratie, ACD)
- Congolese Alliance for the Defence of the Republic's Assets (Alliance congolaise pour la défense des acquis de la République, ACODAR)
- Congolese Christian Movement (Mouvement chrétien congolais, MCC)
- Congolese Conservatives Party (Parti des conservateurs congolais, PCC)
- Congolese Democratic and Socialist Party (Parti démocratique et socialiste congolais, PDSCO)
- Congolese Liberal Party (Parti libéral congolais, PLC)
- Congolese Movement for Renewal (Mouvement congolais pour la renaissance, MCR)
- Congolese National Movement Lumumba Faction (Mouvement national congolais Lumumba, MNCL)
- Congolese Party for National Alliance (Parti congolais pour l'alliance nationale, PCAN)
- Congolese Party for Progress (Parti congolais pour le progrès, PCP)
- Congolese Patriots Front, Labour Party (Front des patriotes congolais, Parti du travail, FDP-PT)
- Congolese People's Movement for the Republic (Mouvement du peuple congolais pour la République, MPCR)
- Congolese People's Rally (Rassemblement du peuple congolais, RPC)
- Congolese Rally for Democracy Kisangani - Liberation Movement (Rassemblement congolais pour la démocratie Kisangani - Mouvement de liberation, RCDIK-ML)
- Congolese Socialist Party (Parti socialiste congolais, PSC)
- Congolese Socialist Union (Union socialiste congolaise, USC)
- Congolese Union for Liberty (Union congolaise pour la liberté, UCL)
- Convention for Renewal and Progress (Convention pour la renaissance et le progress, CRP)
- Convention for the Republic, Institutions and Development (Convention pour la République, les institutions et le développement, CRID)
- Convention of African Community Alliances (Convention des alliances communautaires africaines, COACA)
- Convention of Federalists for Christian Democracy (Convention des fédéralistes pour la démocratie chrétienne, COFEDEC)
- Democracy and Absolute Liberty Party (Parti pour la démocrate et la liberté totale, PDLT)
- Democracy, Progress, Renewal (Démocratie, progrès, renouveau, DPR)
- Democratic Centre for Progress (Centre démocratique pour le progress, CDP)
- Democratic Front for Progress (Front démocratique pour le progress, FDP)
- Democratic Labour Union (Union démocratique travailliste, UDT)
- Democratic Movement for the Promotion of Students and Teachers (Mouvement démocratique pour la promotion estudiantine et enseignante, MDPEE)
- Democratic Nationalist Movement (Mouvement nationaliste démocrate, MND)
- Democratic Party for Community Development (Parti démocratique pour le développement communautaire, PADDECOM)
- Democratic Party for Moral Rearmament (Parti démocratique de réarmement moral, PDRM)
- Democratic Party of Congo (Parti démocratique au Congo, PD)
- Democratic Party of Young Christians in the Congo (Parti démocrate des jeunes chrétiens au Congo, PDJCC)
- Democratic People's Convention (Convention démocratique du people, CODEP)
- Democratic Rally for the Republic (Rassemblement démocratique pour la république, RDR)
- Democratic Rally for the Salvation of the Republic (Rassemblement démocratique pour le Salut de la République, RDSR)
- Democratic Union for Reconstruction and Development (Union des démocrates pour la reconstruction et le développement, UDRD)
- Democratic Union of the Free People (Union démocratique du peuple libre, UDPL)
- Democratic Union of Young Nationalists (Union démocratique des jeunes nationalistes, UDJN)
- Democrats for Integral Development Rally Party (Parti de rassemblement des démocrates pour le développement integral, PARADDI)
- Dynamic for National Development (Dynamique pour le développement national, DDN)
- Dynamic of Militant Patriots (Dynamique des patriotes militants, DPM)
- Emerging Forces (Forces de relève, FOR)
- Federalist Christian Democracy (Démocratie chrétienne fédéraliste, DCF)
- Federalist Christian Democracy / Nyamwisi (Démocratie chrétienne fédéraliste/Nyamwisi, DCFM)
- Federalist Democratic Party (Parti démocratique fédéraliste (PDF)
- Federalist Nationalist Party (Parti des nationalistes fédéralistes, PNF)
- Forces of the Future (Forces du future, FF)
- Guardian of the Nation During Oppression (Gardien de la nation pendant l'oppression, GNPO)
- Independent Movement for Renewal (Mouvement indépendant pour le renouveau, MIRE)
- Kabilist Patriots (Patriotes kabilistes, PK)
- League for Quality of Life (Ligue pour la qualité de la vie, LV)
- League of Christian Democrats (Ligue des démocrates chrétiens, LDC)
- Liberal Congress (Congrès liberal, CL)
- Liberal Democrat Party (Parti démocrate liberal, PADEL) Mr. G. Kabengele
- Liberal Labour Party (Parti travailliste liberal, PTL)
- Liberal Party for Development (Parti libéral pour le développement, PLD)
- Liberal Republican Alliance (Alliance républicaine libérale, AREL)
- Liberal Socialist Union (Union socialiste libérale, USL)
- Lokole Congress (Congrès lokole, COLO)
- Lumumbist Progressive Movement (Mouvement lumumbiste progressiste, MLP)
- Mobilization of the People for Triumph and Democracy (Mobilisation du peuple pour le triomphe de la démocratie, MPTDE)
- Moderate Progressive Party (Parti progressiste modéré, PPM)
- Movement for the Defence of Democracy and the People's Sovereignty (Mouvement pour la défense de la démocratie et la souveraineté du peuple, MDDSP)
- Movement for the Liberation of Consciences (Mouvement pour la libération des consciences, MLCO)
- Movement of Democrats (Mouvement des démocrates, MD)
- National Alliance for the Republic (Alliance nationale pour la République, ANR)
- National Alliance of Democrats for Reconstruction (Alliance nationale des démocrates pour la reconstruction, ANADER)
- National Commitment Movement (Mouvement d'engagement national, MEN)
- National Congolese Front (Front national congolais, FNC)
- National Convention of Democrats for a New Order (Convention nationale des démocrates pour un ordre nouveau, CONDOR)
- National Democrat Action (Action démocrate nationale, ADENA)
- National Forum for Democracy (Forum national pour la démocratie, FND)
- National Front for Democracy and Harmony (Front national pour la démocratie et la concorde, FNDC)
- National Front for Renewal (Front national pour le renouveau, FINIR)
- National Liberation Front of the Congo (Front de libération nationale du Congo, FLNC)
- National Movement for Social Progress (Mouvement national pour le progrès social, MNPS)
- National Party for Democracy and Development (Parti national pour la démocratie et le développement, PND)
- National Union for the Interests of the Unemployed (Union nationale pour les intérêts des chômeurs, UNADIC)
- National Union of Federalist Democrats (Union nationale des démocrates fédéralistes, UNADEF)
- National Union of Federalists of the Congo (Union nationale des fédéralistes du Congo, UNAFEC)
- National Union of Nationalists (Union nationale des nationalistes, UNANA)
- Nationalist and Integrationalist Front (Front des nationalistes intégrationnistes, FNI)
- Nationalist Common Front (Front commun des nationalistes, FCN) / Mr. Rumba
- Nationalist Common Front (Front commun des nationalistes, FCN) / Mr. Kamanda
- Nationalist Movement of the Cartel of Progressive Independents (Mouvement des nationalistes du Cartel des progressistes independents, MNCPI)
- New Congo (Nouveau Congo, NC)
- New Political Forces (Forces politiques nouvelles, FPN)
- Party for Liberty and Progress (Parti pour la liberté et le progrès, PLP)
- Party for Liberty, Democracy and Progress (Parti pour la liberté, la démocratie et le progrès, PLDP)
- Party for the Protection of Allah and His Prophet Mohamed God of Man (Parti de la protection d'Allah et de son prophète Mohamed roi souverain des hommes, PAPRA HORODE)
- Party for the Renewal of the Congo (Parti pour la renaissance du Congo, RECO)
- Party for the Renewal of the Congo's Development (Parti pour la relance du développement du Congo, PRDC)
- Party for Unity and Safeguarding the Integrity of the Congo (Parti pour l'unité et la sauvegarde de l'intégrité du Congo, PUSIC)
- Party of Congelese Proletarians (Parti des prolétaires congolais, PPC)
- Party of Democrats for the Renewal of the Republic (Parti des démocrates pour la rénovation de la République, PADER)
- Party of Love for the Future and the Fatherland (Parti pour l'amour du prochain et de la patrie, PAPP)
- Patriotic Front for Renewal and Progress (Front patriotique pour le renouveau et le progress, FPRP)
- Patriots' Alliance for Public Salvation (Alliance des compatriotes pour le salut public, ACSP)
- Patriots' Movement for Democracy (Mouvement des patriotes pour la démocratie, MPD)
- People's Convention for Progress and Democracy (Convention du peuple pour le progrès et la démocratie, CPPD)
- People's Forces for Democracy in the Congo (Forces populaires pour la démocratie au Congo, FPDC)
- People's Forces of the Congo Union (Union des forces populaires du Congo, UFPC)
- People's Movement for Direct Democracy (Mouvement du peuple pour la démocratie directe, MPDD)
- People's Party (Parti du peuple, PP)
- People's Party for Progress in the Congo (Parti du peuple pour le progrès du Congo, PPPC)
- People's Rally for Democracy and Development (Rassemblement du peuple pour la démocratie et le développement, RPD)
- People's Rally for Democracy and Renewal (Rassemblement du peuple pour la démocratie et le renouveau, RPDR)
- People's Rally for Their Promotion (Rassemblement des peuples pour leur promotion, RPP)
- People's Union for Development (Union du peuple pour le développement, UPD)
- People's Union for Peace and Love (Union du peuple pour la paix et l'agape, UPPA)
- Plural Right/DRC (Droite plurielle/RDC, DPIRDC)
- Popular Movement of the Revolution (Mouvement populaire de la revolution, MPR)
- Popular National Rally (Rassemblement national populaire, RNP)
- Progressive Democracy for Renewal (Démocratie progressiste pour le renouveau, DPRe)
- Progressive National Youth Union (Union nationale progressiste de la jeunesse, UNPJ)
- Progressive Party for the Integration of the Next Generation of Youth (Parti progressiste pour l'intégration de la jeunesse montante, PuM)
- Progressive Socialist Party (Parti socialiste progressiste, PSP)
- Rally for a New Society (Rassemblement pour une nouvelle société, RNS)
- Rally for Christian Democrats (Rassemblement des démocrates chrétiens, RDC)
- Rally for Christian Republicans (Rassemblement des chrétiens républicains, RCR)
- Rally for Democracy and Integral Progress (Rassemblement pour la démocratie et le progrès integral, RADEPI)
- Rally for Federalist Democrats (Rassemblement des démocrates fédéralistes, RADEF)
- Rally for Integral and Federal Development (Rassemblement pour le développement intégral et federal, RADIF)
- Rally for Liberal Democrats (Rassemblement des démocrates libéraux, RDL)
- Rally for the Republic Party (Parti de rassemblement pour la République, PRPR)
- Rally of Christian Democrats for Progress (Rassemblement des chrétiens démocrates pour le progrès, RCDP)
- Rally of Democrats for the Republic (Rassemblement des démocrates pour la république, RDPR)
- Rally of Independents (Rassemblement des independents, RI)
- Rally of Patriots for the Renewal of the Congo (Rassemblement des patriotes pour la refondation du Congo, RPRC)
- Reform for the Congo Party (Parti réformateur pour le Congo, PRPC)
- Renewal for Development and Democracy (Renouveau pour le développement et la démocratie, R2D)
- Renewal Party (Parti du renouveau, PAR)
- Republican Action for Progresss (Action républicaine pour le progress, ARP)
- Republican Christian Party (Parti chrétien républicain, PCR)
- Republican Democracy for National Development (Démocratie républicaine pour le développement national, DRDN)
- Republican Front (Front républicain, FR)
- Republican Virtues Party (Parti des vertus républicaines, PVR)
- Rural Development Party (Parti pour le développement rural, PDR)
- Social Democrats Party (Parti des sociaux démocrates, PSD)
- Social Liberal Party (Parti social liberal, PSL)
- Socialist African Party Mr. Honoré (Parti socialiste africain Mr. Honoré, PSA)
- Socialist Democratic Party (Parti démocratique socialiste, PDS)
- Socialist Party (Parti socialiste, PS)
- Socialist Union for Integral Development (Union socialiste pour le développement integral, USDI)
- Solidarity for Democracy and Progress (Solidarité pour la démocratie et le progrès, SODEPRO)
- Solidarity Movement for Development (Mouvement de solidarité pour le développement, MSD)
- Solidarity Movement for Social Progress (Mouvement de solidarité pour le progrès social, MSPS)
- Stand Up Africa (Debout l'Afrique, DAF)
- Union for a Popular Movement (Union pour un mouvement populaire, UMP)
- Union for Change and Integral Development (Union pour le changement et le développement integral, UDECI)
- Union for Democracy and Social Progress - Kibassa (Union pour la Démocratie et le progrès social - Kibassa, UDPS / Kibassa)
- Union for Democracy and Social Progress - Tshisekedi (Union pour la démocratie et le progrès social - Tshisekedi, UDPS / Tshisekedi)
- Union for Democracy and the Renewal of the Congo (Union pour la démocratie et la renaissance du Congo, UDRC)
- Union for Liberty and WellBeing (Union pour la liberté et le bien-être, ULBS)
- Union for the New Christian Democracy (Union pour la nouvelle démocratie chrétienne, UNDC)
- Union for the Reconstruction of the Congo (Union pour la reconstruction du Congo, UREC)
- Union for the Renewal of the Congolese People (Union pour la renaissance du peuple Congolais, URPC)
- Union for the Republic (Union pour la République, UNIR)
- Union for the Republican Renewal (Union pour le renouveau républicain, URR)
- Union of Christian Democrats and Humanists (Union des démocrates et humanistes chrétiens, UDHC)
- Union of Christian Republicans (Union des républicains chrétiens, URC)
- Union of Combattants for Social WellBeing (Union des combattants pour le bienêtre social, UCOBES)
- Union of Democrats and Social Christians (Union des démocrates et sociaux chrétiens, UDSC)
- Union of Ecologists for Democracy and Development (Union des écologistes pour la démocratie et le développement, UED-VERCO)
- Union of Forces for Progress (Union des forces du progress, UFP)
- Union of Liberal Democrats (Union des démocrates libéraux, UDL)
- Union of Liberals for Change (Union des libéraux acquis au changement, UNILAC)
- Union of Liberals for Democracy (Union des libéraux pour la démocratie, ULD)
- Union of Republican Christians (Union des chrétiens républicains, UCR)
- Union of Republican Patriots (Union des patriotes républicains, UPR)
- Union of Republicans and Liberals (Union des républicains et libéraux, URL)
- Union of Socialist Democrats (Union des démocrates socialistes, UDS)
- Union of the Congolese People (Union du peuple congolais, UPCO)
- Volunteers' Movement for Development (Mouvement des volontaires pour le développement, MVD)
[F] These parties have between one and eight seats. The list of all of these parties can be found in Keesing's Record of World Events, October 2006, page 47500[back]
[G] These political parties are recognized by the authorities, but are not represented in the National Assembly. The list of all of these parties can be found on the Web site of the Independent Electoral Commission (Commission electorale indépendante, CEI) of the Democratic Republic of the Congo[back]
4. ARMED GROUPS AND OTHER NON-STATE ACTORS
Mai-Mai (Maï-Maï [Mayi-Mayi])
Founded in the province of Katanga, this local armed group kills and mistreats civilians74. Mai-Mai is commanded by Gédéon Kyungu Mutanga75, who is currently being detained by the Congolese authorities76. An estimated 5,000 to 8,000 members of local armed groups (and Mai-Mai in particular) are still present in the DRC77.
Nationalist and Integrationalist Front (Front nationaliste et intégrationniste, FNI)
The FNI was founded in the district of Ituri78. It is led by Peter Karim who, according to a United Nations report, is [translation] "the last active militia chief in Ituri resisting the demobilization process"79. Peter Karim has been accused of committing crimes against civilians, and the battle between his group and the FARDC has resulted in the deaths of hundreds of civilians80.
Congo Revolutionary Movement (Mouvement revolutionnaire du Congo, MRC)
Some reports mention the MRC, another armed group in Ituri81. The MRC has been active in this region since August 2005, and its members receive weapons from Uganda82. In 2006, the MRC killed, detained and tortured many people it considered enemies83.
Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (Forces démocratiques de libération du Rwanda, FDLR)
The FDLR, a group with about 7,000 members84, is made up of Rwandan Hutus who fled Rwanda in 199485. The group is currently located in the eastern part of the DRC, where it continues to commit violent acts such as attacking civilians and extorting goods and money from them86.
Lord's Resistance Army, LRA
Allied Democratic Forces / National Army for the Liberation of Uganda, ADF/NALU
The ADF/NALU was founded in North Kivu. Membership is estimated at between 1,000 and 2,00090.
5. FUTURE CONSIDERATIONS
In an introduction to the report Congo: Staying Engaged after the Elections, published 9 January 2007, a senior analyst with the International Crisis Group (IGC) states that a democratically elected government in the DRC is "a very important development," but that the peace process is not yet complete91.
The analyst mentions in particular the possibility of armed confrontations in the east and west of the country, as well as hostile relations between the government and opposition parties92. In its Rapport mondial 2007, Human Rights Watch (HRW) reports that, during 2006, government soldiers and armed groups violated the rights of civilian populations, particularly in the east of the country93.
Among the other obstacles that the DRC must overcome, the ICG pointed to the risk that President Kabila-who has a majority in both chambers of parliament94 -might seize the reins of power and prevent the other political parties from playing their role as opposition95. As a result, some groups-those more or less excluded from state institutions-may be tempted to return to violence96. The ICG also mentions the weakness and lack of independence of the legal system97.
During a visit to the DRC in January 2007, the Secretary General of the United Nations urged Congolese politicians to work out a "good governance pact" through which "a real political opposition?can express [itself] freely and without fear of being intimidated"98. He also mentioned the need to establish a lawful state, to reestablish security and to create a professional army and police force99.
African Elections Database. 10 January 2007. "Elections in Congo-Kinshasa [Democratic Republic of the Congo]."
British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC). 27 January 2007. "UN Chief Urges DRC Democracy Pact."
_____. 30 December 2006. "Kabila Appoints DR Congo Premier."
_____. 19 December 2006. "Country Profile: Democratic Republic of Congo."
_____. 25 July 2006. "Profile: Congo Opposition Candidates."
Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). 29 January 2007. Commission électorale indépendante (CEI). "Annonce des résultats provisoires de l'élection des gouverneurs et vice-gouverneurs des 9 provinces."
_____. 20 January 2007. Commission électorale indépendante (CEI). "Annonce officielle des résultats provisoires de l'election des sénateurs."
_____. 3 March 2006. Commission électorale indépendante (CEI). "List des partis politiques en règle par rapport à la loi no 04/002/ du 15 Mar. 2004 et autorisés à fonctionner à la date du 3 mars 2006 (sous réserve de certaines modifications)."
_____. February 2006. "Constitution de la République démocratique du Congo."
_____. N.d. Commission électorale indépendante (CEI). "Liste des candidates à l'élection législative par part politique."
Digitalcongo.net. 6 February 2007. "Publication de la liste des membres du gouvernement Gizenga1." [Accessed 6 Feb. 2007]
The Europa World Year Book 2006. 2006. "Democratic Republic of the Congo." London: Routledge.
Human Rights Watch (HRW). 11 January 2007. Rapport mondial 2007. "République démocratique du Congo."
International Crisis Group (ICG). 9 January 2007a. "Congo: Staying Engaged after the Elections."
_____. 9 January 2007b. Africa Briefing. No. 44. "Congo: Staying Engaged after the Elections."
_____. 20 July 2006. Rapport Afrique. No 114. "Sortir du piège du conflit : promouvoir la bonne gouvernance au Congo."
Keesing's Record of World Events. October 2006. "Democratic Republic of Congo: Second Round of Presidential Elections."
Political Handbook of the World (PHW 2007). 2007. "Democratic Republic of the Congo." Edited by Arthur Banks, Thomas Muller and William Overstreet. Washington, DC: CQ Press.
Le Potentiel [Kinshasa]. 27 March 2006. "Congo-Kinshasa : élection présidentielle 2006 : Mbusa Nyamuisi décidé à battre Joseph Kabila."
_____. 21 September 2006. Ben-Clet. "Afin de remplir le contrat social, Pierre Lumbi : ?Le Mouvement social engage ses sympathisants'."
_____. 21 February 2006. "Convention des démocrates chrétiens (CDC) : La CDC présente le Pr F. Mokonda Bonza à la présidentielle 2006."
Swiss Refugee Council (OSAR). 6 August 2006. Reto Kuster. "République démocratique du Congo (RDC) - mise à jour."
Switzerland. August 1999. Office fédéral des réfugiés (ODR). "République démocratique du Congo." (Feuille d'information sur le pays).
Transparency International (TI). 6 November 2006. Corruption Perception Index 2006.
United Kingdom. 14 February 2007. Immigration and Nationality Directorate. "Democratic Republic of the Congo."
United Nations. 1 March 2007. United Nations Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUC). "Ituri (RDC) : le dernier chef milicien envoie 170 hommes à la démobilisation."
_____. 2006. United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). "Human Development Report 2006. Beyond Scarcity: Power, Poverty and the Global Water Crisis."
United States (US). 8 February 2007. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). "Democratic Republic of the Congo." The World Factbook.
Universal Currency Converter. 11 April 2007.
Xinhua Press Agency. 29 December 2006. "Vital Kamerhe elected President of DRC National Assembly."