Country Reports on Terrorism 2011 - DRC
|Publisher||United States Department of State|
|Publication Date||31 July 2012|
|Cite as||United States Department of State, Country Reports on Terrorism 2011 - DRC, 31 July 2012, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/501fbcba28.html [accessed 25 April 2014]|
Overview: There was no credible evidence to indicate a significant presence of al-Qa'ida (AQ)-related groups in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). The DRC is a vast country bordered by nine neighbors. The Government of the DRC lacked complete control over some areas of its territory, especially in the East where various armed groups operate, and had very limited capacity to monitor and disrupt potential terrorist threats. Furthermore, counterterrorism was not a priority issue for the government. The DRC's inability to control its porous borders and its lack of authority over remote areas provided opportunities for terrorist organizations seeking safe havens.
The three principal foreign armed groups that operated in the DRC and posed a threat to security and stability were the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (known by its French acronym as FDLR) and two Ugandan armed groups, the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) and Allied Democratic Forces/National Army for the Liberation of Uganda (ADF/NALU). The FDLR, which includes former soldiers and supporters of the regime that orchestrated the 1994 Rwanda genocide, continued to operate with relative impunity in parts of the North and South Kivu Provinces. While no longer the military threat to the current Rwandan government it once was, the FDLR contributed to the destabilization of the area through its continued promulgation of anti-Tutsi propaganda and through its cruel treatment of the local civilian population.
As a result of continued military pressure from both the UN Organization Stabilization Mission in the Congo (MONUSCO) and the Congolese Armed Forces (FARDC), the FDLR has been reduced to approximately half of its original strength in the provinces of North and South Kivu. Additionally, the arrest of key leaders and numerous FDLR defections, including some by high-ranking leadership such as the strategy and plans chief, also contributed to low morale amongst the rank and file.
The ADF/NALU is made up of Ugandan opposition forces, particularly in North Kivu province. ADF/NALU has been described by the Government of Uganda as an Islamic extremist group. In early 2011, ADF/NALU increased its activities and became a security threat to the population of North Kivu.
2011 Terrorist Incidents: The year witnessed numerous attacks by the LRA, FDLR, and ADF. The ADF remained active but has suffered setbacks due to a number of FARDC offensives. MONUSCO attributed 32 attacks to the LRA in the month of June, making it the most active month, while September was the least active with only five registered attacks.
Legislation and Law Enforcement: The DRC has no comprehensive counterterrorism legislation, but a 2001 presidential decree established a National Committee for the Coordination of Anti-International Terrorism within a counterterrorism office in its Ministry of Interior. The DRC government made some progress on its border security management program. In collaboration with the Organization for International Migration (IOM), the Government of the DRC established national and provincial oversight committees to further develop the program's implementation. The Congolese National Police was equipped with biometrics, and the Director General of Migration established a personal identification and recognition system, developed by IOM, that was used at eight strategic border posts.
Countering Terrorist Finance: The DRC has Anti-Money Laundering/Counterterrorist Financing legislation and a Financial Intelligence Unit (CENAREF). Many banks installed new computerized communications and accounting networks, making it easier to trace formal financial transactions. The DRC is not a member of any Financial Action Task Force (FATF)-style regional body. There were no legal restrictions in the DRC prohibiting the sharing of financial account information with foreign entities. In 2011, the DRC signed a mutual assistance agreement with Belgium's Financial Intelligence Unit, the Cellule des Traitements des Informations Financieres.
The DRC is home to a Lebanese expatriate community that numbers several thousand, some of whom ran businesses that were owned or controlled by Hizballah supporters, including Executive Order 13224 designees and brothers, Kassim Tajideen, Ali Tajideen, and Husayn Tajideen. CENAREF received 170 suspicious transaction reports in 2011. Several DRC government agencies, including the courts and the National Intelligence Agency (ANR), sent 15 cases involving suspicious financial transactions to CENAREF for further investigation. CENAREF also received 52 cases from anonymous sources or public information and another 103 that required analysis.
For further information on money laundering and financial crimes, we refer you to the 2011 International Narcotics Control Strategy Report (INCSR), Volume 2, Money Laundering and Financial Crimes: http://www.state.gov/j/inl/rls/nrcrpt/index.htm.
Regional and International Cooperation: The FDLR and LRA threats have a regional impact on security. Affected countries have cooperated in the past to counter the threat and ensure regional stability. The Government of the DRC met several times in February, June, and July with the Government of Uganda to discuss countering LRA and ADF threats. In April, the Government of the DRC also participated in an AU-led regional assessment on counter-LRA issues. In September, for the first time, the Government of the DRC hosted Uganda, South Sudan, and the Central African Republic delegations in Kinshasa to formulate a common strategic plan on the eradication of the LRA.
The Government of the DRC is a member of numerous regional organizations and has diverse cooperation agreements – with the South African Development Community, the Economic Community of the Great Lakes Countries, and the Economic Community of Central Africa – to exchange information and enhance border security. The DRC is a member of the International Conference of the Great Lakes Region and will head this organization for the next five years.