Last Updated: Tuesday, 27 June 2017, 14:38 GMT

Democratic Republic of Congo (RDC): Bernard Mizele Nsemi, his role since the time Kabila took power in May 1997; names of his advisors

Publisher Canada: Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada
Author Research Directorate, Immigration and Refugee Board, Canada
Publication Date 6 March 2000
Citation / Document Symbol RDC33890.E
Reference 2
Cite as Canada: Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada, Democratic Republic of Congo (RDC): Bernard Mizele Nsemi, his role since the time Kabila took power in May 1997; names of his advisors, 6 March 2000, RDC33890.E, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/3ae6ad766c.html [accessed 27 June 2017]
DisclaimerThis 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.

Various published sources present Bernard Mizele Nsemi as the leader of a political-religious sect, the "Kongo-Kingdom" (Jeune Afrique 21-27 July 1998, 27; AFP 16 Dec. 1999; ibid. 3 July 1998; Le Soir 10 July 1998). "Founded on the principle of the purported ethnic superiority of the Kongo ethnic group" (AFP 16 Dec. 1999), the sect's main objective is to re-establish the ancient "Kongo Kingdom" with Bernard Mizele Nsemi as "King" (Jeune Afrique 21-27 July 19998, 27; A FP 16 Dec. 1999; ibid. 3 July 1998; Le Soir 10 July 1998).

At the time president Kabila took power on 17 May 1997, Bernard Mizele Nsemi who was sentenced to jail under the régime of Mobutu, escaped from prison in the chaos (Jeune Afrique; AFP 22 July 1998; PANA 9 July 1998). However, in July 1998, Bernard Mizele Nsemi and some of his supporters were arrested in the town of Moanda in connection with clashes which broke out on 2 July 1998 in Kinshasa between armed members of the Kongo Kingdom movement and Congolese security forces (Jeune Afrique 21-27 July 19998, 27; AFP 16 Dec. 1999; ibid. 22 July 1998; ibid. 3 July 1998; Le Soir 10 July 1998). According to two sources, about ten people were reported dead and many others wounded during the clashes (AFP 22 July 1998; PANA 2 July 1998). Nine members of the "Kongo Kingdom" were sentenced to death by a military court on 22 July on murder charges and for attacking authorities and belonging to an armed gang; Bernard Mizele Nsemi was jailed for 20 years (AFP 22 July 1998). Citing Congolese officials, a 16 December 1999 AFP article states that Bernard Mizele Nsemi was not among 156 political prisoners freed on 15 December 1999 by President Kabila.

Names of advisors to Bernard Mizele Nsemi could not be found among the sources consulted by the Research Directorate.

 This Response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the Research Directorate within time constraints. This Response is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim to refugee status or asylum. Please find below the list of additional sources consulted in researching this Information Request.

Agence France Presse (AFP). 16 December 1999. " Kabila Frees 156 Political Prisoners in DR Congo." (NEXIS)

_____. 22 July 1998. "Nine Faction Members Sentenced To Death in DR Congo." (NEXIS)

_____. 3 July 1998. "Ethnic Clashes Break Out in DR Congo's Capital Kinshasa." (NEXIS)

Jeune Afrique [Paris]. 21-27 July 1998. No 1958. "Mizele Ier, roi Kongo et souveraun déchu."

Panafrican News Agency (PANA). 9 July 1998. "Congo Kinshasa; Self-proclaimed King In Court." NEXIS/AN)

Le Soir [Brussels].  10 July 1998. "Vague d'arrestations parmi les collaborateurs d'Étienne Tshissekedi; Kinshasa multiple les gestes contradictoires." (NEXIS)

Additional Sources Consulted

Africa Confidential 1997-1998.

Africa Research Bulletin 19997-1998.

L'Autre Afrique 1998.

AZADHO/ASADHO. 1997-1998. Reports and communiqués.

Info-Congo/Kinshasa 1997-1998.

IRB databases.

Jeune Afrique 1997-1998.

Keesing's Record of World Events 1997-1998.

La Lettre hebdomadaire de la FIDH 1997-1998.

NewAfrican 1997-1998.

Le nouvel Afrique-Asie 1997-1998.

West Africa 1997-1998.

World News Connection (WNC).

Internets sites including:

Africa Intelligence.

Africa News Service.

Amnesty International Online.

Héritiers de la justice.

Human rights Watch Online.

International Crisis Group (ICG).

Missionary Service News Agency (MISNA).

Panafrican News Agency (PANAM).

La Voix des sans voix (VSV).

Search engines including:

Copyright notice: This document is published with the permission of the copyright holder and producer Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada (IRB). The original version of this document may be found on the offical website of the IRB at http://www.irb-cisr.gc.ca/en/. Documents earlier than 2003 may be found only on Refworld.

Search Refworld