Last Updated: Friday, 19 January 2018, 17:46 GMT

Democratic Republic of Congo: Involvement of the Kibassa faction of the Union for Democracy and Social Progress (UDPS) in the Laurent-Désiré Kabila government; the relationship between the UDPS/Tshisekedi and UDPS/Kibassa factions

Publisher Canada: Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada
Author Research Directorate, Immigration and Refugee Board, Canada
Publication Date 26 May 2003
Citation / Document Symbol RDC41000.FE
Reference 2
Cite as Canada: Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada, Democratic Republic of Congo: Involvement of the Kibassa faction of the Union for Democracy and Social Progress (UDPS) in the Laurent-Désiré Kabila government; the relationship between the UDPS/Tshisekedi and UDPS/Kibassa factions, 26 May 2003, RDC41000.FE, available at: [accessed 21 January 2018]
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.

According to several sources, the UDPS/Kibassa, led by Frédéric Kibassa Maliba, is a splinter group of the Union for Democracy and Social Progress (Union pour la démocratie et le progrès social, UDPS), the Congolese opposition party ( 24 May 2001; Afrique Express 21 Feb. 2002; Radio France Internationale 13 Aug. 2001). In fact, reported that five UDPS factions existed in the Democratic Republic of Congo (RDC) in 2001, including the UDPS/Kibassa and the UDPS/Tshisekedi (18 June 2001).

Frédéric Kibassa Maliba held the position of Deputy Minister of Mines (AFP 28 Nov. 1997), as well as Minister of Mines (Keesing's Mar. 1999, 42822) and Minister of Youth and Sports in the Laurent-Désiré Kabila government ( 7 Apr. 2003). Kibassa was accused of misappropriation of funds in June 2000, while he was Minister of Mines (AFP 13 June 2000; 24 May 2001). Several sources reported that the UDPS/Kibassa was one of the parties recognized by the Kabila government (Association africaine de science politique June 2001; UDPS 19 Oct. 2000; Country Reports 2000 Feb. 2001, Sec. 2.b.). According to Country Reports 2000, the Kabila government recognized and registered the UDPS/Kibassa "in an attempt to diminish the stature and political potential" of the UDPS/Tshisekedi (ibid.). According to Dr. François Tshipamba Mpuila, a UDPS representative, the UDPS/Kibassa is [translation] "a branch of [Laurent-Désiré Kabila's] AFDL/CPP State Party" (UDPS 19 Oct. 2000).

According to Le Phare, a Kinshasa daily newspaper, Frédéric Kibassa Maliba and Étienne Tshisekei wa Mulumba, leader of the UDPS/Tshisekedi, had been engaged in a [translation] "struggle for legitimacy" within the party since 1996 (Le Phare 20 Mar. 2002). The same daily paper published the following statement by Frédéric Kibassa Maliba from a letter addressed to Masire, the facilitator for the Inter-Congolese Dialogue, in March 2001:


In order to clear up any confusion between me, Kibassa Maliba, General Coordinator of COPOP (Coordination des plates-formes de l'opposition politique) and Mr. Étienne Tshisekedi of the Cotonou and Gaborone Group, who involved the UDPS in the Inter-Congolese Dialogue process from the beginning, I will take care to let Mr. Étienne Tshisekedi continue to involve the UDPS, while I, from now on, will continue to involve the COPOP in the Inter-Congolese Dialogue (ibid.).

Kibassa Maliba also added [translation] "I will keep an open mind and am ready to negotiate with Mr. Étienne Tshisekedi, since we are both authors of this name [that of the UDPS] and co-founders of this party" (ibid.). Other sources, however, later indicated that the Kibassa and Tshisekedi factions clashed over the UDPS leadership ( 27 May 2002; ibid. 24 May 2001; IRIN 7 Mar. 2002). reported that Frédéric Kibassa Maliba died from a heart attack in Brussels on 5 April 2003 (7 Apr. 2003).

No additional information on the relationship between the UDPS/Tshisekedi and UDPS/Kibassa could be found among the sources consulted by the Research Directorate within the time constraints for this Response.

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.


Afrique Express. 21 February 2001. No. 223. "Étienne Tshisekedi wa Mulumba : Lumumbiste, tshombiste, mobutiste, opposant, et Premier ministre sans gouvernement." [Accessed 21 May 2003]

Agence France Presse (AFP). 13 June 2000. "Quatre ministres interpellés dans des affaires financières (radio)." (NEXIS)

_____. 28 November 1997. "Opposition Leader Accepts Post in DR Congo    Government." (NEXIS)

Association africaine de science politique. June 2001. Maliki Hashimu Yahaya. "L'expérience congolaise d'une démocratie à la base : les comités du pouvoir populaire." [Accessed 21 May 2003]

Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2000. February 2001. United States Department of State. Washington, DC. [Accessed 20 May 2003] 7 April 2003. Kandolo M. "Kibassa Maliba, ancien minsitre des Mines de L.D. Kabila, terrassé par une crise cardiaque à Bruxelles." [Accessed 20 May 2003]

_____. 27 May 2002. Willy Kilapi. "Politique : Kibassa menace de traduire Tshisekedi en justice." [Accessed 21 May 2003]

______. 18 June 2001. "Lesquelles des ailes du PDSC, de l'UDPS, du PALU, du MPR détiennent la légitimité?" [Accessed 21 May 2003]

______. 24 May 2001. Kansogo Mukishi. "Tshisekedi-Kibassa : le combat sera long et dur." [Accessed 21 May 2003]

Integrated Regional Information Networks (IRIN). 7 March 2002. "Congo-Kinshasa; Inter-congolese Dialogue Talks Resume." (NEXIS)

Keesing's Record of World Events. March 1999. Vol. 45, No. 3. "Democratic Republic of Congo: New DRC Government."

Le Phare [Kinshasa]. 20 March 2002. Kandolo M. "Kibassa Maliba reconnaît enfin Tshisekedi comme seul chef de l'UPDS." [Accessed 21 May 2003]

Radio France Internationale [Paris]. 13 August 2001. "Conglolese Rally for Democracy Has Reshuffled its Leadership." (FBIS-AFR-2001-0813 13 Aug. 2001/WNC)

Union pour la démocratie et le progrès social (UDPS). 19 October 2000. François Tshipamba Mpuila. "Mise en garde contre les attestations signées par un parti politique alimentaire créé et agréé par Kabila, dénomé ‘UDPS/Kibassa'." [Accessed 21 May 2003]

Additional Sources Consulted

Europa World Year Book 2002

IRB Databases

Political Handbook of the World 1999

Political Parties of the World Handbook 2002

Internet sites, including:

Africa Confidential


Amnesty International

Le Congo sans frontières

Human Rights Watch

International Crisis Group

Jeune Afrique/L'Intelligent

United Kingdom: Immigration and Nationality Directorate

United Nations Mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo

Search engine:



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 Documents earlier than 2003 may be found only on Refworld.

Search Refworld