Are Rwandan Tutsis carving out a mini-state in eastern Congo?(Read article summary)
Rwandan Tutsi rebels known as the National Congress for the Defence of the People (CNDP) are effectively running portions of eastern Congo, but their numbers may be greatly exaggerated.
Seems the integration of the CNDP into the Congolese national army hasn't gone exactly as planned:
The scarlet-lettered flag flaps atop a lush green hill in an apparent declaration of ownership. Here, a rebel movement turned political party collects taxes, appoints local officials and even polices a border post.
These former rebels are accused of populating the land they have grabbed with thousands of people from neighboring Rwanda to form a mini-Tutsi state. The state-within-a-state is emerging in the shadow of Rwanda's genocide two decades ago, and is raising the specter of new violence in war-ravaged east Congo.
..."The situation is explosive," Jean Baumbiliya Kisoloni, vice president of the provincial assembly based in Goma, said of Masisi, one of the districts under the new flag. "I am not really optimistic that this can be resolved without conflict."
...Nkunda was arrested in 2009 under a hastily-cobbled peace accord between longtime enemies Rwanda and Congo, but his fighters were integrated into Congo's military. These fighters — known as the CNDP — have tripled the area under their control to include lucrative mines and tens of thousands of acres.
The issues of land ownership and territorial control by entities other than the state are central to understanding what's going on in the DRC.