Armed Groups in Eastern DRC: A 12-Month Outlook

As a region that lies at the crux of so many political, monetary, and ethnic interests, the Eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) has been incessantly unstable for decades. The region is home to over 100 active armed groups, some of the most sought after minerals on earth, and is fractured by profound levels of poverty and political mismanagement. Many of the armed groups have ethnic ties to the Rwandan genocide, the wounds from which continue to plague the region to date.

The March 23rd Movement (M23), a Tutsi armed group tacitly supported by Rwanda, has made significant gains in and around the regional capital, Goma. On 29 November 2022, M23 massacred over 130 civilians in villages north of the city before agreeing to a withdrawal. Rural areas of North Kivu, South Kivu, and Ituri provinces are primarily terrorised by the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF), a terror group, as well as rebel groups Cooperative for the Development of the Congo (CODECO), the Mai Mai, and Nyatura.

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