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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Civil conflict in the Great Lakes region: the issue of nationality of the Banyarwanda in the Democratic Republic of Congo
Author:Makombo, Angèle N.ISNI
Periodical:African Yearbook of International Law
Geographic term:Congo (Democratic Republic of)
Abstract:The question of whether or not Banyarwanda, the populations of Rwandan origin living in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (formerly Zaire), can claim Congolese citizenship on the ground of having lived in Congo for generations, lies deep in the history of the ethnic conflicts between them and the indigenous Congolese in the eastern parts of the country since its independence in 1960. The incoherent and confusing legislation governing this question inspired and enforced by President Mobutu's administration since the 1970s, as well as the arbitrary decisions and ill-advised policies of the regime, helped exacerbate the tensions. With Mobutu gone, the nationality issue remains and represents one of the challenges that the new administration of President Kabila will have to deal with if it is to achieve national reconciliation. Currently the Banyarwanda are still left stateless since from a legal standpoint, the 1981 law, which strips the Banyarwanda of their Congolese citizenship, is still valid. The author considers the historical and political background to the question of nationality of the Banyarwanda, describes the Congolese legislation on this issue, and examines the questions that this legislation raises with respect to international law and human rights law. Notes, ref.