Fragile Hope For Peace in Congo After Arrest Rebel Leader Nkunda
With the capture of Laurent Nkunda, the hope for stability and peace in the north east of the Democratic Republic of Congo has grown.
Nkunda, the notorious rebel leader who caused havoc and despair in the north east of the Democratic Republic of Congo, has been caught by Rwandan forces - whom up until not too long ago supported him and his troops in an armed conflict against government forces of the DRC.
The Congolese government applauded the surprise arrest of Rwanda's former ally, and said it hopes that this event marks the beginning of a more peaceful era for the region.
Rwanda decided to go after Nkunda after an agreement was signed with the DRC, which agreed for thousands of Rwandan soldiers to cross the border in an operation to hunt down Rwandan Hutu perpetrators of the 1994 genocide.
Since 1991, the Kivu region - comprising of the north east of the DRC and the north west of Rwanda, has been subjected to bloodshed. Shortly after a Rwandan civil war was concluded, a genocide erupted. Whjile the world was watching, over a million people were hacked to death in a scope of barely three months.
When the massacres stopped, thousands of perpetrators of the genoide fled across the border with the DRC to seek refuge. Rwanda invaded this region, known as Kivu, to eradicate the militias but also spent quite some energy in looting and plundering the Congo's great mineral wealth.
The most recent chapter of the Great Lakes conflict started in 1998, and is with 6 million lives lost the bloodiest conflict since World War II. Children have accounted for 47% of the deaths. Over 1,5 million people have been displaced as a result of the violence.
With seven nations being involved, the conflict is also nicknamed 'Africa's First World War'.