The Kivu War Ends

The Kivu conflict is an armed conflict between the military of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (FARDC) and the Hutu Power group Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR). The United Nations Mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo also became involved in the conflict. Until March 2009, the main combatant group against the FARDC was the rebel Tutsi forces formerly under the command of Laurent Nkunda (National Congress for the Defence of the People, CNDP).

CNDP is sympathetic to the Banyamulenge in Eastern Congo, an ethnic Tutsi group, and to the Tutsi-dominated government of Rwanda. It was opposed by the FDLR, by the DRC's army, and by United Nations forces.

Nkunda's group did attend the talks, but walked out on January 10, 2008, after an alleged attempted arrest of one of their members. They later returned to the talks.

The talks' schedule was extended to last until 21 January 2008, and then to 22 January 2008 as an agreement appeared to be within reach. It was further extended to 23 January 2008 over final disagreements regarding war crimes cases. The peace deal was signed on 23 January 2008 and included provisions for an immediate ceasefire, the phased withdrawal of all rebel forces in North Kivu province, the resettlement of thousands of villagers, and immunity for Nkunda's forces.

Neither the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda nor the Rwandan government took part in the talks, a fact which may hurt the stability of the agreement.

The agreement encouraged FARDC and the United Nations to remove FDLR forces from Kivu. Dissatisfaction with progress and lack of resettlement of refugees caused the CNDP forces to declare war on the FDLR and hostilities to resume, including civilian atrocities.