Laurent Nkunda Is Captured By Rwandan Forces

Laurent Nkunda (born February 2, 1967) or Laurent Nkundabatware, or Laurent Nkunda Batware, or as he prefers to be called The Chairman — is a former General in the Armed Forces of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and is the former warlord (leader of a rebel faction) operating in the province of Nord-Kivu, sympathetic to Congolese Tutsis and the Tutsi-dominated government of neighbouring Rwanda. Nkunda, who is himself a Congolese Tutsi, commanded the former DRC troops of the 81st and 83rd Brigades of the DRC Army. He speaks English, French, Swahili, and Kinyarwanda. In early 2009, he was captured during a joint operation between the Congolese and Rwandese militaries.

Although a large scale effort at disarming militias largely succeeded in 2007, with the aid of the UN troops, fierce confrontations in the northeast regions of the Congo between local tribes (initially uninvolved with the Hutu-Tutsi conflict but drawn into the Second Congo War) persisted in the Ituri region. Further, between 2007 and 2009, ongoing battles between Hutu rebel groups and Tutsi rebel groups continued in the North and South Kivu regions of the Congo, despite an amnesty for remaining militias that was passed by the Congo government in an attempt to end such skirmishes. In early 2009, a major Tutsi rebel (Banyamulenge) commander, Laurent Nkunda, wanted for war crimes in the Congo, took refuge in Rwanda after being "captured" by the Rwandan army in early 2009.