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Democratic Republic of Congo What is their Political Future Like all ethnic-based conflicts the tribal and political rivalries in Central Africa have long and complex histories This part of Africa where Rwanda Burundi and The Democratic Republic of the Congo meet is home to two main ethnic groups--Hutus and Tutsis The Hutu majority long dominated by the minority Tutsis gained control of the newly independent governments in both Rwanda and Burundi in the 1960s Since there independence there has been numerous coups and counter coups Most of these based on ethnic-driven attempts by one group to dislodge the other from government control At times Hutu and Tutsi political leaders have attempted to forge coalition governments Burundi had a separation of powers of sorts where the Hutus controlled civilian government and the Tutsis ran the army But radical elements have made these coalition tips useless In 1994 a Tutsi guerrilla army rose up against the Hutu government in Rwanda As the Tutsi Rwanda Patriotic Front RFP approached Rwandas capital the Hutu headlines encouraged the Hutu to attack Tutsi civilians The result--the infamous genocide of 1994 In which thousands of Tutsis-- and moderate Hutus-- were slaughtered by Hutu radical militias and civilians Once the RFP took control of Kigali there were reprisals against the Hutus More than a million Hutus fled as the RFP took control most headed into DRC Former Zaire Once there the refugees were cared for in centers set up near Goma with the UN and the international community But along with the Hutu refugees came Hutu militias and hard liners who actively encouraged and conducted the ethnic genocide The Hutu used the DRC camps as a base to regroup and rearm The tutsi-led government in Kigali encouraged their Tutsi cousins who live in the DRC to attack the increasingly armed Hutu militias and separate them from Hutu civilian refugees The attacks on Hutu militia forced camps near Goma to empty
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