This report outlines the historical dynamics behind the armed movements in South Kivu, focusing on the period before and leading up to the First Congo War. It concentrates on sources of local conflict but argues that these can only be understood when also concentrating on wider political, social, economic, and demographic processes at both national and regional levels.

While armed rebellion in South Kivu has shifted over time, and while each militia has its own history, this report traces the broader context of South Kivu’s militarization.