Military Wiki
2009 Eastern Congo offensive
Part of Kivu conflict
Date20 January – 27 February 2009
LocationKivu, Democratic Republic of the Congo
 DR Congo
Military of the Democratic Republic of the Congo
Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda
Democratic Republic of the Congo Mai-Mai militias
Commanders and leaders
John Numbi (DRC)
James Kabarebe (Rwanda)[1]
Sylvestre Mudacumura (FDLR)
5,000 (Rwanda)[2] 6,000 – 7,000
Casualties and losses
5 Congolese soldiers killed, 3 Rwandan soldiers killed, 12 Congolese and Rwandan soldiers wounded[3] 153 FDLR militiamen killed, 8 wounded, 19 captured, 140 surrendered & 5,000 repatriated[3]
250+ civilians killed[4]

The 2009 Eastern Congo offensive was a joint Congo-Rwanda military offensive against the Hutu FDLR rebel group descended from those groups that carried out the 1994 Rwanda genocide. Two operations were carried out, 'Kimia II' and 'Umoja Wetu.' 'Kimia' can be translated as 'calm.' “Umoja Wetu” is Swahili for “Our Unity”.[3]


Rwanda and the DRC made an agreement to rout out elements of the FDLR from eastern Congo.[5] On 20 January 2009, 1,000 Rwandan soldiers poured over the border into eastern Congo near Goma and were working, according to United Nations officials, as advisers for the Congolese troops.[6]

On 23 January 2009, some rebels had started to surrender to Rwandan and Congolese troops.[5]

First reports of fighting came on 24 January, when the Congolese army reported they killed nine FDLR militiamen. In response the rebels claimed they didn't lose any men and that the Congolese military itself suffered nine soldiers killed and one wounded in a clash with a group of Mai-Mai militiamen.[2] By this time the FDLR was in retreat from Southern into Northern Kivu province and the number of Rwandan soldiers in the region reached 5,000.

On 26 January 2009, rebels tried to retake the village of Kasinga, but were repulsed by Congolese and Rwandan soldiers in fighting that killed four militiamen.

On 18 February 2009, air strikes killed 40 rebels 5 kilometers west of Goma.[4]

Rwandan forces withdrew on 27 February.[3]


  1. "Final report prepared in accordance with paragraph 8 of Security Council resolution 1857 (2008)". United Nations Group of Experts on the Democratic Republic of the Congo. 9 November 2009. p. 30. Retrieved 3 February 2010. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 "Hutu rebels clash with Congo-Rwandan forces". Archived from the original on 26 September 2009. Retrieved 16 September 2009. 
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 "Hutu Hotheads Fading Away". Archived from the original on 26 September 2009. Retrieved 16 September 2009. 
  4. 4.0 4.1 "Hutu rebels killed in Congo raid". BBC News. 13 February 2009. Retrieved 23 April 2010. 
  5. 5.0 5.1 Karuhanga, James. "FDLR Begin to Surrender in Face of Joint Rwanda-DRC Offensive". All Africa. Archived from the original on 25 June 2009. Retrieved 14 July 2009. 
  6. GETTLEMAN, JEFFREY (20 January 2009). "Congo: Joint Offensive Against a Militia". New York Times. New York Times Company. Retrieved 14 July 2009. 

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