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Ernest Wamba dia Wamba - Chairman

An academic professor who taught at Dar-es-Salaam University (he also taught in the USA) and is close to former Tanzanian president Julius Nyerere. He is a long-time opponent of former dictator Mobutu Sese Seko. Since 1965, he has lived in exile in Tanzania. He backed the rebellion against Mobutu Sese Seko but didn't join DRC President Kabila's Alliance of Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Congo-Zaire (ADFL). He criticised the way the country was run under the Kabila government. Wamba is a member of the Bakongo tribe, which lives around Matadi in western DRC. He is also a member of the Pan-African movement.

Arthur Z'Ahidi Ngoma - Co-founder

President of the opposition party 'Forces du Futur', he is a well-known opponent of the former Mobutu regime. He was arrested on 25 November 1997 in Kinshasa, during a political meeting, and convicted in May 1998 of violating a ban on political activity for which he received a 12-month suspended sentence. A former UNESCO employee, the UN agency had suspended its activities in DRC until his release, when he was evacuated for medical reasons to France. He comes from the eastern Maniema province. Goma radio said on 5 August he was the "coordinator" of the rebellion.

Moise Nyarugabo - Deputy chairman

Former head of the Office for Ill-Gotten Goods and presidential adviser, he fell from grace over allegations of misappropriation of goods. He is a Munyamulenge who reportedly fled before the fighting in Kinshasa early this month which heralded the start of the rebellion.

Jacques Depelchin - Executive secretary

A Congolese academic who taught in Tanzania and in the US, he is also a long-time opponent of Mobutu. He is very close to Professor Wamba. He is an active member of the Pan-African movement and a Lumumbist. Depelchin was teaching in Tanzania in the 70s, at Berkley University (US) and at the Kinshasa Protestant University in 1996.

Lunda Bululu - Executive council coordinator

A professor of law, Bululu was cabinet director and prime minister in the first transitional government under Mobutu. He is known for his public apology to the Congolese people after "failing" in his official duties. He later joined the opposition. He hails from Katanga province and also presided over the Central Africa Economic Community (CAEC).

Tambwe Alexis Mwamba - Executive council member

A prominent Congolese politician, he held several ministerial posts under Mobutu and was managing director of the Customs Office (OFIDA). But he also participated in the opposition as president of the UDI (Union des democrates independants). The Kabila regime was reportedly not favourable towards him.

Bizima Karaha - Executive council member and head of external relations department

He studied medicine in South Africa and was Kabila's foreign minister in three consecutive cabinets. He is a Munyamulenge, and said to have close links with Kigali and Rwandan Vice-President Paul Kagame. He was one of the prominent Tutsis in Kabila's circle. He was on an official visit abroad when the fighting started and reappeared in Goma on 5 August where he joined the rebellion, accusing Kabila of "dictatorship".

Mbusa Nyamwisi - Executive council member

Brother of a prominent Congolese opponent to Mobutu, Nyamwisi Muvingi (leader of the 'Democratie Chretienne Federaliste' party). His brother later joined Mobutu and was consequently charged with liaising with Mayi-Mayi forces in his home region of North Kivu. Since the murder of his brother in the mid-90s, Mbusa Nyamwisi has been in contact with the Mayi-Mayi from his base in Uganda. He is said to be in charge of convincing the Mayi-Mayi to join the rebel movement against Kabila.

Kalala Shambuye - Executive council member and head of the mobilisation department

Ex-ADFL official from Kasai, allegedly arrested several times under the Kabila regime.

Emmanuel Kamanzi - Head of finance department

Former liaison officer between the ADFL and UN/NGOs, and President Kabila's adviser.

Joseph Mudumbi - Head of the territorial administration department

A lawyer from South Kivu, he has been active in his region as a member of civil society and of a human rights organisation (LDGL). A former official under Kabila, he was nominated head of the immigration service.

Etienne Ngangura - Head of the communications department

Reportedly from South Kivu.

Me Emungu - Head of the justice department

Ms Gertrude Kitembo - Head of the internal administration department


James Kabare

Kabare claims to come from Rutshuru in North Kivu, but many reports say he is a Rwandan national raised in Uganda. He was the 'strategist' in the 96/97 campaign against Mobutu. He was appointed acting chief of staff under the Kabila regime, but was replaced by a Katangese gendarme in early July 98, and then nominated 'special military adviser'. Reports indicate he was in Cyangugu, on the DRC border with Bukavu, at the start of the rebellion, and later led the offensive in the west of the country.

Jean-Pierre Ondekane

A 36-year-old army officer from Equateur province. Ondekane held several key positions under Kabila, including in 1997 the command of the Congolese 10th brigade in North Kivu. He joined the rebellion in Goma saying: "We are not politicians, we are soldiers. Our job is to liberate the country and protect the population".

Sylvain Mbuchi (or Mbuki)

Commander of the 10th brigade in Goma. On Sunday 2 August, Mbuchi made the first announcement of the rebellion against Kabila "on behalf of government troops". Originates from Kasai.

Birunga Kamanda

Bukavu commander who made the same announcement in South Kivu.

Ilunga Kabambi

Commander of Bukavu 222nd battalion. From Bukavu, he announced the "South Kivu Republic".

Jacques Malanda

Former Kabila lieutenant, Malanda led the operation to capture Kinshasa. After falling from grace, he became the spokesman of the Convention of Nationalist Reformers, an armed wing of the radical opposition, aimed at toppling Kabila and establishing a law-abiding state.


Jean-Charles Magabe - South Kivu Governor

He appears to have kept his post after the takeover of Bukavu despite some press reports which said he had been "arrested" near Goma during the first days of the rebellion. Magabe, who originates from South Kivu, was UDPS regional representative during the Mobutu regime, and was teaching in a Bukavu institute.

Benjamin Serukiza - Vice-Governor of South Kivu

A Munyamulenge. Stepped across to Cyangugu during the initial fighting.

Munyonyo Mutwale - Mayor of Bukavu

Also Munyamulenge. He too crossed to Cyangugu during the fighting. On arrival back in Bukavu, he called on the population to resume normal activities and declared that all armed forces in Bukavu were against Kabila.


Deogratias Bugera

A Congolese Tutsi from Masisi, Bugera is one of the four signatories of the Lemera agreement in October 1996 which created the ADFL. As ADFL secretary-general, he was a prominent representative of the Kabila movement during the campaign through Zaire and the Kinshasa takeover. He reportedly lost most of his power during the the first year of Kabila's regime, but was nominated State Minister to the Presidency during the last cabinet reshuffle in June. He escaped Kinshasa shortly after the Kabila's order that all foreign troops should leave, and is now reported to be in Goma.

Emile Ilunga

Long-time political activist, from Kabila's home province of Katanga. Ilunga is a veteran of two rebellions aimed at secession for the mineral-rich Katanga region mounted in the 1970s and 1980s from neighbouring Angola and Zambia.

Jacques Matanda-ma-Mboyo

Matanda leads the National Convention for the Republic (CNR), an opposition party which joined the rebellion.

Nairobi, 20 August 1998


[The material contained in this communication comes to you via IRIN, a UN humanitarian information unit, but may not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations or its agencies. UN IRIN Tel: +254 2 622123 Fax: +254 2 622129 e-mail: for more information or subscriptions. If you re-print, copy, archive or re-post this item, please retain this credit and disclaimer. Quotations or extracts should include attribution to the original sources. IRIN reports are archived on the WWW at: or can be retrieved automatically by sending e-mail to Mailing list: irin-cea-weekly]

Date: Thu, 20 Aug 1998 15:27:14 +0300 (GMT+0300) From: IRIN - Central and Eastern Africa <> Subject: DRC: WHO'S WHO - KEY MEMBERS OF THE REBELLION 1998.8.20

Editor: Dr. Ali B. Ali-Dinar, Ph.D

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