General Laurent Nkunda (Laurent Nkundabatware or Laurent Nkunda Batware)
Dissident General in North Kivu province of Congo-Kinshasa, chief of RDC-Goma
Date of Birth: 02/02/1967
Place of Birth: Nord-Kivu, Congo-Kinshasa
Education: BA Psychology, Kisangani University.
Career: Front National Patriotique Rwandais (RPF), Rwanda, 1993-94; Alliance des forces démocratiques pour la libération du Congo (AFDL), Congo-Kinshasa; Officer, Ressemblement Congolais pour la Démocratie-Goma (RCD-Goma), 1998-2002; Congolese Army, 2003-04; Leader, Congrès National pour la Défense du Peuple (CNDP), 2006-09.
Commentary: Laurent Nkunda is a Congolese Tutsi born in 1967 in the Nord Kivu province of east Congo-Kinshasa. He started his military career in the RPF in 1993, which stopped the genocide in Rwanda in July 1994 perpetrated by the Hutu government in Kigali.
After the victory in Rwanda, Nkunda returned to Congo-Kinshasa, joining the rebellion of Alliance des forces démocratiques pour la libération du Congo (AFDL) led by Laurent-Désiré Kabila (the father of the current president of Congo, Joseph Kabila). The AFDL dismissed Mobutu Sese Seko in 1997.
In 1998 Nkunda became an officer of Ressemblement Congolais pour la Démocratie-Goma (RCD-Goma) in the context of the Second Congo War. At the end of the war with the peace of Luanda signed 6 of September 2002 and following the formation of a transitional government, Nkunda joined the new Congolese army with the rank of general. However he rejected the authority of the new government and withdrew to the east province of Kivu with soldiers of the ex RCD-Goma, starting the Kivu War. He formed the political party Congrès National pour la Défense du Peuple (CNDP) in 2006 but lost his position when he was arrested in Rwanda in 2009, his arrest also marked the end of the Kivu War.