from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Banyamulenge are an ethnic group in the northeast of the Congo on Lake Kivu , which comprises around 400,000 people.

The name means the people of Mulenge and refers to the place of residence around Mulenge. The Banyamulenge speak a language very similar to the Kinyarwanda (Kinyamulenge). For a long time they called themselves “Banyaruanda” in Kinyamulenge, which means something like “the people of Rwanda ”, through which they came to their current residential areas. The Banyamulenge go back to four tribes that are now mixed: a group from the Kingdom of Rwanda , one from Burundi , a third from Tanzania and a fourth from former slaves , the local tribes of the Bashi , Bafulero and Batetela. Although much of the Banyamulenge Tutsi - Shepherd has as ancestors, they refer to themselves not as such, but as Banyamulenge, or Congolese. The contrast between Hutu and Tutsi known from Rwanda and Burundi does not exist. However, the banyamulenge feel closely related to the Tutsi, especially since they have been repeatedly harassed by Hutu spleens.


Since the Banyamulenge immigrated to what is now the Congo before 1885, they had the status of indigenous people. In 1996, however, they were stripped of their citizenship by Mobutu Sese Seko , President of Zaire (now the Democratic Republic of the Congo) from 1965 to 1997 , and as foreigners they were to be expelled to Rwanda and Burundi.

At the time of the First Congo War (1997/98), the Banyamulenge sided with Kabila's AFDL ( Alliance des Forces Démocratiques pour la Liberation du Congo ) in order to replace the Mobutu regime. The announcement by various official Zairean authorities that they would drive the people out of the country finally provided the occasion for Rwandan and Ugandan troops to march into Zaire.

Individual evidence

  1. a b L'Observatoire de l'Afrique Centrale, vol. 3, No. 10/2000