Original Research

Rebel movements in the DRC as sub-national terrorists and the need for appropriate counter initiatives

Theo Neethling
The Journal for Transdisciplinary Research in Southern Africa | Vol 10, No 3 | a184 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/td.v10i3.184 | © 2014 Theo Neethling | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 07 March 2016 | Published: 30 December 2014

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Theo Neethling, University of the Free State, South Africa

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The word “terrorism” has been used in various political and policy contexts, and studied in several scholarly disciplines. Most contemporary writing on terrorism focuses on the international dimensions or manifestations of terrorism. However, in Africa, sub- national terror (and even state terror) has been a feature of conflict on the African continent. This ranges from amorphous internationally connected groups in which people locally band together around a religious paradigm, to rebels who terrify civilians in civil wars, e.g. the armed movements in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). Specifically, the north-eastern and eastern parts of the DRC have been major conflict zones where sub-national or domestic terrorists employed and continue to employ terror as a strategy. This paper examines rebel movements in the DRC as a phenomenon of sub-national terrorism – a phenomenon that manifests in life-and-death struggles over access to mineral resources and where there is a clear correlation between conflict and the accumulation of resources.


rebel movements; sub-national terrorism; the DRC (Democratic Republic of Congo); counter-terrorists measures


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