Behind the Scenes of the ‘Banyamulenge Military’: Momentum, Myth, and Extinction

Delphin Ntanyoma

Research output: Book/Report/Inaugural speech/Farewell speechBookAcademic


This book intends to contribute to raise awareness on the recent history of the Democratic Republic of Congo where Banyamulenge had gained momentum and widely discussed within the literature and Medias. It attempts to shot into the dark to inform the reader and the public over what happened to childhood’s friends. Briefly, it has few main objectives. On one hand, it stands as a snapshot that could reveal how momentum coupled with little political experience can lead to devastation. Though hardly challenging, the book aims to collect as many as information regarding Banyamulenge engagement into rebel movements and insurgencies. Therefore, it recapitulates key tragic incidents that went slightly or partially discussed in which Banyamulenge commanders and soldiers have engaged. It has been so challenging to reach this point. For several reasons, collect exhaustive information was unlikely possible as there were few witnesses. That is, someone could have survived one incident and late fell into another. However, this is an entry point to keep their stories alive. I wish this monograph unveils the commitment of young people who fell on the battlefield while claiming their rights. I really understand how controversial this stance would be. Falling on battlefield, claiming someone’s rights in a polarized society, many readers would sincerely disagree with the author. Nonetheless, I would agree to disagree than leaving these stories untold. For those who are likely concerned with a safe future of the Eastern Congo, specifically the youth, I may say that we need to learn from this experience. On top of that, let think relatives and family members of those deceased needed to have short idea of what had happened to their beloved parents, brothers and sisters. Withstanding what said previously, the monograph does not impose one single view. Assembling available aimed to raise interests of those willing to understand the link between “instrumentalization”, myth and extinction. This an opportunity to call for in-depth researches around this topic. Instead of claiming that this what you have to retain, I commend those who would disagree by bring other obvious facts. from this book, one can generally draw lessons within conflict resolution perspective.I may have personal biases. Most of these guys who had fallen on the battleground belonged to 70-80s generation. This is my generation. We have shared, with many of them, different things during our childhood. We played together while young; we expected to achieve more in the future despite confinement and limited opportunities. Hence, the book revives memories on their leitmotiv of the struggle we fought distantly together and hand in hand. Their commitment—bravery could not help us to continue this journey together. As the author has witnessed some of these disappearances, the book stands as opportunity to honoring their legacy. I am sure, circumstances can change gentle people into mad and weird. Before blaming them, just take a time to red few paragraphs. From these discussions, one can learn how to deal with suspected “gift”. This book seems questioning the sense of naively accepting a “gift” without checking what is inside. From my background, I’ve been told that respect is about keeping quiet and avoiding “improper interventions”. I add that, it is wise to tell the truth than making a history as a “hearsay”. The monograph intends to benchmark “Banyamulenge military” within a fragile context and predict their future.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationParis
Number of pages264
ISBN (Print)9782343186979
Publication statusPublished - 2019


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