Alliance of Patriots for a Free and Sovereign Congo
The Alliance of Patriots for a Free and Sovereign Congo (French: Alliance des patriotes pour un Congo libre et souverain, known by the acronym APCLS) is an armed militia group which operates in the north-east of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. APCLS is traditionally active in Masisi Territory, North Kivu and is considered one of the largest mai-mai (local or ethnic militia) groups operating in the province. Formed in 2006, the APCLS draws most of its support from the Hunde ethnic group and its ideology is founded on opposition to the Tutsi ethnic groups. It is a belligerent in the ongoing Kivu conflict and is led by Janvier Buingo Karairi.
|Alliance of Patriots for a Free and Sovereign Congo|
Alliance des patriotes pour un Congo libre et souverain (in French)
|Leader(s)||Janvier Buingo Karairi|
|Dates of operation||2006–2016|
|Active region(s)||North Kivu, Democratic Republic of the Congo|
The APCLS was formed as part of the Resisting Congolese Patriots (Patriotes Résistants Congolais, or PARECO) group in 2006 and was originally known as PARECO-Hunde. The group split from PARECO in 2008 after the Goma Accords. The militia counts around 1,500 men and is funded by the profits of artisanal mining of gold and cassiterite, as well through the support of wealthy members of the Hunde ethnic group. In the past, the group has co-operated with the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (Forces démocratiques de libération du Rwanda, FDLR), a Hutu Interahamwe rebel group from neighbouring Rwanda.
During the M23 rebellion (2012-13), the APCLS co-operated with Congolese government forces to suppress the largely-Tutsi March 23 Movement. Sporadic fighting between government forces, backed by the United Nations MONUSCO peacekeeping mission, and APCLS continued for several years. In March 2015, government forces launched a major offensive against the APCLS in Masisi Territory. In August 2016, the APCLS, together with another militia group Mai-Mai Nyatura, announced that they would sign a peace agreement with the central government.
- Long, Nick (5 March 2013). "Risk of 'Ethnic War' in Eastern Congo Town". VOA. Goma. Retrieved 6 March 2013.
- "Alliance of Patriots for a Free and Sovereign Congo (APCLS)". Tracking Terrorism. Retrieved 15 October 2016.
- "Violence erupts between Army and Rebels in DR Congo". The Daily Mail. AFP. 19 March 2015. Retrieved 15 October 2016.
- "Chercher Nord-Kivu: les milices APCLS et Nyatura signent un accord de paix". Radio Okapi. 26 August 2016. Retrieved 15 October 2016.