The Republic of Kivu (French: République du Kivu, Swahili: Jamhuri ya Kivu) is a nation located in Eastern Africa. It is a presidential dictatorship led by President Joseph Kabila. Kivu is bordered by Katanga to the south, Burundi and Rwanda to the east.
Laurent Kabila had been defeated by Mobutu's army in the Congo Crisis of 1960-1966, and had been forced to flee to East Africa (where he had gained large amounts of money and power). However, earlier, Kabila had been very close to taking power on Congo.
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Africa was not hit by nuclear weapons; however, any foreign aid in the in the African crisis ceased.
The cease of aid to Mobutu's Zaire caused Kabila to believe he had another chance at taking power on Congo, and he soon moved back to the region of Kivu, where his son Joseph lived. He formed a small militia and soon took over the Kivuan government, where he left his son Joseph (aged 14) in charge, and in late July he marched west attempting to take over Kinshasa.
The war west, however, had been extremely inconclusive, with bloody stalemates between the newly-formed pro-Kabila militia and the Zaire army occurring oftentimes and being extremely bloody.
Foreign aid from Rwanda and Buganda tentatively begun in 1986. However, by then the Zaire regime was already collapsing, and none of the two armies was strong enough to either gain an advantage over the other party or establish control in Kinshasa. With Katanga declaring its independence once again and several states falling under the control of independent warlords and petty militias. Kabila was then recalled to Kivu by Joseph Kabila, and, realizing that Zaire was collapsing, declared the independence of the Republic of Kivu.
First Years and the Immigration Crisis
The Kabila dictatorship soon lost large parts of Kivu's territory (all of OTL's province of North Kivu, most of Maniema and parts of South Kivu) due to the huge amounts of losses in the militia, which impeded it from protecting Kivu's claimed boundaries. This was further worsened by the refugee crisis of Tutsis from Rwanda and Hutus from Burundi. Although this was partially slowed by the huge amounts of wildlife in the national parks near the borders and the native people's fear for the creatures of the Ruzisi river and the Tanganika and Kivu lakes, huge amounts of immigrants, once again, made Kivu lose land around the Kivu-Burundi border, where only Bukavu remained in Kivu's control (even then, Bukavu lost its capital status to Fizi).
Laurent's Expedition and the War of Succession
As soon as the situation had stabilized (around 1988), Laurent Kabila once again declared his intention to conquer Zaire. Once again arming up a militia, Laurent marched west on Maniema, parts of which he was able to re-conquer for the Zairean state. Soon he crossed the river marking the new Kivu-wilderness border and continued his march west until his entire expedition suddenly disappeared.
After Laurent's death, his son Joseph attempted to ascend to the Zairean throne. However, several parties attempted to seize the power of "Zaire" from the weakened Kabilas. Among them were Marcellin Chrisambo from the Kivuan right wing, Patrick Mansuzu from the Kivu Tutsi Democratic Group, a Tutsi supremacist group, and the left wing Laurent Nkunda. This sparked the so-called 'War of Succession'.
In 1991, after heavy consideration, the pro-Kabila faction requested Bugandan aid, as Buganda, as a nation interested in Kivu's natural resources and geographical location, had observed the conflict for some time already. In June, the Baganda king agreed, and Batooro, Baganda and Bunyoro troops poured into North and then South Kivu.
With Ugandan help, Kabila's army (who had been pulled back to outermost regions) soon was able to recover both Bukavu and Fizi, and soon afterwards captured and executed the local leaders.
In early 1992, Kabila decided that Zaire was not the proper term for the reduced territory. He drafted a Declaration of Kivuan Independence and the Kivuan Constitution. A final draft was approved in August 19, the new Kivuan holiday, by the puppet Senate and National Assemblies of Zaire. This also led to Kivu's full-fledged end of isolationism in favour with relationships with other African nations, most importantly Buganda and the EABC.
EABC and Busogo-Ankole Competence
Kivu's natural resources soon became a source of conflict between the EABC (the coalition of Toro, Baganda and Bunyoro) and the Busoga-Ankole alliance. In 1993, one of the main factors of the Kayunga War was competence over who would the Kabilas agree to give economic concessions; with its larger manpower and importance, the EABC won over Ankole and Busoga.
Although Kivu stayed neutral during the Kayunga War, it send tentative economic aid to the Bagandans, arguing that Kayunga historically has been Baganda, not Busoga, and the local Zururu people would be happier under the Bugandan federa than under the Busogan elders (the last point is mostly considered invalid nowadays). It is thought the war would have ended much more quickly had Kivu intervened entirely instead of only partially.
The Kayunga War was the determining factor in Ankole-EABC competence over former Zaire. With Ankole's post-war economic collapse, the EABC became the sole Ugandan power to possibly establish foreign influence in Zaire.
Kabila, greatly thankful of Bugandan aid in the earlier Civil War, signed a treaty with the Bugandans, providing them economic rights in mineral importations. Only a year later, in 1996, Kivu agreed to join the EABC as a partial, economic member, and in 2001, Kivu dropped all of its pretenses of neutrality and was admitted into the EABC as a full member.
The last eleven years have helped with the improving of economy and living conditions in Kivu. While Kivu still has many internal economical problems (like the heavy dependance on minerals and raw materials to survive), and still has not gotten enough strength so to recover the anarchic territories it claims, Kivu is steadily improving.
Kivu's economy is heavily dependent on raw resources for its survival. The territory that comprises Kivu has a heavy amount of mineral resources. Kivu is particularly dependent on four; gold, copper, timber, and coltan. Agriculture also pays an important role by making Kivu self-dependent, but it does not produce several revenues to Kivu in trade. However, industrial produce for exportation is virtually unheard of in Kivu.
Kivu's natural resources were a huge source of conflict and one of the causes for the Kayunga War (although it was relatively minor in comparison to the fierce territorial claims over Kayunga or the rebels operating east of Busoga trying to join the former nation (still active today with PR Uganda weaker than ever). Kivu has huge resources of several valuable resources, causing fierce competition for the Kabila government to join either the EAC or the EABC. Eventually, Joseph Kabila favoured the EABC due to help in the Kivuan War of Succession.
The official languages of Kivu are English, French and Swahili; of these, only Swahili is spoken popularly. Swahili is divided into several dialects, most of them comprehensible amongst themselves. Other Bantu languages as Rwanda or Luganda are spoken amongst minorities.
Kivu's borders and claims are unclear and differ widely. While the Kabila government claims the borders to be the Lomani River on the West, Lakes Edward, Kivu and Tanganika (areas partially overrun by refugees) to the east and the borders of the old Kivus to the north and south, the state is actually limited to most of South Kivu, parts of Maniema reaching out as far as the Congo River, and a small strip of land in North Kivu connecting it to the EABC.
Kivu's constitution, approved in August 19 of 1992, led to an authoritarian republic led by a "popularly elected leader approved both by former President and the Legislature". Kivu has an unicameral legislature, the National Assembly (comprised of 51 representatives appointed by the President and representing the people's will in the last legislative elections), a judicial branch (whose members are appointed by the Assembly and who declares which laws are constitutional and which aren't) and an executive one (which has veto power and the ability to choose the National Assembly members and his/her successor). Kivu's government has large political and civil powers and is heavily centralised and authoritarian.