During the transition to Joseph Kabila's regime, many Hutu regiments stayed in the eastern Kivu regions due to fears of reprisals should they return to Rwanda. Peace in Kivu was complicated further when Kabila ran for president against rebel leader Jean-Pierre Bemba
in 2006. Bemba lost, challenged the results and returned to Kivu to continue fighting. His group, the Movement for the Liberation of the Congo
(MLC) has alternated between being a political party and an armed movement, and he was arrested by the International Criminal Court (ICC) in 2008 and convicted for war crimes and sexual violence. These charges were overturned in a 2018 appeal.
But the MLC was not the only insurgent group to emerge from the two wars. Various war bands have emerged, gone dormant or emerged again, the most famous of which being the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA), led by Joseph Kony and made famous by the viral Kony 2012 YouTube campaign
. The fighting was not limited to the Kivu region, though it cannot be denied that it was the worst hit.
Another major consequence of the Second Congo War was the intensification of local conflicts like that in Ituri province. Ituri, just to the north of North Kivu, is home to the clashing agricultural Lendu and herder Hemu ethnic groups. The political instability ushered in by the war, as well as the influx of weapons into the region, reignited hostilities between the two groups and led to over 60,000 deaths. Many of these occurred in the context of massacres.
This amount, however, still pales in comparison to the approximately 5 million deaths caused by the war. The bloodshed, at times called "Africa's world war," prompted response from the UN in the form of peacekeeping missions. Whether or not they were effective in their mandate, however, is a hotly debated question.