Keywords: Citizenship; Democratic Republic of Congo; Autochthony-Allochthony Conflicts.
Since the early Nineties the eastern regions of the Democratic Republic of Congo are at the core of an extremely violent and complex conflict. It is a multidimensional war in which several factors contribute to the recurrence of violence. One of these factors is the conflict over citizenship between local ethnic groups, who consider themselves "autochthonous", and the Rwandofones communities (Banyarwanda and Banyamulenge). This article explores the genesis and the evolution of this conflict in order to underline the high degree of political manipulation behind the issue of citizenship in Eastern Congo. As in other African contexts, in Eastern Congo political leaders have fomented ethnic and national divisions in order to perpetuate their power. After years of negotiations a new law on citizenship was approved, but due to its ambiguity there is still much room for further manipulation and new conflicts.