The Kivu conflict began as an armed conflict between the military of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (FARDC) and the Hutu Power group Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR) in 2004. The United Nations Mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo also became involved in the conflict. Until March 2009, the main combatant group against the FARDC was the rebel Tutsi forces formerly under the command of Laurent Nkunda (National Congress for the Defence of the People, CNDP).
CNDP is sympathetic to the Banyamulenge in Eastern Congo, an ethnic Tutsi group, and to the Tutsi-dominated government of Rwanda. It was opposed by the FDLR, by the DRC's army, and by United Nations forces.