The Raia Mutomboki (RM), a diffuse network of armed citizens, collectively makes up one of the largest rebel groups in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). The group's name, Kiswahili for "angry citizens," suggests the impetus for its creation: outrage at the massacres, rapes, and countless unspeakable atrocities the Congolese people suffered at the hands of the Interahamwe, the Hutu militia that committed much of the genocide against the Tutsi during the Rwandan civil war in 1994.
The Interahamwe has inhabited the jungles of eastern Congo since fleeing Rwanda more than 20 years ago. With no hope of returning home, the Interahamwe has continually tried to carve out its place in Congo, attacking villages and fighting for control of mines and other areas rich in minerals. When it became clear that the Congolese state was failing to protect its citizens, groups of affected Congolese villagers decided to take security into their own hands—they banded together, armed themselves, and formed the RM. They were first active in 2005, and after being largely dormant for a number of years, reappeared in 2011.
The RM has a number of factions, each with a separate leader. Some of these factions have occasionally been at war with one another, and have been accused of committing precisely the kinds of atrocities they were formed to prevent. Others are more benign. Between December 2013 and January 2014, photographer Diana Zeyneb Alhindawi traveled to the South Kivu Province in the DRC to photograph members of the Kikuni faction, which has since disbanded.