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Democratic Republic of Congo

The Democratic Republic of Congo has counterterrorism legislation in the Military Criminal Code, which was adopted in 2002. There is also legislation on terrorist financing from 2004 and 2021, which was revised in November 2022.  

Compliance with International Law:
Last updated: one year ago

The Definition of Terrorism in Domestic Law

A 2002 law on the Military Criminal Code defines terrorism in broad and general terms as follows:

Constitute acts of terrorism, when related with an individual or collective enterprise whose purpose is to seriously disturb public order through intimidation or terror, the following offences:

1. Intentional attacks on the life or physical integrity of the person, kidnapping and sequestration of the person as well as that the hijacking of aircraft, ships or any other means of transport;

2. theft, extortion, destruction, degradation and deterioration;

3. The manufacture, possession, storage, acquisition and disposal of machines, lethal devices, explosives or other biological or toxic weapons or weapons of war.Art. 157, Military Criminal Code.

The Democratic Republic of Congo also defined terrorism in its 2004 law on terrorist financing as predicate offences undertaken individually or in connection with a group whose aim is to seriously disturb public order through intimidation or terror.Art. 3(8), 2004 Law on Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing.A new law on terrorist financing adopted in 2021 defined terrorism as follows that explicitly applies in a situation of armed conflict:

An act of terrorism is any act intended to kill or seriously injure a civilian or any other person who does not take a direct part in the hostilities in a situation of armed conflict, when by its nature or its context, this act is intended to intimidate a population or to compel a Government or an international organization to perform or abstain from to perform any act.Art. 2, Loi n° 28-2021 du 12 mai 2021.

revised law on terrorist financing was adopted in November 2022.

Adherence to Global and Regional Terrorism Treaties


The Democratic Republic of Congo is a State Party to most of the main United Nations treaties on terrorism.


Adherence to Global Terrorism Treaties
Treaty Adherence
1973 Convention on Crimes against Internationally Protected Persons State Party
1979 Hostage-Taking Convention Signatory
1997 Terrorist Bombings Convention State Party
1999 Terrorist Financing Convention State Party
2005 Nuclear Terrorism Convention State Party


The Democratic Republic of Congo is a signatory but not a State Party to the two regional treaties on terrorism.


Adherence to Regional Terrorism Treaties
Treaty Adherence
1999 Algiers Convention Signatory
2004 Protocol to the Algiers Convention Signatory

Laws and Penalties for Terrorist Offences

The Democratic Republic of Congo punishes terrorist offences under its Military Criminal Code. Where death results from a terrorist act, the maximum sentence is the death penalty. Otherwise the maximum penalty is twenty years in prison.Art. 158, Military Criminal Code.

The Constitution decrees that no individual or group of individuals may use part of the national territory as a basis for subversive or terrorist activities against the Congolese State or any other State.Art. 52, Constitution of DR Congo.  

Counterterrorism Capacities and Policies at Domestic Level

According to the United States, in the east of the DR Congo, the Islamic State affiliate, the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF), attacked Congolese civilians and UN peacekeepers. Other commentators have, though, questioned the affiliation of the ADF to Islamic State. The UN Joint Human Rights Office in the DRC (UNJHRO) attributed the deaths of at least 849 men, women, and children to the ADF in North Kivu and Ituri provinces during 2020.

DR Congo's main counterterrorism operations are conducted by its army. A coordination centre for counterterrorism was established by law in 2001.


Military Criminal Code (2002) (French original)

DR Congo 2004 Law on Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing (original version)

2004 Criminal Code of DR Congo

Constitution of DR Congo (English translation)

2001 Decree on Creation of Coordination Centre

2021 Law on Terrorist Financing