During 1996 and 1997, in what became called the “First Congo War,” Rwandan forces invaded eastern Zaire (now Democratic Republic of Congo or DRC) in support of local rebels called the Alliance of Democratic Forces for Liberation (AFDL). Rwanda’s justification for this intervention was that exiled Rwandan Hutu fighters who had been involved in the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda were using eastern Zaire as a staging area to threaten Rwanda. However, in 1998, a United Nations investigative team visited DRC and concluded that Rwandan soldiers and AFDL rebels had massacred unarmed Rwandan Hutu refugees and that this might constitute genocide. The UN team could not complete its investigation as it was hindered by the DRC’s new AFDL government which, at the time, was dependent on Rwandan forces.