Masisi Territory is a territory which is located within the North Kivu Province of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Its political headquarters are located in the town of Masisi.

The area was traditionally inhabited mostly by the Hunde people, as well as some Twa people. With support from the Belgians, one of the small local chiefs, Mwami André Kalinda, expanded his chiefdom, the Grande Chefferie des Bahunde to encompass of all of Masisi by 1935.[1]

During the colonial period in the 1940s and 1950s, the Belgian administration had a "dual colonization" policy of bringing in many immigrant white people and Banyarwanda (Hutus and Tutsis) to settle in the area, based on the promise of land. The colonial parastatal Comité national du Kivu [fr] gave out long term leases to the settlers in Bashali Chiefdom, to focus on tea and pyrethrum cash crops.[2]

During the Congo crisis in the early 1960s, voting rights were first granted to the Rwandan immigrants. Their immediate electoral success prompted a backlash from the Hunde population, who took control of local politics under the slogan udongo ya baba (father's land). Increasing violence between the Hunde administration and the immigrant population spiraled into the Kanyarwanda War. The violence prompted most of the white settlers to leave, with all the remaining whites gone after the implementation of the Zaïranization policy in the early 1970s.[3]

Historical events such as the 1977 eruption of Mount Nyiragongo prompted additional immigration to the area. The Banyarwanda acquired the overwhelming majority of the ex-colonial plantations, such as the case of Barthélémy Bisengimana, who served as chief of staff for DRC president Mobutu as well as taking over the large Osso concession in Masisi.[4]

Since at least the 1970s, the territory has been divided into the four modern collectives: Bahunde chiefdom and Bashali chiefdom are run by the traditional ethnic Hunde chiefs, and Katoyi and Osso are organized as sectors.[5]

^ Jason Stearns (2012). "North Kivu: The Background to Conflict in North Kivu Province of Eastern Congo" (PDF). The Rift Valley Institute. p. 13. Retrieved 2023-03-13. ^ van Leeuwen, Mathijs; Mathys, Gillian; de Vries, Lotje; van der Haar, Gemma (2020-12-04). "From resolving land disputes to agrarian justice – dealing with the structural crisis of plantation agriculture in eastern DR Congo". The Journal of Peasant Studies. 49 (2). Informa UK Limited: 309–334. doi:10.1080/03066150.2020.1824179. hdl:1854/LU-8685623. ISSN 0306-6150. ^ Mararo, Bucyalimwe (1997). "Land, Power, and Ethnic Conflict in Masisi (Congo-Kinshasa), 1940s-1994". The International Journal of African Historical Studies. 30 (3). JSTOR: 503. doi:10.2307/220574. ISSN 0361-7882. ^ Blaise Muhire (2017). "Legal Pluralism, Customary Authority and Conflict in Masisi, (Eastern) Democratic Republic of Congo". The Journal of Sociology and Development. 1 (1). ISSN 2591-6955. ^ Elias Pottek (2007). "Communal Conflict and the Geopolitics of Land, Ethnicity and Territoriality in North Kivu, Democratic Republic of Congo" (PDF). p. 104. Retrieved 2023-03-13.
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