White Legion (Congo Kinshasa)

Country: Congo Kinshasa
Details of Formation: The White Legion was created by President Mobutu during the First Congo War to support the Congolese Army to fight rebel forces that occupied parts of the country. Their support was supposed to only include instructing the domestic forces. However, they soon also joined the fighting alongside the Congolese army. (Wikipedia)
Details of Termination: In spring 1997, the mercenaries were not paid by the Congolese government which is why they refused to fight from this point on. Furthermore, internal quarrels between the French and Serb mercenaries developed. In March 1997, a source reports that the militia defected and began fighting against the Congolese army. (Wikipedia)
Purpose: President Mobutu employed the militia to fight against the rebel forces in the Kivu province. As his army was too weak to tackle the task, he initially wanted to use the foreign ex-soldiers to train his own army. Eventually, the White Legion also participated in military operations.
Organisation: The White Legion was commanded by Colonel Jugoslav Petrusic from Serbia. He and the Serbian militia members were fighters in the Bosnian War and Petrusic had good connections to the French military who were also involved in the White Legion. Lieutenant Milorad Pelemis from France was the deputy commander of the militia. The group received a salary from the Congolese government which was the members’ only incentive to fight for Mobutu. (Wikipedia)
Weapons and Training: The militia was initially employed by Mobutu to train the domestic army. However, they soon joined the fighting alongside the army with their own equipment.
Size: The militia is comprised of 200 to 400 mercenaries. In addition, President Mobutu tried to recruit more fighters, but he was not able to expand the militia.
Reason for Membership: Members of the militia were foreign nationals coming from Europe and other African countries. They were being paid by President Mobutu and stopped fighting after payment was stopped.
Treatment of Civilians: The mercenaries harassed civilians on the street and used violence against them. The government did not interfere as they needed the militia to fight the rebels in the Kivu province. (Wikipedia)
Other Information: --
References: Wikipedia. “White Legion (Zaire)”