Effacer le tableau
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Effacer le tableau ("erasing the board" or "cleaning the slate") was the operational name given to the campaign of genocide/ethnic cleansing of the Bambuti pygmies by rebel forces in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) during the latter years of the Second Congo War.
The extermination was carried out by soldiers from the Movement for the Liberation of the Congo (MLC), who became known to locals as les effaceurs ("the erasers"), and troops from the Rally for Congolese Democracy (RCD-N).
The primary objective of Effacer le tableau was the territorial conquest of the North Kivu province of the DRC and ethnic cleansing of Pygmies from the Congo's eastern region whose population numbered 90,000 by 2004. The Bambuti were targeted specifically as the rebels considered them "subhuman", and it was believed by the rebels that the flesh of the Bambuti held "magical powers". There were also been reports of cannibalism and mass rapes being widespread. It is estimated 60,000 to 70,000 Bambuti were killed in the campaign.
In March 2016 the International Criminal Court found Jean-Pierre Bemba guilty of human rights violations in the Central African Republic. Bemba was the vice president of the DRC, and leader of the MLC during the year long extermination campaign but was fully acquitted by the ICC's appeal court in June 2018.