Mbele was one of the two ethnic groups involved in a civil war in the Angola-Zaire border region in 1984. Mbele people are exploited by Buta in the Kungenga Mine, sometimes they're even taken as prisoners and forced to work as slaves. Mbele rebels are known to create child soldier squads such as the one Venom Snake rescues in 1984.
The civil war has been going on in that region since the early 60's. It was fought by two ethnic groups, the Buta and the Mbele. Originally those ethnic groups were almost identical, but after World War I their conflict started. After the war, their land was colonized by a European power, and it decided to give local control to the Buta. That split the two groups into rulers and subjects and the friction between them remained even after they won independence from Europe. In 1984 the Buta were still holding onto power and the Mbele rebels continued to fight back. The conflict was funded by locally mined gold, rare metals and diamonds. They've used the money from those to arm themselves, buy oil, and hire PFs. The ethnic ties between the Mbele and Buta groups were so similar that even those native to various African countries were unable to tell them apart, let alone nations outside Africa.
- ^ Miller(tape): The Buta administration owns the mining rights to Kungenga Mine... But most of the laborers are Mbele who they've taken prisoner. The "product" they've gouged out of their land is bought up cheap by Western corporations...
- ^ Miller(tape): A civil war's been going on in that region for the last 20 years. It's being fought by what are not two ethnic groups, the Buta and the Mbele. Originally you could barely tell them apart, but the reason for the current armed conflict goes back to World War I. After the war, their land was colonized by a European power, and it decided to give local control to the Buta. That split the two groups into rulers and subjects, laying the foundations for an inevitable civil war. The friction between them remained even after they won independence from Europe. The Buta are holding onto power to this day, and the Mbele rebels continue to fight back. The conflict is funded by locally mined gold, rare metals, diamonds... They've used the money from those to arm themselves, buy oil, and even hire PFs.
- ^ ZRS soldier at Lufwa Valley: ...Mbele supporting the rebel forces, and the Bhuta siding with the government. They all look the same to me - skin color, faces, even the language they speak...Even South Africans and Rhodesians have trouble telling them apart, never mind non-Africans.