Both the DRC and Somalia are at the core of regional conflict formations involving severe and persistent armed violence. They combine a complex mix of relevant background factors such as colonialism, transnational ethnic groups, decades of political exclusion and dictatorship, regional rivalries, and global influences. The various conflicts within the two regions are strongly linked and dynamics set in motion in one country have a visible influence in others. The core parameters of these regional conflict formations, up to the point when the peacekeeping missions MONUC and AMISOM were deployed, are introduced in the following subsections.