This paper is based on field work conducted during a recent trip to the eastern DRC towns of Goma and Bukavu, and aims to take a close look at the political and military situation in the provinces of North and South Kivu following the unrest in Bukavu in late- May and early June this year. In this context it examines links between the military campaign led by former RCD General Laurent Nkunda and other civilian and military leaders in the region, and at the regional and national dynamics which fostered General Nkunda's campaign. It also discusses the growing manipulation of regional ethnic tensions for political gain. <br>The paper also looks at the disappointing response of the transition government to the crisis. Its failure to respond is indicative both of the various parties' unwillingness to champion the national agenda over their own, and of a growing rift between the RCD and the various other components in the government. This does not bode well for the resolution of the crisis in the Kivus or for the Banyamulenge community whose cause the RCD champions.