Laurent Nkunda alias Laurent Nkundabatware or Laurent Nkunda Batware (born February 2, 1967) is a former General in the Armed Forces of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and is the former leader of a rebel faction operating in the province of Nord-Kivu, sympathetic to Congolese Tutsis and the Tutsi-dominated government of neighbouring Rwanda. Nkunda commanded the former DRC troops of the 81st and 83rd Brigades of the DRC Army. He speaks English, French, Swahili, and Kinyarwanda. In early 2009, he was captured during a joint operation between the Congolese and Rwandese militaries.
Nkunda has six children, his oldest son being 18. Before joining the military, Nkunda studied psychology at Kisangani University then became a school teacher in Kichanga. He has claimed to admire leaders including Gandhi and George W. Bush.
Nkunda is an ordained Christian preacher and an ordained minister. He says that most of his troops have converted. In the 2008 documentary Blood Coltan about the real costs of mobile phones, Nkunda proudly shows a button he wears that reads "Rebels for Christ." He claims to be a Seventh-day Adventist pastor. He also claims to receive help and guidance from American "Rebels for Christ" who visit the Congo spreading Pentecostal Christianity. The Seventh-day Adventist Church has disputed Nkunda's claims of affiliation.