Joseph Kabila

  • Country: Democratic Republic of the Congo
  • Title: President

Never in its history has the Democratic Republic of the Congo experienced a peaceful transfer of power. Patrice Lumumba, the country’s first prime minister after independence from Belgium in 1960, was ousted in a coup and assassinated. The military dictator responsible, Mobutu Sese Seko, ruled for more than three decades before being overthrown in 1997. The rebel leader who accomplished that, Laurent-Désiré Kabila, was assassinated in 2001, in the midst of a five-year war that ranks as the world’s deadliest since World War II. Kabila’s son Joseph succeeded him: at 29 years old, he was then the youngest head of

Finish reading this article for free.

Enter your email and we'll send a paywall-free link directly to your inbox.

In addition to your unlocked article, you will receive our flagship weekly newsletter Foreign Affairs This Week, as well as occasional updates and offers from Foreign Affairs. You can unsubscribe at any time. For more information, visit our user agreement and privacy policy.


Get unlimited access to all Foreign Affairs. Subscribe now.

Are you already a subscriber? Sign in.