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Monday, August 10, 1998 Published at 16:50 GMT 17:50 UK


World: Africa

Chronology: The Democratic Republic of Congo

Will Laurent Kabila meet the same fate as his predecessor, Mr Mobutu?

Key dates in the recent history of the Democratic Republic of Congo:

  • 1960 Former Belgian Congo gains independence

  • 1965 Mobutu Sese Seko becomes President of Republic of Congo - later renamed Zaire

  • 1994 Rwanda's genocide sends an estimated one million Hutu refugees fleeing into Zaire

  • 1996 Reports emerge of friction between eastern Zaire's ethnic Tutsi minority, the Banyamulenge, newly-arrived Hutu militants and the local authorities

  • 1996 Laurent Kabila's rebel movement sides with the Banyamulenge and - with the backing of the Tutsi-led Rwandan government - launches a successful offensive against the Zairean government

  • 1997 - 17 May Laurent Kabila declares himself President of the Democratic Republic of Congo

  • 1997 - September Mobutu Sese Seko dies of prostate cancer

  • 1997-1998 President Kabila starts purging his government of ethnic Tutsis

  • 1998 - July President Kabila orders the Tutsi-dominated Rwandan army to leave Congo, sparking rebellion by soldiers in the east




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