Background: Established as a Belgian colony in 1908, the Republic of the Congo gained its independence in 1960, but its early years were marred by political and social instability. Col. Joseph MOBUTU seized power and declared himself president in a November 1965 coup. He subsequently changed his name - to MOBUTU Sese Seko - as well as that of the country - to Zaire. MOBUTU retained his position for 32 years through several subsequent sham elections as well as through the use of brutal force. Ethnic strife and civil war, touched off by a massive inflow of refugees in 1994 from fighting in Rwanda and Burundi, led in May 1997 to the toppling of the MOBUTU regime by a rebellion led by Laurent KABILA. He renamed the country the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DROC), but in August 1998 his regime was itself challenged by an insurrection backed by Rwanda and Uganda. Troops from Zimbabwe, Angola, Namibia, Chad, and Sudan intervened to support the Kinshasa regime. A cease-fire was signed in July 1999 by the DROC, Zimbabwe, Angola, Uganda, Namibia, Rwanda, and Congolese armed rebel groups, but sporadic fighting continued. Laurent KABILA was assassinated in January 2001 and his son Joseph KABILA was named head of state. In October 2002, the new president was successful in negotiating the withdrawal of Rwandan forces occupying eastern Congo; two months later, the Pretoria Accord was signed by all remaining warring parties to end the fighting and establish a government of national unity. A transitional government was set up in July 2003; Joseph KABILA remains as president and is joined by four vice presidents representing the former government, former rebel groups, and the political opposition.
Photos from Goma
Blogs from Goma
Latest Blogs from Goma
- April 21st 2012 Into "the Heart of Darkness"
by Words: 1733 Photos: 41
- March 11th 2012 Gorillas in the Mist and other adventures
by Words: 588 Photos: 28
- December 1st 2011 Dark reality
by Words: 1164 Photos: 58
- November 29th 2011 Calm before the war
by Words: 1098 Photos: 121
- November 27th 2011 Walking on the edge of fire
by Words: 944 Photos: 96
- November 1st 2011 Walking The Extreme
by Words: 1302 Photos: 27
- October 28th 2011 The Worlds Most Dangerous City
by Words: 1039 Photos: 28
- February 1st 2011 Another attack on rangers in the Virunga National Park
by Words: 238 Photos: 1
- December 16th 2010 The Rewards of Never Giving Up
by Words: 2553 Photos: 49
- October 10th 2010 Second chance in the DRC
by Words: 1657 Photos: 21
- September 25th 2010 Gorilla trekking
by Words: 348 Photos: 27
- September 23rd 2010 Volcano Trek
by Words: 828 Photos: 17
- June 9th 2010 Dave Vs the Volcano - days 14-15
by Words: 1194 Photos: 13
- March 8th 2010 Where angels fear to tread
by Words: 1026 Photos: 15
- January 31st 2010 Please take supplies when you go.
by Words: 215 Photos: 0
- January 22nd 2010 Goma. What Could Possibly Go Wrong?
by Words: 858 Photos: 5
- October 21st 2009 A trip on the wild side...
by Words: 3337 Photos: 18
- October 28th 2008 Are you aware, over there, of the World's Deadliest War?
by Words: 1028 Photos: 0
- October 26th 2008 Welcome to DR Congo: Swimming in lakes of UN convoys
by Words: 1254 Photos: 29
- October 20th 2008 DRC
by Words: 943 Photos: 13