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DRC Timeline -- Part 5: Genocide in Neighboring Rwanda to Assassination of Laurent-Désiré Kabila

A Chronology of Key Events in DRC

By Alistair Boddy-Evans, About.com

16 July 1994 An estimated one million Hutu refugees flee Rwanda and enter Zaïre and seek refuge at the border town of Goma. More refugees arrive through the month of August
August 1994 It is reported that Rwandan armed militia have crossed the border into the Democratic Republic of the Congo and are infiltrating refugee camps around Goma.
1995 Ebola outbreak in Kikwit.
9 July 1995 The transitional period for government is extended for another two years.
3 April 1996 National Electoral Commission begins.
June 1996 Conflict between Hutu and Tutsi in Rwanda and Burundi spreads to eastern Zaïre. Refugee camps around Goma are under control of Rwandan militias. Local (i.e. Congo) Tutsi are attacked and forced to flee by troops supported by the Zaïrean army. Local Tutsi militia, supported by Rwanda and Uganda and other regional dissident groups, oppose Hutu forces.
August 1996 Creation of the Alliance des Forces Démocratiques pour la Libération du Congo-Zaïre (AFDL, Alliance of Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Congo) under leadership of Laurent-Désiré Kabila, one of Mubutu's strongest political opponents.
2 November 1996 Goma falls to the Alliance des Forces Démocratiques pour la Libération du Congo-Zaïre (AFDL, Alliance of Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Congo). The group soon controls much of the north-east of Zaïre, taking advantage of Mobutu Sese Seko's medical trip to Switzerland. Meanwhile the transitional parliament is calling for all Tutsi to be expelled from the country -- many Tutsi resident in the west of Zaïre, and the capital Kinshasa, are fleeing north to the Republic of Congo.
March 1997 The Alliance des Forces Démocratiques pour la Libération du Congo-Zaïre (AFDL, Alliance of Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Congo) take Kisangani.
April 1997 Laurent-Désiré Kabila's Alliance des Forces Démocratiques pour la Libération du Congo-Zaïre (AFDL, Alliance of Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Congo) take Mbuki-Mayi and Lumubashi. The AFDL is receiving recruits from Angola, Burundi, Rwanda, and Uganda.
2 April 1997 Léon Kengo Wa Dondo resigns and Étienne Tshisekedi wa Mulumba returns as First State Commissioner, for the Union pour la Démocratie et le Progrès Social (UDPS, Union for Democracy and Social Progress).
9 April 1997 Likulia Bolongo takes over as First State Commissioner after it is revealed that Étienne Tshisekedi wa Mulumba had offered ministerial posts to members of the Alliance des Forces Démocratiques pour la Libération du Congo-Zaïre (AFDL, Alliance of Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Congo) -- they had apparently refused.
President Mobutu Sese Seko declares a State of Emergency.
16 May 1997 The post of First Commissioner is abolished. Archbishop Laurent Monsengwo Pasinya elected Speaker of the Transitional Parliament. President Mobutu Sese Seko flees Kinshasa for exile in Togo and then Morocco. A significant number of his supporters also flee.
17 May 1997 After troops of the Alliance des Forces Démocratiques pour la Libération du Congo-Zaïre (AFDL, Alliance of Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Congo) enter Kinshasa. Laurent-Désiré Kabila is declared president. The AFDL announces that it has overthrown the government of Mobutu Sese Seko. Kabila has had support from Tutsi fighters from neighboring Uganda, Rwanda, and Burundi, as well as military aid from Angola and Zimbabwe. The country is renamed the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
28 May 1997 President Laurent-Désiré Kabila issues a constitutional decree giving himself executive and legislative powers ahead of the creation of a new constitution. Opposition parties are banned.
29 May 1997 President Laurent-Désiré Kabila gains international support despite reports of severe military action against opposition groups.
7 September 1997 Ex-President Mobutu Sese Seko dies whilst in exile in Rabat, Morocco.
1998 Ethnic tensions explode and civil war breaks out again in the east of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. President Laurent-Désiré Kabila receives military aid from Angola, Chad, Namibia, and Zimbabwe. Rebels receive aid from Burundi, Rwanda, and Uganda. Eastern provinces of the Democratic Republic of the Congo soon fall to the rebels.
30 March 1998 Draft constitution is approved.
1 June 1998 Congolese franc introduced replacing old Zaïrean currency.
27 July 1998 President Laurent-Désiré Kabila demands Rwandan troops be withdrawn from the country. An armed rebellion erupts a few days later in the east fomented by Rwandan troops
10 August 1998 Ugandan troops have also entered the Democratic Republic of the Congo to support the rebellion.
14 August 1998 Rwandan backed rebel forces have taken Goma and now control the Inga Dam -- power and water supplies to the capital Kinshasa are cut. They found the Rassemblement Congolais pour la Démocratie (RCD, Rally for Congolese Democracy) -- it will become an official political party in 2003 after then 'end' of the civil war.
Ugandan backed rebel forces found the Mouvement de Libération Congolais (MLC, Congolese Liberation Movement).
October 1998 It is reported in the international press that President Kabila is receiving military aid form Angola, Namibia, and Zimbabwe. Rebel forces are expelled from towns in the west.
31 January 1999 Political parties are un-banned.
20 February 1999 The transitional government is dissolved and a new administration appointed.
8 April 1999 Mutual defense agreement signed between the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Angola, Namibia, and Zimbabwe.
1999 Rwandan backed Rassemblement Congolais pour la Démocratie (RCD, Rally for Congolese Democracy) and the Mouvement de Libération Congolais (MLC, Congolese Liberation Movement) backed by Uganda begin to show signs of mutual distrust.
22 April 1999 President Laurent-Désiré Kabila announces the disbanding of the Alliance des Forces Démocratiques pour la Libération du Congo-Zaïre (AFDL, Alliance of Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Congo)
26 May 1999 Forces from Chad withdraw from the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
11 July 1999 Peace Agreement signed by the government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and five neighboring countries at Lusaka, Zambia, mediated by the Zambian president, Frederick Jacob Titus Chiluba. However, internal DRC anti-government rebels (RCD and MLC) were not party to the agreement.
31 August 1999 The Rassemblement Congolais pour la Démocratie (RCD, Rally for Congolese Democracy) and Mouvement de Libération Congolais (MLC, Congolese Liberation Movement) sign the peace accord created on 11 July, in Lusaka, and agree to avoid further conflict.
30 November 1999 UN Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUC, Mission de l'Organisation des Nations Unies en République Démocratique du Congo), approved by the UN (Resolution 1279) to monitor the peace process. The mission will involve more than 5,500 UN peacekeepers.
21 September 2000 President Ange-Félix Patassé, Central African Republic, visits the Democratic Republic of the Congo for discussions with President Laurent-Désiré Kabila over the security of their mutual border following unrest in the DRC with rebel groups.
16 January 2001 President Laurent-Désiré Kabila is assassinated by his bodyguard.

More on the History of Democratic Republic of the Congo
Part 1: Prehistory to Beginning of Belgian Administration
Part 2: Beginning of Belgian Administration to End of Katanga Secession
Part 3: End of Katanga Secession to Rebellion in Shaba
Part 4: Rebellion in Shaba to Genocide in Neighboring Rwanda
Part 6: Assassination of Laurent-Désiré Kabila to Present Day

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