Joseph Kabange Kabila
Joseph Kabila,son of former President Laurent Kabila, has been President of the Democratic Republic of Congo since his father's death in 2001.
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Joseph Kabange Kabila
(At a Glance)
Date of Birth: Jun/4/1971
Place of Origin: Congo-Kinshasa
Joseph Kabila Kabange, more commonly known as Joseph Kabila was born in Fizi,South Kivu which is in the eastern part of the Democratic Republic of Congo. His father was Laurent-Désiré Kabila who was President of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) from 1997 till he was assassinated in 2001.
Joseph Kabila began his education in Fizi,South Kivu but completed elementary school in Dar es Salaam,Tanzania where his family lived under the protection of Julius Nyerere,the then President of Tanzania. He continued his secondary education in Mbeya,also in Tanzania and went on to study at Makerere University in Uganda.
In 1996,Joseph Kabila's father began a campaign against Mobutu Sese Seko,who was then the President of Zaire,now known as Democratic Republic of Congo. Joseph Kabila was made commander of the army of "kadogos"and played an instrumental role in major battles which took place on the road to Kinshasa.
After the campaign succeeded in ousting Mobutu from the presidency,Kabila's father took over the reins as President of the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Kabila then went to Beijing,China for further military training at the National Training Center. On his return to the DRC,he was made Major-General and in 1998 was appointed Deputy-Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff of the Armed Forces of DR Congo. In August of the same year,civil war erupted when Rwandan and Ugandan armies supported a rebellion in the eastern part of the DRC. Together with forces from Angola,Namibia and Zimbabwe, Joseph Kabila worked to defend his father's regime.
In 2000 he was appointed Army Chief of Staff and held this position until his father,Laurent Kabila was assassinated in January of 2001.
After his father's assassination,Joseph Kabila was named President of the Democratic Republic of Congo. On assuming office he took steps to bring a peaceful end to the civil war which had been going on since 1998 and also remove foreign troops in the country. He was successful and in 2002 a peace agreement was signed at the Inter-Congolese Dialogue which took place in South Africa. This agreement maintained Joseph Kabila as President and Head of State of the Democratic Republic of Congo. It also established an interim government under him which included the two leaders of the main rebel groups in the country as vice-presidents.
In 2004 there were two coup attempts but both failed.
In July,2006 a presidential election was held after a referundum approved a new constitution. The new constitution lowered the age for eligibility to contest in elections from 35 to 30 and this enabled Joseph Kabila,who turned 35 shortly before the elections, to contest for the presidency.
Kabila was declared winner of the elections,winning more than 55 percent of votes in a run-off election between he and his main opponent, Jean-Pierre Bemba,vice-president and former rebel leader. This was held in October,2006. After the Supreme Court confirmed the results in November of that year,in December, Joseph Kabila was formally inaugurated as the newly elected President of the Democratic Republic of Congo.