Congo. According to
Countryaah, President Laurent-Désiré Kabila was assassinated
in January under unclear circumstances. A bodyguard was
appointed as a perpetrator, but those who were behind him
received no sure explanation. Officially, the blame was laid
on Uganda and Rwanda, which since 1998 have participated in
the war against K's army, as well as the rebel movement RCD
(Assembly for a Democratic Congo). Everyone refused.
Congo was believed to go to chaos when Kabila was
succeeded by his barely 30-year-old and politically untrue
son Joseph. But optimism rose as he quickly freed himself
from his father's policy, which increasingly blamed for the
war to continue. He dismissed most of his father's
ministers, approved the mediation of Botswana's former
President Ketumile Masire, agreed to negotiate directly with
the rebels, and lifted the ban on the political parties.
The peace process was underway, all participating parties
began to withdraw their troops from the front lines and the
UN could begin the deployment of some 2,500 military
observers around the country. The EU, which suspended its
assistance to K. in 1992, allocated more than SEK 1 billion
in development aid.
A UN report in April accused Rwanda and Uganda of
systematically looting K's resources. Both dismissed the
investigation as unbalanced, and criticism of one-sidedness
also came from Europe.
A new report was presented in November. Now the criticism
was extended to include Zimbabwe, whose politicians and army
commanders were said to enrich the war. The destruction of
K's vast natural resources by all parties involved was said
to prolong the war, which since 1998 was estimated to have
cost at least 2.5 million people's lives; most indirectly
through starvation, disease and other hardships.
During the autumn, the peace process stagnated, new
fighting broke out in the east and a peace meeting in Addis
Ababa became fruitless. Everyone blamed each other for lack
of peace. South Africa offered to host new negotiations at
the beginning of 2002, however, provided that the EU
incurred most of the costs of meeting operations.
In October 2009, another armed conflict broke out in
Sud-Ubangi province. This time over access to fishing areas.
An international survey showed in 2009 that around 45,000
Congolese continue to die each month. Most die from
malnutrition and disease, and about half are under 5 years
of age. The Western world's hunt for natural resources and
Congo's wealth keeps the conflicts going, ensuring that the
warlords remain well-armed.
Kabila was re-elected president in December 2011. After
the results were published on December 9, violent riots
erupted in Kinshasa and Mbuji-Mayi, with official statements
showing that opposition candidate Etienne Tshisekedi had
won. Observers from the Carter Center reported that the
results from 2,000 polling stations where support for
Tshisekedi had been strongest had been lost and had not been
counted in the final result. They characterized the election
as lacking credibility. On December 20, Kabila was deployed
as president, promising to invest in infrastructure and
public service. Tshisekedi stated that the election result
was illegitimate and that he also intended to "insert
himself". In January 2012, the country's Catholic bishops
condemned the election, characterized by "cheating, lying
In March 2012, the ICC handed down judgment on former
Congolese warlord Thomas Lubanga Dyilo for abducting
children used as child soldiers. During the Second Congolese
War, in 2001-05, he led the Union of Congolese Patriots
(UPC), conducting ethnic cleansing, massacres, mass rape and
child soldiers recruitment. In 2005, he was arrested
following the killings of 9 Bangladeshi soldiers who joined
the UN peacekeeping force. The verdict was welcomed in the
Congo, but at the same time there was considerable
skepticism in Africa towards the ICC. All of the 7 ongoing
cases of the ICC deal with Africans, while the ICC has no
interest in the massive war crimes in Sri Lanka in 2010, or
war crimes committed by Western and Israeli forces in
Palestine, Iraq and Afghanistan.
In April 2012, Kabila appointed Augustin Matata Ponyo as
new Prime Minister. That same month, former CNDP soldiers
seized weapons and rebelled against the central government
and the UN force in eastern Congo. They adopted the name
Mouvement du 23-March (March 23 movement, M23). In November,
they captured the provincial capital of Goma, sending
140,000 of the city's inhabitants on the run. In December,
M23 announced that they were voluntarily retiring from Goma.
In February 2013, 11 African countries announced that they
would bring peace to the region. The month after, the UN
Security Council authorized the creation of the first
offensive military force in the history of the world
organization: the United Nations Force Intervention Brigade,
comprised of troops from South Africa, Malawi and Tanzania.
It was deployed against the M23, which was knocked down in