Timeline of the Congo Conflict

— Nnenna Okeke

1996–97 – Rwandan troops invade and attack Hutu militia-dominated camps on the Rwanda-Zaire border.

1997 – Tutsi and other anti-Mobutu rebels, aided by Rwanda, capture Kinshasa. Mobutu is removed as the president of Zaire, which is renamed the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Laurent Kabila becomes president.

1998 – Kabila fails to expel Hutu Militia from the Congo, resulting in a switch of alliance by Rwanda. Rwandese-backed rebels attempt to depose Kabila. Zimbabwe, Namibia and Angola side with Kabila. Rwanda-backed rebels take control of much of eastern Congo.

1999 – Tensions grow between Congolese Liberation Movement (MLC) rebels, supported by Uganda, and Rally for Congolese Democracy (RCD) rebels, backed by Rwanda.

1999 – All African countries involved in the conflict sign a cease-fire accord in Lusaka. The next month, MLC and RCD rebels sign on. In December, fighting breaks out in north.

2000 – Fighting continues between rebels and government forces, and between Rwandan and Ugandan forces.

2001 – President Laurent Kabila is murdered; his son, Joseph, becomes president.

2001 – Joseph Kabila meets Rwandan President Paul Kagame in Washington. Rwanda, Uganda, and the rebels agree to a UN-backed pullout plan.

2002 – Presidents of Congo and Rwanda sign a peace deal. Deal also signed with Uganda. Rwanda and Uganda agree to withdraw troops. UN-backed talks begin in South Africa, resulting in a peace deal.

2003 – Kabila approves two-year transitional constitution, pending elections.

Today – Conflict continues in North and South Kivu, Ituri and Northern Katanga.

ATC 142, September–October 2009