He stayed in power until
1997 when his regime fell to the armies of Rwanda and Uganda
with Laurent Kabila then installed as president. However this
marked the beginning of what is called the Second Congo War, a war that
involved nine African countries and some twenty armed groups.
The basis of
the war was that Rwanda and Uganda wanted to control the perceived riches of
the Democratic Republic of Congo having installed Kabila as president only
to find he wanted their troops out of the country fearing they would in turn
oust him and install a Tutsi subservient to Rwanda's President Paul Kagame.
war itself, which was to outlast Kabila after he
was assassinated in 2001 to be
replaced by his son Joseph, lasted 4 years, 11 months, 2 weeks and 2 days
and officially' ended with the signing of the Sun City Agreement on 19th
April 2002 although the ongoing violence
is discussed elsewhere at
war took the lives of around 5,400,000 people, mostly through disease; the
most causalities of any war in earth's history, save for the Second World
War. It was a war that still simmers today particularly in the east of the
country and, even in 2009, it has been estimated that around forty five
thousand people a month were dying.
The Sun City Agreement provided a path
for providing the Democratic Republic of Congo with a multi-party government
and a timeline for democratic elections allowing Joseph Kabila to remain
president for a transition period of two years, extendable to three, with
the leader of the Movement for the Liberation of the Congo, Jean-Pierre
Bemba, as prime minister in the transitional government both to remain in
office until democratic elections could be held for the first time since
independence in 1960.