Joseph Kabila: Wikis

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Joseph Kabila Kabange


Incumbent
Assumed office 
26 January 2001
Prime Minister Antoine Gizenga
Adolphe Muzito
Preceded by Laurent-Désiré Kabila

Born 4 June 1971 (1971-06-04) (age 38)
Fizi, Zaire
Political party PPRD
Spouse(s) Olive Lembe di Sita
Religion Anglican

Joseph Kabila Kabange (known commonly as Joseph Kabila; born June 4, 1971), is the president of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). He took office in January 2001, ten days after the murder of his father and DRC president Laurent-Désiré Kabila. On November 27, 2006, Joseph Kabila was confirmed as President following the July 2006 general election.

Contents

Biography

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Early life and education

Kabila was born in a small town in the Fizi territory of the South Kivu province, in the east of Zaire, now called the Democratic Republic of the Congo. He is the son of Laurent-Désiré Kabila and Sifa Mahanya. There are however some doubts as to the correctness of this official story. Many, especially those in the Congolese diaspora, believe that Laurent-Désiré Kabila was not his biological father; but rather his step father. Many opposition voices have called for a DNA test to prove his identity as Laurent-Désiré Kabila's natural child, but those calls have gone unanswered. [1] He started elementary school in the public school system, in Fizi, South Kivu, and never finished in Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania. He then went on to attend primary school in Mbeya, Tanzania.

Guerrilla and army years

Following high school, Joseph Kabila followed a military curriculum in Tanzania, then at Makerere University in Uganda. In October 1996, Laurent-Désiré Kabila launched the campaign in Zaire to oust the Mobutu regime. Joseph became the commander of the famous army of "kadogos" (child soldiers) and played a key role in major battles on the road to Kinshasa. The liberation army received logistical and military support from regional armies from Rwanda, Uganda, Angola and Zimbabwe. Following the AFDL's victory, and Laurent-Désiré Kabila's rise to the presidency, Joseph Kabila went on to get further training at the PLA National Defense University, in Beijing, China.

When he returned from China, Kabila was given the rank of Major-General, and appointed Deputy Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, in 1998. He was later, in 2000, appointed Chief of Staff of the Land Forces, a position he held until the elder President Kabila's assassination in January 2001.[2] As chief of staff, he was one of the main military leaders in charge of Government troops during the time of the Second Congo War (1998 - 2003).

Presidency

Kabila rose to the Presidency on 26 January 2001 after the assassination of Laurent-Désiré Kabila. At age 29, he was considered young and inexperienced. He subsequently attempted to end the ongoing civil war by negotiating peace agreements with rebel groups who were backed by Rwanda and Uganda, the same regional armies who brought Laurent-Désiré Kabila's rebel group to power 3 years before. The 2002 peace agreement signed at the Inter-Congolese Dialogue in Sun City, South Africa, which nominally ended the Second Congo War, maintained Joseph Kabila as President and head of state of the Congo. An interim administration was set up under him, including the leaders of the country's two main rebel groups as vice-presidents (two other vice-presidents were representatives of the civilian opposition and government supporters respectively).

Kabila in 2002, with Thabo Mbeki, George W. Bush, and Paul Kagame

On March 28, 2003, an apparent coup attempt or mutiny around the capital Kinshasa, allegedly on the part of members of the former guard of former president Mobutu Sese Seko (who had been ousted by Kabila's father in 1997 and died in the same year), failed.[3] On June 11, 2004, coup plotters led by Major Eric Lenge allegedly attempted to take power and announced on state radio that the transitional government was suspended, but were defeated by loyalist troops.[4][5]

In December 2005, a partial referendum approved a new constitution, and a presidential election was held on July 30, 2006 (having been delayed from an earlier date in June).[6] The new constitution lowers the minimum age of presidential candidates from 35 to 30; Kabila turned 35 shortly before the election. In March 2006, he registered as a candidate.[7]. Although the new constitution stipulates that a debate be held between the two remaining candidates for the presidency, no debates took place and this was declared by many as unconstitutional.

According to widely disputed provisional results announced on August 20, Kabila won 45% of the vote; his main opponent, vice-president and former rebel leader Jean-Pierre Bemba, won 20%. The irregularities surrounding the elections results prompted [8]a run-off vote between Kabila and Bemba which was held on October 29. On November 15, the electoral commission announced the official results and Kabila was declared the winner, with 58.05% of the vote.[9]. These results were confirmed by the Supreme Court on November 27, 2006, and Kabila was inaugurated on December 6, 2006 as the country's newly elected President.[10]. He named Antoine Gizenga, who placed third in the first round of the presidential election (and then backed Kabila in the second round) as prime minister on December 30.[11]

Although Kabila registered as an independent, he is the "initiator" of the People's Party for Reconstruction and Democracy (PPRD), which chose him as their candidate to the election.

In response to accusations that sex crimes had been committed by the Congolese military, he pointed out that 300 soldiers have been convicted of sex crimes, although he admitted that is not enough.[12]

Wedding

On June 1, 2006, after many wedding rumors were fueled by many in top positions in the country, the head of the Presidential Household, Ambassador Theodore Mugalu officially announced the wedding of the President to Ms. Olive Lembe di Sita. The wedding ceremonies took place on June 17, 2006. [1] Mr. Kabila and his spouse have a daughter, born in 2001, named Sifa after Kabila's mother.

As President Kabila is Protestant(Anglican), and Ms. Lembe di Sita is Catholic, the wedding ceremonies were ecumenical, and were therefore officiated by both the Catholic Archbishop of Kinshasa, Cardinal Frederic Etsou Bamungwabi, and Pierre Marini Bodho – Presiding Bishop of the Church of Christ in Congo, the umbrella church for most Protestant denominations in the Congo, known within the country simply as "The Protestant Church".

References

External links

Political offices
Preceded by
Laurent-Désiré Kabila
President of the Congo-Kinshasa
2001–present
Incumbent

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