Congo. According to
Countryaah, President Laurent-Désiré Kabila acted increasingly
authoritarian. In February he sent opposition leader Etienne
Tshisekedi in exile and in February he dissolved the human
rights organization AZADHO.
Due to the fact that its commission was hindered in its
work in April, the UN canceled the investigation into the
Rwandan Hutu massacres that Kabila's troops were suspected
to have carried out during the 1996-97 war. However, the
Commission was able to present a report in which the Kabila
troops were accused of systematic murders of civilian Hutus.
In the Kivu provinces in the east, in February, clashes
broke out between local militias and Rwanda-supported
domestic Tutsis, banyamulenge, with the help of Kabila
coming to power. Now Kabila turned from banyamulenge, who in
March floated up in the mountains in the face of the threat
of relocation to other parts of the country, where they felt
threatened to life. The schism between Kabila and the Tutsis
worsened as he began to dismiss the Rwandan military
advisers who helped him to power. In July, when he forced
all Rwandan soldiers out of the country, banyamulenge
revolted and was supported by dissidents from Kabila's own
The rebels quickly laid down large parts of eastern K.
and opened a second front in the west, where they took off
in hijacked aircraft. After only a couple of weeks, they
stood on the Atlantic coast and mastered the supply route to
Kinshasa. Formerly unknown teacher Ernest Wamba dia Wamba
was promoted as leader of the rebel's newly formed political
organization Assembly for a Democratic Congo. The war turned
when Angola, Zimbabwe and Namibia intervened on Kabila's
side. Now the rebels were driven away from western K., but
in the east the war continued, and towards the end of the
year the rebels gave up control of the entire eastern half
of the country.
The conflict threatened to develop into a major war in
the autumn. Chad also sent troops in support of Kabila,
while the rebels were supported by Rwanda and Uganda. These
two countries had supported Kabila in the war against K's
former dictator Mobutu Sese Seko and made the same demands
now as then: to stop the militia attacking their border
areas from bases in K.
An agreement on a ceasefire was concluded at a summit in
Paris in late November, but as no fundamental problems were
resolved, the fighting continued. Kabila regarded Rwanda and
Uganda as attackers and refused to negotiate with the
rebels. Rwanda and Uganda did not want to withdraw their
troops until their borders were secured. African countries'
continued mediation efforts in December were also