16 January 2001
On 16 January 2001, Laurent Kabila President of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) was killed by gunshot.  According to reports Kabila was shot by one of his bodyguards in front of army generals, following a dispute in which he had sacked them. It was later confirmed that the incident was not a coup attempt, but an argument that got out of hand. His son Joseph Kabila took over the reins of power as DRC President. Joseph was very young at the time he became head of state, and many people had no confidence in him.

Kabila became President of Zaire after the death of Mobutu Sese Seko in 1997. He wasted no time in making changes as he also renamed the country, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

Knight, J. & Parks, R., ‘Laurent-Désiré Kabila’, from Answers.com, [online], Available at www.answers.com [Accessed: 02 December 2011]|Talbot C., (2001), ‘The Congo: President Kabila assassinated’, from World Socialist Web Site, 18 January [online], Available at www.wsws.org [Accessed: 02 December 2011]