6 December 2006
Joseph Kabila was inaugurated as president of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). Kabila was the country's first democratically elected president in over forty years. President Thabo Mbeki, who played a major role in the peaceful solution of the civil war, attended the colourful ceremony as well as eight other African leaders. United Nations (UN) Deputy Secretary-General Jean-Marie Guehenno, who represented 17,600 peacekeepers overseeing the elections, the largest UN force ever deployed in the world, was also present. Cannons fired salutes as the first president of the Supreme Court, Benoit Lwamba, gave Kabila the heraldic symbols of the republic and traditional chiefs from the vast country's eleven provinces took turns to congratulate him.