Democratic Republic of Congo profile

President: Joseph Kabila

DR Congo President Joseph Kabila Joseph Kabila is Africa's youngest head of state

Joseph Kabila became president when his father Laurent was assassinated in 2001. He was elected in 2006, and secured another term in controversial elections in 2011.

Mr Kabila has enjoyed the clear support of western governments, regional allies such as South Africa and Angola, and mining groups that have signed multi-million dollar deals under his rule.

He fought alongside his father in a military campaign from the east that toppled dictator Mobutu Sese Seko in 1997 after more than 20 years of despotic, whimsical and corrupt rule.

But when Laurent Kabila was killed by a bodyguard in 2001, his soft-spoken, publicity-shy son, who underwent military training in China, was thrust into the political limelight and installed as the world's youngest head of state.

Mr Kabila has promised to rule by consensus to try to heal the scars of Congo's many conflicts. Although revered in the Swahili-speaking east, where he is widely credited with helping to end the 1998-2013 wars, he is less liked in the west.

More on This Story

Related Stories

More Africa stories

RSS

Features

  • Atletico's Diego Godin celebrates his goal with teammate David VillaWeek in pictures

    Selection of the best news photographs from around the world


  • Susanne du ToitTop 10 Tips

    Portrait painter Susanne du Toit on being an artist


  • StampsPost Independence

    Will stamps get cheaper if Scots go it alone?


  • Rhea10 things

    Rhea birds can be extremely dangerous, plus other factlets


  • Plane at Shannon airportShannon's call

    The airport that hosted a roll-call of presidents


BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.