[QODLink]
Africa
Profile: Joseph Kabila
For his age, Joseph Kabila has risen exceptionally high in life.
Last Modified: 06 Dec 2006 18:37 GMT

Joseph Kabila, 35, is now the president of a vast, muddled, war-torn country that is the Democratic Republic of Congo [DRC].

 

Born on June 4, 1971 in the Sud-Kivu province of eastern DRC, Kabila was schooled in Sud-Kivu and then in English-speaking Tanzania, where he grew up and underwent military training.

 

In 1996, he began law studies in the Ugandan capital Kampala, but that same year his father launched a rebel war to overthrow Mobutu Sese Seko, in what was then Zaire.

  

Military career

 

Kabila joined his father, who presented the young officer as his advisor. Joseph pursued his military career in the shadow of James Kabarebe, a Rwandan army officer who became army chief to the elder Kabila when he toppled the Mobutu regime and took power.

  

Already promoted general, Kabila was sent to China for further military training, but his studies came to an abrupt end when an insurgency broke out against his father on August 2, 1998.

 

Kabila senior's one-time allies Rwanda and Uganda were now backing rebel forces in the far east of a country the size of Western Europe.

  

After the murder of his father - who had secured military support from Angola, Namibia and Zimbabwe - Kabila called for peace with Rwanda and Uganda and the DRC war began to end with the signing of a global peace pact in Pretoria, South Africa, on December 17,  2002.

  

Political career

 

The young soldier made a rapid transition into politics, and was named under the accord to head a government including former armed foes like Bemba, whose rebels had enjoyed Ugandan support.

  

Though his detractors play up Kabila's years in exile and his poor command of Lingala, a main language in the west, he faced down allegations that he was directly involved in the allocation of lucrative mining contracts to foreign companies to the detriment of his plundered nation.

  

Kabila has often said that he acts for the good of the DRC, and that the people would judge his record at the polls.

  

An stern non-drinker and non-smoker, Joseph Kabila married Marie Olive Lembe di Sita, 27, with whom he has one daughter.

Source:
Agencies
Topics in this article
People
Featured on Al Jazeera
An innovative rehabilitation programme offers Danish fighters in Syria an escape route and help without prosecution.
Street tension between radical Muslims and Holland's hard right rises, as Islamic State anxiety grows.
Take an immersive look at the challenges facing the war-torn country as US troops begin their withdrawal.
Ministers and MPs caught on camera sleeping through important speeches have sparked criticism that they are not working.
Featured
Spirits are high in Scotland's 'Whisky Capital of the World' with one distillery thirsty for independence.
President Poroshenko arrives in Washington on Thursday with money and military aid on his mind, analysts say.
Early players in private medicine often focused on volume over quality, turning many Chinese off for-profit care.
Al Jazeera asked people across Scotland what they think about the prospect of splitting from the United Kingdom.
Blogger critical of a lack of government transparency faces defamation lawsuit from Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.
join our mailing list