In 1960, the DRC gained independence from King Leopold II and Belgium after nationalist uprisings in now called Kinshasa. The newly independent Congo quickly became plagued with scandal, corruption, and civil conflict. In 1965, Joseph Mobuto becomes President in a coup d’état, renames the Zaire, and remains in power for 32 years. In 1994, the Rwandan genocide had a significant negative impact on Zaire as Rwandan Hutus, including genocidaires entering the Eastern DRC. In 1996, Rwandan-backed, Congolese Tutsi rebels capture most of eastern Zaire and in 1997, capture the capital of Kinshasa during the First Congo War. Laurent-Desire Kabila is named President of the newly renamed Democratic Republic of the Congo. However, there is no lasting peace. The following year Kabila demands that his Rwandan army backers leave the country and less than a week later, Rwandan and Ugandan backed armies begin the Second Congo War. President Kabila receives support from Zimbabwe, Namibia and Angola. The six countries involved sign a peace accord in Lusaka, Zambia in 1999.In 2001, President Kabila is assassinated by a bodyguard, and his son, Joseph takes office. In 2003, Joseph Kabila was sworn in as interim president and official elections were scheduled for 2005. The following year, the first free elections were held and Kabila wins a runoff president elections. In 2011, presidential elections give Kabila another term, however, this vote received both domestic and international criticism and opposition over the results. While violent clashes continue in the east, dozens are killed in protests in 2015 against changes to electoral law that would allow Kabila to remain in power. Opposition over elections erupted again in 2016, when President Kabila signed a deal to delay elections until 2018. Meanwhile, violent conflict continues in the eastern DRC, and some 1.7 million had to flee their homes in 2017 alone.

Read the Report: 2018 Conflict Risk Diagnostic: Democratic Republic of Congo