History of the DRC
1960: Democratic Republic of Congo gains independence from Belgium and Prime Minister Patrice Lumumba is elected into power. Moise Tshombe also declares Katanga to be an independent state.
1961: Within three months of Lumumba coming to power he is assassinated and UN troops are deployed to disarm Katangese soldiers.
1965: Mobutu comes to power in a coup and begins a totalitarianism regime that attempts to rid the country of all Belgium influence.
1989: The Democratic Republic of Congo defaults on its loan payments to Belgium resulting in severe deterioration of the economy.
1991: Mobutu agrees to a coalition government with opposition parties but demands that he retain control of army forces.
1994: Kengo Wa Dondo, an advocate of free-market reforms, is appointed Prime Minister. Tens of thousands of Tutsis from neighboring Rwanda flee the genocide and seek refuge in Zaire. Tutsi rebels take control of Rwanda. It is estimated that nearly 12,000 people die in a huge Rwandan refugee camp.
1996: Tutsi rebels attack and gain control of a large amount of Eastern Zaire.
1998: Kabila purges the government of all Tutsis which went on to enrage Rwanda and Uganda. Despite Kabila receiving help from other countries, the rebels still manage to capture large amounts of land from Eastern Congo.
2001: It is estimated that the conflict has killed nearly 2.5million people between the years of 1998-2001. This has been the most costly war since WWII. The UN believes the warring parties are deliberately prolonging the conflict in order to plunder more resources.
2004: Widespread riots begin in protest at the UN, and rebel fighting intensifies. There are also more allegations of sexual exploitation or women and children.
2006: The Democratic Republic of Congo clashes with the forces of General Laurent Nkunda displacing thousands because of the conflict.
2007: Renegade leader Nkunda begins to integrate his troops into the national army, and turns against government forces again. Later that year a massacre in South Kivu occurs by the Hutu-dominated Rwandan rebel group.
2008: Peace talks between Nkunda and government forces breaks down resulting in fighting that displaces thousands more. A campaign by Nkunda to consolidate control over the East prompts a new wave of refugees, sexual violence, and looting.
2009: Human Rights Watch accuses the Congolese army of war crimes against civilians and arrest NKunda. Ex-Vice President Jean-Pierre Bemba to stand trial on charges of war crimes.
2010: Forensic experts in DR Congo to seek further evidence of a Tutsi-led genocide. The UNHCR and DR Congo government launch vast distribution of to refugees aimed at strengthening their rights.