2016 Democratic Republic of the Congo coup d'état (URC)

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Rising unpopularity of Joseph Kabila, dissatisfied population

2016 Congolese coup d'état
Joseph Khamisi and troops

June 9, 2016


June 11, 2016


Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo


President Joseph Kabila overthrown, Major General Joseph Khamisi is worn into office as the new president

Major battles:

Skirmish in Kinshasa


Congolese flag Republican Guard

Congolese flag 7th, 8th, & 11th Brigades of the Congolese army


President Joseph Kabila

Major General Joseph Khamisi


The 2016 Congolese coup d'état was a military coup that took place in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, starting on June 9, 2016, and ending two days later on June 11. Joseph Kabila, then president of the DR Congo, was ousted and replaced by Major General Joseph Khamisi, after massive riots in Kinshasa due to Kabila's unpopularity. The coup was carried out by soldiers of the 7th, 8th, and 11th Brigades of the land forces of DR Congo. Kabila was defended by 1,200 troops of the Republican Guard. The Brigades amounted to nearly 50,000 troops, which overran his palace and killed 547 Republican Guards (the rest surrendered). President Kabila was found and killed on June 10. On June 11, Khamisi was sworn into office as the new president, without any elections. The Congolese people did not mind, because of how unpopular Kabila was by that point.


President Joseph Kabila implemented several unpopular policies as early as 2014, such as a law defending the corporations prospecting in various regions of the Congo, amid numerous human rights violations made by them. The GDP of the DR Congo dropped by $3.2 billion that year and 2015. Crime had increased, especially corruption in the police and armed forces. The people dislikes him greatly, and his approval rating was at 26%.

Day One (June 9)

Major General Joseph Khamisi, an army officer, was a veteran of the M23 rebellion in the eastern DR Congo, which ended in November 2013, and the chief of staff of the 1st Military Region. He was greatly dissatisfied, and also wanted the country to prosper. On June 9, he led the 7th, 8th, and 11th Brigades of the land forces in Kinshasa. No resistance from police was given. They surrounded the city, though let people pass. Government vehicles, however, were stopped no searched by armed soldiers. Several ministers close to Kabila were taken into custody. Troops closed in on the presidential palace. The palace's electricity was cut off.

Day Two (June 10)

The 8th Brigade, consisting of roughly 20,000 troops, surrounded and began attacking the palace. Khamisi wanted the least damage as possible to the capitol. The palace was defended by about a thousand Republican Guards. In the palace grounds, a firefight broke out, with several hundred guards and soldiers dying. Gunshots were heard throughout Kinshasa and people realized what was happening. Kabila attempted to escape, but failed, and hid outside the palace. As the soldiers stormed the palace, several more guardsmen were killed, but most complied and surrendered. A significant amount joined the army in it's search for Kabila. Meanwhile, General Khamisi went on live television and explained what was happening.

Day Three (June 11)

In the early morning hours of June 11, the soldiers found Kabila in the lower levels. He attempted to escape, but was shot by guardsmen, ironically. Khamisi announced his death, and the parliament voted him in as president (not that they had a choice). In the rest of the Congo, nothing really was affected.



The Congolese people were mostly glad, seeing the corrupt Joseph Kabila deposed, and thus did not care too much that there was no election; Khamisi resigned from the army and was sworn in as president. The military and government pledged loyalty to him in the days following. Many Kabila supporters in the government were sacked.


  • Republic of Congo flagRepublic of the Congo: The president expressed interest in the development, and said he wished to strengthen relations with the new DR Congolese president. The foreign minister met with his DR Congo counterpart on June 28.
  • SudanIslamic Republic of Sudan: The Sudanese government was "displeased" with Kabila's death, being a supporter of his regime. However, the president of Sudan said he would have met with Khamisi if he was not wanted by the International Criminal Court.
  • Flag of AngolaRepublic of Angola: The Angolan government, similarly to Sudan, were not pleased with the regime change but said they would continue to work with the DRC.
  • South SudanRepublic of South Sudan: The president of South Sudan congratulated the country on "freeing itself" from the "oppressive dictator" Kabila and said he would like to increase cooperation with the DRC.
  • Egypt flagArab Republic of Egypt: The interim president of Egypt stated that relations will resume after the United Nations comments.
  • United States FlagUnited States of America: The Secretary of State stated that relations with the DRC will remain normal after a visit to Kinshasa. US troops would remain in the country.
  • Flag of FranceRepublic of France: The French government condemned the coup, stating that it was illegal.
  • United Kingdom FlagUnited Kingdom: The UK said that relations will continue normally, though may be reviewed with President Khamisi.
  • Italy flagRepublic of Italy: The Italian government stated it wished for DR Congo to control the immigrants leaving it's country, as Italy has a migration problem from Africa.
  • Russia flagRussian Federation: The foreign minister and minister of defence visited Kinshasa, and Khamisi stated that relations with Russia will be strengthened greatly. A military drill was planned between them.
  • ChinaPeople's Republic of China: The Chinese Communist Party said that it was a "positive development" for Africa.
  • CanadaCanada: Relations were established with the DRC following the coup.
  • Flag of BrazilFederative Republic of Brazil: The a Brazilian government hinted that Congo may want to try to join BRICS in the future.

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