President Laurent Desire Kabila was killed on January 16, 2001. After several days of stonewalling, the death was confirmed, and Joseph Kabila was announced as his successor.
The official position is that Kabila was killed by Rachidi Kasereka, a member of the presidential bodyguard and that Kasereka himself was killed immediately thereafter. Kasereka, 26 years old, was from North Kivu.
Reports from Kinshasa said that Congolese soldiers were disarmed and confined to their barracks at Kinshasa’s main military bases, Camps Tshatshi and Kokolo, on the eve of the assassination apparently on orders from General Nawej Yav, army commander for the capital.
Until now there is another key question answered: why was Kasereka killed on the spot apparently by Colonel Edy Kapend, Kabila’s aide de camp, rather than being captured and interrogated?
Several leading regime figures were arrested on suspicion of involvement in the assassination, including Col. Kapend and General Nawej.
Twenty-two men convicted over the 2001 assassination of former DRC President Laurent-Desire Kabila including Edy Kapend were released on January 8, from prison after receiving pardons from the current head of state Felix Tshisekedi.