Deals that trade mining concessions for arms from Russia and China were arranged privately during the period of the coalition government by Zanu-PF leaders, who kept them from their partners in government, the Movement for Democratic Change (MDF).
Kinshasa awoke on 29 December to the sound of gunfire. It was a classic attack, in the manner of so many past African coups d’état, on the three keystones of power: the headquarters of the Radio-télévision Nationale Congolaise, Ndjili International Airport and the Colonel Tshatshi army base. By midday, President Joseph Kabila’s elite Republican Guard had restored control. Dangerous tensions remain.