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Joseph Linguma

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His Excellency

Joseph Linguma
Évariste-Prince FUNGA MOLIMA MWATA.jpg
President of the Democratic Republic of the Congo
In office
20 July 1999 – 30 December 2016
Preceded by Louis Alphonse Sankuru
Succeeded by Jean-Jacques Kanyama
Personal details
Born (1971-04-02) April 2, 1971 (age 52)
Sakania, Katanga Province
Nationality Congolese
Political party Christian Democratic Party
Alma mater Sorbonne University
Royal Military Academy (Belgium)
Military service
Allegiance Flag of Zaire.svg Democratic Republic of the Congo
Branch/service Land Forces
Years of service 1988—1999
Rank Major general
Battles/wars Congo War

Joseph Linguma (born 4 February 1971) is a Congolese general and politician who served as the President of the Democratic Republic of the Congo from 1999 to 2016. Originally he had joined the Armed Forces of Zaire during the rule of Mobutu Sese Seko and studied in Belgium at the Royal Military Academy, from 1988 to 1991. After his return he served in a paratrooper regiment, and during the Congo War in 1996 he organised the only effective defense against Rwandan military forces as the rest of the Zairian army collapsed. This made him a popular young commander (being only in his twenties at the time), and after the brief presidency of the Rwandan rebel leader Laurent-Désiré Kabila, his successor Louis Alphonse Sankuru appointed Linguma as Chief of Army Staff. He solidified his support base in the Congolese military, and in 1999 he defeated Sankuru in the presidential election.