The First Congo War (1996–1997) was a foreign invasion of Zaire led by Rwanda that replaced a decades-long dictator, Mobutu Sésé Seko with the rebel leader Laurent-Désiré Kabila. Destabilization in eastern Zaire that resulted from the Rwandan Genocide was the final factor that caused numerous internal and external factors to align against the corrupt and inept government in the capital, Kinshasa.
The new government renamed the country to the Democratic Republic of the Congo, but it brought little true change. Kabila alienated his Rwandan and Ugandan allies. To avert a coup, Kabila expelled all Rwandan and Ugandan forces from the Congo. This event was a major cause of the Second Congo War the following year. Some experts prefer to view the two conflicts as one war.