In Jan. 2001, Kabila was assassinated, allegedly by one of his bodyguards. His young and inexperienced son Joseph became the new president. He demonstrated a willingness to engage in talks to end the civil war. In April 2002, the government agreed to a power-sharing arrangement with Ugandan-supported rebels and signed a peace accord with Rwanda and Uganda. More than 2.5 million people are estimated to have died in the Congos complex four-year civil war, which involved seven foreign armies and numerous rebel groups that often fought among themselves.
On July 17, 2003, the Congos new power-sharing government was inaugurated, but the fighting and killing continued. In April 2003, hundreds of civilians were massacred in the eastern province of Ituri in an ethnic conflict. In 2004, an insurgency in Bukavu erupted, other areas of the Congo grew restive, and Rwanda continued to support various rebel groups fighting the government. By the end of 2004, the death toll from the conflict had reached 3.8 million.