Republic of the Congo
République du Congo
Democratic Republic of the Congo
République démocratique du Congo
|Motto: "Justice – Paix – Travail" (French)|
"Justice – Peace – Work"
|Anthem: Debout Congolais (French)|
|Capital||Kinshasa (named Léopoldville till 1966)|
|Government|| Parliamentary republic (until 1965)|
Military dictatorship (from 1965)
• 1960, 1961
|Historical era||Cold War|
|30 June 1960|
|30 December 1961|
|16 January 1962|
|15 January 1963|
• Country renamed DRC
|1 August 1964|
|25 November 1965|
|27 October 1971|
|Currency|| Congolese franc (until 1967)|
|ISO 3166 code||CG|
|Today part of||Democratic Republic of the Congo|
|History of the Democratic Republic of the Congo|
|See also: Years|
The Republic of the Congo (French : République du Congo) was a sovereign state in Central Africa, created with the independence of the Belgian Congo in 1960. From 1960 to 1966, the country was also known as Congo-Léopoldville (after its capital) to distinguish it from its northwestern neighbor, which is also called the Republic of the Congo, alternatively known as "Congo-Brazzaville". In 1964, the state's official name was changed to the Democratic Republic of the Congo, but the two countries continued to be distinguished by their capitals; with the renaming of Léopoldville as Kinshasa in 1966, it became also known as Congo-Kinshasa. After Joseph Désiré Mobutu, later Mobutu Sese Seko, commander-in-chief of the national army, seized control of the country, it became the Republic of Zaire in 1971. It would again become the Democratic Republic of the Congo in 1997. The period between 1960 and 1965 is referred to as the First Congolese Republic.
Conditions in the Congo improved following the Belgian government's takeover in 1908 of the Congo Free State, which had been a personal possession of the Belgian king. Some Bantu languages were taught in primary schools, a rare occurrence in colonial education. Colonial doctors greatly reduced the spread of African trypanosomiasis, commonly known as sleeping sickness.
During World War II, the small Congolese army achieved several victories against the Italians in East Africa. The Belgian Congo, which was also rich in uranium deposits, supplied the uranium that was used by the United States to build the atomic weapons that were used in the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August 1945.
The colonial administration implemented a variety of economic reforms to improve infrastructure: railways, ports, roads, mines, plantations and industrial areas. The Congolese people, however, lacked political power and faced legal discrimination. All colonial policies were decided in Brussels and Léopoldville. The Belgian Colony-secretary and Governor-general, neither elected by the Congolese people, wielded absolute power.
Among the Congolese people, resistance against their undemocratic regime grew over time. In 1955, the Congolese upper class (the so-called "évolués"), many of whom had been educated in Europe, initiated a campaign to end the inequality.
In May 1960, the MNC party or Mouvement National Congolais, led by Patrice Lumumba, won the parliamentary elections, and Lumumba was appointed Prime Minister. Joseph Kasa-Vubu of ABAKO was elected president by the parliament. Other parties that emerged include the Parti Solidaire Africain (PSA), led by Antoine Gizenga, and the Parti National du Peuple (PNP), led by Albert Delvaux and Laurent Mbariko.
The Belgian Congo achieved independence on 30 June 1960. On 1 July Lumumba sent a wire to the UN to request membership, stating that the Congo "accepts without reservation the obligations stipulated in the Charter of the UN and undertakes to abide by the same in absolute good faith."UN Secretary-General Dag Hammarskjöld cabled the Foreign Ministry, pointing out the difficulty in admitting the country into the UN under its name in the face of another application for membership from the neighboring Congo, preparing for independence from French control. A delegation was sent from Brazzaville, the capital of the French Congo, to Léopoldville to resolve the matter. In the end, it was decided that the former Belgian Congo would be recognised as the Republic of the Congo or Congo-Léopoldville while the former French Congo would be known as the Congolese Republic or Congo-Brazzaville. Following a constitutional referendum in 1964 it was renamed the "Democratic Republic of the Congo", and in 1971 it was changed again to "Republic of Zaïre".
Shortly after independence, the provinces of Katanga (with Moise Tshombe) and South Kasai engaged in secessionist struggles against the new leadership.
Subsequent events led to a crisis between President Kasa-Vubu and Prime Minister Lumumba. On 5 September 1960, Kasavubu dismissed Lumumba from office. Lumumba declared Kasa-Vubu's action "unconstitutional" and a crisis between the two leaders developed.
Lumumba had previously appointed Joseph Mobutu chief of staff of the new Congolese army, the Armee Nationale Congolaise (ANC). Taking advantage of the leadership crisis between Kasa-Vubu and Lumumba, Mobutu garnered enough support within the army to inspire mutinous action. With financial support from the United States and Belgium, Mobutu made payments to his soldiers to generate their loyalty. The aversion of Western powers towards communism and leftist ideology, in general, influenced their decision to finance Mobutu's quest to maintain "order" in the new state by neutralizing Kasa-Vubu and Lumumba in a coup by proxy.
On 17 January 1961, Katangan forces, supported by the Belgian government, which desired to retain mining rights for copper and diamonds in Katanga and South Kasai, and the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), which desired to remove leftist sympathizers from the region, assassinated Patrice Lumumba. [ page needed ] From 1960 to 1964 the peacekeeping effort was the largest, most complex, and most costly operation ever carried out by the United Nations.
Following five years of extreme instability and civil unrest, Joseph-Désiré Mobutu, then Lieutenant General, overthrew Kasa-Vubu in a 1965 CIA-backed coup.He had the support of the US for his staunch opposition to communism, which would presumably make him a roadblock to communist activities in Africa.
Mobutu declared himself president for five years, saying that he needed that long to undo the damage that the politicians had done in the country's first five years of independence. However, within two years, he had set up the Popular Movement of the Revolution as the country's only legal party. In 1970, he appeared alone on the ballot in the country's first direct presidential election. Two weeks later, a single list of PMR candidates was elected to the legislature. For all intents and purposes, the Democratic Republic of the Congo had effectively come to an end, but it would be another year before Mobutu officially changed the country's name to Zaire.
Patrice Émery Lumumba was a Congolese politician and independence leader who served as the first Prime Minister of the independent Democratic Republic of the Congo from June until September 1960. He played a significant role in the transformation of the Congo from a colony of Belgium into an independent republic. Ideologically an African nationalist and pan-Africanist, he led the Congolese National Movement (MNC) party from 1958 until his assassination.
Joseph Kasa-Vubu, alternatively Joseph Kasavubu, was a Congolese politician who served as the first President of the Democratic Republic of the Congo from 1960 until 1965.
Moïse Kapend Tshombe was a Congolese businessman and politician. He served as the president of the secessionist State of Katanga from 1960 to 1963 and as prime minister of the Democratic Republic of the Congo from 1964 to 1965.
Cyrille Adoula was a Congolese trade unionist and politician. He was the prime minister of the Republic of the Congo, from 2 August 1961 until 30 June 1964.
The Congolese National Movement was a political party in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
The Congo Crisis was a period of political upheaval and conflict in the Republic of the Congo between 1960 and 1965. The crisis began almost immediately after the Congo became independent from Belgium and ended, unofficially, with the entire country under the rule of Joseph-Désiré Mobutu. Constituting a series of civil wars, the Congo Crisis was also a proxy conflict in the Cold War, in which the Soviet Union and the United States supported opposing factions. Around 100,000 people are believed to have been killed during the crisis.
South Kasai was an unrecognised secessionist state within the Republic of the Congo which was semi-independent between 1960 and 1962. Initially proposed as only a province, South Kasai sought full autonomy in similar circumstances to the much larger neighbouring state of Katanga, to its south, during the political turmoil arising from the independence of the Belgian Congo known as the Congo Crisis. Unlike Katanga, however, South Kasai did not explicitly declare full independence from the Republic of the Congo or reject Congolese sovereignty.
Lawrence Raymond Devlin, known as Larry Devlin, was a Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) field officer. Stationed for many years in Africa, he was CIA station chief in the Democratic Republic of the Congo during the Congo Crisis.
Évariste Leon Kimba Mutombo was a Congolese journalist and politician who served as Foreign Minister of the State of Katanga from 1960 to 1963 and Prime Minister of the Democratic Republic of the Congo from 13 October to 25 November 1965. Kimba was born in 1926 in Katanga Province, Belgian Congo. Following the completion of his studies he worked as a journalist and became editor-in-chief of the Essor du Congo. In 1958 he and a group of Katangese concerned about domination of their province by people from the neighbouring Kasaï region founded the Confédération des associations tribales du Katanga (CONAKAT), a regionalist political party. In 1960 the Congo became independent and shortly thereafter Moise Tshombe declared the secession of the State of Katanga. Kimba played an active role in the separatist state's government as its Minister of Foreign Affairs and participated in numerous talks with the central government aimed at political reconciliation. Following the collapse of the secession in early 1963, Kimba had a falling out with Tshombe and took up several ministerial posts in the new province of South Katanga.
This is a history of the Kasai region in the Democratic Republic of Congo and of the political divisions which have occupied it since human settlement began.
The Speech at the Ceremony of the Proclamation of the Congo's Independence was a short political speech given by Patrice Lumumba on 30 June 1960 at the ceremonies marking the independence of the Republic of Congo from Belgium. It is best known for its outspoken criticism of colonialism.
Thomas Rudolphe Kanza or Nsenga Kanza was a Congolese diplomat. He was one of the first Congolese nationals to graduate from a university. From 1960–1962 he served as the Democratic Republic of the Congo 's first ambassador to the United Nations and from 1962–1964 was a delegate to the United Kingdom. His opposition to the governments of Moïse Tshombe and Joseph-Désiré Mobutu led him to first rebel and ultimately flee the Congo. He returned in 1983 and resumed politics. From Mobutu's ousting in 1997 until his own death, Kanza served in diplomatic roles for the Congo.
Jean Bolikango, later Bolikango Akpolokaka Gbukulu Nzete Nzube, was a Congolese educator, writer, and conservative politician. He served twice as Deputy Prime Minister of the Republic of the Congo, in September 1960 and from February to August 1962. Enjoying substantial popularity among the Bangala people, he headed the Parti de l'Unité Nationale and worked as a key opposition member in Parliament in the early 1960s.
Justin Kokolo-Longo was a Congolese military officer who briefly served as deputy chief of staff of the Armée Nationale Congolaise.
The Lumumba Government, also known as the Lumumba Ministry or Lumumba Cabinet, was the first set of ministers, ministers of state, and secretaries of state that governed the Democratic Republic of the Congo under the leadership of Prime Minister Patrice Lumumba from 24 June until 12 September 1960. The government inherited many problems from the era of the Belgian Congo, a tightly administered colony which for most of its existence had few political freedoms. Its members came from different social classes, different tribes, and held varied political beliefs. Weak and divided, its tenure was dominated by a widespread mutiny in the army and two secessions. An exodus of thousands of Belgian functionaries—who had controlled most of the bureaucracy—left the administration in disarray. The United Nations created a large multinational peacekeeping force to assist the government in reestablishing law and order. Western nations were under the impression that Lumumba was a communist, and the United States, Belgium, and France all worked to undermine and divide his government. Domestic opposition to the government cemented by late July, and Lumumba increasingly relied on only a few advisers, and rarely consulted the full Council of Ministers; several members of the government began acting without his direction. He resorted to increasingly authoritarian measures to maintain control over the country.
Rémy Mwamba (1921–1967) was a Congolese politician who twice served as Minister of Justice of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. He was also a leading figure of the Association Générale des Baluba du Katanga (BALUBAKAT).
On 5 July 1960, soldiers of the garrisons of Léopoldville and Thysville of the Force Publique, the army of the newly independent Democratic Republic of the Congo mutinied against their white officers. The revolt quickly spread throughout the Lower Congo and engulfed the country in disorder, beginning the Congo Crisis.
On 5 September 1960 President Joseph Kasa-Vubu of the Democratic Republic of the Congo dismissed Prime Minister Patrice Lumumba from office. He also dismissed six other members of his government: Deputy Prime Minister Antoine Gizenga, Minister of Justice Rémy Mwamba, Minister of Interior Christophe Gbenye, Minister of Information Anicet Kashamura, Secretary of State Antoine-Roger Bolamba, and Secretary of State Jacques Lumbala.
The Lumumba Government was the first set of ministers, ministers of state, and secretaries of state that governed the Democratic Republic of the Congo under the leadership of Prime Minister Patrice Lumumba from 24 June until 12 September 1960. It was hastily formed over the period of several weeks in June, and was supported by a slight majority coalition in Parliament. Weak and divided, its tenure was dominated by a widespread mutiny in the army and two secessions.
In August 1960 troops of the Republic of the Congo attempted to crush the secession of South Kasai by invading the declared state's territory. Though initially militarily successful, the attack faltered under intense international and domestic political scrutiny and the Congolese troops were withdrawn.