Zaire

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Republic of Zairea

République du Zaïre  (French)
Repubilika ya Zaïre  (Kongo)
Republíki ya Zaïre  (Lingala)
Jamhuri ya Zaïre  (Swahili)
Ditunga dia Zaïre  (Luba-Katanga)
1971–1997
Zaire Coat of Arms.svg
Coat of arms
Motto: Paix Justice Travail [1]   
"Peace Justice Work"
Anthem:  La Zaïroise
"The Song of Zaire"
Republic of Zaire (orthographic projection).svg
Capital Kinshasa
Common languages
Religion
Christianity, Baluba religion, Bantu religion, Islam
Demonym(s) Zairian
Government
President  
 1971–1997
Mobutu Sese Seko
Legislature Legislative Council
Historical era Cold War
24 November 1965
 Country renamed
27 October 1971
16 May 1997
 Death of Mobutu
7 September 1997
Area
19712,345,410 km2 (905,570 sq mi)
Population
 1971
18,400,000 [2]
 1996
46,498,539
Currency Zaïre
Time zone CET  / EET
Calling code243
Internet TLD .zr
Preceded by
Succeeded by
Flag of Congo-Kinshasa (1966-1971).svg Democratic Republic of the Congo
Democratic Republic of the Congo Flag of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (1997-2003).svg
MONUSCO Flag of United Nations.svg
Today part ofFlag of the Democratic Republic of the Congo.svg  DR Congo
a. Renamed from "Democratic Republic of the Congo" (République démocratique du Congo) on 27 October 1971.
b. Changed from Léopoldville in 1966.
c. Zaire became a de jure one-party state on 23 December 1970, [3] but had been a de facto one-party state since May 20, 1967, the date on which the MPR (Mouvement Populaire de la Revolution) was established. Zaire formally adopted a multiparty system on April 24, 1990, [4] when Mobutu delivered a speech proclaiming the end of the one-party system. The country adopted a three-party system de jure with the passage of Law No. 90-002 of July 5, 1990, which amended its constitution accordingly, but retained the one-party system of the MPR de facto. [5]
Part of a series on the
History of the Democratic Republic of the Congo
Coat of arms of the Democratic Republic of the Congo.svg
Early history pre1876
Colonization 18761885
Congo Free State 18851908
Belgian Congo 19081960
Congo Crisis 19601965
Zaire 19651997
First Congo War 19961997
Second Congo War 19982003
Transitional Government 20032006
See also: Years
Flag of the Democratic Republic of the Congo.svg DRC Portal

Zaire ( /zɑːˈɪər/ ), officially the Republic of Zaire (French : République du Zaïre; French pronunciation:  [za.iʁ] ), was the name of a sovereign state between 1971 and 1997 in Central Africa that is now known as the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The country was a one-party totalitarian dictatorship, run by Mobutu Sese Seko and his ruling Popular Movement of the Revolution party. Zaire was established following Mobutu's seizure of power in a military coup in 1965, following five years of political upheaval following independence known as the Congo Crisis. Zaire had a strongly centralist constitution, and foreign assets were nationalized. The period is sometimes referred to as the Second Congolese Republic.

Contents

A wider campaign of Authenticité , ridding the country of the influences from the colonial era of the Belgian Congo, was also launched under Mobutu's direction. Weakened by the termination of American support after the end of the Cold War, Mobutu was forced to declare a new republic in 1990 to cope with demands for change. By the time of its downfall, Zaire was characterised by widespread cronyism, corruption and economic mismanagement.

Zaire collapsed in the 1990s, amid the destabilization of the eastern parts of the country in the aftermath of the Rwandan genocide and growing ethnic violence. In 1996, Laurent-Désiré Kabila , the head of the Alliance of Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Congo (AFDL) militia, led a popular rebellion against Mobutu. With rebel forces successfully making gains beyond the east, Mobutu fled the country, leaving Kabila's forces in charge as the country restored its name to the Democratic Republic of the Congo the following year. Mobutu died within four months after he fled into exile in Morocco.

Etymology

The country's name, Zaire, was derived from the name of the Congo River, sometimes called Zaire in Portuguese, which in turn was derived from the Kikongo word nzere or nzadi ("river that swallows all rivers"). [6] The use of Congo seems to have replaced Zaire gradually in English usage during the 18th century and Congo was the preferred English name in 19th-century literature, although references to Zahir or Zaire as the name used by the local population (i.e. derived from Portuguese usage) remained common. [7]

History

Mobutu

In 1965, as in 1960, the division of power in Congo-Léopoldville between President and Parliament led to a stalemate and threatened the country's stability. Joseph-Désiré Mobutu again seized power. Unlike the first time, however, Mobutu assumed the presidency, rather than remaining behind the scenes. From 1965, Mobutu dominated the political life of the country, restructuring the state on more than one occasion, and claiming the title of "Father of the Nation".

When, under the authenticity policy of the early 1970s, Zairians were obliged to adopt "authentic" names, Mobutu dropped Joseph-Désiré and officially changed his name to Mobutu Sese Seko Kuku Ngbendu Wa Za Banga, or, more commonly, Mobutu Sésé Seko, roughly meaning "the all-conquering warrior, who goes from triumph to triumph".

In retrospective justification of his 1965 seizure of power, Mobutu later summed up the record of the First Republic as one of "chaos, disorder, negligence, and incompetence". Rejection of the legacy of the First Republic went far beyond rhetoric. In the first two years of its existence, the new regime turned to the urgent tasks of political reconstruction and consolidation. Creating a new basis of legitimacy for the state, in the form of a single party, came next in Mobutu's order of priority.

A third imperative was to expand the reach of the state in the social and political realms, a process that began in 1970 and culminated in the adoption of a new constitution in 1977. By 1976, however, this effort had begun to generate its own inner contradictions, thus paving the way for the resurrection of a Bula Matari ("the breaker of rocks") system.

Constitutional changes

By 1967, Mobutu had consolidated his rule and proceeded to give the country a new constitution and a single party. The new constitution was submitted to popular referendum in June 1967 and approved by 98 percent of those voting. It provided that executive powers be centralised in the president, who was to be head of state, head of government, commander in chief of the armed forces and the police, and in charge of foreign policy.

The president was to appoint and dismiss cabinet members and determine their areas of responsibility. The ministers, as heads of their respective departments, were to execute the programs and decisions of the president. The president also was to have the power to appoint and dismiss the governors of the provinces and the judges of all courts, including those of the Supreme Court of Justice.

The bicameral parliament was replaced by a unicameral legislative body called the National Assembly. Governors of provinces were no longer elected by provincial assemblies but appointed by the central government. The president had the power to issue autonomous regulations on matters other than those pertaining to the domain of law, without prejudice to other provisions of the constitution. Under certain conditions, the president was empowered to govern by executive order, which carried the force of law.

But the most far-reaching change was the creation of the Popular Movement of the Revolution (Mouvement Populaire de la Révolution—MPR) on 17 April 1967, marking the emergence of "the nation politically organised". Rather than government institutions being the emanation of the state, the state was henceforth defined as the emanation of the party. Thus, in October 1967 party and administrative responsibilities were merged into a single framework, thereby automatically extending the role of the party to all administrative organs at the central and provincial levels, as well as to the trade unions, youth movements, and student organisations.

Every seven years, the MPR elected a president who simultaneously began a seven-year term as president of the republic. Every five years, a single list of MPR candidates was returned to the National Assembly. For all intents and purposes, this gave the president of the MPR—Mobutu—complete political control over the country.

Mobutism

The doctrinal foundation was disclosed shortly after its birth, in the form of the Manifesto of N'sele (named so because it was issued from the president's rural residence at N'sele, 60 km upriver from Kinshasa), made public in May 1967. Nationalism, revolution, and authenticity were identified as the major themes of what came to be known as "Mobutism".

Nationalism implied the achievement of economic and political independence. Revolution, described as a "truly national revolution, essentially pragmatic", meant "the repudiation of both capitalism and communism". Thus, "neither right nor left" became one of the legitimising slogans of the regime, along with "authenticity".

Africanisation of names

The concept of authenticity was derived from the MPR's professed doctrine of "authentic Zairian nationalism and condemnation of regionalism and tribalism". Mobutu defined it as being conscious of one's own personality and one's own values and of being at home in one's culture. In line with the dictates of authenticity, the name of the country was changed to the Republic of Zaire on 27 October 1971, [8] and that of the armed forces to Zairean Armed Forces (Forces Armées Zaïroises—FAZ).

This decision was curious, given that the name Congo, which referred both to the river Congo and to the ancient Kongo Empire, was fundamentally "authentic" to pre-colonial African roots, while Zaire is in fact a Portuguese corruption of another African word, Nzere ("river", by Nzadi o Nzere, "the river that swallows all the other rivers", another name of the Congo river). General Mobutu became Mobutu Sésé Seko and forced all his citizens to adopt African names and many cities were also renamed.

Some of the conversions are as follows:

Additionally, the zaïre was introduced to replace the franc as the new national currency. 100 makuta (singular likuta) equaled one zaïre. The likuta was also divided into 100 sengi. However this unit was worth very little, so the smallest coin was for 10 sengi.[ citation needed ] The currency and the cities named above had actually already been renamed between 1966 and 1971. The adoption of Zairian, as opposed to Western or Christian, names in 1972 and the abandonment of Western dress in favour of the wearing of the abacost were subsequently promoted as expressions of authenticity.

Authenticity provided Mobutu with his strongest claim to philosophical originality. So, far from implying a rejection of modernity, authenticity is perhaps best seen as an effort to reconcile the claims of the traditional Zairian culture with the exigencies of modernisation. Exactly how this synthesis was to be accomplished remained unclear, however. What is beyond doubt is Mobutu's effort to use the concept of authenticity as a means of vindicating his own brand of leadership. As he himself stated, "in our African tradition there are never two chiefs ... That is why we Congolese, in the desire to conform to the traditions of our continent, have resolved to group all the energies of the citizens of our country under the banner of a single national party."

Critics of the regime were quick to point out the shortcomings of Mobutism as a legitimising formula, in particular its selfserving qualities and inherent vagueness; nonetheless, the MPR's ideological training centre, the Makanda Kabobi Institute, took seriously its assigned task of propagating through the land "the teachings of the Founder-President, which must be given and interpreted in the same fashion throughout the country". Members of the MPR Political Bureau, meanwhile, were entrusted with the responsibility of serving as "the repositories and guarantors of Mobutism".

Quite aside from the merits or weaknesses of Mobutism, the MPR drew much of its legitimacy from the model of the overarching mass parties that had come into existence in Africa in the 1960s, a model which had also been a source of inspiration for the MNC-Lumumba. It was this Lumumbist heritage which the MPR tried to appropriate in its effort to mobilise the Zairian masses behind its founder-president. Intimately tied up with the doctrine of Mobutism was the vision of an all-encompassing single party reaching out to all sectors of the nation.

Totalitarian expansion

Translating the concept of "the nation politically organised" into reality implied a major expansion of state control of civil society. It meant, to begin with, the incorporation of youth groups and worker organisations into the matrix of the MPR. In July 1967, the Political Bureau announced the creation of the Youth of the Popular Revolutionary Movement (Jeunesse du Mouvement Populaire de la Révolution—JMPR), following the launching a month earlier of the National Union of Zairian Workers (Union Nationale des Travailleurs Zaïrois—UNTZA), which brought together into a single organisational framework three preexisting trade unions.

Ostensibly, the aim of the merger, in the terms of the Manifesto of N'Sele, was to transform the role of trade unions from "being merely a force of confrontation" into "an organ of support for government policy", thus providing "a communication link between the working class and the state". Similarly, the JMPR was to act as a major link between the student population and the state. In reality, the government was attempting to bring under its control those sectors where opposition to the regime might be centred. By appointing key labour and youth leaders to the MPR Political Bureau, the regime hoped to harness syndical and student forces to the machinery of the state. Nevertheless, as has been pointed out by numerous observers, there is little evidence that co-optation succeeded in mobilising support for the regime beyond the most superficial level.

Mobutu was the president of Zaire from 1965 to 1997. Mobutu.jpg
Mobutu was the president of Zaire from 1965 to 1997.

The trend toward co-optation of key social sectors continued in subsequent years. Women's associations were eventually brought under the control of the party, as was the press, and in December 1971 Mobutu proceeded to emasculate the power of the churches. From then on, only three churches were recognised: the Church of Christ in Zaire (L'Église du Christ au Zaïre), the Kimbanguist Church, and the Roman Catholic Church.

Nationalisation of the universities of Kinshasa and Kisangani, coupled with Mobutu's insistence on banning all Christian names and establishing JMPR sections in all seminaries, soon brought the Roman Catholic Church and the state into conflict. Not until 1975, and after considerable pressure from the Vatican, did the regime agree to tone down its attacks on the Roman Catholic Church and return some of its control of the school system to the church. Meanwhile, in line with a December 1971 law, which allowed the state to dissolve "any church or sect that compromises or threatens to compromise public order", scores of unrecognised religious sects were dissolved and their leaders jailed.

Mobutu was careful also to suppress all institutions that could mobilise ethnic loyalties. Avowedly opposed to ethnicity as a basis for political alignment, he outlawed such ethnic associations as the Association of Lulua Brothers (Association des Lulua Frères), which had been organised in Kasai in 1953 in reaction to the growing political and economic influence in Kasai of the rival Luba people, and Liboke lya Bangala (literally, "a bundle of Bangala"), an association formed in the 1950s to represent the interests of Lingala speakers in large cities. It helped Mobutu that his ethnic affiliation was blurred in the public mind. Nevertheless, as dissatisfaction arose, ethnic tensions surfaced again.

Centralisation of power

Running parallel to the efforts of the state to control all autonomous sources of power, important administrative reforms were introduced in 1967 and 1973 to strengthen the hand of the central authorities in the provinces. The central objective of the 1967 reform was to abolish provincial governments and replace them with state functionaries appointed by Kinshasa. The principle of centralisation was further extended to districts and territories, each headed by administrators appointed by the central government.

The only units of government that still retained a fair measure of autonomy—but not for long—were the so-called local collectivities, i.e. chiefdoms and sectors (the latter incorporating several chiefdoms). The unitary, centralised state system thus legislated into existence bore a striking resemblance to its colonial antecedent, except that from July 1972 provinces were called regions.

With the January 1973 reform, another major step was taken in the direction of further centralisation. The aim, in essence, was to operate a complete fusion of political and administrative hierarchies by making the head of each administrative unit the president of the local party committee. Furthermore, another consequence of the reform was to severely curtail the power of traditional authorities at the local level. Hereditary claims to authority would no longer be recognised; instead, all chiefs were to be appointed and controlled by the state via the administrative hierarchy. By then, the process of centralisation had theoretically eliminated all preexisting centres of local autonomy.

The analogy with the colonial state becomes even more compelling when coupled with the introduction in 1973 of "obligatory civic work" (locally known as Salongo after the Lingala term for work), in the form of one afternoon a week of compulsory labor on agricultural and development projects. Officially described as a revolutionary attempt to return to the values of communalism and solidarity inherent in the traditional society, Salongo was intended to mobilise the population into the performance of collective work "with enthusiasm and without constraint".

In reality, the conspicuous lack of popular enthusiasm for Salongo led to widespread resistance and foot dragging (causing many local administrators to look the other way), while failure to comply carried penalties of one month to six months in jail. The "voluntary" work was merely forced labour, and by the late 1970s most Zairians avoided their Salongo obligations. By resuscitating one of the most bitterly resented features of the colonial state, obligatory civic work contributed in no small way to the erosion of legitimacy suffered by the Mobutist state.

Mobutu's Ministries, Departments or Commissariats

In the 1970s and 1980s, Mobutu's government relied on a selected pool of technocrats, often referred to as the "nomenklatura", from which the Head of State drew, and periodically rotated, competent individuals. They comprised the Executive Council and led the full spectrum of Ministries, Departments or, as governmental terminology shifted, Commissariats. Among these individuals were internationally respected appointees such as Djamboleka Lona Okitongono who was named Secretary of Finance, under Citizen Namwisi (Minister of Finance), and later became President of OGEDEP, the National Debt Management Office.

Ultimately, Djamboleka became Governor of the Bank of Zaire in the final stage of Mobutu's government. His progress was fairly typical of the rotational pattern established by Mobutu, who retained the most sensitive ministerial portfolios (such as Defense) for himself.

Growing conflict

In 1977 and 1978, Katangan rebels based in Angola launched two invasions—Shaba I and Shaba II—into the Katanga Province (renamed "Shaba" in 1972). The rebels were driven out with military assistance from the Western Bloc and China, particularly from the Safari Club.

During the 1980s, Zaire remained a one-party state. Although Mobutu successfully maintained control during this period, opposition parties, most notably the Union pour la Démocratie et le Progrès Social (UDPS), were active. Mobutu's attempts to quell these groups drew significant international criticism.

As the Cold War came to a close, internal and external pressures on Mobutu increased. In late 1989 and early 1990, Mobutu was weakened by a series of domestic protests, by heightened international criticism of his regime's human rights practices, by a faltering economy, and by government corruption, most notably his massive embezzlement of government funds for personal use. In June 1989, Mobutu visited Washington, D.C., where he was the first African head of state to be invited for a state meeting with newly elected U.S. President George H. W. Bush. [9]

In May 1990, Mobutu agreed to the principle of a multi-party system with elections and a constitution. As details of a reform package were delayed, soldiers began looting Kinshasa in September 1991 to protest their unpaid wages. Two thousand French and Belgian troops, some of whom were flown in on U.S. Air Force planes, arrived to evacuate the 20,000 endangered foreign nationals in Kinshasa.

In 1992, after previous similar attempts, the long-promised Sovereign National Conference was staged, encompassing over 2,000 representatives from various political parties. The conference gave itself a legislative mandate and elected Archbishop Laurent Monsengwo Pasinya as its chairman, along with Étienne Tshisekedi wa Mulumba, leader of the UDPS, as prime minister. By the end of the year Mobutu had created a rival government with its own prime minister. The ensuing stalemate produced a compromise merger of the two governments into the High Council of Republic–Parliament of Transition (HCR–PT) in 1994, with Mobutu as head of state and Kengo wa Dondo as prime minister. Although presidential and legislative elections were scheduled repeatedly over the next 2 years, they never took place.

First Congo War and demise

By 1996, tensions from the neighbouring Rwandan Civil War and genocide had spilled over to Zaire (see History of Rwanda). Rwandan Hutu militia forces (Interahamwe), who had fled Rwanda following the ascension of an RPF-led government, had been using Hutu refugee camps in eastern Zaire as bases for incursion against Rwanda. These Hutu militia forces soon allied with the Zairian armed forces (FAZ) to launch a campaign against Congolese ethnic Tutsis in eastern Zaire, known as the Banyamulenge. In turn, these Zairian Tutsis formed a militia to defend themselves against attacks. When the Zairian government began to escalate its massacres in November 1996, the Tutsi militias erupted in rebellion against Mobutu, starting what would become known as the First Congo War.

The Tutsi militia was soon joined by various opposition groups and supported by several countries, including Rwanda and Uganda. This coalition, led by Laurent-Désiré Kabila, became known as the Alliance des Forces Démocratiques pour la Libération du Congo-Zaïre (AFDL). The AFDL, now seeking the broader goal of ousting Mobutu, made significant military gains in early 1997, and by the middle of 1997 had almost completely overrun the country. The only thing that seemed to slow the AFDL forces down was the country's ramshackle infrastructure; irregularly used dirt paths and river ports were all that connected some areas to the outside world. Following failed peace talks between Mobutu and Kabila, Mobutu fled into exile in Morocco on May 17. Kabila named himself president, consolidated power around himself and the AFDL, and marched unopposed into Kinshasa three days later. On May 21 Kabila officially reverted the name of the country to the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Standards and abbreviations

Zaire's top-level domain was " .zr ". It has since changed to " .cd ". [10]

Zaire's IOC code was ZAI, which the nation's athletes used at the Olympic Games and other international sporting events like the All-Africa Games. It has since changed to COD.

Related Research Articles

Discovered in the 1990s, the earliest discovered human rights activist remains in the Democratic Republic of the Congo have been dated to approximately 90,000 years ago. The first real states, such as the Kongo, the Lunda, the Luba and Kuba, appeared south of the equatorial forest on the savannah from the 14th century onwards.

Politics of the Democratic Republic of the Congo

Politics of the Democratic Republic of Congo take place in a framework of a republic in transition from a civil war to a semi-presidential republic.

Mobutu Sese Seko President of Zaïre

Mobutu Sese Seko Kuku Ngbendu Wa Za Banga was a Congolese politician and military officer who was the President of Zaire from 1965 to 1997. He also served as Chairman of the Organisation of African Unity from 1967 to 1968. During the Congo Crisis, Mobutu, serving as Chief of Staff of the Army and supported by Belgium and the United States, deposed the democratically elected government of nationalist Patrice Lumumba in 1960. Mobutu installed a government that arranged for Lumumba's execution in 1961, and continued to lead the country's armed forces until he took power directly in a second coup in 1965 to become the country's military dictator.

Joseph Kabila President of the Democratic Republic of the Congo

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Léon Kengo wa Dondo Democratic Republic of the Congo politician

Léon Kengo wa Dondo is a Congolese politician who served as the "first state commissioner" several times under Mobutu Sese Seko in Zaïre. He was one of the most powerful figures in the regime and was a strong advocate of economic globalization and free-market economics. He served as President of the Senate of the Democratic Republic of the Congo from 2007 to 2019.

Second Congo War War in Africa 1998 to 2003

The Second Congo War began in the Democratic Republic of the Congo in August 1998, little more than a year after the First Congo War, and involved some of the same issues. The war officially ended in July 2003, when the Transitional Government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo took power. Although a peace agreement was signed in 2002, violence has continued in many regions of the country, especially in the east. Hostilities have continued since the ongoing Lord's Resistance Army insurgency, and the Kivu and Ituri conflicts.

Alliance of Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Congo political party

The Alliance of Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Congo-Zaire was a coalition of Rwandan, Ugandan, Burundian, and selected Congolese dissidents, disgruntled minority groups, and nations that toppled Mobutu Sese Seko and brought Laurent-Désiré Kabila to power in the First Congo War. Although the group was successful in overthrowing Mobutu, the alliance fell apart after Kabila did not agree to be dictated by his foreign backers, Rwanda and Uganda, which marked the beginning of the Second Congo War in 1998.

First Congo War 1996–1997 war in central Africa

The First Congo War (1996–1997), also nicknamed Africa's First World War, was a civil war and international military conflict which took place mostly in Zaire, with major spillovers into Sudan and Uganda. The conflict culminated in a foreign invasion that replaced Zairean President Mobutu Sese Seko with the rebel leader Laurent-Désiré Kabila.

Étienne Tshisekedi Democratic Republic of Congo Prime Minister

Étienne Tshisekedi wa Mulumba was a Congolese politician and the leader of the Union for Democracy and Social Progress (UDPS), the main opposing political party in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). A long-time opposition leader, he served as Prime Minister of the country on three brief occasions: in 1991, 1992–1993, and 1997.

Popular Movement of the Revolution political party

The Popular Movement of the Revolution was the ruling political party in Zaire which, for most of its existence, was the sole permitted faction in Zaire's one-party state. Founded by Joseph-Désiré Mobutu, the MPR was established on 20 May 1967.

Mobutism

Mobutism, also spelled Mobutuism, was an official party ideology of the Popular Movement of the Revolution as well as the official state ideology in Zaire during the latter half of the 20th century. Mobutism encompassed and glorified the thoughts, visions, and policies of Zairian president and self-proclaimed "Father of the Nation," Mobutu Sese Seko. The ideology included such major Mobutu initiatives as "Zairianization."

Army for the Liberation of Rwanda

The Army for the Liberation of Rwanda was a rebel group largely composed of members of the Interahamwe and Armed Forces of Rwanda that carried out the 1994 Rwandan genocide. Operating mostly in the eastern regions of the Democratic Republic of the Congo along the border with Rwanda, it carried out attacks throughout the Second Congo War against forces aligned with Rwanda and Uganda. In 2000, the ALiR agreed to merge with the Hutu resistance movement based in Kinshasa into the new Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR). ALiR was largely supplanted by the FDLR by 2001.

Catholic Church in the Democratic Republic of the Congo

The Catholic Church in the Democratic Republic of the Congo is part of the worldwide Catholic Church, under the spiritual leadership of the Pope in Rome.

Jean Nguza Karl-i-Bond Democratic Republic of the Congo politician

Jean Nguza Karl-i-Bond was a prominent Zairian politician.

<i>Authenticité</i> (Zaire) official state ideology initiated in the former Republic of Zaire (current Democratic Republic of the Congo) by Mobutu Sese Seko starting in 1965

Authenticité, sometimes Zairianisation in English, was an official state ideology of the Mobutu regime that originated in the late 1960s and early 1970s in what was first the Democratic Republic of Congo, later renamed Zaire. The authenticity campaign was an effort to rid the country of the lingering vestiges of colonialism and the continuing influence of Western culture and to create a more centralized and singular national identity. The policy, as implemented, included numerous changes to the state and to private life, including the renaming of the Congo and its cities, as well as an eventual mandate that Zairians were to abandon their Christian names for more "authentic" ones. In addition, Western style attire was banned and replaced with the Mao-style tunic labeled the "abacost" and its female equivalent. The policy began to wane in the late 1970s and had mostly been abandoned by 1990.

Law enforcement in the Democratic Republic of the Congo

Law enforcement in the Democratic Republic of the Congo has historically been focused on furthering the state's aims with no regard for human rights. The Police nationale congolaise is the police throughout the territory of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. It was composed of between 110,000 – 150,000 officers as of 2010.

Mobutu Sese Seko's foreign policy emphasized his alliance with the United States and the Western world while ostensibly maintaining a non-aligned position in international affairs. Mobutu ruled Zaire as President for 32 years, from 1965 to 1997.

Congolese National Liberation Front

The Congolese National Liberation Front is a political party. Funded by rebels of Katangese origin, and composing of ex-members of the Katangese Gendarmerie, it was mainly active in Angola and Zaire during the 1970s.

Manifesto of Nsele

The Manifesto of N'sele was a political document issued in the Democratic Republic of the Congo on 19 or 20 May 1967 which set out the official political stance of the Popular Movement of the Revolution, a political party which had been founded by Joseph-Désiré Mobutu in 1966. The manifesto was created at an MPR meeting in N'sele, Kinshasa where it was based.

Constitution of Zaire

The Constitution of Zaire, was promulgated on 15 August 1974, revised on 15 February 1978, and amended on 5 July 1990. It formed the legal basis for the dictatorship of longtime president Mobutu Sese Seko.

References

  1. Constitution de la République du Zaïre, article 5: "Sa devise est : Paix — Justice — Travail". Source: Journal Officiel de la République du Zaïre (N. 1 du 1er janvier 1983)
  2. Services, United States Dept of State Office of Media (15 July 1975). "Countries of the World and Their Leaders: The U.S. Department of State's Report on Status of the World's Nations, Combined with Its Series of Background Notes Portraying Contemporary Political and Economic Conditions, Governmental Policies and Personnel, Political Parties, Religion, History, Education, Press, Radio and TV, and Other Characteristics of Each Nation : Includes Central Intelligence Agency's List of Chiefs of State and Cabinet Members of Foreign Governments". Gale Research Company via Google Books.
  3. Kaplan, Irving (ed.). Zaire: A Country Study. Third Edition, First Printing. 1979.
  4. Sandra W. Meditz and Tim Merrill (eds.). Zaire: A Country Study. Fourth Edition. 1993.
  5. Complete text of the Zairian constitution after the enactment of Law No. 90-002 of 5 July 1990 concerning the modification of certain provisions of the Constitution
  6. Forbath, Peter. The River Congo (1977), p. 19.
  7. James Barbot, An Abstract of a Voyage to Congo River, Or the Zair and to Cabinde in the Year 1700 (1746). James Hingston Tuckey, Narrative of an Expedition to Explore the River Zaire, Usually Called the Congo, in South Africa, in 1816 (1818). "Congo River, called Zahir or Zaire by the natives" John Purdy, Memoir, Descriptive and Explanatory, to Accompany the New Chart of the Ethiopic Or Southern Atlantic Ocean, 1822, p. 112.
  8. Emizet Francois Kisangani; Scott F. Bobb (2010). "Historical Dictionary of the Democratic Republic of the Congo". Scarecrow Press. p. i. Retrieved 29 April 2016.
  9. ""Zaire's Mobutu Visits America", by Michael Johns, Heritage Foundation Executive Memorandum #239, June 29, 1989" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 21 July 2006.
  10. "IANA Report on Deletion of the .zr Top-Level Domain". Internet Assigned Numbers Authority. 20 June 2001. Retrieved on 11 June 2009.

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Coordinates: 4°24′S15°24′E / 4.400°S 15.400°E / -4.400; 15.400