Chronography of Congo-Kinshasa / Zaire
Page last modified 21 August 2023
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Demography of Congo-Kinshasa
unrest grew in the Congo as Joseph Kabila continued to delay
presidential elections. The Catholic Church in Congo demanded that he step
down. There were allegtaions that this very unrest was an excuse for not
Kabila�s last term as leader ended; the Constitution barred him from
more than three terms. He remained anyway as leader.
Kabila again won (unsafe) elections, remained as leader for a third
16 November 2006, Joseph Kabila won
partially-free elections, remained as leader for a second 5-year term. There
was unrest as the result was disputed.
23 February 2004, In the Democratic Republic of Congo, Mai-Mai rebels
were reported to have killed around 100 civilians and seven army officers in
the SE province of Katanga.
30 July 2002, Peace settlement in the Democratic Republic of
Congo. Rwandan troops ;left the DRC, and anti-Rwandan Hutu militias were
conflict from 1998-2002 took between 1 million and 5 million lives, with
atrocities suich as rape very common.
3 April 2003, 1,000 people, mostly members of the minority Hema
tribe, were massacred in the Democratic republic of the Congo. Civil war
resumed as forces loyal to Uganda sought to control the DRC�s huge mineral
wealth. Ugandan forces were blamed for the massacre.
16 January 2001, Laurent Kabila, President of the Democratic
Republic of the Congo, �was assassinated
by a dissident army officer. Kabila�s son Joseph
Kabila succeeded him as interim
1998, Kabila switched
sides and started arming the Rwandan rebels, also being backed by Uganda.
Rwanda invaded again; Angola and Zimbabwe intervened to support Kabila.
29 May 1997, Laurent Kabila took office as President of Zaire.
16 May 1997, The Mobutu regime in Zaire collapsed. Rebel
forces under Laurent Kabila
had captured the capital, Kinshasa. Mobutu fled
the country, which was renamed as the Democratic Republic of Congo. Mobutu,
a friend of the Western nations, had left Zaire with debts of US$ 13 billion,
much spent on luxurious palaces, which were not cancelled by Western landers.
This amounted to some US$ 260 per capita for Zaireans.
9 April 1997, In Zaire, Tutsi rebel forces under Laurent Kabila captiured the key town of Lubumbashi.
1996, Major insurrection in the east
started by the AFDL (Alliance of
Democratic Forces for the Liberation of the Congo).
5/1995, Ebola outbreak in Congo, lasted
1994. The Rwandan genocide (see Appendix 16 Rwanda). Defeated
Rwandan rebels fled into the Congo. Rewandan forces followed them, and due to
the unpopularity of Mobutu, Rwanda was able to oust him and
replace with Laurent Kabila.
1990, Mobutu announced a transition to
multi-Party rule, after his security forces had killed pro-democracy democracy
1978, Angola made an unsuccessful attempt
to invade Congo.
27 October 1971� Congo
changed its name to Zaire, under President
4 June 1971,
Joseph Kabila, leader of the Congo since 2001, was born.
1970, Mobutu was elected
June 1969, Tshombe (Katanga) died of a heart attack, in
an Algerian prison.
10/1968, Rebel leader Pierre Mulele was lured back to The Congo from
exile under an offer of amnesty by Mobutu. However he was
then arrested and executed after torture.
June 1967, Moise Tshombe, former President
of Katanga and former prime minister of the Democratic Republic of the Congo,
was kidnapped to Algeria.
25 November 1965, In the Congo Republic (Zaire), General Sese Sese Mobutu deposed President Kasavubu.
13 October 1965, In the Congo (Zaire), President Tshombe was ousted by Kasavubu.
9 July 1964, Tshombe returned from exile and was made
Congolese (Zaire) Prime Minister. He attempted to force a peace deal on various
rebel groups, and drafted White mercenenaries into his army. This attracted
criticism from other Communist-oriented African States. Rebels seized White
hostages and held them at Stanleyville (now Kisangani) until they were rescued
by Belgian paratroopers, flown in on US planes.
June 1964, UN troops ceased fighting
in the Congo.
Katangan secession 1960-63
14 January 1963. The secession of Katanga from the Congo ended, see 11 July 1960.� The province was renamed Shaba, and its
capital town, formerly Elizabethville, was renamed Lubumbashi.�
29 December 1962, UN troops occupied Elisabethville (now Lubumbashi).
28 December 1962, UN troops engaged in heavy fighting in Katanga Province, Congo Republic.
10 October 1962, Ceasefire in the Congo
13 September 1961. U.N.
forces defeated Katangan
rebels. See 11 July 1960.
17 January 1961,
Lumumba of Zaire (deposed 14 September 1960) was executed by rebel
14 September 1960, Successful
military coup in Zaire by Colonel Mobutu, against Lumumba.
5 September 1960, Congolese
Prime Minister Lumumba
appealed for help to the USSR in his fight against Katanga and other secessionist
movements. However this led to charges that he was a Communist, and his
28 July 1960,
UN Secretary General Dag Hammarskjold arrived in the Congo in a bid
to end the civil war there.
11 July 1960.
rebels declared independence from the Congo under Tshombe (1919-69).� See 13 September 1961.� Belgium sent troops to the Congo.� See 14 January 1963.
9 July 1960,
Belgium began an airlift of 25,711 of its nationals back from the Congo, as
that country became independent.
7 July 1960,
Belgium sent troops to the Congo.
but secessionist movement in Katanga
30 June 1960. The Belgian Congo became
independent, under Prime Minister Lumumba.
Civil war erupted within a week, the mineral-rich region of Katanga
seceded, and UN peacekeeping troops arrived as the Belgians left. In August the
mineral-rich province of Kasai also
seceded. Without these two provinces,
Congo would have been one of the poorest countries in Africa. Paramilitary
troops from Rhodesia, Europe, and South Africa were ready to defend breakaway
Katanga and their mining interests. The UN said it would restore law and order
but was not concerned with the secession of Katanga. Lumumba now made the mistake of
turning to the USSR for help. Russia sent aid and Kasai was retaken for a
while. However other government members decided to rid themselves of the
and the Chief of Staff, Mobutu, set up a new government; Lumumba
was assassinated in January 1961. Tshombe, leader of Katanga, was supported by
the Belgian�s decision to pay mining royalties to him, not the Congo
government. However the UN leader, Dag Hammarskjold, was determined to crown his
first major international peacekeeping exercise with success, and there was now
a pro-Western government in the Congo. Hammarskjold�s plane crashed in uncertain
circumstances on 17 September 1961 whilst negotiating with Tshombe. There was fighting
between Katangan and UN forces in Elisabethville, capital of Katanga, and the
UN attitude hardened. The UN ordered the forcible occupation of Katanga,
and in January 1963 UN forces fully occupied the breakaway province.
24 June 1960, Joseph Kasavubu was elected as the first
President of the independent DR Congo.
November 1959. Rioting in the Belgian
Congo left 70 dead.
January 1959, More rioting in the Belgian Congo; the root cause was
poverty and unemployment. Belgium agreed to make reforms.
January 1959, Rioting in the Belgian
November 1939, Laurent-D�sir� Kabila, President
of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, was born in Baudouinville, Belgian
Congo (died 2001).
May 1910, Britain and Belgium agreed
that the western shore of Lake Albert, Africa, was part of the Belgian Congo
(now Democratic Republic of Congo).
Personal, and extremely harsh,
colonial rule of King Leopold of Belgium
19 August 1908, King Leopold II
of Belgium, under pressure from other
European monarchs, handed over control of the Belgian Congo (Congo Free State),
later known as Zaire, to the Belgian State. Leopold had ruled the region
autocratically for nearly 30 years. The region had been explored by Henry Stanley,
the expedition financed by a European consortium headed by King Leopold. This consortium
sought to make financial gains from the Congo�s agricultural and mineral
wealth, including ivory, rubber and palm oil. Trade agreements were made with
the Congo�s tribal leaders and by 1884 Leopold claimed the colony as a personal
possession. The rest of Europe consented to this claim. However by the 1890s Leopold
saw fit to treat the Congo�s inhabitants as he liked; slavery was introduced,
many brutalities were committed and under his rule the Congo population fell to
8 million, an estimated drop of 70%. The Brussels parliament agreed to pay Leopold
120 million Francs for the territory, and it became the Belgian Congo until
independence in 1960.
1904, An exposure of the terrible conditions
inside the Belgian Congo was published by former shipping clerk ED Morel.
As a clerk he had noticed inconsistencies in the trading figures between the
shipping company he worked for and the Congolese Government, and deduced that
forced labour must be in extensive use. Morel set up his own newspaper,
the West African Mail in 1903, to publicise more widely the Congolese slavery
issue. This led to an onvestigation by the diplomat Roger Casement (later
executed for treason over Irish home rule), and to the eventual end of King Leopold�s
personal rule in 1908. Morel himself was nominated for the Nobel
Peace prize in 1924.
19 September 1903, Belgian King Leopold
denied any ill treatment of indigen9ous peoples in the Belgian Congo. This was
in response to a note sent by Britain to Belgium on 19 August 1903 protesting
about conditions there (see also 20 May 1903)
20 May 1903, In
Britain a debate in the Hoiuse of Commons began over treatment of indigenous
people in the Belgian Congo. Britain became involved in this after a report by
the British Consul, Roger Casement, and because Britian wanted to
stand for �the civilised treatment of colonial peoples�
22 November 1892, In the
Belgian Congo, a revolt of slave owners that began in 5/1892 was suppressed
this day by Belgian troops under Baron Francois Dhanis.
1 July 1885, The personal sovereignty
Leopold I of Belgium over The Congo was proclaimed.
1 August 1884. King Leopold of
Belgium formally proclaimed the Congo
Free State today as a Belgian colony, following the concessions made by other
European powers to him at Berlin in February 1884.
October 1665, Battle of Mbwila; the
Portuguese defeated and killed King Antonio I of the Kongo Kingdom.
May 1491, The ruler of the Kingdom of
Nzinga, was baptised by Portuguese
missionaries, adopting the baptismal name of Joao I.
385, Copper mining and smelting at Kansanshi, Congo/Zambia region.