Country Listing

Zaire Table of Contents



The crisis that suddenly burst upon the Republic of the Congo, as the new nation was called, in the wake of independence, on June 30, 1960, has several dimensions: the mutiny of the Force Publique on July 5; the secession of the country's richest region, Katanga, on July 11, soon followed by a similar move in southeastern Kasai Province (now Kasai-Oriental Region), which declared itself the Independent Mining State of South Kasai on August 8; and the role of the United Nations, first as a peacekeeping force and ultimately as the chosen instrument for bringing Katanga back into the fold of the central government. The crisis was further compounded by the trial of strength at the center between President Kasavubu and Prime Minister Lumumba, culminating in Lumumba's assassination at the hands of the Katangan secessionists in January 1961.

Data as of December 1993