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Zaire Table of Contents



Much of the history of the First Republic revolves around two critical issues: the abortive efforts of the central government to negotiate the end of the Katangan secession and the reentry of Katanga into the framework of a united Congo and the threats posed to the survival of the republic by the 1964 outbreak of major rebellions in Kwilu (some 400 kilometers east of Léopoldville) and the eastern region. Not the least of the ironies brought to light in the course of this tormented era in the country's history is that the man who once stood as the standard-bearer of the secession of Katanga ended up as the key figure in the struggle of the central authorities against rebel forces. With the appointment of Tshombe as prime minister in July 1964, following the resignation of the government of Cyrille Adoula, the First Republic entered the last phase of its brief and tumultuous existence.

Data as of December 1993