Chronography of Congo-Kinshasa / Zaire
Page last modified 23/8/2021
See also Africa
For events in North Africa,
e.g. Libya, Algeria, relating to the Islamic World and Arab Spring see also Islam & Middle East
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
Kabila won partially-free elections, remained as leader for a second
5-year term. There was unrest as the result was disputed.
23/2/2004, 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.
30/7/2002, 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.
3/4/2003, 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.
16/1/2001, 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 President.
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.
29/5/1997, Laurent Kabila took office as President of Zaire.
16/5/1997, The Mobutu regime in Zaire collapsed. Rebel forces
Kabila had captured
the capital, Kinshasa. Mobutu fled
the country, which was renamed as the Democratic Republic of Congo.
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.
changed its name to Zaire, under President
Kabila, leader of the Congo since 2001, was born.
1970, Mobutu was elected
29/6/1969, Tshombe (Katanga) died of a heart attack, in an Algerian
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.
30/6/1967, Moise Tshombe, former President of Katanga and
former prime minister of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, was kidnapped to
25/11/1965, In the Congo Republic (Zaire), General Sese Sese Mobutu deposed President Kasavubu.
30/6/1964, UN troops ceased fighting in the Congo.
Attermpted Katangan secession 1960-63
14/1/1963. The secession of Katanga
from the Congo ended, see 11/7/1960.�
The province was renamed Shaba, and its capital town, formerly
Elizabethville, was renamed Lubumbashi.�
29/12/1962, UN troops
occupied Elisabethville (now Lubumbashi).
28/12/1962, UN troops engaged
in heavy fighting in Katanga Province, Congo Republic.
10/10/1962, Ceasefire in the Congo civil war.
13/9/1961. U.N. forces
rebels. See 11/7/1960.
17/1/1961, Ex-President Patrice Lumumba
of Zaire (deposed 14/9/1960) was executed by rebel Katangese troops.
military coup in Zaire by Colonel Mobutu, against Lumumba.
28/7/1960, UN Secretary
Hammarskjold arrived in the Congo in a bid to end the civil war
rebels declared independence from the Congo under Tshombe.� See 13/9/1961.� Belgium sent troops to the Congo.� See 14/1/1963.
9/7/1960, Belgium began an
airlift of 25,711 of its nationals back from the Congo, as that country became
7/7/1960, Belgium sent troops
to the Congo.
but secessionist movement in Katanga
30/6/1960. 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.
24/6/1960, Joseph Kasavubu was elected as the first
President of the independent DR Congo.
2/11/1959. Rioting in the Belgian Congo left 70 dead.
6/1/1959, More rioting in the Belgian Congo; the root cause was poverty and unemployment. Belgium
agreed to make reforms.
4/1/1959, Rioting in the Belgian Congo.
Personal, and extremely harsh,
colonial rule of King Leopold of Belgium
19/8/1908, 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.
1/7/1885, The personal sovereignty
Leopold I of Belgium over The Congo was proclaimed.
1/8/1884. 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.
3/5/1491, The ruler of the Kingdom of Kongo, Nkuwu Nzinga,
was baptised by Portuguese missionaries, adopting
the baptismal name of Joao I.
385, Copper mining and smelting at Kansanshi, Congo/Zambia region.