Congo Crisis

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Congo Crisis
Date 19601965
Location Democratic Republic of Congo
Result National independence from Belgium

Republic of Congo (Leopoldville) established
Country maintained as a unitary state
Mobutu dictatorship established

Combatants
Image:Flag of Congo Kinshasa 1960.svg Congo

Image:Flag of the United Nations.svg UN troops

Image:Flag of Katanga.svg Katanga

Image:Flag of Belgium (civil).svg Belgium
Mercenaries

History of DR Congo
edit box

The Congo Crisis (1960-1965) was a period of turmoil in the First Republic of the Congo that began with national independence from Belgium and ended with the seizing of power by Joseph Mobutu. At various points it had the characteristics of anti-colonial struggle, a secessionist war with the province of Katanga, a United Nations peacekeeping operation, and a Cold War proxy battle between the United States and the Soviet Union. In recognition of the failure of the word "crisis" to convey this complexity, some authors write Congo "Crisis" or "Congo Crisis". The Crisis led to the assassination of Prime Minister Patrice Lumumba, as well as a traumatic setback to the United Nations following the death of UN Secretary General Dag Hammarskjöld in a plane crash as he sought to mediate.

Contents

[edit] Background

Prior to the establishment of the First Republic in 1960, the native Congolese elites had formed semi-political organizations which gradually evolved into the main parties striving for independence. These organizations were formed on one of three foundations: ethnic kinship, connections formed in schools, and urban intellectualism.

The largest of these was Association des Bakongo (ABAKO), founded in 1950, which was an ethnic association which promoted the interests and language of the Bakongo (or Kongo) people, as well as Bakongo-related ethnic groups. ABAKO, led by Joseph Kasa-Vubu during the Crisis, was at the forefront of the more insistent demands for both independence and federalism. Other less successful ethnic associations included the Liboke lya Bangala, who championed the needs of the Bangala ethno-linguistic group (a grouping created by Western ethnographers), and the Fédékaléo – who included people from the Kasai region. Fédékaléo later split into several groups. Though these organizations represented ethnic groups from all over the Congo, they usually based themselves in Leopoldville (now Kinshasa), since one reason for their existence was the need to maintain ethnic ties after the mass migration to urban areas.

Another source of political groupings was the various Alumni Associations - whose membership came from former students of colonial Christian schools in the Congo. Most of the major politicians of the period were Alumni members, and the associations were used to create networks of advisors and supporters.

The third political tributary were the Cercles, urban associations that sprang up in the cities of the Congo, which were designed to foster solidarity amongst the évolués (the educated, westernized middle class). In the words of Patrice Lumumba, the head of the Cercles of Stanleyville (now Kisangani), the Cercles were created to "improve intellectual, social, moral and physical formation" of the évolués.

In 1958, together with Cyrille Adoula and Joseph Ileo, Lumumba founded the Mouvement National Congolais (MNC), a national independence party intended to be non-tribal. It later split into two, MNC-L led by Lumumba and the MNC-K led by Albert Kalonji in Kasai.

[edit] The thirty year plan

In the early 1950s Belgium came under increasing pressure to transform the Belgian Congo into a self-governing state. Belgium had ratified article 73 of the United Nations Charter, which advocated self-determination, and both superpowers put pressure on Belgium to reform their Congo policy. The Belgian government's response was largely dismissive. However, Belgian professor A.J. van Bilsen, in 1955, published a treatise called Thirty Year Plan for the Political Emancipation of Belgian Africa. The timetable called for gradual emancipation of the Congo over a thirty year period - the time Van Bilsen expected it would take to create an educated elite who could replace the Belgians in positions of power. The Belgian government and many of the évolués were suspicious of the plan — the former because it meant eventually giving up the Congo, and the latter because Belgium would still be ruling Congo for another three decades. A group of Catholic évolués responded positively to the plan with a manifesto in a Congolese journal called Conscience Africaine, with their only point of disagreement being the amount of native Congolese participation. The ethnic association ABAKO decided to distance themselves from the plan, in part because most of the Catholic évolués who wrote the Conscience Africaine manifesto were not from the Kongo ethnic group favoured by ABAKO, but also because they had decided to take a more radical, less gradualist approach to ending colonialism. ABAKO demanded immediate self-government for Congo.

[edit] 1959 Leopoldville Riots

The organization gathered steam over the following few years, consolidating political control over much of the lower Congo and Léopoldville. By early 1959, much of the lower Congo was beyond the control of Belgian authorities. The Belgian authorities prohibited ABAKO from meeting and this caused widespread rioting in Léopoldville from January 4-7. On January 12 Kasa Vubu was arrested and the Belgians stated that he would be released on March 13 of the same year. Subsequently, the Belgian government announced constitutional reforms intended to bring more Congolese into government, but only in an advisory capacity. They also indicated that the end result of the process would eventually be independence. With this plan the Belgians hoped to satisfy the demands of the more moderate Congolese for inclusion in the political process while neutralising the more extreme Congolese nationalists with the promise of eventual independence. The end result was the opposite of what was intended. There was a surge of political activity, over fifty political parties were registered, nearly all of them based on tribal groups. Nationalist demands grew more extreme as parties competed with each other. There was further rioting in Leopoldville in October after a meeting of Lumumba's MNC and he was arrested.

[edit] The Roundtable Conference, Brussels 1960

Faced with increasing instability, the Belgians held a "Roundtable Conference" in Brussels for the leaders of the different Congolese parties. The MNC demanded that Lumumba should be released from prison so he could attend. The Belgians agreed to independence but tried to negotiate for a transitional period of three to four years. The Congolese insisted that independence be granted immediately and the most that they would concede was a few months. In the end it was agreed to hold elections in May with a transfer of power one month later in June. The experience of the French in the ongoing Algerian War for independence was something the Belgians desperately wanted to avoid.

[edit] May 1960 Elections

In order to create political institutions to govern Congo after its independence on June 30 1960, elections were held in Congo in May 1960.

Only the two biggest parties presented themselves in more than one province:

  • The MNC-L (Patrice Lumumba) had won the elections: with about a quarter of the seats it ended first. It obtained a majority in the Eastern province.
  • The Parti National du Progrès or PNP, was second, was defeated as national party by the MNC-L. It was favoured by the Belgians.

Every other party was based in only one province; their strongholds followed ethnic divisions:

In the national parliament, Lumumba could count on a coalition of (in order of loyalty) MNC-L, UNC and COAKA (Kasaï), CEREA (Kivu), PSA (Léopoldville) and BALUBAKAT (Katanga). It was opposed by PNP, MNC-K (Kasaï), ABAKO (Léopoldville), CONAKAT (Katanga), PUNA and UNIMO (Equator) and RECO (Kivu).

As part of a deal, on June 24 1960, Kasa-Vubu was elected president and the Lumumba government obtained the confidence of Chamber and Senate.

[edit] Independence

The independent Republic of the Congo was declared on 30 June 1960, with Joseph Kasa-Vubu as President and Patrice Lumumba as Prime Minister. It shared a name with the neighboring Republic of the Congo to the west, a French colony that also gained independence in 1960, and the two were normally differentiated by also stating the name of the relevant capital city, so Congo (Léopoldville) versus Congo (Brazzaville).

[edit] Course of the Crisis

[edit] The First Republic

Image:Congo CrisisMap.png
Territorial Control in Congo (1960-61)
Color Key
  • Yellow</font>: National Government based in Léopoldville</li>
  • Red</font>: Rival National Government based in Stanleyville</li>
  • Green</font>: Katanga (Independent)</li>
  • Blue</font>: Mining State of South Kasai (Autonomous)</li></ul></dd></dl>
  • [edit] Independence Day

    On June 30, at the independence day ceremony King Baudouin made a speech praising King Leopold II 'genius' and 'tenacious courage'<ref name="marred">Template:Cite web</ref>. This speech was widely seen as patronising and disregarding of the undisputed historical brutality of the period of Leopold II. President Kasa-Vubu altered his prepared speech to exclude ending remarks of praise for King Baudouin. Prime Minister Lumumba was not due to give a speech; according to some reports this was a deliberate exclusion. However, he rose and gave a speech which extolled the independence struggle 'of tears, fire and blood'. He attacked the Belgian Congo's 'regime of injustice, oppression and exploitation'. Nous ne sommes plus vos singes -- 'We are no longer your monkeys', Lumumba told Baudouin. <ref name="speech">Template:Cite web</ref>. This speech was well received by the Congolese who heard it. For many Congolese, hearing a European being addressed in this way was extraordinary, much less a king. For the king and his entourage, this speech was an insult.

    [edit] Mutiny

    Despite gaining political independence, the new country had few military officers so it kept many foreign officers as it trained its own military leadership. On 5 July 1960, the army (the Force Publique) near Léopoldville mutinied against its white officers and attacked numerous European targets. Armed bands of mutineers roamed the capital looting and terrorizing the white population. This cause the flight of thousands of European refugees to Brazzaville and Stanleyville. The credibility of the new government was ruined as it proved unable to control its own armed forces.

    This led to a military intervention into Congo by Belgium in an ostensible effort to secure the safety of its citizens. Whilst the danger to Belgian citizens was real, the reentry of these forces was a violation of the national sovereignty of the new nation, as it had not requested Belgian assistance.

    In the midst of the mutiny, the Congolese government decided to "Africanize" the army. All personnel were promoted by one rank and its name was changed the Armée Nationale Congolaise or ANC.

    The flight of officers left the 25000 man force still armed but totally uncontrolled. This left the new country without an effective instrument of central control and was an important causative factor in the rapid descent of the country into chaos.

    [edit] Secession of Katanga

    Main article: Katanga

    On 11 July 1960, with the support of Belgian business interests and over 6000 Belgian troops, the mineral-rich Katanga province in the south declared independence under the leadership of Moise Tshombe, leader of the local CONAKAT party. Tshombe was known to be close to the Belgian industrial companies which mined the rich resources of copper, gold and uranium. Katanga was one of the richest and most developed areas of the Congo. Without Katanga, Congo would be an impoverished economy. With Belgian assistance Katanga's Gendarmerie was converted into an effective military force. At the core of the Katangan forces were several hundred European mercenaries many of which were recruited in Belgium. Almost from the beginning, the new state faced a rebellion in the north in Luba areas. This was led by a political party called Association of the Luba People of Katanga (BALUBAKAT). In January 1961, Katanga faced a secession crisis of its own when Balubakat leaders declared independence from Katanga. Throughout the period of the secession, Katangan forces were never able to completely control the province.

    [edit] UN Military Intervention

    On 14th July 1960, in response to requests by Prime Minister Lumumba, the UN Security Council adopted resolution 143. This called upon Belgium to remove its troops and provide 'military assistance' to the Congolese forces to allow them 'to meet fully their tasks'. Lumumba was impatient, and demanded that Belgium remove its troops immediately, threatening to seek help from the Soviet Union if they did not leave within two days. The UN reacted quickly and established Operation des Nations Unies au Congo, abbreviated ONUC. The first UN troops arrived the next day but there was instant disagreement between Lumumba and the UN over what the new force's mandate was. Because the Congolese army was in disarray since the mutiny, Lumumba wanted to use the UN troops to subdue Katanga by force. Referring to the resolution, Lumumba wrote to Hammarskjold, ‘From these texts it is clear that, contrary to your personal interpretation, the UN force may be used to subdue the rebel government of Katanga.’ <ref name="paper">Template:Cite web</ref> Secretary General Hammarskjöld refused. To Hammarskjöld, the secession of Katanga was an internal Congolese matter and the UN was forbidden to intervene by Article 2 of the United Nations Charter. Disagreements over what this force could and could not do continued throughout its deployment, despite the passage of two further Security Council resolutions. Passed on on 22nd July, Security Council Resolution 145 affirmed that Congo should be a unitary state and strengthened the call for Belgium to withdraw its forces. On 9th August, Security Council Resolution 146 mentioned Katanga for the first time, and explicitly allowed UN forces to enter Katanga whilst forbidding their use to 'intervene in or influence the outcome of any internal conflict'. <ref name="resolutions60">Template:Cite web</ref>

    [edit] Secession of South Kasai

    Main article: South Kasai

    The South Kasai region sought independence in similar circumstances to neighboring Katanga during the crisis. Ethnic conflicts and political tensions between leaders of the central government and local leaders plagued the diamond-rich region. On 14 June 1960, days before the colony was to become independent, officials declared the independence of Kasai (not of Congo) and proclaimed the Federal State of South Kasai. On 8 August 1960, the autonomous Mining State of South Kasai was proclaimed with its capital at Bakwanga. Albert Kalonji was named president of South Kasai and Joseph Ngalula was appointed head of government. Lumumba was determined to quickly subdue the renegade provinces of Kasai and Katanga. Dissatisfied with the UN, Lumumba followed through on his threat to request military assistance from the Soviet Union, who responded with an airlift of Congolese troops to invade Kasai. A bloody campaign ensued causing the deaths of hundreds of Baluba tribesmen and the flight of a quarter of a million refugees. The decision to accept Soviet help angered the US who via the CIA, increasingly supported Mobutu and Kasa-Vubu.

    [edit] Political Disintegration

    On September 5, state president Joseph Kasa-Vubu announced over Leopoldville radio that prime minister Patrice Lumumba was dismissed. In his place, Kasa-Vubu appointed Joseph Ileo, a respected moderate. Lumumba, in turn, announced that Kasa-Vubu was deposed, also over the radio. Ileo tried to form a new government but did not manage to get his new government approved by parliament. In contrast, Lumumba position was confirmed by a parliamentary vote of confidence. There was therefore no clear political authority.

    In order to calm things down, the UN closed all Congolese airports under their control and the radio station in Leopoldville. This halted the Soviet supported airlift of Congolese troops to Kasai. Kasa-Vubu was able to continue broadcasts from Brazzaville across the border and made a further announcement on September 10 that the Lumumba government was dissolved.

    On September 12, Lumumba was placed under house arrest at the prime minister's residence, but was released by congolese troops loyal to him. On September 14, with CIA help, Joseph Mobutu seized power in a military coup, suspending parliament and the constitution. Mobutu kept Kasa-Vubu as President. Russian advisors were ordered to leave. Lumumba was again placed under house arrest, but with a guard of UN troops for his protection.

    Following the dismissal of Lumumba, his Vice Prime Minister Antoine Gizenga, set up a rival government in the eastern city of Stanleyville with the help of pro-Lumumba forces.

    There were now four different regimes in the former Belgian Congo, Joseph Mobutu in Leopoldville was supported by Western governments; Gizenga in Stanleyville, supported by the Soviet bloc and Nasser in Cairo; Kalonji in South Kasai; Tshombe in Katanga, supported by Belgium and western mining interests.

    [edit] Lumumba executed in Katanga

    On 27th November Lumumba left house arrest and attempted to reach his supporters in Stanleyville. On December 1 he was captured in Kasai by soldiers loyal to Colonel Mobutu.

    Even in captivity, Lumumba was a threat to Mobutu. He was a figurehead for the regime in Stanleyville and Mobutu feared a pro-Lumumba coup. There was a mutiny (over pay) in Thysville barracks where Lumumba was being held and there were fears that he would turn the guards to his side. Belgian advisors encouraged Mobutu that Lumumba was a liability that needed to be eliminated.

    On 17 January, 1961 Mobutu sent Lumumba to Elizabethville, capital of Katanga, where he was tortured and executed shortly after arrival. Belgian officers, under Katangan command, were present at the execution.

    [edit] UN authorised to use force

    The UN Security Council met in the wake of Lumumba's death in a highly emotional atmosphere charged with anti-colonial feeling and rhetoric. The Soviet Government even went as far as to blame Hammarskjöld for Lumumba's death, calling for his dismissal. Hammarskjöld refused to resign and remained in office. On 21 February, 1961 the Security Council adopted resolution 161, which authorised 'all appropriate measures' to 'prevent the occurrence of civil war in the Congo, including ... the use of force, if necessary, in the last resort'<ref name="resolutions61">Template:Cite web</ref>. This resolution also called for the expulsion from the Congo of all Belgian troops and mercenaries, but did not explicitly mandate the UN to conduct offensive operations. This resolution was ultimately interpreted by the local UN forces justify military operations to end the secession of Katanga. In death, Lumumba's had finally succeeded in getting UN support for his campaign against Katanga. Despite this new resolution during the next six months the UN undertook no major military operations instead concentrating on facilitating several rounds of political negotiations.

    [edit] Political Negotiations, election of Cyrille Adoula

    Between January and May 1961, several conferences of Congolese leaders were held to resolve the constitional crisis brought on by the dismissal of Lumumba by President Kasa-Vubu. In January, roundtable talks were held in Leopoldville. In March a conference was held in Tananarive Madagascar. This was boycotted by pro-Lumumbist Antoine Gizenga. This conference recommended a loose confederation of states which was opposed by the central government in Leopoldville. At a third conference was held in Coquilhatville, capital of the Equateur province, the leaders agreed to form a federal state of Congolese provinces. This was opposed by Tshombe who wanted more independence for Katanga. In April Tshombe was arrested for criticising President Kasa-Vubu but was released in June after pledging to reunite Katanga with the Congo. On 2 August parliament voted to elect Cyrille Adoula as Prime Minister, bringing stability to the central government.

    [edit] UN launches Operation Rumpunch

    By the end of August, it was clear that Tshombe had no intention of implementing his pledge to reunite Katanga with the rest of the country. UN troops were ordered to end the secession of Katanga by force. On August 28th, under Operation Rumpunch, they started to disarm Katangan troops, capture key Katangan military assets, and arrest all the foreign mercenaries who formed the core of the Katangan gendarmerie. This operation was initially successful, but stopped when the Belgian consul in Leopoldville persuaded the local UN officials that he would complete the operation. This was a ruse as only regular Belgian officers and not mercenaries were expelled from the province. Many mercenaries who were repatriated found their way back into Katanga via Rhodesia.

    [edit] UN launches Operation Morthor

    On 9th September, when it became clear that Tshombe's mercenaries were still in control of the Katangan gendarmerie, the UN launched Operation Morthor (Hindi for "smash") to terminate the Katangan secession by force. Operation Morthor was a political and military fiasco. It went badly from the start. Katangan gendarmes put up a strong defence which allowed Tshombe and other government officials to escape. On 13th September Tshombe fled to Ndola in Northern Rhodesia (now Zambia) from where he urged the gendarmerie to continue resistance. Reports of UN attacks on civilian installations came from Elizabethville and caused anger in Europe. A battalion of 155 UN troops was attacked and trapped in Jadotville. Katangan forces made use of a Fouga Magister jet, piloted by a Belgian mercenary, to strafe the battalion and prevent resupply.

    [edit] Death of Dag Hammarskjöld and Military Standoff

    In the midst of Operation Morthor, Secretary General Dag Hammarskjöld decided to intervene personally and negotiate a ceasefire with Tshombe. His plane crashed en route to Ndola causing the death of all on board. The next day the besieged UN battalion at Jadotville, surrendered to the Katangan Gendamerie after running out of water and ammunition (See Siege of Jadotville). A ceasefire was quickly agreed and on September 20th and Tshombe returned to Elizabethville. The UN troops remained in Katangan custody until 25th October when a prisoner swap was agreed. On 30th October, Congolese government forces attacked Katanga but were repulsed with heavy casualties.

    [edit] UN Security Council Resolution 169, Operation Unokat

    UN Security Council Resolution 169 was adopted November 24, 1961, “to take vigorous action, including the use of the requisite measure of force, if necessary” to remove foreign military and other personnel not under the U.N. Command. The UN discovered that the gendarmerie were planning an offensive against them and launched operation Unokat on 5th December, taking control of strategic positions around Elizabethville. On 18th December Tshombe agreed to unity talks which lasted a year without reaching agreement.

    [edit] Congolese Forces Re-conquer South Kasai

    After a four month military campaign troops of the Congolese central government re-conquered the region and arrested Kalonji on 30 December 1961, thus ending the South Kasai secession.

    [edit] Gizenga Deposed

    Antoine Gizenga remained head of the breakaway eastern province throughout most of 1961. After the death of Lumumba, several African and Eastern European governments recognised the Stanleyville government as legitimate. It also received some weapons from China. Following talks with Prime Minister Cyrille Adoula, Gizenga agreed to join the central government under the understanding that it would follow the policies of Lumumba. However relations broke down and on January 14 1962 ANC forces defeated the Stanleyville gendarmerie and arrested Gizenga.

    [edit] UN Operation Grand Slam Ends Katanga Secession

    Throughout 1962, Tshombe maintained the independence of Katanga. In August, UN Secretary General U Thant proposed a plan that Katanga become an autonomous region in a federal state. Tshombe initially agreed with the proposal but agreement was never concluded. In December 1962 the UN launched Operation Grand Slam on Katanga political and military infrastructure. This proved to be a decisive attack and by January 1963 Elizabethville was under full UN control. This ended the secession of Katanga.

    [edit] Rural Insurgencies in Eastern Provinces

    In early 1964, a new crisis broke out as Congolese rebels calling themselves "Simba" (Swahili for "Lion") rebelled against the government. They were led by Gaston Soumialot and Christophe Gbenye who was a radical former member of Gizenga's Parti Solidaire Africain (PSA). The rebellion affected Kivu and Orientale provinces. By August they had captured Stanleyville and set up a rebel government there. As the rebel movement spread, discipline became more difficult to maintain, and acts of violence and terror increased. Thousands of Congolese were executed, including government officials, political leaders of opposition parties, provincial and local police, school teachers, and others believed to have been Westernized.

    In July 1964, Moise Tshombe replaced Cyrilla Adoula as prime minister of a new national government with a mandate to end the regional revolts. Tshombe had been the leader of Katanga when that province tried to secede. It was therefore highly ironic that he was chosen to lead the Congolese central government in a war against another rebellious province. Among his first moves, Tshombe recalled the exiled Katangan gendarmerie and recruited white mercenaries, integrating them with the ANC. Some of these mercenaries had fought for Katanga when Tshombe was leader of the breakaway province.

    By early August, 1964 the Congolese, with the help of groups of white mercenaries under their own command, was making headway against the Simba rebellion. Fearing defeat, the rebels started taking hostages of the local white population in areas under their control. Several hundred hostages were taken to Stanleyville and placed them under guard in the Victoria Hotel.

    [edit] Operation Dragon Rouge

    Image:Congo Crisis Belgians at Kamina.jpg
    Belgian paracommandos preparing for a hostage rescue operation, November 1964

    The Congolese government turned to the United States for help. In response, the US Strike Command sent a task force to Leopoldville.

    Washington and Brussels tried to come up with a rescue plan. Several ideas were considered and discarded, while attempts at negotiating with the Simbas failed.

    Image:Congo Crisis dead hostages.jpg
    Belgian soldier lying in front of dead hostages, November 1964 in Stanleyville

    Eventually it was decided to mount a daring rescue operation. On November 24, 1964, a squadron of planes including five US air force C-130 transports dropped over 300 Belgian paratroopers at the airfield at Stanleyville. Once the paratroopers had secured the airfield and cleared the runway they made their way to the hotel, prevented Simbas from killing the hostages, and evacuated the hostages via the airfield. Over the next two days over 1800 American and Europeans were evacuated as well as around 300 Congolese.

    The operation coincided with the arrival of ANC and other mercenary units at Stanleyville which was quickly captured. It took until the end of the year to put down the remaining areas of rebellion.

    Tshombe's prestige was damaged by the joint Belgian-US operation which saw white mercenaries and western forces intervene once again in the Congo. In particular Tshombe had lost the support of both Kasa-Vubu and Mobutu.

    [edit] Mobutu Seizes Power

    On 25 November 1965, with the help of the CIA, Mobutu seized power from President Kasa-Vubu. Mobutu had the political and military support of Western countries, who saw him as an ally against communism in Africa. He established a one-party state, banning all other political organizations except his. Tshombe was charged with treason and fled the country once again, this time to Spain.

    Around this time, Che Guevara arrived in the Congo. Che saw himself as serving as a military assistant to young Laurent-Désiré Kabila, a leader who would eventually come to power 30 years later. In Che's opinion, his adventure in the Congo was a fiasco, and he was eventually forced to return to Cuba. Kabila, thirty years later, would lead a military campaign to oust Mobutu.

    [edit] Aftermath

    [edit] Mobutu and the Second Republic

    Main article: Zaire

    Over the next three decades, Mobutu led one of the most enduring regimes in Africa; it was also one of the most dictatorial and corrupt.

    Despite the country's obvious natural resources, including copper, gold and diamonds, much of Zaire's population continued to sink further into poverty. Mobutu amassed a personal fortune estimated to be as much as $5 billion, while the country's infrastructure built up over from the colonial period was left to decay.

    After changing the country's name to Zaire in 1971, Mobutu also pursued a policy expunging remnants of colonialism. In addition to changing the names of the country and many of its cities, major industries were nationalized. And emulating Mobutu, government workers and ministers dropped their Western names.

    [edit] End of Mobutu Era

    Main article: First Congo War

    As the Cold War waned in the early 1990s, so did Western support for Mobutu. In light of allegations of human rights abuses and rampant corruption, Belgium, France and the United States all suspended military and financial assistance to the regime.

    As the economic and political situation worsened, Kabila, once again, began a military drive from eastern Zaire in October 1996 to depose him. As the rebels advanced, Mobutu -- who had been out of the country receiving medical treatment -- returned to Zaire, vowing to crush the rebellion.

    But by May of the following year, with his regime in shambles, Mobutu fled, first to Togo and then to Morocco. He had reportedly requested permission to travel to France for medical treatment, but the French government refused. Less than four months after he was forced into exile, Mobutu died in September of 1997 in Morocco.

    [edit] References

    <references/>

    [edit] See also

    [edit] External links

    [edit] Further reading

    • Cruise O'Brien, Conor (1962) To Katanga and Back, London, Hutchinson.
    • De Witte, Ludo. (2001) The Assassination of Lumumba, Verso. Publication of book resulted in Belgian parliamentary commission and official apology from Belgium for role in the assassination of Lumumba.
    • Epstein, Howard (ed). (1974) Revolt in the Congo, 1960-1964, Armor Books. Essays by various authors.
    • Gondola, Ch. Didier. (2002) The History of Congo, Greenwood Press, ISBN 0-313-31696-1.
    • Kanza, Thomas. (1979) The Rise and Fall of Patrice Lumumba, Schenkman.
    • Legum, Colin. (1961) Congo Disaster, Penguin Books.
    • Lemarchand, René, (1964) Political Awakening in the Belgian Congo, University of California Press.
    • Lumumba, Patrice. (1962) Congo, My Country, Pall Mall Press. Speeches and selected writing by Lumumba.
    • Meredith, Martin. (2005) The State of Africa: A History of Fifty Years Since Independence, The Free Press.
    • Weiss, Herbert. (1967) Political Protest in the Congo: The Parti Solidaire Africain during the Independence Struggle, Princeton University Press.
    • Weissman, Stephen R. (1974) American Foreign Policy in the Congo, 1960-1964, Cornell University Press.
    • Young, Crawford (1965) Politics in the Congo, Princeton University Pressde:Operation Dragon Rouge und Dragon Noir

    es:Crisis congoleña fr:Crise congolaise ja:コンゴ動乱 sv:Kongokrisen

    Congo Crisis

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