Learn more about Joseph Kasa-Vubu
1st President of the Democratic Republic of the Congo
(then known as Congo-Léopoldville)
| In office|
July 1, 1960 – November 24, 1965
|Succeeded by||Mobutu Sese Seko|
Tshela, Democratic Republic of the Congo
|Died|| March 24, 1969|
Boma, Democratic Republic of the Congo
Joseph Kasa-Vubu (1910 (other sources have 1913, 1915 and 1917) – March 24, 1969) was the first President (1960–1965) of the Republic of Congo (Congo-Léopoldville), which was later renamed Zaire (1971-97) and still later the Democratic Republic of the Congo (1997-present).
As leader of the ABAKO (Alliance des Bakongo) Movement of his own lower Congo River Bakongo people, Kasa-Vubu was elected president by the Congo's new national assembly, taking office upon the country's independence from Belgium on June 30, 1960.
The new republic was immediately disrupted by political and military strife and regional secessionist movements, while the central government was paralyzed by conflict between the conservative Kasa-Vubu and his nationalistic prime minister Patrice Lumumba. See Congo Crisis.
On September 5 Kasa-Vubu and Lumumba each announced the other's dismissal, creating a stalemate that was only ended on September 14 with army commander Joseph Mobutu's seizure of power in support of Kasa-Vubu. Lumumba was later handed to secessionist forces in the southern province of Katanga and killed.
Over the next five years, Kasa-Vubu presided over a succession of weak governments, in July 1964 appointing former Katangan secessionist leader Moise Tshombe prime minister to use European mercenaries against leftist rebels. Mobutu seized power a second time on November 25, 1965, this time deposing Kasa-Vubu and subsequently declaring himself head of state.
His daughter, Josephine, is a physician at the University of Michigan.
 See also
 External links
Position created on independence from Belgium
|President of the Republic of Congo|
Mobutu Sese Seko