History of the democratic Republic of the Congo

Karte Afrikas, Demokratische Republik Kongo hervorgehoben
Karte der Demokratischen Republik Kongo

The history of the democratic Republic of the Congo, which was called occasional Zaïre, is southern the history of the largest African country of the seeing era, whose today's borders essentially decrease/go back to the colonial power Belgium. Before-colonial history is particularly from several Bantu realmscoined/shaped. They went down after over three centuries of the plundering by the primarily Portuguese slave trade all regarding one of most brutal European colonial rules . After their at the end of 1960 and a following civil war heated up by western intervention, the country suffered starting from 1965 under over three decades a lastingcruel dictatorship. Their at the end of of 1997 was at the same time the beginning of a consequence of heavy wars, which called the former American Foreign Minister larva line Albright the “First World War in Africa “and which to beginning 2004 three million humans cost the life.

Table of contents

pre and early history

the first settlement traces in the area of the today's democratic republicThe Congo date in the year 10,000 v.Chr. back. Starting from 2500 v. Chr. let themselves in the rain forest regions inhabitants of the hunter and collecting tank companies of the Pygmäen be occupied. Around 500 v.Chr. the groups of Sudan and Niloten from north and East Africa zuwanderten and brought first cattle breeding as well as agrarian techniques also.

the Eisenzeit

expansion of the Bantu

starting from that 5. Century began at the beginning of only Bantuvölker settling in the extreme northwest of Central Africa gradually to the south to expand. Their propagation was accelerated by the transition of stone-temporal to iron-temporal techniques (in Central Africadifferently than for instance in Europe only at this time began). While the peoples living in the south and southwest were mostly Fischer and Waldlandpflanzer, whose technology was affected by the development by metals only few, in this period the developed metal tools revolutionized agriculture and aminal husbandry andled in such a way to the displacement of the societies of the hunters and collecting tanks in the east and southeast. In 10. Century was final the expansion of the Bantu in west Central Africa. Rising population numbers made at the same time at the beginning of local, later regional and supraregional commercial nets possible, which acted above all salt, iron and copper.


If the Upemba cultures in

that work on a Upemba lowering, one scarcely 200 km are enough for region along the Lualaba in the north of the today's province Katanga, a cultural tradition began itself to develop at the fifth century. It flowed in the long run into the culture of the Luba kingdom. This developmentran not without breaks, different societies and cultures did not follow each other thereby; but they developed in each case from the predecessor culture and used these as foundation of their own society.

In the fifth century this tradition began with the emergence of the culture around Kamilamba at the Kabambasee, alsothe Eisenzeit beginning in the respected century from the kisalischen culture around the cities Sanga and Katongo at the Kisalesee one replaced. This culture began in the ore-rich region with the treatment of copper and iron. Particularly in the late phase these raw materials with large becameFate processes, just like ivory and clay/tone.

The combination of a strong demand for metalworker certifications and the existence of an early, but already long-range commercial net (the business connections extended over 1500 km far up to the Indian ocean) with good agricultural conditions and fish and game wealththe region made wealthy. So wealthy the fact that cities developed and on a chieftain system used a centralization. This political concept became generally accepted increasingly and culminated in at the end the 16. Century era beginning of the Luba kingdom.

Präkoloniale of kingdoms

starting from that 13. Century up to the beginning 16. Century developed and passed in the area of the today's democratic republic the Congo a number of partly very powerful kingdoms, among them as the most important Kingdom of the Congo, the Cuba federation as well as the kingdoms of the Luba and the Lunda.

Work on []

The kingdom of the Luba

major items: Luba (kingdom)

in 16. Century was based in the southeast of the today's Katanga the kingdom of the Luba, which attribute themselves to the mythischen founder Kongolo, which conquered and to a further growing realm united several chieftain villages with faithful ones.The Lubareich developed for Upemba lowering from the tradition of the cultures in that and was, differently than the surrounding chieftain companies, centralistic organized. The Königtum of the Luba was powerful as office, but embodies not dynastisch. Thus it came again and again to fights for the throne, those thatRichly weakened and for its later decay were with causal.

Already the founder father Kongolo became end 16. Century killed by Ilunga Mbidi. The realm became jerky and unstable. In the coming approximately hundred years three dynasties, voucher for the weakness of the monarchy prevailed. Neverthelessreached the Lubareich end 17. Century under Kumwimbu Ngombé its largest expansion to to the banks of the Tanganjikasees.

Center 19. Century controlled the kingdom the south Katangas into the today's Simbabwe inside, afterwards it began gradually by the constant civil wars overto disintegrate the ruler seat. 1889 split the royal line and the kingdom dissolved in the fight against the Chokwe.

One of the sons Congo lot left at the beginning 17. Century the kingdom and became the founder of the Lunda realm.

the Cuba federation

expansionthe Cuba federation around 1880 and situation in the Congo

major item: Cuba (kingdom)

the Cuba federation with its capital Nsheng, the today's Mushenge, was all a group of approximately 20 Ethnien, Bantu. Their name those received to Cuba from its southern neighbours, the Luba.

The commonwealth thatCuba developed starting from that 16. Century from a decentralized organized master company of different peoples (and. A. the Luba, Leele and Wongo). Due to the relatively inaccessible situation in the south the today's Congo, off the Congo river it remained the slave hunts of the Europeans and Afroaraber in 18.and 19. Century spares to a large extent. Up to the second half 19. Century attained the federation, unimpaired of the Kolonialisierung in the west, an expansion of something over 100.000 km ² (comparably the size of the former GDR) with approx. 150,000 inhabitants.

For the 80's the Belgians hadtried to find into the realm Cuba admission but their gifts were rejected always and king excrement aMbweeky aMileng threatened with beheading each intruder. 1892 however penetrated the afro American presbyterianische Missionar William Sheppard as first foreigners into the capital, because of its blackSkin color it remained alive and could live 4 months under Cuba.

Toward end 19. Century became unstable the realm and disintegrated finally under following leopoldinischen and later Belgian colonial rule.

the Kingdom of the Congo

major item: The Congo (realm)

the Kingdom of the Congoprobably developed around 1370. Establishment father was Ntinu Wene (also Lukeni called). It conquered the realms Mbundu and Mpemba as the first, where it created the capital Mbanza the Congo. Further kingdoms it merged later contractually into its realm, then a federation from four partial statesrepresented.

At present to its discovery by the Portuguese the Kingdom of the Congo with its expansion of approximately 300,000 km took ² the entire western quarter the today's Congo as well as parts of the today's north of Angola and the Republic of the Congo (to the comparison: the reunited Federal Republic of Germany is limited357,000 km ² largely).

Historische Karte des Kongo
Historical map the Congo

one after first reaching the Congo delta 1482 by Diogo Cão Portuguese expedition sent led 1489 to the first European contact with the king. The acting king Nkuwu sent in response an emissary to Portugal, left themselves 1491 as João I. baptize and received in response military assistance of the Portuguese.

After death Nkuwus/João I. there was a struggle for power. In the “battle of Mbanza the Congo” could become generally accepted the Christian Mwemba, born around 1456, against its traditional-religious brother Mpanzu, as cathedralAfonso I. he took over 1506 the rule over the Congo. To Mwemba/Afonso prevailed 37 years long over the Congo and operated as a piously Christian ruler a policy of close support to Portugal and the Christian brother states of Europe. Its hope was, by co-operation of thatPortuguese durably as equivalent to be recognized.

1512 were issued the “Regimento in such a way specified “of the Portuguese king Manuels I., an instruction to its Ambassadors. It planned that the Portuguese should stand for the king the Congo at the organization of his realm aside, includingthe structure of a juridical system and an army, missionary commitment, as well as the instruction of the yard in Portuguese label. In response the Congo should fill the Portuguese ships with valuable freight, above all slaves, copper and ivory.

Again and again however Afonso saw itself unequally treated. Above allthe “shameless” behavior of the mission acres and the slave hunt of the Portuguese he tried to become at the beginning of still with diplomatic means gentleman. He found however in Portugal no hearing and referred in such a way 1526 the Portuguese of the country. Mission acres and official ones followed that, not however thosefeared slave hunter. While Portugal its as reaction to the kingdom lain south that shifted interests Luanda, long dependent on Portugal the Congo at power and stability, become, lost.

After Afonsos death 1543 followed Diogo I. Originally rather Portugal-hostilely adjusted, he loads 1546 nevertheless again mission acresin the country. An attack by the people of the Jaga 1569 led to an assistance call of Diogos successor, Alvaro I., at Portugal. But the release from the Jaga was a Pyrrhussieg, Alvaro I. had in the Vasallendienst of Portugal to go and the Congo became tributary. With this step also formally the originally postulated equivalence of the two kingdoms ended to each other. Now the freely expanding slave trade depopulated whole regions and let the Congo gradually disintegrate.

As Antonio I. (starting from 1661) the contracts locked with Portugal 1665 for invalidly explained and thoseReturn of all of Portugal annektierten areas demanded, defeated a Portuguese army the Congolese army, beheaded Antonio and seized final control of the country, which became to smash to single provinces. The following heads of state of the trunk kingdom were powerless puppets, the Kingdom of the Congo had in its original formafter only scarcely 300 years to exist stopped.

investigation and Annexion

the last African commonwealth

without its own and functional commonwealth, which was large enough, in order to offer to the increasing activities of European colonial powers in the Congo basin Paroli, were Central Africato a large extent defenselessly. With 18 beginning. Century could so the slave trade by Europeans, Afroaraber and some African peoples (z. B. the Ghanaian Akan) unimpaired and systematically to be developed. Of the beginning 16. Century up to the center 19. Century became between 13 and 20Millions humans from Africa as slaves ships, of it approx. five million of the coast of the Congo and Angola, a tremendous bleeding, which devastated large parts of the region socially and economically.

19 existed up to the end. , partly at the beginning 20. Century further kingdomsin the Congo, for example in the northeast the kingdom of the Mangbetu (of 1815 - approx. 1895) and in the north the sultanate of the Zandé (starting from 1860 - approx. 1912). These however held themselves only with European tolerance as either dependent and tributary vassal states or smallestUnits in the areas, which still were for the Europeans up to the complete Bereisung terra incognita.

Henry Morton Stanley
Henry Morton Stanley

the study the Congo by Europe

since the first contact with the Congo of the 1482 by Cao had the Europeans itself on the exploitationthe country as a slave supplier limits. Nearly 400 years long established themselves European dealers only at the coasts of the continent, where they could be delivered from afroarabischen and African middlemen slaves, but with the gradual abolishment of the slavery in the middle 19. Century went even thisInterest back. Thus the inside of the continent remained Europe long hidden.

In the 50's 19. Century was it David Livingstone, a Scottish Missionar, for which as the first with the Congo basin investigated the coastalfar regions the Congo. With a further expedition it applied 1866as verschollen. It 1867 made itself and found English journalist Henry Morton Stanley (1841 - 1904), readdressed of the New York Herald, on the search for it it to 10. November 1871 in Ujiji close of the Tanganjika lake, its north end it in thatConsequence together explored.

Stanley had far-traveled, to Central Africa however was it for the first time. Frankly it confessed: “I abhor this country of hearts”, which did not prevent him to link its name inseparably with that the Congo. Stanley investigated the process of the Congo river of 1874 to 1877 and were thereby the first European, who bereiste the Congo comprehensively.

Belgian colonial rule

the Congo Free State

Stanleys a goal was to attach with its expeditions the Congo the English colonial empire. Since Stanley had a doubtful call, when American appliedand the general tendency in England rather against colonies was, rejected the English government an assumption the Congo. The Belgian king Leopold II. however was for a long time fascinated of the thought to a colonial empire. Already in September 1876 he organized a large geographical conferenceinto Brussels, with that around the study of the Congo was and created at the same time a philanthropische society to the study the Congo, the Comité D' Études you the skin Congo (1882 renamed in Association international one you Congo). Leopold wanted to use the opportunity of the British lack of interest, umwarb Stanley properand finally 1878 closed for five years a valid agreement with it: Stanley should the country buy up and the unschiffbaren Qatar document at the river with roads make go aroundable, Leopold about the state-legal part would worry. Stanley received large sums of money of Leopold for it, had howeverin-recruit also additional means for the financing of the expedition. Thus it went to z. B. on lecture journey and could even mission companies bring to donate money.

Leopold II. von Belgien
Leopold II. from Belgium

Stanley Leopolds man was five years long in the Congo. Officially the ways separated from Leopold andStanley thereafter, but secretly stood for Stanley of far on the pay roll of the king. In Leopolds order succeeded it to Stanley, from 1879 - 85 by 450 sales contracts for the country approximately around the river with different Bantu chieftains far parts the Congo “acquire”. Something similar had before alreadythe conquerers of Mexico done. The usually analphabetischen chieftains, who signed legal papers in them unknown a language, could not foresee the consequence of their act naturally. The consequence-fraughtest clause of the contracts meant, “that all work, improvements or expeditions, which the Association mentioned at any timein any Theile of these areas to arrange, by workers or in other way one will support “should. On this clause the hard labour of the future was based.

Stanley built a road from the Congo delta to the Stanley pool (today pool Malebo), of where from the Congowas navigable. Small steam ships were created and assembled there by the piece. Stanley created a city, which he called after its sponsor Léopoldville (today Kinshasa). At 1500 kilometers river courses along further stations were planned and built. All this, then was outward represented it, in the servicethe science and in the fight against the slavery by alleged Arab slave hunters.

By all these activities Stanley and Leopold could receive first their good reputation. 1884 participated also Stanley at the international conference of Congo, which Otto von Bismarck in Berlin organized. There also in Belgiumthe tendency rather against colonies was, Leopold the Congo as private property of the Belgian crown was awarded to supervise with the obligation “the preservation of the natives population and the improvement of their moral and material situation in life in the suppression of the slavery and the negro trade to participate “and “religious to protect scientific and charitable mechanisms and enterprises to the best one of the natives “, therefore explained Leopold II. itself to 23. April 1885 to the owner the Congo and issues a condition for the Congo Free State. This status beyond all international law was in thatwhole colonial history singularly.

1889 took place in Brussels a large conference against the slavery. Slave traders were meanwhile traditionally Afroaraber, the conference represented thus for the European participants no more problem. Leopold permitted Stanley to this conference to arise, around its position to the conferencestrengthen and from the Belgian parliament at the same time a credit from 25 million Franconia to to draw.

The giant country, 75-mal more largely than Belgium, was colonized gradually and the existing Bantureiche was smashed. In the course of the appropriation of the territory by Belgium also the Christian Missionierung was advanced, which for establishmentfrom schools and hospital wards led.1891 acquired the Belgian king house at the underflow the Congo a narrow entrance to the Atlantic and let india rubber plan day put on. One year later was begun in the province Katanga with the dismantling of the copper occurrences. From these and further industries (ivory)a state monopoly is ordered and for the population the hard labour.

For plant india rubber plan days gradened Congolese village.

The development the enormous Congo financed king Leopold II. by the sales of rights to use at societies. The concession companies pursued their economic goals with one - also for at that timeConditions - unparalleled Rücksichtslosigkeit. For the optimum exploitation of the soil and the raw materials the colonial gentlemen seized the population for the means of the expropriation, for collecting india rubber , Palmöl and ivory just like to the goods transport and construction of roads were obligatorily used.

the Belgian Congo

the brutal exploitationthe country and the population of the Congo Free State led around the turn of the century to considerable unrests. In the first years 20. Century came it to international protests, which were released partially by reports by mission arene, of hands chopped off by the Gräueltaten like a collecting reported.On pressure of the public opinion Leopold II. had.1904 a commission of inquiry install. After the commission slave trade, hard labour and further bad states had uncovered, the king saw itself forced to reforms, which were a little effective however. 1908 ensured reports over the exploitation practices beneath human dignity as so mentioned“Kongogräuel” internationally for attention and indignation, alarmed the western nations and forced Leopold finally to the sales Free State the Congo to the Belgian state, which firmierte now as the Belgian Congo. The condition, which forbade Charte Coloniale, each political manipulation in the colony and it ordered thatthe cabinet members not to be selected, but not appointed.

Also the hard labour, to which the Congo vintages were obligated under Belgian rule so far, became to 22. March 1910 officially abolished. Unofficially however this measure proved as ineffective, the suppression of the native population remained. Between 1880 and 1920 halved itself the population the Congo, of at first by 20 million inhabitants died over 10 million by colonial force crimes, hunger, weakening by revision and diseases.

By the exploitation of the agricultural products india rubber, Palmöl and coffee from an expanding plan day economy as well as the mining industry products copper, Lead, zinc and diamond succeeded it to Belgium to join the group of the industrial nations. The powerful concession companies, everything in front the 1928 created “Société Générale”, exercised years into the 1960er influence on the economic and political development in the Congo, large.

To 5. August 1914 began the First World War also in Africa. In the following argument between (mainly) England and Germany Belgium supported the British offensive in German East Africa starting from June 1916 and occupied Rwanda Urundi (today Rwanda and Burundi). With the Versailler contract lost the German Reich 1919according to international law also the colonies in East Africa, Belgium the provisional administration over Rwanda Urundi, 1920 and 1923 received became the countries officially Belgian people federation mandate and to 21. August 1925 as mandated territories Rwanda Urundi administratively the colony the Belgian Congo attached. Develop the under-settled Congo around that of their judgement for raw material exploitation betterto be able, the Belgians carried the immigration in particular from Rwanda, which ensured into the present in particular for conflicts in the east of the country.

For at the beginning of to center of the 20's some cults developed, in the subsequent years successfully under the population were established and because of theirResort to African traditions and the establishment of nationalistic ideas were experienced of the colonial administration probably rightfully as danger. Particularly in around 1921 prophetischen Kimbanguismus developed, that the situation in the Congo with that alttestamentlichen Israel equated and a kind “kingdom of God upGround " to establish searched, with an independently African administration on Christian foundation, as well as the Kitwala developed around 1925 - cult saw a threat of colonial rule to Belgium, at the 11. February 1926 will issue therefore a prohibition against all African, also religious, organizations. Also the capital changes at the same timethe colony, of Boma the administration moves after Léopoldville, the today's Kinshasa.

upswing in the Second World War

1928 was created the powerful monopoly company “Société Générale”, a company, which won substantial influence on the fate of the Congo in the coming years. The mining industryand financial company grew up in the boom and of the 40's 30's to enormous size and organized the exploitation and plundering the Congo. After striking down the secession efforts in at mineral materials richest the province of the colony Katanga 1931 and by the 2. World war expanded the industrythe Congo; in particular the uranium -, copper -, Palmöl - and rubber industry experienced a large upswing.

The Congolese army participated during the Second World War in the fight against the Italians in North Africa. As a raw material supplier for the allied wartime economy - among other things with uranium for that US - American atom bomb program - flowered the Congo in the Second World War economically up. Accordingly the infrastructure was developed, the first beginnings of the industrialization strengthened the urbanization tendencies briskly. The African population received a basis education and a medical supply, however not in the administration was taken part. Soexisted into the fifties no African guidance leaderships. The discontent of the modern African grew.

Rwanda Urundi became after the end of the war to 13. December 1946 as UN - trust shank area under Belgian administration again administratively from the Congo separately and at the 1. July 1962 into independencedismisses. Without a feedback of the numerous Ruander gotten of the Belgians as “immigrant workers” into the Congo thereby however one did. Decades later, in the civil war of the 90's, became these one of the sources of ethnical unrest in the east of the country.

the post-war period

also inthe post-war period continued to rise the productivity of the colony at the beginning of, however let the authoritarian colonial policy of Belgium simultaneous starting from the 1950ern the resistance of the Congo vintages against the foreign rule erstarken. This was to be understood however less than nationalistic independence effort the ethnical heterogeneous Congo, but rather than onecommon anti-Belgian movement.

In order to answer to this, the Belgians initiated a set of reforms, in order to take to the resistance the point. To 8. Decembers 1957 participated so Congo vintages for the first time in the local elections and achieved 130 of the 170 seats. Starting from 1958 Belgium permitted the establishmentthe first political parties, under it those of the two parties most important in the future, that already since 1950 in the underground existing Abako (Alliance de Bakongo) under Joseph Kasavubu and to 10. October 1958 of the MNC (Mouvement national Congolais) under Patrice Lumumba.

A congress of these as well as different ethnical-regional parties and national movements demanded 1959 the immediate full independence the Congo. In the consequence it came to unrests, to which the Belgian government reacted hard. In October 1959 also Lumumba was arrested and tortured. Only after the BelgianGovernment became clear that it could not maintain control of the enormous country, became he after approximately three months to 25. January 1960 released. Two days later, to 27. January 1960, announced Belgium elections and autonomy and explained that it itself withinfrom six months from the Congo will withdraw. The promise held Belgium, by 30. June 1960 received the Congo its independence, after a scarce month before to 25. May 1960 the MNC in the first free elections the Congo most voices on itself combineshad.


“Congo confusions”

the retreat of Belgium (only the military guidance remained in the hands of the Belgians), over-hurried, placed the movement of independence however before large problems: the country was in an extremely unstable condition, then regional and ethnical hadLeader partly more power than the centre government in Kinshasa. This condition had been quite by Belgium intended, a responsible Belgian colonial Minister De Schrijver entrusted in the autumn 1959 an interlocutor that it for it wait, in the “developing chaos around assistance to be called” (after Van Bilsen,1994).

The election result had made Lumumbas Mouvement national for Congolais with 33 from 137 seats to the strongest parliamentary group of the parliament. This result was under from Belgium and the USA, the Lumumba as communist suspected and a turn of the raw material-richest and largest Black African country to the communist campall circumstances to prevent wanted, not desired been. Their favorite had been the Kasavubu rather moderated. At the same time broke so far only by the movement of independence held together the alliance and internal conflicts applied.

Patrice Lumumba was a first Prime Minister and Joseph Kasavubu first president the Congo, it represented politicallyantipodal conceptions. Kasavubu, a whose party was strong particularly in the Bas Congo, defended rather föderalistische efforts, contrary to Lumumba, which was centralist. Nevertheless both, the country strove despite Meutereien to govern rebellions and acts of violence that with the rushed into retreat of Belgium and its administration nearly unregierbarhad become. Congo vintage was transitionless hardly able to replace the trained Belgian officials less than 30 Congo vintages possessed 1960 a university conclusion, among the 4,500 highest officials of the state was only three African. Also African were hardly in the possession of capital, end that50's had it, which placed well 99% of the population, only 55% of the wages. This development had been foreseen by Belgium quite, one expected, to become called and the Congo so again to acquire be able themselves “assistance”. With this venture should the Belgian troops stationed still in the Congo help.

After the Belgian general Émile Janssens the expectationful Congolese soldier in Kinshasa to 5. July explained that “after independence = before independence” was, therefore thus the assumption of African into the officer corps in foreseeableTime would be impossible, came it to a Meuterei, which spread within the next days over the whole country and led also among civilians to rebellions. As result of negotiations with the Meuterern Lumumba and Kasavubu decided to dismiss the Belgian commander in chief and its staff.When they selected new commander in chief Victor Lundula and as a chief of staff Joseph Mobutu, a consequence-fraught choice, since them carried the already Mobutu beside the weak Lundula, standing with the Belgian and the US secret service in connection, to an extremely powerful position. Unrests, the Afrikanisierung of theOfficer corps as well as the offer of working premises in Belgium by the Belgian government led to a mass escape of the Belgians, which caused the complete collapse of the civil administration.

the war of secession

Moïse Tshombé already proclaimed one day before the independence the Congo, to 29. June,the independence of the province Katanga, and recalled this explanation only under menace of its arrest. Tshombé had recalled the explanation of independence, under no circumstances however from its goal, independence Katangas, distance had taken. Only few days later, to 10. July, Belgian troops intervened upits request in Elisabethville, the today's Lubumbashi, the capital of Katanga. On the next day Katanga for independent explained itself, it was supported by Belgium, which saw in an independent, moderate Katanga the best possibility for control of the raw material-richest region the Congo.

Kasavubu and Lumumba asked the UN for assistance in the “war with Belgium”. The UN under her Secretary-General Dag Hammarskjöld rejected not and sent in its first African mission ONUC also blue helmet soldiers, who replaced the Belgian troops in the Congo. At the same time they worked however thatThe USA too, which avoided a direct entangling into the conflict from concern around an escalation with the USSR, a Congo under Lumumba were however not to tolerate ready. Thus the UN obstructed Kinshasa in the attempt of armament against Katanga, led confidential information to the USAfar and avowed itself in the critical war of secession between the Congo and Katanga for neutral.

Belgium again stationed the “freed” troops from the Congo in Katanga. To 8. August explained itself with the help of the Belgian mining industry company Forminière also the mining industry province Kasai under Albert Kalonji for independent. To 25. and 26. August took the Congolese army Kasai briefly and conquered the capital Bakwanga, Kalondji fled after Katanga and returned with Belgian federations after south Kasai. Defense and a further attack of the Congo army failed. With the military operations of the badly equipped and undisciplinedArmy came it to heavy massacres at the civilian population.

Lumumbas end

in this situation asked Lumumba - as to be expected was, in vain - the USA for assistance and turned then with its assistance request to the USSR. Thus was it outView of the USA finally as a communist discredits. President Eisenhower knows to 18. August the CIA on to kill Lumumba in an appropriate telegram of 28. August to an agent locally wrote all Dulles: “We decided that the removal Lumumbas our most important goalit is and that this goal under the given circumstances enjoys priority within our secret action. “. An appropriate attempt to poison Lumumba failed however and the instruction by the coming events was overhauled.

Kasavubu, presses from the UN, the USA, Belgium and the secessionistic provinces,dismissed to 5. September Lumumba as prime ministers. The parliament however white Kasavubus request back, in response dismissed again Lumumba Kasavubu, in addition, this request fails in the parliament. To 13. September expressed the parliament Lumumba the confidence, shortly thereafter became again it from its pastTrusted, army chief of staff Joseph Désiré Mobutu, with support of the CIA and the UN fallen. Kasavubu remained in its office as a head of state, Lumumba however under house arrest was placed. His deputy, the vice-prime minister Antoine Gizenga, yielded to 14. October together with parts of the legal government after Stanleyville (today: Kisangani) out, proclaimed to 13. December a lumumbistische Gegenregierung and occupied the east provinces Kivu and Orientale with support of the general Victor Lundula and parts of the army dismissed by Mobutu. This government could expand its sphere of influence occasionally in the northern Katanga. To 24. Novemberhowever the UN plenary assembly on solid pressure of the USA recognized the government under Kasavubu as a legitimate government the Congo on, with which Lumumbas joggle had been also internationally recognized. Three days later, to 27. November, succeeded to Lumumba the escape from the house arrest in Kinshasa, it wantedafter Kisangani, in order to push there to Gizenga. Although the population supported it on the escape, it was again arrested after four days search of CIA, Belgian secret service and Mobutus troops with Mweka and close Kinshasa after Thysville was brought into a military camp, from which heno more not to flee could.

The turn of the year however brought the alliance from Belgians, Amerikanern, UN and Mobutu in difficulties: The Lumumbisten under Gizenga in Kisangani achieved success on success and controlled nearly the half country, to 9. They even the northern Katanga occupied January. Additionally succeededto bring it Lumumba in the military camp Thysville a part of the soldiers on its side. After these began a Meuterei, Belgium feared a renewed escape Lumumbas and the Belgian Africa Minister Harold d'Aspremont Lynden decided its murder on to set. But one flew Lumumba to 17. January 1961 in a DC4 of the Sabena after Katanga out, formally as “distribution” at Tshombé designates. On the way Lumumba were already tortured and its both companions heavily and shot at the following night in Katanga by a Belgian-Congolese command. Five days later drove purelyBelgian command again into the savannah to the execution place, exhumierte the corpses, chopped it into pieces and dissolved it in sulfuric acid .

civil war

in February 1961 dismissed president Kasavubu the Kommissarskollegium used by Mobutu during the Putsches and installed a new government underPrime minister Ileo, Mobutu withdrew itself to his military function. After in December the secession Kasais ended and to 16. January 1962 the Congo and UN-troops Kisangani, which had taken capital of the lumumbistischen government, and Antoine Gizenga arrested, controlled Kasavubu nearly the whole Congo, up tothe further secessionistic Katanga. However neither Belgium nor the USA had a further interest in independent provinces and extracted from Katanga their support, with the help of the UN blue helmets ended also the national self-sufficiency Katangas in January 1963 and Tshombé went to Spain into the exile.

1964 ended thoseUN mission in the Congo and the blue helmets took off, on pressure of European countries and the USA assigned president Kasavubu Tshombé the formation of a government. On it rebellions of remaining lumumbistischer federations began directly with the goal of driving Belgians and Amerikaner out from the Congo. In particular the Simba rebellion 1964 underrelevant participation of Laurent Kabila could by Belgians, Amerikanern and the Congolese army under Tshombé be struck down jointly, the civil war continued to last however.

The second parliamentary elections in May 1965 took place in one of the war traumatisierten and torn country. Tshombé succeeded it, a party alliance tooschmieden, which actually helped him to power, but Kasavubu refused assigning the winner Tshombé the formation of a government and appointed to 13. October instead Évariste Kimba (1926 - 1966). Its “choice” however becomes to 14. October of the parliament rejected, the statelike 1961, a situation, which used Mobutu as an opportunity, was blocked itself to 24. November for the second time and this time finally to power to putschen.

the dictatorship Mobutus

Mobutus Putsch meant the end of the democracy and the beginning its more thanthree decades lasting dictatorship, which should prove as one of the most brutal and most corrupt regimes to after-to Africa. For strengthening its still recent rule it used a combination of force, corruption and the early elimination of possible alternative centers of power, a combination, for its whole furtherRule remained coining/shaping. Differently than the past politicians of the young country he did not find his power base in a party or a Ethnie, thus in any way to the “people”, but in the military, which he controlled, and in its allied one, the USA. At the same time it had into thatAnd beyond that developed, it to a nearly indisputable opponent and it made possible made a net from contacts, alliances, connections and obligations in the apparatus of the state, handing far, for years since independence to switch in the coming years its opponents off gradually. Ironically was straight this indisputableness, which made him popular in the people at first, because after the colonial age, disappointed hopes of independence and the years of the civil war humans only peace wanted and welcomed therefore at the beginning of Mobutus cleanings.

consolidation and Authenticité

after itthe country “befriedet” had, began it with strengthening its rule. It dissolved the regional parliaments, forbade all ethnical organizations and for the duration of five years jedwede political manipulation. To 22. It made the military Léonard Mulamba for March 1966 the Prime Minister, roseto the president and all legislative power took over. It let Evariste Kimba and several Ministers of the legal government execute as “spectacular example” (Mobutu). Tshombé and Kasavubu he placed provisionally quietly, all the a possible future opposition “beheads”. Tshombe was again in Spain in the exile andin absence as a high traitor one condemned. Kasavubu was set off, it withdrew themselves into its homeland village. Its office took Léonard Mulamba. Tshombé and Kasavubu died both 1969, whether Mobutu was complicated into its death, are today unclear until.

It began at the same time with thatideological Unterfütterung of its rule.already 1967 it created a its own party, which rose Mouvement Populaire de la Révolution, which explained the a party state and all citizens in November 1970 as members, and even to the highest state organ. Already in the establishment communist manifesto the MPR publicised thereby those Authenticité, a Congolese kind of play of the Négritude. It referred to the “values of the ancestors” and the wrong conception of the Congo as a cultural unit, as result of it the country among other things “was afrikanisiert”. Thus the democratic Republic of the Congo firmierte since October 1971 as Zaïre(a name resulted from misunderstandings. When the Portuguese landed and asked for the name of the Congo river, thought the native ones, them want to know, how one says “river” in the national language. The answer was therefore “N `Zadi “= the river on Lingala, one the today'sfour national languages. The Portuguese understood N'zaire. In February 1972 all Christian first names were afrikanisiert and the Abacos, a special suit, were prescribed as article of clothing for men. This the time appropriate ideological underbody was however a pure front. The last large measure under their coatif 1973 was the Zaïrisierung of the economy, speak the nationalization of the large companies, which were up to then still in mostly Belgian hand, afterwards erlahmte the Authenticité. Temporarily tried one to insert in its place the “Mobutismus” a religious sea protest Mobutus as göttliche shape, those in the peoplebut failed grandios; afterwards the guidance terminated the attempt of ideological justification.

the plundering Zaïres

political by the USA as well as since the Zaïreisierung economically by Mobutu displaced, the Belgians, who had so long controlled the Congo, from now on had become insignificant. Underthe condition of the USA to reserve the Bodenschätze Zaïres the west Mobutu was now the absolute ruler over Zaïre. It came again and again to smaller rebellions or revolution attempts, but Mobutu could strike down it usually fast by military intervention, partly availed itself it in addition also more strangelyMercenary troops. Complete control of the extreme raw material wealth of the country offered to it the possibility of enriching itself for an unlimited period 1984 had it a fortune of estimated 4 billion dollar.

But only Mobutu “did not serve”, corruption, theft and suppression became for those, in appropriateOffices sat, soon to the highest priority. This attitude led so far that for example 1994 sold several generals of the army the Mirage airplanes of the zaïreschen Air Force secretly. The state and its administration became so within shortest time nonfunctioning and served alone enriching the Führungsschicht. There alsoInvestments were missing and development assistance funds in all rule directly on the accounts Mobutus disappeared, continued to sink the productivity of the zaïreschen economy always. Thus the copper production of the country amounted to 1995 only eight (!) Per cent of the delivery of the yearly 1984. End of the 80's was thatState economically completely heruntergekommen.

the fall Mobutus

with the collapse of the communist states starting from 1989 and the end of the cold war cooled additionally the relationship down between Mobutus rule and the past protecting powers the USA and France drastically. Mobutu initiated after insideUnrests and on pressure from the outside at the beginning of the 1990er a reform process and began in this around power to TAC animals.it announced the end of the one-party system to 1990 as the first. Over 200 parties developed in shortest time and in the subsequent year installed Mobutu “sovereigns a national conference”,to all parties were loaded. This national conference it smashed however under the pretext of “ethnical unilateral nature” in its composition and drove parallel by promotion of ethnical conflicts of wedges between the individual groups. However he was not able to install own power any longer again, its procedureby partly military force the democratization Zaïres operated by the new political parties prevents, not however the erosion of its dictatorship. Into the power vacuum in the parts of the country removed far from the capital groups of rebels pushed themselves in particular, starting from July 1994 became this in particular stillheated up by volatile soldiers and Milizionäre of the there regime, which fled together with hundredthousands of Hutu after the genocide in Rwanda after Zaïre.

the “dynasty” Kabila and the Congo war

Laurent Désiré Kabila

in September 1996 began, heated up among other things through Streams of refugees from Rwanda and Burundi, in the east Zaïres a rebellion under guidance of Laurent Désiré Kabila, which was supported militarily by Rwanda and Uganda. Although it was for a long time not taken seriously, Kabila succeeded to 16. May 1997 the fall old, seriously ill andinternationally meanwhile Mobutu, it isolated drew in in Kinshasa and explained themselves to 29. May to the new president. Mobutu went to Morocco into the exile, where he already to 7. September died and Zaïre again in the Congo was renamed. This rebellion lasted at least up to the year2002, continue to smolder however until today (2005).

But this change of power should not stabilize the Congo. Rwanda and Uganda were interested not in a stable government, tried by the support of different rebellions also Kabilas rule to damage and started so the Congo war.In August 1998 this led to the break Kabilas with its neighbours and former supporters, he received support from Simbabwe, Angola, Namibia, Chad and the Sudan, whose governments he assured to entrance to the raw material occurrences of the country. Simbabwe received for example inExchange for the military aid of portions of the production of the Congolese diamond mines. A Putschversuch against Kabila in Kinshasa failed, because Angola, Simbabwe and Namibia on pages Kabilas militarily intervened. To 10. The government Kabila and the rebels a truce in Lusaka, that signed July 1999but by fights, in the consequence disintegrated the country was broken again and again into several rule areas. The fights persisted into the June of the yearly 2000.

To 24. February 2000 became by the resolution 1291 of the security council the MONUC (mission of the United Nationsin the democratic republic the Congo) production, their headquarters was furnished in Kinshasa. The democratic Republic of the Congo was divided in six sectors, in each case with headquarterses of the MONUC. Kabila was however only correct the stationing of blue helmet soldiers on from the UN again called up conference ofLusaka in August 2000 too. Also all war parties with exception of Uganda consented to withdraw their troops from the national territory of the democratic Republic of the Congo. To 16. January 2001 fell Kabila then an assassination attempt by one its bodyguard to the victim.

Joseph Kabilaand reconstruction

Kabilas son Joseph took over immediately after the murder of his father first temporarily its office business. To 26. January 2001 “inherited” it officially its position as president of the DR the Congo. Despite the dubious assumption of office seems with Joseph Kabila for the first time since 1959Man the Congo to lead, that a pacification and a stabilization of the wrecked nation at least tries. It forced the peace process and permitted the UN-Blauhelmen stationings along the front line to the rebels. In December 2002 government and rebels closed a peace agreement in Pretoria and formed in July 2003 a common government, for which year 2005 the first democratic elections in the history of the country became advised. In the same year it came to a humanitarian disaster, as in the east of the country of one of the Virunga volcanos devastated by the war already broke out and numerous human livesdemanded.

In May 2003 Ituri in the northeast of the DR the Congo a conflict between militias of the Hema - and Lendu -, smoldering since 1999, was intensified peoples and it came to bloody massacres in the district capital Bunia in the district. Thereupon a French became for three monthsStrike force with logistic assistance of Germany into the region skillfully, an employment, which went in September 2003 however again to end. To 10. June 2004 came it to a Putschversuch against Joseph Kabila. The rebellion of a major of the president guard was however fast struck down, after these thatHydro-electric power plant and the broadcasting station Kinshasas had occupied.

Stand for the reconstruction in the way the nearly complete decay of the infrastructure, administration and economics of the country and in particular plundering the extremely raw material-rich east provinces the Congo, in which the centre government is nearly completely powerless, particularly by ugandische, Rwandese and forces of Burundi. Several collections, rebellions and revolts could Kabila so far repel. Whether he will however succeed to re-establish the territorial and in the consequence also the administrative sovereignty particularly in the east of the country stands still there.

Since 1998 (to at the beginning of of 2005)in accordance with data „internationally of the Rescue Committee “3.8 million humans during arguments by force were killed. Anywhere otherwise since the Second World War so many humans in a so short period were not killed. According to estimations of the UN each day 1000 humans become victims of acts of violence.Alone in the province south Kivu were systematically raped from 2003 to 2005 about 10,000 women - unofficial estimations proceed from even with up to 500.000 rapes.

As the central event of the consolidation of the country originally for the year 2005 the planned elections are to be regarded,In the middle of June should be begun with the registration of the voters and be accomplished in the course of the yearly the choice. To 17. May 2005 was adopted the new condition necessary for it by the parliament, those the two years old transition condition to replace is and the basis for electionsforms. To the entry into force this had to be confirmed however still in a popular vote, whereby the elections shifted in the year 2006, planned is now two ballots for parliament and presidency elections to 29. April and to 2. June 2006. The new condition was criticizedas an undemocratic Geschacher risen, is considered however as functionally and solidly enough, in order to serve than basis for a new state. The most important change is thereby an intensified decentralization of the state (although no genuine Föderalstaat came) and a decrease of the power of the head of state.

It stands at the same time however to fear that the elections and again beacon the war could put the germ for new military conflicts. Three candidates are considered at present as promising rivals around the office of the president: beside Kabila the former boss of the central bank Pierre Pay Pay as well as the opposition leaderand former prime ministers Etienne Tshisekedi (its candidacy however formally because of an original choice boycott of its trailers permissible would not be, which holds further cause for conflict). All candidates again have a strong military basis, then Kabila controls the province Katanga, Tshisekedi the province Kasai and Pay Pay inAnd Milizenführern unite alliance from politicians in Kinshasa. Also most being lords did not adhere to the agreement with the government to demobilisieren their troops either or to a new to transfer integrated army approximately 300,000 non-governmental fighters still stood for at the beginning of of 2006 under weapons.

Momentarilyapproximately 17,000 military observers and soldier are involved in the “mission de l´Organisation nations the Unies EN République Démocratique you Congo” (MONUC). The UN security council rejected an expansion of this mission and delegation of further blue helmet soldiers. Thereupon the European Union and Germany examine after an inquiry of the UN, howand with whatever means they in the context of a further mission the choice militarily to secure and the current UN-mission support can. At present an investigation command under the guidance German Brigadier General of the Heinrich Brauss is in the country, in order to clarify these questions.


  • Bernd Ludermann (Hrsg.), the “Congo - history of a maltreated country”, “world mission today 55 - land booklet”, Hamburg 2004, ISSN 1430-6530, (very good total summary to history, culture and society the Congo)

Präkoloniale history

  • Roland of olive, Brian M. Fagan, “Africa into the Iron Age:C. 500 B.C. ton of A.D. 1400 ", Cambridge 1975, ISBN 0521099005, (over the Eisenzeit in Africa)
  • Graham Connah, “African Civilizations - at Archaeological Perspective”, 2nd edition, Cambridge, 2001, ISBN 0521596904, (archaeological realizations over präkoloniale cultures in Africa, among other things Upemba cultures)
  • Peter N. Stearns (Hrsg.), “TheEncyclopedia OF World History: Ancient, Medieval, and decaying ", bad clay/tone, 2001, http://www.bartleby.com/67/343.html and http://www.bartleby.com/67/363.html (accessed 12. November 2004), (to the Bantuexpansion and the Upembakulturen)
  • Pierre de Maret, “The power OF of symbol and the of symbol OF power through time: probing the Luba past. “, in: Susan Keech McIntosh (Hrsg.),“Beyond Chiefdoms: Pathway ton complexity in Africa. “, Cambridge, 1999, ISBN 0521630746, (to the history of the Luba)
  • William Sheppard, “Presbyterian Pioneers in Congo”, smelling moon VA, 1916, (right objective report over see 's time in the Congo and its first contact with Cuba)
  • January Vansina, “The Children OF Woot:A History OF the Cuba Peoples ", Wisconsin 1978, ISBN 0299074900, (history that Cuba)

colonial ones and post office-colonial history

  • Emile Banning, “L'association international africaine et le comité d'études you skin Congo 1877-1882”, Brussels 1882, (to the work of the Association international Africaine)
  • “White Paper, the GermanRealm days submitted in the 1. Session of the 6. Legislative period (1885) “, 1885, (contains the text of the Congo document)
  • Church Committee, “Alleged Assassination Plots Involving Foreign Leaders”, Washington, U.S. Government Printing Office, 1975 (R. contains. Johnsons statement to Eisenhowers order for murder Lumumbas)
  • Jef Van Bilsen, the “Congo, 1945-1965:het einde van een colony ", Leuven 1993, ISBN 9061525993, (Insiderbericht for the end of the Congo colony)
  • Ludo De Witte, “order for government murder. Death Lumumbas and the Congo crisis ", Leipzig 2001, ISBN 3931801098, (entangling the Belgians occupies Lumumbas) George into
  • the murder Nzongola Ntalaja “The Congo fromLeopold ton of Kabila. A People's History. “, London/New York 2002, ISBN 1842770535, (history the Congo in 20. Century, Congolese author)
  • Adam high sign, “shade over the Congo - the history of a nearly forgotten mankind crime”, Stuttgart 2000, ISBN 3608919732, (to the despotism Leopolds and theirEnd)
  • of Michaela Wrong, “on the traces of Mr. Kurtz. Mobutus ascent and of the Congo case ", Berlin 2002, ISBN 3893200584, (journalistic work over the structures of the Mobutudiktatur)
  • Robert B. Edgerton, “The Troubled Heart OF Africa: A History OF the Congo ", New York 2002, ISBN 0312304862, (anthropologisch colored history the Congo)


  • Dominic Johnson, the “Congo? No thanks! “and “for which it goes with an employment in the Congo”, into: the daily paper, 28. January 2006, p.2

of films

  • “Lumumba - death of the prophet”, direction: Raoul Peck, Germany 1991
  • “Lumumba”, direction: Raoul Peck, France/Belgium/Haiti/Germany 2000
  • “Mobutu - King OF Zaire”, direction: Michel Thierry, Belgium 1998
  • “murder in the colonial style - Patrice Lumumba, an African tragedy”, direction: Thomas Giefer, FRG 2000
  • “the price for the peace” - documentary film, direction: Paul Cowan, France 2004
  • “white king, redIndia rubber, black death " - documentary film, direction: Peter would ask, Belgium 2004

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