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Congo, Democratic Republic of the

Flag of Democratic Republic of Congo
  1. Congo, Democratic Republic of the Main Page
  2. Newly Independent Congo Plunges into Civil War
  3. Power-Hungry Mobutu Gains Control, Wreaks Havoc
  4. Laurent Kabila Topples Mobutu
  5. Son of Assassinated Leader Kabila Oversees End of Congo's Civil War
  6. Government and Rebels Led by Laurent Nkunda Declare a Cease-fire
  7. Kabila Reelected in Vote Marred by Violence
  8. Lubanga Case Establishes Child Soldiers as an International Crime
  9. Former Rebels Resume Battle With the Government
Newly Independent Congo Plunges into Civil War

Kasavubu staged an army coup in 1960 and handed Lumumba over to the Katangan forces. A UN investigating commission found that Lumumba had been killed by a Belgian mercenary in the presence of Tshombe, who was then the president of Katanga. U.S. and Belgian involvement in the assassination have been alleged. In a possibly related development, Dag Hammarskjold, UN secretary-general, died in a plane crash en route to a peace conference with Tshombe on Sept. 17, 1961.

Tshombe rejected a national reconciliation plan submitted by the UN in 1962. Tshombe's troops fired on the UN force in December, and in the ensuing conflict Tshombe capitulated on Jan. 14, 1963. The peacekeeping force withdrew, and, in a complete about-face, Kasavubu named Tshombe premier in order to fight a spreading rebellion. Tshombe used foreign mercenaries, and, with the help of Belgian paratroops airlifted by U.S. planes, defeated the most serious opposition, a Communist-backed regime in the northeast.

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