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Congo, Democratic Republic of the

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Flag of Democratic Republic of Congo
Index
  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
Power-Hungry Mobutu Gains Control, Wreaks Havoc

Kasavubu abruptly dismissed Tshombe in 1965 but was then himself ousted by Gen. Joseph-Desiré Mobutu, army chief of staff. The new president nationalized the Union Minière, the Belgian copper mining enterprise that had been a dominant force in the Congo since colonial days. Mobutu eliminated opposition to win the election in 1970. In 1975, he nationalized much of the economy, barred religious instruction in schools, and decreed the adoption of African names. He changed the country's name to Zaire and his own to Mobuto Sese Seko, which means “the all-powerful warrior who, because of his endurance and inflexible will to win, will go from conquest to conquest leaving fire in his wake.” In 1977, invaders from Angola calling themselves the Congolese National Liberation Front pushed into Shaba (Katanga) and threatened the important mining center of Kolwezi. France and Belgium provided military aid to defeat the rebels.

Next: Laurent Kabila Topples Mobutu
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