Ngouabi, Marien

Ngouabi, Marien, 1938–77, Congolese army officer and political leader. After military training in France, he served in the Congo Republic's army and started the country's first paratrooper battalion. Beginning in the mid-1960s he clashed with President Massamba-Débat In 1968 he formed the National Revolutionary Council (CNR), the president was forced to resign, and Ngouabi assumed the rank of commanding officer. Ngouabi became president in Jan., 1969, changed the name of the country to the People's Republic of the Congo, and declared it a Marxist-Leninist one-party state. An attempted coup in 1972 led to opposition purges. He was elected to a second term in 1975 and that same year signed an economic pact with the Soviet Union. Assassinated in 1977, he was succeeded by Jacques Joachim Yhombi-Opango.

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