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Democratic Republic of Congo

  • 1000- The native Pygmy population was displaced by Bantus.
  • 1482- A Portuguese navigator came to the mouth of the Congo River
  • 1800s- The area became a popular trading post for slaves and ivory, and the merchants created settlements along the banks of the river
  • 1878- Belgium’s King Leopold II established Belgian colonies all along the river
  • 1885- Leopold set up the Congo Free State, where he began to control the rubber trade and exploited the native people
  • 1908- In order to ward off criticisms over the controversial rubber trade Belgium took complete control of the state and set up the Belgian Congo. European powers were then able to use African labor in copper and diamond mines
  • 1958- France offered a vote for independence in neighboring country the Congo 
  • 1960- Belgian Congo named Patrice Lumumba prime minister after they were granted independence 
  • o Later in the year the commander in chief of the army, Joseph Mobutu, seized power
  • 1964- Civil war broke out, causing Belgian troops to intervene
  • 1965- Mobutu named himself president, and began a process he called “Africanization,” in which he renamed the capital to Kinshasa, the country and the river Zaïre, and himself Mobutu Sese Seko
  • 1974 and 1977- Mobutu runs unopposed and is reelected
  • 1990- Mobutu began to allow other political parties to exist, but deferred election over and over to maintain power
  • 1995- An influx of Rwandan Hutu refugees reached the country
  • 1996- Laurent Kabila and a group of rebels overthrew Mobutu
  • 1998- Civil war broke out between the government and The Congolese Rally for Democracy, which was supported by the Rwandan Tutsis
  • 1999- 5,500 UN peacekeeping troops were deployed after the signing of the Lusaka Peace Agreement but fighting was not stopped
  • 2001- Kabila was assassinated, and the civil war had seen the death of 2.5 million people
  • 2003- Kabila’s son Joseph was installed as interim president of the transitional government agreed upon in a peace agreement, but again fighting was not stopped
  • 2006- Joseph Kabila was elected president in the country’s first real elections in 40 years
  • 2007- Provinces were established with individual assemblies; national governors and senators were elected
  • 2011- Joseph Kabila was reelected in the most recent election

"Congo, Democratic Republic of." article in  Philip's Encyclopedia. London: Philip's, 2008. Credo Reference. Web. 22 January 2015.

"Congo, Democratic Republic of the." article in CIA World Factbook. Washington: CIA, 2012. Credo Reference. Web. 22 January 2015.

                                                                                                                                    Research compiled by Hannah Insuik

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