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Congo armed insurgency, Mobutu decamps

Adebusuyi I. Adeniran

Subject History » Political History
Social Movements » Collective Behaviour

Place Central Africa » Congo

Period 1000 - 1999 » 1900-1999

Key-Topics army, civil war, inequality, revolution, war

DOI: 10.1111/b.9781405184649.2009.00397.x


The Democratic Republic of Congo gained full independence from Belgium in June 1960 as the Republic of the Congo. After a series of political upheavals, Colonel Joseph-Désiré Mobutu took control of the country in 1965. He eventually institutionalized a presidential system of government in 1970 when he was old enough to become the nation's president. To further his hold on power, President Mobutu changed the name of the country from Congo to Zaire ( Zadi , “big water”), and his own name to Mobutu Sese Seko in 1972. Also in 1972, Mobutu's Popular Movement of the Revolution (MPR) became the only legal political party in Zaire. Upon reelection for a second term of seven years in 1977, President Mobutu provided the platform for tangible sociopolitical reforms, having to contend with two potent revolts from the Shaba region of the country between 1977 and 1978. These uprisings were instigated by the Congolese National Liberation Front (FNLC) from their base in Angola. However, with the support of Morocco and other western allies (France and Belgium), the revolts were successfully crushed. In 1984, “Marshal” Mobutu won another (third) term of seven years as president. In the context of mounting international condemnation of most of Mobutu's policies, disgruntled soldiers and protesters unleashed havoc on settlements in Zaire in September 1991. Mobutu thereafter agreed to incorporate the ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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