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Republic of Congo Timeline -- Part 2: From Membership of La Communauté (1946) to President Denis Sassou-Nguesso (14 August 1979)

A Chronology of Key Events in Republic of Congo

By Alistair Boddy-Evans, About.com

1946 French overseas territorial (Territoires d'Outre-mer) assemblies are created for each of France's African colonies as part of the French Community (La Communauté). Each assembly has two colleges -- one for French residents and selected, educated members of the African elite and the second for the rest of the African population. Territories have elected representation in the French parliament.
1956 Abbé Fulbert Youlou founds the Union Démocratique pour la Défense d'Intérêts Africains (UDDIA, Democratic Union for the Defense of African Interests).
The loi cadre is passed by the French National Assembly. It provides for universal adult suffrage for all African subjects in French colonies.
November 1958 With further reforms to La Communauté (The French Community) Congo becomes an autonomous state with internal self-government.
Abbe Fulbert Youlou, leader of the Union Démocratique pour la Défense des Intérêts Africains (UDDIA, Democratic Union for the Defense of African Interests) is appointed Prime Minister. Territiorial assemblies are to be elected by universal suffrage under the loi cadre.
1959 General Charles de Gaulle agrees that France's African territories may negotiate their independence within the French Community.
1959 The former member states of Afrique Équatoriale Française (AEF, French Equatorial Africa) form the Union des Républiques Central African (URCA, Union of Central African Republics).
15 August 1960 Independence from France as Republic of Congo.
Fulbert Youlou becomes the first president of the Republic of Congo for the Union Démocratique pour la Défense des Intérêts Africains (UDDIA, Democratic Union for the Defense of African Interests)
March 1961 A new constitution is introduced giving significant power to the presidency.
15 Aug 1963 President Fulbert Youlou is forced to resign, David Moussaka and Félix Mouzabakani take control for the military following labor unrest and rising ethnic tensions between northern and southern groups.
16 August 1963 Alphonse Massemba-Débat takes control as the Chairman of the National Council of the Revolution, supposedly on a transitional and provisional basis.
19 December 1963 Alphonse Massemba-Débat becomes president of the Republic of Congo for the Mouvement National de la Révolution (MNR, National Revolutionary Movement) after the approval of a new constitution and presidential election.
24 December 1963 Pascal Lissouba becomes Prime Minister for the Mouvement National de la Révolution (MNR, National Revolutionary Movement).
July 1964 Alphonse Massemba-Débat declares the Mouvement National de la Révolution (MNR, National Revolutionary Movement) to be the sole political party -- Republic of Congo is now a One-Party State.
6 May 1966 Ambroise Noumazalaye becomes Prime Minister for the Mouvement National de la Révolution (MNR, National Revolutionary Movement).
1968 One-party, Marzist-Leninist, state declared.
4 August 1968 Alfred Raoul becomes Prime Minister for the military after a coup d'état removes President Alphonse Massemba-Débat from power.
4 September 1968 Captain Marien Ngouabi takes control as the Chairman of the National Council of the Revolution following the coup d'état.
5 September 1968 Alfred Raoul takes over as Acting Head of State for the military
1 January 1969 Captain Marien Ngouabi replaces Alfred Raoul as Acting Head of State for the military.
December 1969 Parti Congolais du Travail (PCT, Congolese Workers' Party) replaces the Mouvement National de la Révolution (MNR, National Revolutionary Movement) as the country's Marxist-Leninist ruling party.
3 January 1970 Marien Ngouabi becomes President of the Republic of Congo for the Parti Congolais du Travail (PCT, Congolese Workers' Party).
1970 Republic of Congo declared a Marxist state, with the Parti Congolais du Travail (PCT, Congolese Workers' Party) the sole legal political party, and renamed the country the People's Republic of Congo.
23 March 1970 President Marien Ngouabi disbands the national gendarmerie and replaces it with a people's militia under the control of the government (after 30 members of the gendarmerie are accused of conspiracy to depose Ngouabi).
June 1973 New constitution approved by national referendum. A People's National Assembly is created, along with regional councils, all elected from the Parti Congolais du Travail (PCT, Congolese Workers' Party).
28 July 1973 Henri Lopès becomes Prime Minister for the Parti Congolais du Travail (PCT, Congolese Workers' Party).
December 1974 President Marien Ngouabi re-elected as Parti Congolais du Travail (PCT, Congolese Workers' Party) Chairman, and thus as president of the People's Republic of Congo.
18 December 1975 President Marien Ngouabi dissolves the government and the Political Bureau of the Parti Congolais du Travail (PCT, Congolese Workers' Party). A new, five-member Special Revolutionary General Staff is installed to help him govern.
Louis Sylvain-Goma becomes Prime Minister for the Parti Congolais du Travail (PCT, Congolese Workers' Party).
March 1976 Trade Union officials are arrested. They are charged with inciting a general strike.
18 March 1977 President Marien Ngouabi is assassinated by supporters of Alphonse Massemba-Débat. In the power vacuum that is created, the Parti Congolais du Travail (PCT, Congolese Workers' Party) Military Committee is established to govern the country. The committee consists of Colonel Jacques-Joachim Yhombi-Opango, Major Denis Sassou-Nguesso, Major Louis-Sylvain Goma, Major Jean-Michel Ebaka, Major Raymond-Damas Ngollo, Major Martin M'Bia, Major Pascal Bima, Captain François-Xavier Katali, Captain Florent Tsiba, Captain Nicolas Ockongo, and Lieutenant Pierre Anga.
23 March 1977 Cardinal Émile Biayenda, archbishop of Brazzaville, is assassinated.
25 March 1977 Alphonse Massemba-Débat is executed for treason, after a military tribunal is held into the assassination of President Marien Ngouabi.
3 April 1977 Jacques-Joachim Yhombi-Opango, head of the country's armed forces, becomes Head of State for the PCT Military Government.
1978 Left-wing, Marxist-Leninist factions in the Parti Congolais du Travail (PCT, Congolese Workers' Party) criticize Jacques-Joachim Yhombi-Opango for opening the door to political relations with France and the West.
August 1978 Former ministers are implicated in an attempted coup d'état, 10 people are arrested.
5 February 1979 The PCT Military Government is abolished and Yhombi-Opango resigns. Jean-Pierre Thystère Tchicaya becomes Chairman of the interim Presidium of PCT Central Committee
8 February 1979 Colonel Denis Sassou-Nguesso becomes Head of State representing the Parti Congolais du Travail (PCT, Congolese Workers' Party).
July 1979 Elections for the People's National Assembly and regional councils are held. Candidates are selected from members of the Parti Congolais du Travail (PCT, Congolese Workers' Party), with a majority supporting Colonel Denis Sassou-Nguesso.
14 August 1979 Denis Sassou-Nguesso becomes President of the People's Republic of Congo for the Parti Congolais du Travail (PCT, Congolese Workers' Party).

More on the History of Republic of Congo
Part 1: From Prehistory to Membership of La Communauté (1946)
Part 3: From President Denis Sassou-Nguesso (14 August 1979) to the 1999 Ceasefire
Part 4: From the 1999 Ceasefire to Present Day

History Resources for the Republic of Congo
Leaders of the Republic of Congo Since Independence

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