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DRC Timeline -- Part 3: End of Katanga Secession to Rebellion in Shaba

A Chronology of Key Events in DRC

By Alistair Boddy-Evans, About.com

15 January 1963 Moïse-Kapenda Tshombé agrees to end the secession bid by Katanga province.
Province of Katanga is reunited with the rest of the Congo. Katangan armed forces escape to Angola where they form the Front de la Libération Nationale Congolaise (FLNC, Congolese National Liberation Front).
14 June 1963 Moïse-Kapenda Tshombé flees Congo-Léopoldville for France, via Rhodesia and Spain. It is revealed that a government commission is to look into his involvement in the killing of Patrice Lumumba.
29 September 1963 President Joseph Kasavubu dissolves the legislature when it fails to successfully draft a new constitution. Another attempt will be made by a specially appointed commission, with the resultant proposals for a constitution being put to a referendum.
January 1964 A rebellion in the Kwilu area of Kikwit province is held by the Mbunda and Pende peoples. They have expresses distress over the imminent departure of UN peacekeepers.
30 June 1964 Last of the UN troops depart Congo-Léopoldville.
10 July 1964 Moïse-Kapenda Tshombé returns to Congo-Léopoldville and is appointed prime minister by President Joseph Kasavubu, representing Confédération des Associations de Katanga Tribales (CONAKAT, Confederation of Tribal Associations of Katanga) in the new coalition government.
21 July 1964 Former members of the Mouvement National Congolais (MCN, Congolese National Movement) found a National Liberation Council and instigate a rebellion in the eastern part of the Republic (Kivu, Maniema, and North Katanga provinces). Gaston-Émile Sumayili Soumialot is declared Head of the Provisional Government of the People's Republic of the Congo (in rebellion).
1 August 1964 New constitution is approved by national referendum. A federal and presidential system of government is adopted.
The county's name is changed from the Republic of the Congo to the Democratic Republic of the Congo to avoid confusion with the former French colony to the north-west, also known as the Republic of Congo.
7 September 1964 Christophe Gbenyé now President of the People's Republic of the Congo, in rebellion. It takes Stanleyville as its capital.
24 November 1964 US and Belgian troops arrive to help put down the rebellion in the east.
January 1965 Ex-Katangan Front de la Libération Nationale Congolaise (FLNC, Congolese National Liberation Front) soldiers and European mercenaries are used by Prime Minister Moïse-Kapenda Tshombé to suppress the rebellion in the eastern provinces.
March 1965 Under the new constitution provincial and national elections take place. Europeans and women are not allowed to vote. Moïse-Kapenda Tshombé and his Convention Nationale Congolaise (CNC, Congolese National Convention) party win 122 of the 167 available seats in the Chamber of Deputies.
27 May 1965 Gaston-Émile Sumayili Soumialot now President of the Supreme Council of the Congolese Revolution, the People's Republic of the Congo, in rebellion.
June 1965 The national and provincial election results for eastern provinces of Kivu, Maniema, and North Katanga are annulled by the Constitutional Courts because of the rebellion.
6 August 1965 End of the People's Republic of the Congo rebellion.
18 October 1965 Évariste Kimba becomes prime minister, representing Association Générale des Baluba de Katanga (BALUBAKAT, General Association of the Baluba People of Katanga)
25 November 1965 General Joseph Désiré Mobutu (later Mobutu Sese Seko) takes over the presidency following a coup. Léonard Mulamba becomes prime minister (post abolished on 26 October 1966). Mobutu, announcing a 'Second Republic' and a state of emergency, divides up larger provinces to reduce the risk of secession attempts.
Moïse-Kapenda Tshombé flees to Spain. Front de la Libération Nationale Congolaise (FLNC, Congolese National Liberation Front) soldiers return to Angola.
Joseph Kasavubu retires to his farm in Boma, on the lower Congo river.
1966 Capital Léopoldville was renamed Kinshasa by President Joseph-Désiré Mobutu as part of his Africanization policy. Country is now also known as Congo-Kinshasa (instead of Congo-Léopoldville).
July 1966 Around 2,000 former soldiers and gendarmes, led by European mercenaries mutiny in Kisingani in support of exiled Moïse-Kapenda Tshombé. The mutiny is quickly crushed.
August 1966 Rwanda, Burundi and the Democratic Republic of the Congo sign a mutual security pact
20 May 1967 Mouvement Populaire de la Revolution (MPR, Popular Movement of the Revolution) established by President Joseph-Désiré Mobutu
July 1967 A second mutiny by pro-Tshombé troops in Kisingani is put down. The mutiny is believed to have been sparked by the hijacking of Tshombé's plane over Algiers. Although President Joseph Désiré Mobutu demands Moïse-Kapenda Tshombé's extradition from Algeria, he is held there under house arrest. The mutineers, led by Jean Schramme, a Belgian settler in the Congo, holds out until November, when the flee across the border to Rwanda.
1 February 1968 Union des Etats de l'Afrique Centrale (UEAC, Union of Central African States) formed by the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Chad and Central African Republic. This causes strained on relations with France.
24 March 1969 Death of Joseph Kasavubu, at his farm in Boma.
29 June 1969 Moïse-Kapenda Tshombé dies of a heart attack whilst under house arrest in Algiers.
1970 President Joseph-Désiré Mobutu declares a one-party state.
27 October 1971 Congo-Kinshasa (République du Congo, Republic of the Congo) renamed the République du Zaïre (Republic of Zaïre). The name is Portuguese, based on a Kongo word, nzere, which means 'the river that swallows all others'.
Katanga province is renamed Shaba province. The Congo River is renames the Zaïre River.
January 1972 President Joseph-Désiré Mobutu changes his name to Mobutu Sese Seko.
30 December 1974 President Mobutu Sese Seko declares that foreign owned companies in Zaïre were to be nationalized. European investors withdraw from the country.
20 September 1976 Communauté Économique des Pays des Grand Lacs (CEPGL, Economic Community of the Great Lakes Countries) founded by the République du Zaïre, Rwanda and Burundi in order to promote the economic and political interests of the three signatories.
10 March 1977 Rebellion by the Front National pour la Libération du Congo (FNLC, Front for the National Liberation of the Congo) in Shaba province (formally Katanga province).
June 1977 Rebellion in Shaba province by Front National pour la Libération du Congo (FNLC, Front for the National Liberation of the Congo) has been suppressed with Belgian and French aid (and the airlift of 1,500 Moroccan troops).

More on the History of Democratic Republic of the Congo
Part 1: Prehistory to Beginning of Belgian Administration
Part 2: Beginning of Belgian Administration to End of Katanga Secession
Part 4: Rebellion in Shaba to Genocide in Neighboring Rwanda
Part 5: Genocide in Neighboring Rwanda to Assassination of Laurent-Désiré Kabila
Part 6: Assassination of Laurent-Désiré Kabila to Present Day

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