Republic of the Congo History

Republic of the Congo History


The Congo basin was originally populated by pygmies, probably from the 2nd century AD. were pushed back into inaccessible areas by immigrant Bantu peoples. The Bantu people lived from agriculture and cattle breeding and had knowledge of the processing of iron.

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Colonial period

When Portuguese seafarers began to explore the country from the mouth of the Congo towards the end of the 15th century, there were several kingdoms in the area of ​​what is now the Republic of Congo (and neighboring countries), such as the Bat¨¦k¨¦ and Loango empires, which were founded by the Trade in hardware, ivory and textiles had achieved great prosperity. The north belonged to the great empire of the Congo. In the 16th century, trade relations between the Portuguese and the Kingdom of the Congo developed briskly, and the trade in people brought in from the hinterland and shipped to South America flourished. From the 18th century, English and French traders also took part in the slave trade. Until slavery was banned in the mid-19th century, an estimated two million people were abducted from what is now the Republic of the Congo.

In 1880, the French envoy and African explorer Pierre Savorgnan de Brazza concluded several so-called protection contracts with Bantu chiefs in the Bat¨¦ke kingdom. At Stanley Pool, an extension of the Congo River, he founded the capital Brazzaville. Shortly thereafter, France declared the area of ​​what is now the Republic of Congo a protectorate. At the Berlin Congo Conference in 1885, French claims to the area were recognized by the other major European powers. In 1891 the area became a “Central Congo” French colony. A phase of economic exploitation of land and people began.

In 1910, Central Congo, together with Gabon, Ubangi Shari (now the Central African Republic) and Chad, was merged to form the colonial federation of French Equatorial Africa.

Independent state

After the end of World War II, the Congo was declared a French overseas territory with limited internal self-government, and from 1958 an autonomous republic. The first resistance movements against the mother country France had already formed in the 1920s, and after self-administration had given way to it, parties were founded, the different views of which repeatedly led to armed conflicts.

According to AbbreviationFinder, first head of state of the independent country (Republic of Congo-Brazzaville from August 1960) was Fulbert Youlou of the “Union D¨¦mocratique de D¨¦fense des Int¨¦r¨ºts Africains” (UDDIA), after his resignation Alphonse Massamba-D¨¦bat followed, under which a unitary party (“Mouvement National de la Revolution”, MNR) and a constitution was created. From 1968 ruled General Marien Ngouabi, who founded the new unitary party “Parti Congolais du Travail” (PCT) with a Marxist-Leninist orientation. In 1970 Ngouabi proclaimed the People’s Republic of the Congo. Most petroleum (the first petroleum deposits were discovered in 1957) and insurance companies were nationalized.

After Ngouabi’s murder in 1977 as part of an attempted coup, Jacques-Joachim Yhombi-Opango first took power, followed shortly afterwards by Denis Sassou Nguesso, the chairman of the PCT. A new constitution manifested the socialist orientation of the state and the dominant role of the PCT unitary party.

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Nguesso ruled the country until 1992 with dictatorial harshness. In 1990 he had to give in to the growing pressure from the population and agree to the introduction of the multi-party system. In the 1992 elections, oppositional Pascal Lissouba (from the “L’Union Panafricaine pour la D¨¦mocratie Sociale” / UPADS) won the elections, and the country received a democratic constitution for the first time. Nguesso went into opposition with his party.

In mid-1993, UPADS achieved an absolute majority in early parliamentary elections, the opposition under ex-dictator Nguesso did not recognize the result. The serious unrest that had already accompanied the elections put the country on the brink of a civil war. Various ceasefire agreements initially curbed the fighting between government troops and opposition groups (“Cobra” militias). However, fighting broke out again in 1997 when all private militias in the country were banned or disarmed in the run-up to the upcoming presidential election. Approximately 10,000 people were estimated to have died in the fighting between government forces and the ex-dictator Nguesso’s associations, which lasted until mid-October 1997.The numerous refugees from neighboring Zaire (Democratic Republic of the Congo since 1997), who had fled their country before the civil war and continued the struggle from the territory of the Republic of the Congo, placed an additional burden. After the conquest of the capital Brazzaville, Nguesso became head of state of the Republic of the Congo and announced an early return to democracy. A transitional parliament (“Conseil National de la Transition”) consisting of 75 members was formed. In 2002 and 2003 there were bloody riots between “Ninja” militias under Bernard Kol¨¦las and the troops of the ruling Nguesso; the “Ninja” militias were finally dissolved in 2008.- Militias were finally dissolved in 2008.- Militias were finally dissolved in 2008.

In January 2002, a new constitution was adopted in a referendum (Senate and House of Representatives instead of the previous parliament, seven-year term of the president). According to the government, the new constitution should promote the establishment of democratic structures; however, the opposition accused Nguesso of cementing his position of power. Two months later, Nguesso was confirmed in office as expected in the presidential election. The most promising competitors had either not been admitted or had withdrawn because of electoral disabilities. Nguesso was also confirmed as president in the presidential elections in July 2009.

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