Over 5 million dead in the Congo? How Truth is Hidden, Even When it Seems to Be Told.1200s - Rise of Kongo empire, centred in modern
northern Angola and including extreme western Congo and territories round lakes Kisale and Upemba in central Katanga (now
1482 - Portuguese navigator Diogo Cao becomes the first European to visit the Congo; Portuguese set up ties
with the king of Kongo.
Kongo KingdomFull History16th-17th centuries - British, Dutch, Portuguese and
French merchants engage in slave trade through Kongo intermediaries.
The Trans-Atlantic slave trade1870s - Belgian King Leopold II sets up a private venture
to colonise Kongo.
Leopold breif Bio1874-77 - British explorer Henry Stanley navigates Congo
river to the Atlantic Ocean.
1879-87 - Leopold commissions Stanley to establish the king's
authority in the Congo basin.
Belgium's imperialist rape of Africa1884-85 - European powers at the Conference of Berlin
recognise Leopold's claim to the Congo basin.
The butcher of Congo1885 - Leopold announces the establishment of the Congo
Free State, headed by himself.
1891-92 - Belgians conquer Katanga.
1892-94 - Eastern Congo wrested from the
control of East African Arab and Swahili-speaking traders.
1908 - Belgian state annexes Congo amid protests over killings
and atrocities carried out on a mass scale by Leopold's agents. Millions of Congolese are said to have been killed or worked
to death during Leopold's control of the territory.
Report of the British Consul, Roger Casement, on the Administration
of the Congo Free State1955 - Belgian Professor Antoin van Bilsen publishes
a "30-Year Plan" for granting the Congo increased self-government.
1959 - Belgium begins to lose control over events
in the Congo following serious nationalist riots in Leopoldville (now Kinshasa).
The democratic republic of CongoPost-independence turmoil
1960 June - Congo
becomes independent with Patrice Lumumba as prime minister and Joseph Kasavubu as president.
Patrice Lumumba and revolution in the Congo 1960 July - Congolese army mutinies; Moise Tshombe declares
Katanga independent; Belgian troops sent in ostensibly to protect Belgian citizens and mining interests; UN Security Council
votes to send in troops to help establish order, but the troops are not allowed to intervene in internal affairs.
September - Kasavubu dismisses Lumumba as prime minister.
1960 December - Lumumba arrested.
1961 February -
Lumumba murdered, reportedly with US and Belgian complicity.
The unquiet death of Patrice LumumbaThe CIA's Family Jewels: Plan for Assassination of Patrice LumumbaThe Role of the U.S. and U.S. Corporations in the Assassination
of Patrice LumumbaLumumba: Lost Prince of an African Renaissance?1961 August - UN troops begin disarming Katangese soldiers.
- Tshombe agrees to end Katanga's secession.
1964 - President Kasavubu appoints Tshombe prime minister.
1965 - Kasavubu and Tshombe ousted in a coup led by Joseph Mobutu.
1971 - Joseph Mobutu renames the
country Zaire and himself Mobutu Sese Seko; also Katanga becomes Shaba and the river Congo becomes the river Zaire.
US support Mobutu1973-74 - Mobutu nationalises many foreign-owned firms
and forces European investors out of the country.
1977 - Mobutu invites foreign investors back, without much success;
French, Belgian and Moroccan troops help repulse attack on Katanga by Angolan-based rebels.
Zaire 1975-1978: Mobutu and the CIA, a marriage made in heaven1989 - Zaire defaults on loans from Belgium, resulting
in a cancellation of development programmes and increased deterioration of the economy.
1990 - Mobutu agrees to end
the ban on multiparty politics and appoints a transitional government, but retains substantial powers.
1991 - Following
riots in Kinshasa by unpaid soldiers, Mobutu agrees to a coalition government with opposition leaders, but retains control
of the security apparatus and important ministries.
1993 - Rival pro- and anti-Mobutu governments created.
- Mobutu agrees to the appointment of Kengo Wa Dondo, an advocate of austerity and free-market reforms, as prime minister.
- Tutsi rebels capture much of eastern Zaire while Mobutu is abroad for medical treatment.
Deadly Legacy: U.S. Arms to Africa and the Congo War
Mobuto Was Chaos
Do American economic interests threaten democracy in the Congo?
World Bank Oversees Carve-Up of Congo Rainforests