Search Results for Democratic republic of congo

The collapse of Zaire at the end of the First Congo War 1997

In the aftermath of the 1994 Rwandan genocide, ethnic Hutu refugees — including génocidaires — who had crossed into East Zaire to escape persecution from the new Tutsi government carried out attacks against ethnic Tutsis from both Zaire (now the Democratic Republic of the Congo) and Rwandan refugees. The Zairian government was unable to control the ethnic Hutu marauders, and indeed lent them some support as allies against the new, Tutsi-led Rwandan government.  In response, the Tutsis in Zaire joined a revolutionary coalition headed by Laurent-Désiré Kabila.  Kabila’s aim was to overthrow Zaire’s one-party authoritarian government run by Mobutu Sese Seko since 1965.  With Kabila’s forces on the march,  Zaire was soon engulfed in conflict.  These hostilities, which took place from 1996-1997, are known as the “First Congo War” and lead to the creation of Zaire’s successor state The Democratic Republic of Congo. The United States, who had supported Mobutu until the end of the Cold War, recognized how potentially dangerous the situation was as Kabila gained control of most of the country and advanced rapidly towards the capital city of Kinshasa. In 1997, the United States sent a small group of diplomats to broker negotiations and attempt to come to a peaceful agreement between Mobutu and Kabila.

Posted in A Moment in U.S. Diplomatic History, Africa, Post-Colonialism
Congo in Crisis: The Rise and Fall of Katangan Secession

When the Republic of the Congo (now the Democratic Republic of the Congo) became independent from Belgium in June 1960, the new country immediately descended into a political chaos known as the “Congo Crisis.” The arbitrary boundaries drawn by Colonial powers combined with leftover racial tensions and general uncertainty led to violence along racial lines […]

Posted in A Moment in U.S. Diplomatic History, Africa, Military Tagged , , , |
Crazy Train — A Congolese Victory Tour

What’s a party without prostitutes, undrinkable whiskey, and the best seats in the house, cleared for you at sword-point? Following the successful defeat of a secessionist movement by the breakaway province of Katanga in the newly formed Republic of the Congo (now the Democratic Republic of the Congo), the new prime minister of the region […]

Posted in A Moment in U.S. Diplomatic History, Africa, Humorous Tagged |
Oil, Blood and Steel: The Failed Attempt to Create a Democratic Congo

This is the story of how a corrupt multinational oil company, a self-centered dictator,  lingering ethnic tensions, and lack of attention from the West all served to undermine efforts to transform a Marxist-Leninist client state into a democratic African nation. Congo’s struggles have for years been complicated by outside influence from its former colonial ruler, […]

Posted in A Moment in U.S. Diplomatic History, Africa, Human Rights Tagged , , , |
Born in the Congo: The Experience of Giving Birth During a Civil War

Emergency medical care in developing countries can be problematic, if not wholly inadequate. Even more so in the 1960s. When you’re expecting twins. In a country in the midst of a civil war. However, when Terry McNamara’s wife went into labor in the conflict-ridden Province of Katanga in the Congo (now the Democratic Republic of […]

Posted in A Moment in U.S. Diplomatic History, Africa, Humorous, Spouses and children
Captive in the Congo

Michael Hoyt was Commercial Officer in Leopoldville from 1962 until 1965 and was serving as interim Principal Officer in Stanleyville (now Kisangani) when he and his staff, along with 320 other people, were taken hostage by the rebel Simbas.  Held for 111 days, they were eventually rescued in a joint U.S.-Belgian operation code-named Dragon Rouge on November […]

Posted in A Moment in U.S. Diplomatic History, Africa, Hostage, Human Rights, Humorous, Military, Terrorism Tagged , , |
Kimberley Process: Commercial Diplomacy to Stem the Flow of Blood Diamonds

During the 1990s, several African countries, namely Angola, Cote d’Ivoire, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Sierra Leone, and Liberia were plunged into chaos and embroiled in devastating civil wars. Thanks to economic and political insecurity and contentious inter-ethnic relations, rebel groups such as the Patriotic National Front of Liberia under the leadership of Guy […]

Posted in A Moment in U.S. Diplomatic History, Africa, Human Rights, Terrorism Tagged , , |
Kleptocracy and Anti-Communism: When Mobutu Ruled Zaire

Born to a modest family, Joseph-Desiré Mobutu prospered in the Force Publique, the army of the Belgian Congo. Mobutu became army chief of staff following a coup against Patrice Lumumba, and after a second coup on November 25, 1965 assumed power as military dictator and president. He changed the Congo’s name to the Republic of […]

Posted in A Moment in U.S. Diplomatic History, Africa, Cold War, Espionage, Human Rights, Military Tagged , , |
What Have I Gotten Myself Into? Tales from Rough First Tours

Life in the Foreign Service certainly has its advantages – working in often exotic locales, meeting fascinating people, being a part of important, sometimes historical, events. But, like other glamorous jobs, it has its drawbacks, not the least of which come with the drudgery of first and sometimes second tours, where most FSOs end up […]

Posted in A Moment in U.S. Diplomatic History, Africa, Consular, Foreign Service, Hostage, Humorous, Women and Minority FSOs Tagged |
Who Let the Dogs Out? – A Pet Evacuation from Kinshasa

Dear Fido, If you’re reading this, we’ve been evacuated (and you learned how to read!…). But don’t worry ol’ pal! I’ll send for you as soon as I can. I left one of each sock behind, so it’ll be like nothing changed. Food is in the pantry and water’s in the toilet. Call for Lassie […]

Posted in A Moment in U.S. Diplomatic History, Africa, Foreign Service, Humorous, Women and Minority FSOs Tagged , , |