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First powers arise in the 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.
First Europeans arrive in the Congo. Portuguese navigator Diogo Cao becomes the first European to visit the Congo; Portuguese set up ties with the king of Kongo.
The beginning to European imperialism was established. Belgian King Leopold II sets up a private venture to colonize Kongo.
British explorer Henry Stanley navigates Congo river to the Atlantic Ocean. The navigation lead to further trade and European profit.
Leopold announces the establishment of the Congo Free State, headed by himself. He becomes main power of Congo.
Belgians conquer Katanga.
Belgian annexes Congo amid protests over killings and atrocities carried out, the Belgian were said to have killed or worked Congolese to death during Leopold's control of the territory.
Belgium begins to lose control over events in the Congo following serious nationalist riots in Leopoldville.
Congo becomes independent with Patrice Lumumba as prime minister and Joseph Kasavubu as president.
Kasavubu dismissed Lumumba as prime minister and he is later arrested, and then murdered in 1961.
President Kasavubu appoints Tshombe prime minister.
Kasavubu and Tshombe ousted in a coup led by Joseph Mobutu. Political disagreements begin to occur.
Mobutu agrees to end the ban on multiparty politics and appoints a transitional government, but retains substantial powers. Later in 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 and other anti-Mobutu rebels, aided principally by Rwanda, capture the capital, Kinshasa; Zaire is renamed the Democratic Republic of Congo; Laurent-Desire Kabila installed as president. A shift in the entire political party occurred.
President Laurent Kabila is shot dead by a bodyguard. Joseph Kabila succeeds his father. Political system is similar to a monarchy.
Kabila meets Rwandan President Paul Kagame in Washington. Rwanda, Uganda and the rebels agree to a UN pull-out plan. Uganda, Rwanda begin pulling troops back from the frontline. The war between Uganda, Rwanda, and Congolese rebels ends.
Peace deal signed in South Africa between Kinshasa government and main rebel groups. Under the deal rebels and opposition members are to be given portfolios in an interim government.
Interim parliament inaugurated.
Uganda warns that its troops may re-enter DR Congo after a group of Ugandan Lord's Resistance Army rebels enter via Sudan.
New constitution comes into force and a new national flag is adopted.
Joseph Kabila is declared winner of October's run-off presidential election. Is the president of DR Congo.
Uganda and DR Congo agree to try defuse a border dispute.
Major outbreak of the deadly Ebola virus occurs.
The government and rebel militia sign a peace pact aimed at ending years of conflict in the east.
Army troops clash with Rwandan militias with whom they were formerly allied in eastern Congo, leaving thousands of people displaced.
Uganda, South Sudan and DR Congo launch joint assault on Ugandan Army bases in north-east DR Congo. Hundreds of civilians are killed in backlash attacks.
Ex-vice president Jean-Pierre Bemba is to stand trial on charges of war crimes for his troops' actions in Central African Republic between 2002 and 2003.
UN report into killing of Hutus in DR Congo between 1993 and 2003 says they may constitute "crimes of genocide".
Constitution changed, boosting President Kabila's election chances.
Court sentences Kibibi Mutware to 20 years in jail in a mass rape case in eastern Congo. This is the first conviction of a commanding officer for rape in eastern DR Congo.
Mai Mai militia leader Gideon Kyungu Mutanga escapes during a mass prison break-out by almost 1,000 inmates.
Presidential and parliamentary elections. Mr Kabila gains another term.
Warlord Thomas Lubanga becomes first person convicted by the International Criminal Court since it was set up 10 years ago. He is sentenced to 14 years in jail for using child soldiers in his rebel army in 2002 and 2003.
Representatives of 11 African countries sign an accord in Ethiopia pledging to help end the conflict in DR Congo.
M23 rebel group signs peace deal with government after army captures last of strongholds in east.
Congolese and Rwandan troops clash on the border of their two countries.
A political deal signed between President Kabila's ruling coalition and the opposition to delay the presidential election until 2018 sees Prime Minister.
UN says some 2,000 people have been killed in ethnically-inspired violence in recent months in Kasai province, where numerous mass graves have been found.
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