Essay Example on The Democratic Republic of the Congo is home to various ethnic groups








The Democratic Republic of the Congo DRC is home to various ethnic groups in the same time it is the third largest country on African continent Located on the central of Africa the country shares borders with Tanzania Burundi Rwanda Uganda and Republic of South Sudan to the east Zambia and Angola to the South the central African Republic to the North and the Republic of the Congo to the west Additionally DRC also posses incredible valuable natural resources particularly in eastern provinces of the country It was in 1482 when Congo had its first contact with Europeans after Portuguese discovered the mouth of Congo River Trade relations between the Portuguese and the Kingdom of Congo in fifteenth century involved purchasing slaves in order to provide cheap labour for plantations nearby Portuguese islands and the Americas thereafter Competing with the Arabs by the time of 17th century Portuguese traded 15 000 slaves each year Thus the slave trade became the source of the conflict along with Portuguese efforts to Christianize the Congolese Sonderlund Briggs Najem Roberts 2014 The situation for local populations were even getting worse when Congo s territories were seized as personal possession of King Leopold II of Belgium in 1885 By his campaign to end slave trade and Christianization the King himself called a conference in Brussels in 1876 to deliberate colonization In this case Britain and France that were opposing Portuguese gave their support to the King to establish a free trade zone in the country Leopold himself persuaded European leaders mentioned his ambitions to wipe out the slave trade spread civilization encourage missionaries and establish a free trade zone to all merchants

However, the reality showed different matters The Kingdom of Congo that was changed into the Congo Free State was to be private possessions of King Leopold The King made Congo as his money tool to enrich himself Leopold stated his philosophy to deal with a race composed of cannibals for thousand years it s necessary to use particular methods in order to make the Congolese realize the purity of work These vicious methods included the use of chains whips hostage of worker s families against the fulfillment of production quotas amputations and sometimes lead into executions Haskin 2005 mentioned that there were between 5 and 10 million people died during Leopold s tenure The methods he used disgusted European governments even the colonialists Due to pressures from other European colonizers Leopold eventually transferred Congo reluctantly to Belgian government in 1908 and the country later was known as Belgian Congo Nonetheless due to previous oppressive system hundreds of thousands of Congolese continued to die in the next following years In early 1910 in cooperation with private companies Church and the State ruled Belgian Congo The Catholic Church indicated the slogan for the natives no elite no problem where secondary school is the highest level education that could be able to achieve for Congolese This concept purposed to prevent Congolese to be involved in leadership roles Those who received education were known as évolués or evolved ones who later established the basis of the black bourgeoisie

One of the most prominent groups was the Union des Intéréts Sociaux Haskin 2005 The organization treasurer Joseph Kasavubu was later become President when Belgian Congo got its independence in 1960 Nonetheless there were emerged another new leader in the same time Patrice Lumumba who had socialist political ideals went on to become the prime minister of the Congo By the time of the official ceremony launching the first Republic Lumumba hardly opposed to continuation engagement of the Belgians followed by arisen of spirit of nationalism against Belgians However due to lack of experience and qualified people for higher position in ruling system the emergence of native elites did not make the country ready for self-rule In the meantime the third political personality emerged Moise Tshombe He was a successful African businessman in the Congo and later became leader of provincial government in Katanga the rich mineral province after Congos independence Katanga produced vital economic income to the new state where its exports made 80 percent of Congo s trade revenues Tshombe s administration that had large white population heavily relied on expatriates mainly Belgian advisers Just soon after independence declaration public order was threatened by violent reactions from parties that felt themselves to not being included in the new post colonial settlement

The new army of the new state was formed called as the Armée National Congolaise ANC However about 1000 Belgian officers still gave commands to Congolese African soldiers caused discontent among Congolese Within days generalized disorder that accompanied them had spread to other parts of the Congo In 8 July 1960 the disorder had come to Katanga nonetheless Tshombe s administration resisted the violence with intervention from Belgian military intervention On 11 July 1960 based on encouragement from his foreign advisor Tshombe declared the independence of Katanga and refused to get orders from leaders of central government in Leopoldville Following the secession of Katanga Kasavubu and Lumumba asked Dag Hammarskjöld the UN Secretary-General to send military assistance with initial request to protect national territory of the Congo against Belgium aggression which was considered as a threat to international peace MacQueen 2014

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