History of Zaire II

Lead: Chaos greeted the establishment of the new Congo Republic in the early 1960s. How the nation would emerge depended on the struggle between the followers of Joseph Kasavubu and Patrice Lumumba.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Premier Patrice Lumumba was an African nationalist and throughout his career focused on the unity of the Congo rather than on autonomy for its regional areas. His great rival was President Joseph Kasavubu who valued increasing the power of local identities and regional jurisdictions as opposed to national priorities. In a confused burst of political chaos in the closing days of June 1960. Lumumba was elected premier and Kasavubu President. They were locked in an uneasy embrace as the Congo began to disintegrate.

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History of Zaire I

Lead: Zaire was carved from the heart of Africa and began its modern existence as a private reserve of a group of European investors led by King Leopold II of Belgium.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: The modern state of Zaire roughly covers the region drained by the Congo River, one of the world’s longest, and after the Amazon, discharges the largest amount of fresh water into the ocean. Indigenous peoples are mostly Bantu speakers but there are still more than 200 languages and dialects spoken in Zaire. European settlement followed the famous journey of H.M. Stanley who crossed the region in search of the elusive missionary, David Livingstone. King Leopold II of Belgium formed an investor group with the intention of exploiting the riches of the area and hired Stanley to establish river outposts and negotiate trading agreements with local leaders in the basin.

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