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Liberation Day

Liberation Day 2019 and 2020

Liberation Day in Democratic Republic of Congo occurs every 17 May to mark the coup d’état that occurred in 1997, led by Laurent-Desire Kabila.

YearDateDayHoliday
201917 MayFriLiberation Day
202017 MaySunLiberation Day

In 1960, the former Belgian Congo received its independence and was then known as the Republic of Congo. Immediately after the proclamation of the country’s independence, a political crisis erupted, which only ended when power was taken by Joseph-Desire Mobutu in 1965.

The rule of Mobutu lasted for over 30 years. During this time, the government established a centralised single-party state, which eventually created a type of powerful, cult culture. The dictatorship of Mobutu ended in 1997, after the First Congo War.

The First Congo War was started by Laurent-Desire Kabila, who was the rebel leader. He worked to enlist the support of other countries during the war, including Burundi, Uganda, and Rwanda. He began the full-scale rebellion and finally overthrew Mobutu. At the conclusion of the war, on 16 May 1997 Mobutu fled from the country in exile. On the next day, Kabila proclaimed that he was now the President of DR Congo.

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