In pre-colonial times the south-western part of the country was under the influence of the Kingdom of Congo, while other state formations were organized by the Luba and Lunda populations; interested in E by the events of the region of the great lakes, in the NE the Democratic Republic of the Congo was instead touched, through Sudan, by the events of the Arab-Islamic world. This variety explains the problems of cohesion and stability known by Democratic Republic of the Congo after independence, which came at the end of the Belgian colonial administration. This was officially established with the Berlin conference of 1884-85, which attributed the sovereignty of the free state del Democratic Republic of the Congo to King Leopold II. The atrocities perpetrated against the population to organize the collection of natural rubber sparked complaints and protests all over the world, until in 1908 the diplomatic pressure of Great Britain and the USA induced Leopoldo to transfer the administration of the territory to the government of Belgium and Congo was born. Belgian, with capital Léopoldville.
According to localcollegeexplorer, independence was granted after a nationalist demonstration organized by the Abako (Alliance of BaKongo) in Léopoldville in 1959, which closed with serious accidents and many victims. The Republic of Democratic Republic of the Congo was proclaimed on June 30, 1960. The political parties were in favor of federal constitutional formulas, as opposed to the unified Mouvement national congolais of P. Lumumba, which obtained a relative majority in the preparatory elections for independence; the 1960 Constitution sanctioned a compromise, providing for a unitary state, but with provinces endowed with ample autonomy. A compromise was also reached in the attribution of the highest offices: J. Kasavubu, leader of Abako, was elected president of the Republic, while Lumumba became head of the government. A few months later, Lumumba, to face the secession of the rich mining province of Katanga, led by M. Tshombe and supported by the Belgians willing to maintain their positions of control, appealed to the UN, then to the USSR, but clashed with Kasavubu, who fired him. The Army Chief of Staff, J.-D. Mobutu, and Lumumba, arrested and handed over to Tshombe, was murdered. The secession of Katanga was cut short in 1963 by a government of national unity, entrusted to the moderate Democratic Republic of the Congo Adoula, thanks to the intervention of the blue helmets. However, hotbeds of secessionism had arisen in other regions. In 1964 Kasavubu entrusted the government to Tshombe and a new presidential and federalist Constitution was promulgated. After the replacement of Tshombe by E. Kimba, in 1965 Mobutu assumed all the powers and proclaimed the second republic.
Mobutu and his Mouvement Populaire de la Révolution (MPR) remained at the helm of the country for 32 years. In foreign policy, he maintained very close relations with Belgium, France and the USA, although at the same time he launched an Africanization program, changing names and toponyms (Congo became Zaire). Internally, behind an apparent stability there was a dictatorial and corrupt government. The opposition to the regime was organized mainly around the Union pour la Démocratie et le Progrès Social (UDPS), born in 1982. In April 1990 Mobutu announced the imminent introduction of a multi-party system, the birth of the third republic and its he renounced the office of president, but in fact continued to hold all the powers, despite the protests of France and the suspension of economic aid decreed by the USA and the EEDemocratic Republic of the Congo In 1994 Mobutu agreed to host about 1.5 million Hutus from Rwanda in the eastern regions, but the arrival of the refugees had very serious consequences: in October 1996 in the province of Kivu the Zairean Tutsis, supported by the new Rwandan government and framed in the radical Alliance of Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Congo-Zaire (AFDLCZ), revolted, defeating Hutu extremists supported by the Zairian army; this allowed the majority of refugees to return to Rwanda, while the rebellion rapidly spread to the whole of Zaire, forcing Mobutu into exile in May 1997. in October 1996 in the province of Kivu the Zairean Tutsi, supported by the new Rwandan government and part of the radical Alliance of Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Congo-Zaire (AFDLCZ), rebelled, defeating the Hutu extremists supported by the Zairian army; this allowed the majority of refugees to return to Rwanda, while the rebellion rapidly spread to the whole of Zaire, forcing Mobutu into exile in May 1997. in October 1996 in the province of Kivu the Zairean Tutsi, supported by the new Rwandan government and part of the radical Alliance of Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Congo-Zaire (AFDLCZ), rebelled, defeating the Hutu extremists supported by the Zairian army; this allowed the majority of refugees to return to Rwanda, while the rebellion rapidly spread to the whole of Zaire, forcing Mobutu into exile in May 1997.
In the same month, AFDLCZ leader L. Kabila proclaimed himself president of the renamed Democratic Republic of Congo. However, the civil war did not stop. Kabila tried to appeal to the nationalism of the population, presenting the enemies as Tutsi invaders and unleashing the hunt for the members of this ethnic group, but the rebels still occupied a large portion of the territory. The conflict continued with reports from both sides of atrocities to the detriment of the civilian population. Several attempts to bring about a meeting between all the countries of the area to reach a negotiated solution failed, mainly because the government refused to admit even representatives of the rebel forces, which enjoyed the support of Uganda and Rwanda, to the discussion. In April 1999, a Lusaka, an agreement was reached for the suspension of hostilities, which however remained largely disregarded.
In January 2001, under unclear circumstances, Kabila was killed. The leadership of the government and the army was assumed in the same month by his son Joseph, who engaged in a vast diplomatic work, above all to persuade Rwanda and Uganda to withdraw their contingents from Democratic Republic of the Congo In 2002, a new agreement was concluded in South Africa between the Kinshasa government and some of the armed opposition groups. A provisional government was formed that welcomed members of the rebel forces and in April 2003 Kabila signed a transitional constitution. In the summer of that year a provisional Parliament was also installed, while exponents of the former guerrilla groups were appointed vice-presidents and placed alongside Kabila. A new Constitution, approved by Parliament in 2005, was successfully submitted to popular vote and entered into force in 2006. Between July and October 2006, the first democratic elections since the 1960s confirmed Kabila as president. But the country is far from being pacified: the north-eastern province of Ituri was devastated between 1999 and 2007 by the struggle between the hema and lendu ethnic groups; North Kivu has been an area of conflict since 2004 and the peace agreement of December 2008 between the government and local militias was soon broken by the rebel officer Laurent Nkunda, then arrested thanks to an agreement with Rwanda (2009). The situation of extreme internal fragility, of rampant violence and weakness of the central power continued in the following years, and in this climate the elections were held in November 2011 to renew the presidential, parliamentary, provincial and local offices. The consultations saw the reappointment of Kabila as president with 48.95% of the votes, against 32.3% of the preferences obtained by the opponent E. Tshisekedi. In consideration of the irregularities detected, the international observers who monitored the elections estimated these results to be completely unreliable; their disclosure sparked new clashes between the security forces and supporters of opposition candidates, who denounced fraud. In May 2016, the Constitutional Court ruled that President Kabila could remain in office even at the end of his mandate if the presidential elections scheduled for November had not had to take place, causing new, harsh reactions from the opposition; in October the elections were postponed to April 2018, and the following month, the country’s premier A. Matata Ponyo, in office since 2012, resigned as required by the agreement signed by the government, civil society and the opposition to extend the presidential term. The agreement also established the creation of a national unity government and the appointment of a new opposition premier, chosen in the person of S. Badibanga, who in May 2017 was succeeded by B. Tshibala Nzenze, nominated by Kabila. The presidential elections held in December 2018 recorded the affirmation of the opposition leader F. Tshisekedi, who took over from the outgoing president Kabila, in power for 18 years; in the following May the entire executive, considering his task completed, resigned, taking over from Prime Minister Tshibala the economist of the Parti du Peuple pour la Reconstruction et la Démocratie S. Ilunga Ilunkamba; the prime minister resigned in January 2021 following the lack of confidence of the Parliament, replaced the following month by J.-M. Sama Lukonde on the appointment of President Tshisekedi.