Even after the Congo was officially declared independent in 1960, Western and European powers continued to intervene in the nation’s domestic affairs. The Congo Crisis, an era of chaos in the country,occurred from June 1960 until November 1965 and resulted in the assassination of Patrice Lumumba, the Prime Minister. During this period the Congo became an ideological battlefield for the warring powers of the Cold War. The Cold War caused nations to look for new ways to expand their sphere of influence. Consequently, nations attempted to control the newly independent Congo as a means of gaining leverage. The multiple outside parties intervening in the political organization of the Congo helped lead to the assassination of Patrice Lumumba, the first democratically elected leader of the country, and the destabilization the government.
Belgium’s interference in the rewriting of the independent Congo’s constitution, under Prime Minister Lumumba, set the government of the African country up for failure. Belgium initially colonized the Congo as part of a plan to exploit the African nation for its abundance of natural resources. The Congo was set free from Belgian rule officially on June 30th, 1960, but Belgian forces played a powerful role in the country’s governmental structure. Therefore, when the country’s constitution was being rewritten to accommodate the new leadership of the progressing Congolese society, Belgium, the former colonizer, wanted to have input. The arrangements for the Constitution seemed destined to fail since Belgium was such a powerful force in its creation. As a result, “ a series of Belgian excesses led to a rapid breach between the objectives of the Belgians on the one hand, and the Lumumba government on the o...
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...the Congo are found in the Belgian interference in the rewriting of the Constitution, the placement of Belgian leaders around Lumumba, the U.N.’s corrupt military missions, and finally the intrusion of a multitude of nations leading to the death of Lumumba. The assassination of Patrice Lumumba and events leading up to it show how a country’s government can be destroyed by third-party intervention. Foreign meddling in the Congo, as a result of Cold War tensions and colonialism lead the country towards political turmoil.
1. Edmond J. Clinton, American Bar Association Journal, Vol. 47, No. 11 (NOVEMBER 1961)
2. Natufe, Omajuwa I. The Cold War and The Congo Crisis. N.p.: n.p., 1984. Print.
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