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Rhythm-A-Day Blog for January 16, 2020: Anniversary of President Kabila’s Assassination, DCR

Posted by Wolf Murphy on

Anniversary of President Laurent Kabila’s Assassination (DCR)

It is very ironic that the complex history of the Congo often begins with two events in the same sentence: On June 30, 1960, the Congo gained independence from Belgium, and the Congo Crisis began. The populist prime minister, Patrice Lumumba, was assassinated within months, and the country suffered under the dictator Joseph Mobutu as European powers conspired to prevent nationalization of the Congo's vast natural resources. Laurent Kabila, born a member of the Luba people in 1939, was active as a young man in assisting Lumumba in 1960. Within a few short years of his death, Kabila was organizing rebellion against Mobutu. It took more than 30 years, but he eventually succeeded and was sworn in as President in May of 1997.

He restored the name "The Democratic Republic of the Congo." His term was challenged by conflict and criticism, and he was assassinated on Jan. 16, 2001 by one of his own bodyguards in an organized hit. Regardless, enough of the country loved and respected him for fighting to take back Congo for the Congolese people him that this day is considered one of two national Martyr's Days in the DRC.

The rhythms here are from the Luba rhythm Mutwashi.

Today's Video Lesson

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