Free Republic of the Congo

The Free Republic of the Congo (French: République Libre du Congo), often referred to as Congo-Stanleyville, was a short-lived rival government to the Republic of the Congo (Congo-Léopoldville) based in the eastern Congo and led by Antoine Gizenga.

Free Republic of the Congo
République Libre du Congo
Coat of arms
Free Republic of the Congo in red (1961)
StatusPartially recognized
and largest city
Official languagesFrench
GovernmentParliamentary republic
Prime Minister 
Antoine Gizenga
Historical eraCongo Crisis
12 December 1960
 Partial recognition
20 February 1961
16 January 1962
Time zoneUTC+2 (CAT)
Preceded by
Succeeded by
Today part ofDemocratic Republic of the Congo

Following Prime Minister Patrice Lumumba's deposition in September 1960 in the midst of the Congo Crisis, many of his supporters became disillusioned with the government in Léopoldville (modern-day Kinshasa). Under Lumumba's deputy, Antoine Gizenga, leftists organised in Stanleyville (modern-day Kisangani) and in December declared their own government to be the legal successor to the prime minister's administration. Gizenga quickly amassed military strength and, by February 1961, had occupied vast portions of Congolese territory. In August, negotiations between the two governments resulted in Gizenga agreeing to stand down. He returned to the office of deputy under the new prime minister, Cyrille Adoula. Still, Gizenga distanced himself from the central administration and rebuilt his own political and military power. The rival government was not fully reintegrated into the Republic of the Congo until Gizenga was arrested in January 1962.

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