Joseph Kasa-Vubu

Joseph Kasa-Vubu, alternatively Joseph Kasavubu, (c.1915 – 24 March 1969) was a Congolese politician who served as the first President of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (then Republic of the Congo) from 1960 until 1965.

Joseph Kasa-Vubu
Kasa-Vubu at the Belgo-Congolese Round Table Conference, January 1960
1st President of the Republic of the Congo
In office
27 June 1960  24 November 1965
Prime MinisterPatrice Lumumba
Joseph Iléo
Justin Marie Bomboko
Joseph Iléo
Cyrille Adoula
Moise Tshombe
Évariste Kimba
Preceded byPosition established
Succeeded byJoseph-Désiré Mobutu
Personal details
Bornc.1915 (1915)
Kuma-Dizi, Mayombe, Belgian Congo
Died24 March 1969 (aged 5354)
Boma, Democratic Republic of the Congo
Political partyABAKO
SpouseHortense Ngoma Masunda (m. 1941)
Children9, including Justine Kasa-Vubu

A member of the Kongo ethnic group, Kasa-Vubu became the leader of the Alliance des Bakongo (ABAKO) party in the 1950s and soon became a leading proponent of Congo's independence from Belgian colonial rule. He then became the country's first president in a coalition with Patrice Lumumba as prime minister. Less than a week after the country's independence in 1960, their government was confronted by the Congo Crisis, a series of secession movements and rebellions. During this time, Kasa-Vubu, a centrist, clashed with the leftist Lumumba when the latter ordered assistance from the Soviet Union, leading to a political deadlock. Kasa-Vubu then dissolved Lumumba's government, accusing it of having communist sympathies. Following Lumumba's execution in 1961, Kasa-Vubu presided over a series of weak governments while confronting subsequent rebellions by Lumumba's supporters. In 1965, he was overthrown in another coup by Joseph-Désiré Mobutu and died four years later.


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