EMBASSY OF THE DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF THE CONGO National Day: June 30th – Independence Day Independence Day: June 30 Independence Day is a public holiday in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Independence Day
EMBASSY OF THE DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF THE CONGO
National Day: June 30th – Independence Day
Independence Day: June 30
Independence Day is a public holiday in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
Independence Day is celebrated on June 30 in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DR Congo). On June 30, 1960, DR Congo became independent, yet the people still struggle for full freedom today in an environment full of armed conflict.
History of Independence Day in the Democratic Republic of the Congo
In 1885, King Leopold II of Belgium acquired the rights for the territory of Congo and made the territory his own property. Over several decades, Leopold exploited the local population to make profits from local resources, particularly rubber. Roughly 10 million Congolese died as a result of exploitation and disease, prompting the international community to protest and condemn. Under international pressure, the Belgian government reluctantly took control of the territory from Leopold and ran it as an official colony of Belgium beginning in 1908.
Strong international pressure again fell on the Belgium government in the 1950s to reform its policy on the colony of Congo, especially with details of how the colony would transition to a self-governing state. At the same time, pseudo-political parties started sprouting up across Congo, all with the intention of promoting a free and independent Congo.
One of the most successful groups was Association des Bakongo (ABAKO), a cultural and political organization led by Joseph Kasa-Vubu. ABAKO lead the charge for calls of independence from Belgium. ABAKO wasn’t alone, however. Other organizations representing different ethnic groups as well as alumni groups and urban associations joined in the calls for independence.
All Day (Tuesday)