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He states that the collapse of the Soviet Union was decisive in persuading him to take this step: "The collapse of the Soviet Union helped to remove our long-standing concern regarding the influence of the South African Communist Party within the ANC Alliance.By 1990 classic socialism had been thoroughly discredited throughout the world and was no longer a serious option, even for revolutionary parties like the ANC.
He thought that Africa was "stagnant, primitive and dark", and that his rule would bring "progress, civilisation and light." Belgium's brutal exploitation of the Congo is infamous.
Leopold accumulated a vast personal fortune from ivory and rubber using Congolese forced labour.
Lumumba appealed to the United Nations to expel the Belgians and help restore internal order.
The United Nations forces refused to help suppress the Katangese revolt.
In 1891, the price of rubber began to increase following the invention of the inflatable rubber tyre, which increased his profits even further.
He was known locally as 'Bula Matadi' (He Who Breaks Rocks) to indicate the brutality of his regime.Independence in the Congo Independence was granted in 1960, and the country was named the Republic of the Congo.The African elite in the colony was very small, and this suited the financial interests of Belgium, which planned to maintain its economic grip on the Congo's mineral resources and raw materials.US President Eisenhower's government said Lumumba was a "very difficult if not impossible person to deal with, and was dangerous to the peace and safety of the world." Within weeks of independence, the Katanga Province, which was rich in copper, led by Moise Tshombe, broke away from the new republic. It said the troops were to protect Belgian nationals.However, the Belgian troops mainly landed in Katanga, where they helped keep the regime of Moise Tshombe in power with the help of the USA.During Leopold's rule the population of the Congo declined from an estimated 20-30 million to less than nine million.In 1907, administration of the colony shifted from the king to the Belgian Government, which renamed the country the Belgian Congo.Elections were held, and Patrice Lumumba became Prime Minister. During the Cold War, there was a contest for influence in Africa, between the US and Western powers on the one hand, and the Soviet Union and Eastern bloc countries on the other.The Cold War spread outside Europe to every region of the world.Most of newly independent ex-colonies in Africa got military and economic support from one of the Superpowers.The Congo was important because of its wealth and its size.