53 Years Later: A Look at Congo Since Independence

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  • Congo’s National Motto: Unity, Work, Progress
  • The First President
  • Socialism Sets Sail
  • Three Congolese Heads of State
  • An Anti-Capitalist Congo
  • Democracy Prevails
  • Bloodshed in Brazzaville
  • Finding Peace
  • Sassou Nguesso Seizes Victory
  • Clashes With Rebels
  • Blood Diamonds
  • Burning Ammunition
  • Debt Canceled But Prospects Dim
  • A Long Road Ahead

The First President

After 80 years of occupation, France granted the Republic of Congo full independence on Aug. 15, 1960. Fulbert Youlou became the country’s first president. He ruled until for three years, until rival political parties and workers unrest forced him to resign.

(Photo: AFP/Getty Images)

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