The territory was inhabited by ancient Negrito peoples (Pygmies), who were pushed into the mountains by Bantu and Nilotic invaders. Henry M. Stanley navigated the Congo River in 1877. Commissioned by King Leopold II of the Belgians, Stanley made treaties with native chiefs that enabled the king to obtain personal title to the territory at the Berlin Conference of 1885.
Leopold accumulated a personal fortune from ivory and rubber through Congolese slave labor. Ten million people are estimated to have died from forced labor, starvation, and extermination during Leopold's colonial rule. His brutal exploitation of the Congo eventually prompted Belgium to take over and establish it as a Belgian colony in 1908.
The then-Republic of the Congo gained its independence on June 30, 1960.Patrice Lumumba of the Mouvement National Congolais became prime minister and Joseph Kasavubu of the ABAKO Party became head of state.
Within weeks, the Katanga Province, led by Moise Tshombe, seceded from the new republic, and South Kasai followed. Belgium sent paratroopers to quell the civil war, and the United Nations flew in a peacekeeping force.
Kasavubu staged an army coup in 1960 and handed Lumumba over to Katangan forces. Dag Hammarskjold, UN secretary-general, died in a plane crash en route to a peace conference with Tshombe on September 17, 1961.
Tshombe rejected a national reconciliation plan submitted by the UN in 1962. Tshombe's troops fired on UN forces and in the ensuing conflict Tshombe capitulated on January 14, 1963. The UN peacekeeping force withdrew and Kasavubu named Tshombe premier in order to fight a spreading rebellion.
Kasavubu dismissed Tshombe in 1965. Gen. Joseph-DesirÃ© Mobutu seized power and declared himself president in a November 1965 coup. Mobutu eliminated opposition to win the election in 1970. In 1975, he nationalized much of the economy, barred religious instruction in schools, and decreed the adoption of African names. He changed the country's name to Zaire and his own to Mobuto Sese Seko, which means "the all-powerful warrior who, because of his endurance and inflexible will to win, will go from conquest to conquest leaving fire in his wake."
Laurent Kabila and his guerrilla movement launched a seven-month campaign that ousted Mobutu in May 1997. Mobutu's policies drove Zaire into economic collapse while he siphoned off millions of dollars for himself.
The country was renamed the Democratic Republic of the Congo in 1997. In August 1998, Congolese rebel forces gained control of a large portion of the country until Angolan, Namibian, and Zimbabwean troops came to Kabila's aid. A cease-fire, the Lusaka Accord, was signed in 1999.
Laurent Kabila was assassinated in January 2001. His son, Joseph Kabila, was named head of state. In April 2002, the government agreed to a power-sharing arrangement with Ugandan-supported rebels and signed a peace accord with Rwanda and Uganda. The Pretoria Accord was signed in 2002 to end fighting and establish a government of national unity.
In April 2003, hundreds of civilians were massacred in Ituri in an ethnic conflict. A transitional government was set up in July 2003, but fighting continued. By the end of 2004, the death toll had reached 3.8 million.
In May 2005, a new constitution was adopted. It was ratified in January 2006. On July 30, 2006, the first democratic election since 1970 took place. President Kabila received 44.8% of the vote, which was not enough to win the election outright. Fighting broke out between factions supporting the two major candidates. Kabila was declared the winner in the October run-off election. Kabila was inaugurated president in December 2006.
In August 2007, Laurent Nkunda, led battles between his militia and the Congolese Army. Nkunda claimed he was protecting Tutsis from Rwandan Hutus. In January 2008, the government and the rebels signed an agreement, but the cease-fire fell apart in August. Leaders from several African nations and Ban Ki-moon, the secretary-general of the UN met in Nairobi in November. They signed a pact that calls for an immediate end to the fighting and agreed that if UN troops fail to protect civilians, then African peacekeepers would take over.
Prime Minister Antoine Gizenga resigned in September 2008, citing health reasons. He was succeeded by Adolphe Muzito.
Presidential elections were held in November 2011 between Joseph Kabila and former prime minister Ã‰tienne Tshisekedi. Nearly 20 people were killed in election-related violence. Congo's election commission ruled in December that Kabila prevailed.
In March 2012, Prime Minister Muzito resigned. Deputy Prime Minister Louis Koyagialo was appointed to replace Muzito temporarily.
On March 14, 2012, former militia leader, Thomas Lubanga, was convicted of using child soldiers during the ethnic conflict in the Ituri region. The ruling made by the International Criminal Court established the use of child soldiers as an international crime.
In April 2012, Augustin Matata Ponyo Mapon was named prime minister.
In the spring of 2012, former rebels integrated into the army, called the M23 movement and led by Gen. Bosco Ntaganda, mutinied. Violence peaked in November, when M23 rebels took the city of Goma in eastern Congo.
The UN and leaders from 11 central African nations signed a framework agreement in February 2013, pledging to work together to end the conflict.
In March 2013, Gen. Bosco Ntaganda turned himself in to the U.S. embassy in Kigali, Rwanda. He was transferred to the Hague to face charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity.
In November 2013, M23 rebel chief Sultani Makenga, surrendered in Uganda, along with hundreds of fighters.
The following are some Scriptures that deal with end-time events. All prophecies concerning the nations are leading up to fulfillment of end-time judgments (events).
Ezekiel chapters 38 & 39
Zechariah 13: 8-9
Zechariah 14: 1-16
Daniel chapters 2, 4, 7-12
Matthew 24: 1-51
Mark 13: 1-37
Luke 21: 6-38
The book of Revelation
The book of Joel