Liberation Day in DR Congo in 2025

Liberation Day in DR Congo in 2025
Laurent Kabila became President on DR Congo Liberation Day.
  How long until Liberation Day?
Liberation Day
  Dates of Liberation Day in DR Congo
2025 DR Congo Sat, May 17 National Holiday
2024 DR Congo Fri, May 17 National Holiday
2023 DR Congo Wed, May 17 National Holiday
2022 DR Congo Tue, May 17 National Holiday
2021 DR Congo Mon, May 17 National Holiday

Marks the 1997 coup led by Laurent-Désiré Kabila following the First Congo War

When is Liberation Day?

Liberation Day is a public holiday in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, observed on May 17th.

This day marks the 1997 coup that brought Laurent-Désiré Kabila to power following the First Congo War.

History of Liberation Day

In November 1965, five years after independence, Army Chief of Staff Joseph-Désiré Mobutu seized power in a coup d'état. He ran the country (which he named Zaire) as a dictatorial one-party state.

As in some other African states, his anti-communist stance led to support of his government from the United States. With the fall of the Soviet Union in the early 1990s, the US no longer felt the need to prop up his regime.

The 1994 Rwandan genocide and disenfranchisement among the Congolese Tutsis led to an invasion in October 1996 led by Tutsi rebels backed by Rwanda and Uganda, beginning the First Congo War.

The Movement for the Liberation of the Congo rebel group was led by Jean-Pierre Bemba, the son of Congolese billionaire, Bemba Saolona.

On May 17th 1997, Kabila, a leader of Tutsi forces from the province of South Kivu, became President after Mobutu fled to Morocco, reverting the country's name to the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

To mark the holiday, each town and city across the Congo will hold street festivals with food, live music, and parades.

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