June 1960: Belgian Congo becomes independent. November 1965: Army under Col. Joseph Mobutu takes power after five years of unrest.

1970: General Mobutu elected president unopposed.

January 1972: Mobutu changes name to Mobutu Sese Seko.

1982: Opposition Union for Democracy and Social Progress (UDPS) formed.

May 1983: Amnesty International publishes highly critical report.

February 1989 and February 1990: Student demonstrations in Kinshasa and Lubumbashi violently suppressed.

April 1990: Unrest, demonstrations continue. Mobutu announces multiparty system. Etienne Tshisekedi, UDPS leader, released from house arrest.

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