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.