Zaire, officially the Republic of Zaire (French: République du Zaïre) was the name of a country that is now called the Democratic Republic of the Congo. It used this name from 27 November 1971 to 17 May 1997. The name "Zaire" comes from a Portuguese corruption of the Kongo word nzare, meaning "river".
Republic of Zairea
République du Zaïre
Repubuliki ya Zaïre
Jamhuri ya Zaïre
|Motto: Paix – Justice – Travail |
"Peace – Justice – Work"
|Anthem: La Zaïroise|
"The Song of Zaire"
Lingala · Kongo
Swahili · Tshiluba
|Religion||Christianity, Baluba religion, Bantu religion|
|Government||Mobutist one-party republicc|
under a de facto military dictatorshipd
|Mobutu Sese Seko|
|Historical era||Cold War|
|25 November 1965|
• Country renamed
|27 October 1971|
|16 May 1997|
• Death of Mobutu
|7 September 1997|
|1996||2,345,410 km2 (905,570 sq mi)|
|Time zone||CET / EET|
|Today part of||Democratic Republic of the Congo|
a. Renamed from "Democratic Republic of the Congo" (République démocratique du Congo) on 27 October 1971.
b. Changed from "Léopoldville" in 1966.
c. Zaire became a de jure one-party state on December 23, 1970, but had been a de facto one-party state since May 20, 1967, the date on which the MPR (Mouvement Populaire de la Revolution) was established. Zaire formally adopted a multiparty system on April 24, 1990, when Mobutu delivered a speech proclaiming the end of the one-party system. The country adopted multipartyism de jure with the passage of Law No. 90-002 of July 5, 1990, which amended its constitution accordingly.
- Constitution de la République du Zaïre, article 5: "Sa devise est : Paix — Justice — Travail". Source: Journal Officiel de la République du Zaïre (N. 1 du 1er janvier 1983)
- Thomas Turner, "Flying High Above the Toads: Mobutu and Stalemated Democracy", in Political Reform in Francophone Africa (1997), ed. John F. Clark and David E. Gardinier, page 70.
- Kaplan, Irving (ed.). Zaire: A Country Study. Third Edition, First Printing. 1979.
- Sandra W. Meditz and Tim Merrill (eds.). Zaire: A Country Study. Fourth Edition. 1993.
- Complete text of the Zairian constitution after the enactment of Law No. 90-002 of July 5, 1990 concerning the modification of certain provisions of the Constitution