|1st President of the Democratic Republic of the Congo
(then known as Congo)
July 1, 1960 – November 24, 1965
|Preceded by||New creation|
|Succeeded by||Mobutu Sese Seko|
Tshela, Belgian Congo
|Died||March 24, 1969 (aged 58–59)
Boma, Congo, Democratic Republic of the Congo
|Children||Adolphe, Marie-Rose, Flavien, Pascal, Justine, Joseph, Alain, Viviane-Hortense, Josephine-Yvonne, Michel|
Joseph Kasa-Vubu (alternatively Joseph Kasavubu, 1910 [other sources have 1913, 1915 and 1917] – March 24, 1969) was the first President (1960–1965) of the Republic of the Congo, today called Democratic Republic of the Congo.
Early life 
Congolese independence 
Upon Congo's independence from Belgium, he was elected president by the Congo's new national assembly, taking office on June 30, 1960.
The new republic was immediately disrupted by political and military strife and regional secessionist movements, while the central government was paralyzed by conflict between the conservative Kasa-Vubu and his nationalistic prime minister Patrice Lumumba.
Congo Crisis 
On September 5, Kasa-Vubu dismissed Lumumba but the prime minister refused to accept this and in turn announced Kasa-Vubu's dismissal, creating a stalemate that was only ended on September 14 with army commander Joseph Mobutu's seizure of power and arrest of Lumumba. Lumumba was later handed to Moise Tshombe's secessionist forces in the southern province of Katanga and murdered.
Over the next five years, Kasa-Vubu presided over a succession of weak governments. In July 1964 he appointed former Katangan secessionist leader Moise Tshombe as prime minister with a mandate to end the Simba Rebellion. Tshombe recalled the exiled Katangese gendarmerie and recruited white mercenaries, integrating them with the Armée Nationale Congolaise. Many of these mercenaries had fought for Katanga when Tshombe was leader of the breakaway province. Despite the successes against the Simba rebels, Tshombe's prestige was damaged by the use of white mercenaries and western forces. He lost the support of Kasa-Vubu and was dismissed from the post of prime minister in October 1965.
Mobutu's coup d'état 
Mobutu seized power for a second time on November 25, 1965, this time deposing Kasa-Vubu and subsequently declaring himself head of state. Kasa-Vubu was placed under house arrest and died at his home in Boma, Kongo Central in 1969.
See also 
Position created on independence from Belgium
|President of the Republic of the Congo
Mobutu Sese Seko