Parti Solidaire Africain

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The Parti Solidaire Africain (African Solidarity Party or PSA) was a political party active in the Belgian Congo and the subsequent Republic of the Congo (Léopoldville).

The party was formed in the aftermath of a series of riots in Leopoldville in 1958 which prompted Baudouin of Belgium to announce that independence for the colony was his long term aim.[1] It was formally established on 1st February 1959.[2] The new party's President-General was Antoine Gizenga whilst Cléophas Kamitatu served as Provincial President.[3]

The PSA quickly became one of the best organised of the parties that emerged following the king's edict, and it established a strong base amongst the rural communities of the Kwango and Kwilu Districts of the country.[3] Along with the Mouvement National Congolais the PSA was unusual amongst the new parties in that it did not identify with one ethnic group but rather preached socialism.[4]

After the election of 1960 the party was part of the inaugural post-independence coalition government of Patrice Lumumba.[2] However the 1961 elimination of Lumumba saw the PSA go into opposition and the rebellion that broke out in Kwilu during the Congo Crisis was the work of a wing of the PSA under the Maoist Pierre Mulele.[5] Effectively sidelined from mainstream politics, the PSA disappeared completely after the emergence of Mobutu Sese Seko in 1965.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Colin Legum, Africa Handbook, Penguin Books, 1969, p. 233
  2. ^ a b Claude Emerson Welch, Anatomy of Rebellion, SUNY Press, 1980, p. 231
  3. ^ a b Legum, Africa Handbook, p. 224
  4. ^ Daniel Tetteh Osabu-Kle, Compatible Cultural Democracy: The Key to Development in Africa, University of Toronto Press, 2000, p. 254
  5. ^ Tshilemalema Mukenge, Culture and Customs of the Congo, Greenwood Publishing Group, 2002, p. 28