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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 Provinces 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

  1. Colin Legum, Africa Handbook, Penguin Books, 1969, p. 233
  2. 2.0 2.1 Claude Emerson Welch, Anatomy of Rebellion, SUNY Press, 1980, p. 231
  3. 3.0 3.1 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

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