Captain Camille-Aimé Coquilhat was a Belgian soldier and colonial civil servant who finished his career as Vice Governor-General of the Congo Free State from 1890 until his death in 1891. He was notably an associate of Henry Morton Stanley during his expeditions in the Haut-Congo during the mid-1880s. Born in Liège, Belgium in 1853 to a family of French origin, Coquilhat volunteered in the French Army during the Franco-Prussian War, he returned to Belgium after the war. In 1882, he volunteered to join the International African Association's expedition in Haut-Congo led by Henry Morton Stanley and served at Stanleyville until 1894. After this, he was involved in setting up colonial stations among the Bangala people in the Équateur region of the future Congo Free State. Returning to Belgium for health reasons in 1885, he returned to the Congo in 1886 where he was involved with fighting against the Eastern Congolese "Arabs" in the Stanley Falls; the same year, he was forced to return to Belgium again for health reasons where he stayed until 1890, becoming an official in the colonial administration.
In 1889, Coquilhat was proposed as a replacement for Camille Janssen as Governor-General of the Congo Free State, the most senior administrative position, sent to Congo again. Coquilhat died of malaria shortly after his arrival in the Congo at Boma on 24 March 1891, his body was repatriated to Belgium. In Belgium, Coquilhat was celebrated as one of the "pioneers" of the Congo Free State and a town known as Équateurville, was renamed Coquilhatville in his honour. Today Coquilhatville is known as Mbandaka. Sur le Haut-Congo. Paris, 1888. "Coquilhat". KAOWARSOM. Biographie Coloniale Belge. Retrieved 12 August 2016. "Coquilhat". Revue encyclopédique: recueil documentaire universel et illustré. 1891. Pp. 377–8. Camille-Aimé Coquilhat Congo
Head of state
A head of state is the public persona who represents the national unity and legitimacy of a sovereign state. Depending on the country's form of government and separation of powers, the head of state may be a ceremonial figurehead or concurrently the head of government. In a parliamentary system the head of state is the de jure leader of the nation, there is a separate de facto leader with the title of prime minister. In contrast, a semi-presidential system has both heads of state and government as the leaders de facto of the nation. In countries with parliamentary systems, the head of state is a ceremonial figurehead who does not guide day-to-day government activities or is not empowered to exercise any kind of political authority. In countries where the head of state is the head of government, the head of state serves as both a public figurehead and the highest-ranking political leader who oversees the executive branch. Former French president Charles de Gaulle, while developing the current Constitution of France, said that the head of state should embody l'esprit de la nation.
Some academic writers discuss states and governments in terms of "models". An independent nation state has a head of state, determines the extent of its head's executive powers of government or formal representational functions. In protocolary terms, the head of a sovereign, independent state is identified as the person who, according to that state's constitution, is the reigning monarch, in the case of a monarchy, or the president, in the case of a republic. Among the different state constitutions that establish different political systems, four major types of heads of state can be distinguished: The parliamentary system, with three subset models; the non-executive model, in which the head of state has either none or limited executive powers, has a ceremonial and symbolic role. The Parliamentary-Presidential model, or South African Method, where Parliament chooses the President, who acts as both Head of State and Head of Government; some argue this is unfair, becouse citizens dont get a direct say in their executive leadership.
However, this method makes it impossible for a dictator to come to power. The semi-presidential system, in which the head of state shares key executive powers with a head of government or cabinet. In a federal constituent or a dependent territory, the same role is fulfilled by the holder of an office corresponding to that of a head of state. For example, in each Canadian province the role is fulfilled by the Lieutenant Governor, whereas in most British Overseas Territories the powers and duties are performed by the Governor; the same applies to Indian states, etc.. Hong Kong's constitutional document, the Basic Law, for example, specifies the Chief Executive as the head of the special administrative region, in addition to their role as the head of government; these non-sovereign-state heads have limited or no role in diplomatic affairs, depending on the status and the norms and practices of the territories concerned. In parliamentary systems the head of state may be the nominal chief executive officer, heading the executive branch of the state, possessing limited executive power.
In reality, following a process of constitutional evolution, powers are only exercised by direction of a cabinet, presided over by a head of government, answerable to the legislature. This accountability and legitimacy requires that someone be chosen who has a majority support in the legislature, it gives the legislature the right to vote down the head of government and their cabinet, forcing it either to resign or seek a parliamentary dissolution. The executive branch is thus said to be responsible to the legislature, with the head of government and cabinet in turn accepting constitutional responsibility for offering constitutional advice to the head of state. In parliamentary constitutional monarchies, the legitimacy of the unelected head of state derives from the tacit approval of the people via the elected representatives. Accordingly, at the time of the Glorious Revolution, the English parliament acted of its own authority to name a new king and queen. In monarchies with a written constitution, the position of monarch is a creature of the constitution and could quite properly be abolished through a democratic procedure of constitutional amendment, although there are significant procedural hurdles imposed on such a procedure.
In republics with a parliamentary system the head of state is titled president and the principal functions of such presidents are ceremonial and symbolic, as opposed to the presidents in a presidential or semi-presidential system. In reality, numerous variants exist to the position of a head of state within a parliamentary system; the older the cons
Minister of the Colonies (Belgium)
Belgium had a colonial empire in Central Africa from 1908 to 1962, comprising the colony of the Belgian Congo and the international mandate of Ruanda-Urundi. The territories were the responsibility of a Belgian parliamentarian who received the title Minister of the Colonies for most of the colonial period; the exact title was changed on several occasions. For most of the existence of the post, office holders were known as "Minister of the Colonies". From the accession of Maurits Van Hemelrijck in November 1958, the ministerial title changed to "Minister of the Belgian Congo and Ruanda-Urundi". On 30 June 1960, with the independence of the Belgian Congo, the title changed to "Minister of African Affairs" whose only office holders were August de Schryver and Harold Charles d'Aspremont Lynden. In addition to official colonial ministers, two individuals served as ministers without portfolio with a colonial brief between 1959 and 1960. Raymond Scheyven was "Minister without portfolio, charged with the economic and financial affairs of the Belgian Congo and Ruanda-Urundi" while Walter Ganshof van der Meersch was "Minister without portfolio, charged with general affairs in Africa".
The following is a list of ministers, cited by historian Guy Vanthemsche in his book Belgium and the Congo, 1885-1980: Political partiesChristian Democrat Catholic Party, later: Christian Social Party Liberal Liberal Party Socialist Belgian Socialist Party Federal Public Service Foreign Affairs Bibliothèque Africaine, overseen by the ministry starting in 1908 Archives Africaines, containing 5 km of colonial ministry-related records List of Prime Ministers of Belgium List of Belgian monarchs List of Presidents of the Democratic Republic of the Congo List of Presidents of Burundi List of Presidents of Rwanda Vanthemsche, Guy. Belgium and the Congo, 1885-1980. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0-521-19421-1. Vanhove, Julien. Histoire du Ministère des Colonies. Brussels: Royal Academy for Overseas Sciences
Herman Thomas Marie Ledeganck was a Belgian diplomat and colonial administrator who served as vice governor-general of the Congo Free State from 1888 until 1889. Born at Zomergem the son of a Flemish poet, Ledeganck entered the foreign service and served as a consul-general first at Batavia in the Dutch East Indies and at Cologne in Germany before he was picked to serve as Governor-General Camille Janssen's deputy in the Congo, he was appointed on 31 January 1888, embarked at Lisbon for the Congo on 6 February and arrived at Boma on 1 March. He had a large workload in the Congo, but he offered his resignation on 1 January 1889. Leaving the administration in the hands of the inspector-general, Henri Gondry, he embarked at Banana on 17 April and landed in Europe on 19 May. In 1893 Ledeganck became consul-general and chargé d'affaires in Venezuela and in 1895 consul-general and chargé d'affaires in Siam. In 1899 he became consul-general and chargé d'affaires at Buenos Aires and resident minister for the Belgian government to the governments of Argentina and Uruguay.
In 1908 he was consul-general in Tunis with responsibility for Algeria and Tripolitania. He died while in Tunis. For his services, Ledeganck became a commander of the Order of Leopold and holder of the Civic Cross of either the 1st or 2nd class, he became a Grand Officer of the Order of the Liberator of Venezuela and Knight Commander of the Order of the Crown of Siam
Democratic Republic of the Congo
The Democratic Republic of the Congo known as DR Congo, the DRC, DROC, Congo-Kinshasa, or the Congo, is a country located in Central Africa. It is sometimes anachronistically referred to by its former name of Zaire, its official name between 1971 and 1997, it is, by area, the largest country in Sub-Saharan Africa, the second-largest in all of Africa, the 11th-largest in the world. With a population of over 78 million, the Democratic Republic of the Congo is the most populated Francophone country, the fourth-most-populated country in Africa, the 16th-most-populated country in the world. Eastern DR Congo is the scene of ongoing military conflict in Kivu, since 2015. Centred on the Congo Basin, the territory of the DRC was first inhabited by Central African foragers around 90,000 years ago and was reached by the Bantu expansion about 3,000 years ago. In the west, the Kingdom of Kongo ruled around the mouth of the Congo River from the 14th to 19th centuries. In the centre and east, the kingdoms of Luba and Lunda ruled from the 16th and 17th centuries to the 19th century.
In the 1870s, just before the onset of the Scramble for Africa, European exploration of the Congo Basin was carried out, first led by Henry Morton Stanley under the sponsorship of Leopold II of Belgium. Leopold formally acquired rights to the Congo territory at the Berlin Conference in 1885 and made the land his private property, naming it the Congo Free State. During the Free State, the colonial military unit, the Force Publique, forced the local population to produce rubber, from 1885 to 1908, millions of Congolese died as a consequence of disease and exploitation. In 1908, despite initial reluctance, formally annexed the Free State, which became the Belgian Congo; the Belgian Congo achieved independence on 30 June 1960 under the name Republic of the Congo. Congolese nationalist Patrice Lumumba was elected the first Prime Minister, while Joseph Kasa-Vubu became the first President. Conflict arose over the administration of the territory; the provinces of Katanga, under Moïse Tshombe, South Kasai attempted to secede.
After Lumumba turned to the Soviet Union for assistance in the crisis, the U. S. and Belgium became wary and oversaw his removal from office by Kasa-Vubu on 5 September and ultimate execution by Belgian-led Katangese troops on 17 January 1961. On 25 November 1965, Army Chief of Staff Joseph-Désiré Mobutu, who renamed himself Mobutu Sese Seko came into power through a coup d'état. In 1971, he renamed the country Zaire; the country was run as a dictatorial one-party state, with his Popular Movement of the Revolution as the sole legal party. Mobutu's government received considerable support from the United States, due to its anti-communist stance during the Cold War. By the early 1990s, Mobutu's government began to weaken. Destabilisation in the east resulting from the 1994 Rwandan genocide and disenfranchisement among the eastern Banyamulenge population led to a 1996 invasion led by Tutsi FPR-ruled Rwanda, which began the First Congo War. On 17 May 1997, Laurent-Désiré Kabila, a leader of Tutsi forces from the province of South Kivu, became President after Mobutu fled to Morocco, reverting the country's name to the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
Tensions between President Kabila and the Rwandan and Tutsi presence in the country led to the Second Congo War from 1998 to 2003. Nine African countries and around twenty armed groups became involved in the war, which resulted in the deaths of 5.4 million people. The two wars devastated the country. President Laurent-Désiré Kabila was assassinated by one of his bodyguards on 16 January 2001 and was succeeded eight days as President by his son Joseph; the Democratic Republic of the Congo is rich in natural resources but has had political instability, a lack of infrastructure, issues with corruption and centuries of both commercial and colonial extraction and exploitation with little holistic development. Besides the capital Kinshasa, the two next largest cities Lubumbashi and Mbuji-Mayi are both mining communities. DR Congo's largest export is raw minerals, with China accepting over 50% of DRC's exports in 2012. In 2016, DR Congo's level of human development was ranked 176th out of 187 countries by the Human Development Index.
As of 2018, around 600,000 Congolese have fled to neighbouring countries from conflicts in the centre and east of the DRC. Two million children risk starvation, the fighting has displaced 4.5 million people. The sovereign state is a member of the United Nations, Non-Aligned Movement, African Union, COMESA; the Democratic Republic of the Congo is named after the Congo River, which flows throughout the country. The Congo River is the world's second largest river by discharge; the Comité d'études du haut Congo, established by King Leopold II of Belgium in 1876, the International Association of the Congo, established by him in 1879, were named after the river. The Congo River itself was named by early European sailors after the Kingdom of Kongo and its Bantu inhabitants, the Kongo people, when they encountered them in the 16th century; the word Kongo comes from the Kongo language. According to American writer Samuel Henry Nelson "It is probable that the word'Kongo' itself implies a public gathering and that it is based on the root konga,'to gather'."
The modern name of the Kongo people, Bakongo was introduced in the early 20th century. The Democratic Republic of the Congo has been known in the past as, in chronological order, the Congo Free State, Belgian Congo, the Repub
Maurice Lippens (politician)
Maurice Auguste Count Lippens was a noble Belgian businessman and colonial civil servant and lawyer. Born into an influential Liberal family, Lippens practiced as a lawyer before entering local politics in his native province of East Flanders, his business interests included a number of colonial companies. After serving as governor of East Flanders, Lippens was recruited to serve as Governor-General of the Belgian Congo in which capacity he launched a major administrative reform. After resigning from the post following disagreement with the colonial administration in Belgium, Lippens returned to his business career and re-entered Belgian politics. After serving in a number of ministerial position, his political career culminated in an appointment as President of the Senate, he returned to his business career after resigning from politics in 1936, retiring form business in 1952. He died in 1956. Maurice Lippens was born in Belgium in 1875 to a prominent local family, his father, Hippolyte Lippens, had been Mayor of Ghent and a politician in the Liberal Party, serving as a member of the Chamber of Representatives and Senate.
His mother came from the aristocratic de Kerchove de Denterghem family. He practiced as a lawyer in Ghent. In 1904, Rutten became a provincial councillor for East Flanders and, in 1906, was elected mayor of the municipality of Moerbeke-Waas. In 1907, Maurice joined the administrative board of the Compagnie du Congo pour le Commerce et l'Industrie replacing his deceased father. During the German occupation of Belgium in World War I, Lippens was involved in resistance and was held as a prisoner from 1915–18. In 1919, he was appointed governor of East Flanders where he reorganised the education and health provisions of the province. Based on his reputation as governor of East Flanders, Lippens was recruited in 1921 by the Minister of the Colonies Louis Franck to serve as Governor-General in the Belgian Congo. In this role, Lippens began a major series of administrative reforms, decentralising power from the colonial administration in Boma to the Congo's provinces; the colonial budget and education systems were reformed.
Lippens' programme of reforms led to tension between him and the Ministry of the Colonies in Belgium, with Lippens demanding greater personal autonomy. He reacted angrily to a plan by the Ministry to launch the construction of a railway between Buta and Bambili and, in January 1923, offered his resignation. Retiring from the colonial administration, Lippens remained active in colonial businesses, he became administrator of the Banque d'Outremer and, returning to his position in the CCCI became the board chairman of the CCCI. Among his business interests were Congolese companies producing cane sugar and the Sucrière congolaise company named its first settlement Moerbeke after Lippens' hometown. In 1931, he became a member of the board of the Société Générale de Belgique, the country's largest holdings company. Lippens re-entered Belgian politics as a Liberal senator in 1925. In 1927, he became Minister for Railways, the Postal Service and Telegraph and, in 1929, Minister of Transport. In 1934, he was appointed to the honorary position of Minister of State.
He became President of the Senate in November the same year. He did not stand as a candidate in the 1936 elections. Between 1935 and 1939, Lippens was involved in the charitable organisations that founded the Royal Library of Belgium in Brussels and the Academia Belgica in Rome, Italy. Lippens was given the title of Count in 1934, he ran a charity for children in Spa in the German occupation of Belgium during World War II. He retired from his business interests in 1952 and died in 1956. Minister of State. Knight Grand Cross in the Order of the Crown. "LIPPENS". Biographie Belge d'Outre-Mer. 6. Brussels: Académie Royale des Sciences d'Outre-Mer. 1968. Pp. 664–5. Valke, Tony. "Maurice Lippens". In Valke, Tony. De fonteinen van de Oranjeberg: politiek-institutionele geschiedenis van de provincie Oost-Vlaanderen van 1830 tot nu. IV. Ghent: Academia Press. Pp. 3–20. ISBN 90-382-0482-5. Ranieri, Liane. "LIPPENS, Maurice". Nouvelle Biographie Nationale. 4. Brussels: Académie Royale des Sciences, des Lettres et des Beaux-Arts de Belgique.
Pp. 256–60. Congo Belgian Congo, 1918-1939 Newspaper clippings about Maurice Lippens in the 20th Century Press Archives of the German National Library of Economics
Félix Alexandre Fuchs was a Belgian colonial civil servant and lawyer who served as Governor-General of the Belgian Congo between 1912 and 1915. A lawyer by profession, Fuchs joined the administration of the Congo Free State in 1888 as a jurist and rose through the ranks. Considered a Liberal, Fuchs' civilian background and attitudes distinguished him from the majority of colonial administrators who had begun their careers in the military. Rising to the highest ranks of the administration in the late 1890s, Fuchs became Governor-General after the Congo's annexation by Belgium and presided over the Congo's entry into World War I. Fuchs was born into a family of Prussian origin in Ixelles, Brussels in Belgium on 25 January 1858, he was naturalised as a Belgian citizen in 1862 and, in 1876, went to study Law at the Free University of Brussels. He practiced as a lawyer at the Court of Appeal in Brussels. In 1887, Fuchs began working for the foreign service of the Congo Free State, a state in personal union with Belgium's monarch Leopold II, created in 1885.
In 1888, he left Belgium for the Congo where he took a senior post at the Department of Justice and as a supplementary judge at the Congo's Court of Appeal. After a return to Belgium in 1889, Fuchs was sent as an envoy to negotiate the Congo's frontiers with Portuguese Angola and was named Secretary-General of one of the Congo's three administrative departments. By 1892, Fuchs had become Director-General of the Department of the Interior and, in 1893, State Inspector and thus the deputy to the Congo's senior civil servant, the Governor-General. Involved in the trials of the colonial officer in the Stokes Affair of 1895, Fuchs was promoted to the presidency of the Congo's Appeal Tribunal, giving him a status equivalent to the Congo's Vice-Governors-General and remained in the Congo on senior government functions. In 1908, in the face of international pressure, Belgium annexed the Congo Free State, creating the Belgian Congo. Fuchs, retained his position in the administration; when Théophile Wahis, the incumbent Governor-General and Fuch's rival, resigned in May 1912, Fuchs was designated to replace him as the senior civil servant in the colony.
During Fuchs' tenure as Governor-General, World War I broke out. Despite the German invasion and occupation of Belgium in August 1914 and Fuchs tried to preserve the Congo's neutrality in accordance with the Congo Act of 1885, his attitude was criticised by many of the Congo's Belgian settlers. However, after a skirmish between German and Belgian forces on Lake Tanganyika at the border between the Congo and German East Africa, Belgian forces became involved alongside Allied troops in the East African Campaign. In March 1915, he was recalled to Belgium by the Minister of the Colonies, Jules Renkin, ordered to resign in September, he was replaced in the function by Eugène Henry in January 1916 but continued to hold an advisory post in the Ministry of the Colonies. Guinand, Michel. "Félix Fuchs. Gouverneur Général du Congo belge". Unpublished university degree thesis in history, Université libre de Bruxelles, Bruxelles, 1994. Plasman, Pierre-Luc. "FUCHS, Félix". Royal Academy for Overseas Sciences. Retrieved 4 November 2016.
Tousignant, Nathalie. "The Congo during the First World War". Cahiers Bruxellois – Brusselse Cahiers. 46. Inventory of the Fuchs archive at the Royal Museum for Central Africa Félix Alexandre Fuchs