Fulbert Youlou

Fulbert Youlou

This Catholic Priest was one of the main leaders for his nation´s independence and the first president of the Republic of the Congo

He was born on 09 July 1917 in Mandibu, near Brazzaville. He was a member of the Balali tribe, which is one of the most important in Bakongo. After completing his studies at the Yaundé (Cameroon) seminary, he was ordained a priest in 1946. A few years later, he decided to actively participate in his nation´s politics, which is the reason why the Holy See suspended him a divinis.

When decolonisation began, the French promoted the role of Friar Fulbert Youlou, who at the head of his Democratic Union for the Defence of African Interests, became the first president of the independent Congo in 1960. The increasing movement of masses never accepted his neocolonialist policies, and protests against corruption and the repression of union activities resulted in a popular insurrection on the "three glorious days" (August 13th to the 15th) in 1963.

Youlou stepped down, and the president of the National Assembly, Alphonse Massemba Débat, assumed power, proclaiming himself as a socialist and forcing the withdrawal of French troops that had been stationed in the country.

Detained by the revolutionaries, he found a way to flee to the Democratic Republic of the Congo (formerly Zaire), where he lived in exile in Madrid until his death on 05 May 1972. In 1965, he published a book titled J'accuse la Chine ('I Accuse China').

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