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Republic of Zairea
République du Zaïre
Repubuliki ya Zaïre
Jamhuri ya Zaïre

Flag Coat of arms
"Paix – Justice – Travail"[1]  (French)
"Peace – Justice – Work"
La Zaïroise
Capital Kinshasab
Language(s) French
Lingala · Kongo
Swahili · Tshiluba
Government Republic
 - 1971–1997 Mobutu Sese Seko
Historical era Congo Crisis
 - Country renamed 27 October 1971
 - First Congo War 16 May 1997
 - 1996 2,345,410 km2 (905,568 sq mi)
 - 1996 est. 46,498,539 
     Density 19.8 /km2  (51.3 /sq mi)
Currency Zaïre
Internet TLD .zr
Calling code +243
a. Renamed from "Democratic Republic of the Congo" (République démocratique du Congo) on 27 October 1971.
b. Changed from "Léopoldville" in 1966.
c. Zaire became a de jure single-party state on December 23, 1970,[2] but had been a de facto single-party state since May 20, 1967, the date on which the MPR (Mouvement Populaire de la Revolution) was established. Zaire formally adopted a multiparty system on April 24, 1990,[3] when Mobutu delivered a speech proclaiming the end of the single-party system. The country adopted multipartyism de jure with the passage of Law No. 90-002 of July 5, 1990, which amended its constitution accordingly.[4]
d. 1990–1997.

Zaire, officially the Republic of Zaire (French: République du Zaïre) was the name of a country that is now called the Democratic Republic of the Congo. It used this name from 27 November 1971 to 17 May 1997. The name "Zaire" comes from a Portuguese corruption of the Kongo word nzare, meaning "river".


  1. Constitution de la République du Zaïre, article 5: “Sa devise est : Paix — Justice — Travail”. Source: Journal Officiel de la République du Zaïre (N. 1 du 1er janvier 1983)
  2. Kaplan, Irving (ed.). Zaire: A Country Study. Third Edition, First Printing. 1979.
  3. Sandra W. Meditz and Tim Merrill (eds.). Zaire: A Country Study. Fourth Edition. 1993.
  4. Complete text of the Zairian constitution after the enactment of Law No. 90-002 of July 5, 1990 concerning the modification of certain provisions of the Constitution