1960 Belgium defends its intervention in the Congo to the United Nations Security Council while the government of the Congo appeals to the Soviet Union to send troops to push back the Belgians. The governments of the United States and France and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization warn the Soviets to stay out of the dispute.
1961 U.N. Secretary-General Dag Hammarskjöld dies in a plane crash while attempting to negotiate peace in the war-torn Katanga region of the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
1964 The Belgian Congo is renamed the Republic of the Congo.
1965 Joseph Désiré Mobutu seizes power in the Congo and becomes President; he rules the country (which he renames Zaire in 1971) for over 30 years, until being overthrown by rebels in 1997.
1966 Former Congolese Prime Minister Evariste Kimba and several other politicians are publicly executed in Kinshasa on the orders of President Joseph Mobutu.
1971 The Democratic Republic of the Congo is renamed Zaire.
1997 The Republic of Zaïre officially joins the World Trade Organization, as ''Zaïre''.
1997 Troops of Laurent Kabila march into Kinshasa. Zaire is officially renamed Democratic Republic of the Congo.
1998 A Lignes Aériennes Congolaises Boeing 727 is shot down by rebels in Kindu, Democratic Republic of the Congo, killing 41 people.
2001 Congolese President Laurent-Désiré Kabila is assassinated by one of his own bodyguards.
2002 Mount Nyiragongo erupts in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, displacing an estimated 400,000 people.
2004 156 Congolese Tutsi refugees are massacred at the Gatumba refugee camp in Burundi.
2005 The Lake Tanganyika earthquake causes significant damage, mostly in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
2010 The South Kivu tank truck explosion in the Democratic Republic of the Congo kills at least 230 people.