Manifesto of N'sele

The Manifesto of N'sele (French: Manifeste de la N'sele) was a political document issued in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (later renamed Zaire) on 19[1] or 20[2] May 1967 which set out the official political stance of the Popular Movement of the Revolution (Mouvement Populaire de la Révolution, MPR), a political party which had been founded by Joseph-Désiré Mobutu in 1966. The manifesto was created at an MPR meeting in N'sele, Kinshasa where it was based.[2]

Joseph-Désiré Mobutu, pictured in 1976

The Manifesto of N'sele defined the ideological position of the MPR as a combination of "Authenticité" and "Mobutism". It defined Mobutism as an expression of Congolese nationalism, the rejection of tribalism and regionalism, and the abstract concept of "revolution".[2][3] Nationalism and the affirmation of independence was essential to the document.[1] The Manifesto of N'sele also laid out the intentions of the government which included expansion of the national government's authority, a program committed to improving labour standards, maintaining economic independence, and the creation of an "authentic nationalism".[4] It legitimized the creation of a one-party state in the country as an antipolitical means to end the political and ideological infighting which had characterised the Congo Crisis (1960–65).[2]

Importantly in the context of the Cold War, the Manifesto of N'sele repudiated both communism and capitalism as not "authentic" Congolese ideologies.[3] It called for a policy of "positive neutralism" in foreign policy.[2]


  1. ^ a b Young & Turner 1985, p. 209.
  2. ^ a b c d e Historical Dictionary of the DRC 2010, p. 373.
  3. ^ a b Young & Turner 1985, p. 210.
  4. ^ Simpson, Andrew. Language and Nationality in Africa. Oxford University Press, 2008. Pp. 228


  • Young, M. Crawford; Turner, Thomas (1985). The Rise & Decline of the Zairian State. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press. ISBN 978-0-299-10113-8.
  • Kisangani, Emizet François; Bobb, F. Scott (2010). "Mouvement Populaire de la Révolution". Historical Dictionary of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (3rd ed.). London: Scarecrow Press. pp. 372-5. ISBN 978-0-8108-6325-5.

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