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Kasai(käsī`), former province, c.124,000 sq mi (321,160 sq km), S central Congo (Kinshasa). Luluabourg (present KanangaKananga
, formerly Luluabourg
, city (1984 pop. 298,693), capital of Kasai-Central prov., S central Congo (Kinshasa), on the Lulua River. It is the commercial and transportation center of a region where cotton is grown and diamonds are mined.
..... Click the link for more information. ) was the capital. Between the Kasai and the Sankuru rivers the Kuba kingdom of the Shongo people existed from the early 17th cent. In the south of the province were the constantly warring Luba and Bena Lulua peoples. This ethnic conflict was partly responsible for the secession (Aug., 1960) of the Baluba-dominated Mining State of South Kasai, headed by Albert Kalonji, who proclaimed himself king of South Kasai. The central government reestablished control over the whole of Kasai in Dec., 1961. Kasai was divided into five provinces in 1962, which were regrouped as Kasai-Occidental and Kasai-Oriental provinces in 1966. In 2015, Kasai-Occidental was divided into Kasai and Kasai-Central, and Kasai-Oriental into Sankuru, Kasai-Oriental, and Lomami.
Cassai,river, c.1,100 mi (1,800 km) long, rising in central Angola, S central Africa, flowing E, N, and NW through W Congo (Kinshasa) to the Congo River; it forms part of the Angola-Congo border. The Kasai, navigable for c.475 mi (760 km) above its mouth, is an important trade artery. Its tributaries include many navigable streams (some of which are rich in alluvial diamonds).
(called the Kwa near its mouth), a river in Central Africa, flowing through Angola and the Republic of Zaire; the largest left-bank tributary of the Congo River. Length, about 2, 000 km. Basin area, 880, 200 sq km.
The Kasai rises on the Lunda plateau and descends from its northern slopes to the Congo valley, forming rapids and waterfalls. In several places in the lower course it becomes as wide as a lake (up to 5–6 km wide). The main tributaries are the Lulua, Sankuru, and Fimi-Lukenie from the right and the Kwango from the left. The river is fed mainly by rain, but subsurface water is also important. The water level rises from September or October to April and is lowest in August. The discharge in the lower course is 5, 000–20, 000 cu m per sec, with an average annual discharge of about 10, 000 cu m per sec. The Kasai is navigable for 790 km from its mouth. It is a most important water transportation artery of the Congo basin. There is fishing on the river. The Kasai basin is a major region of diamondmining. Three hydroelectric power plants with a combined capacity of 9.8 megawatts operate in the diamond-mining regions.