Ngouabi, Marien

Ngouabi, Marien,

1938–77, Congolese army officer and political leader. After military training in France, he served in the Congo Republic's army and started the country's first paratrooper battalion. Beginning in the mid-1960s he clashed with President Massamba-DébatMassamba-Débat, Alphonse,
1921–77, Congolese politician. A teacher, he became involved in the independence movement. He was elected to the legislative assembly in 1959 and was its president (1959–61) when the Congo Republic gained independence in 1960.
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 In 1968 he formed the National Revolutionary Council (CNR), the president was forced to resign, and Ngouabi assumed the rank of commanding officer. Ngouabi became president in Jan., 1969, changed the name of the country to the People's Republic of the Congo, and declared it a Marxist-Leninist one-party state. An attempted coup in 1972 led to opposition purges. He was elected to a second term in 1975 and that same year signed an economic pact with the Soviet Union. Assassinated in 1977, he was succeeded by Jacques Joachim Yhombi-OpangoYhombi-Opango, Jacques Joachim,
1939–2020, Congolese politician. An army colonel, he became president of the People's Republic of the Congo in 1977 after the assassination of President Ngouabi.
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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Ngouabi, Marien


Born Dec. 31, 1938, in Fort Rousset; died Mar. 18, 1977, in Brazzaville. Political figure in the People’s Republic of the Congo.

The son of a peasant, Ngouabi received a military education in Brazzaville and at a noncommissioned officers’ school in Strasbourg, France, and then entered the St. Cyr military academy. He returned to his homeland in 1962 and was stationed in Pointe Noire. After the revolutionary uprising of the popular masses in 1963, which led to the resignation of Abbé F. Youlou’s government, Ngouabi became commander of the Pointe Noire garrison. He later served as a commander of a parachute battalion during 1965–66 and as chief of a department of the General Staff of the Congolese Army in the summer of 1966.

Ngouabi was a member of the Central Committee of the National Movement of the Revolution from 1966 to 1968. After the resignation of Massamba-Debat’s government in August 1968, Ngouabi headed the newly created National Revolutionary Council. From 1969 he was chairman of the Central Committee of the Congolese Workers Party, president, chairman of the Council of State, and commander in chief of the Congolese Army. Murdered by terrorists. [17–1133–3; updated]

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.