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Christophe Gbenye (c.1927 – 3 February 2015) was a Congolese rebel who along with Pierre Mulele and Gaston Soumialot were the leaders of Simba Rebellion, an insurrection against the Government of the African state known at the time as the Democratic Republic of the Congo in 1964.[1] Gbenye was born in the Eastern Region of what was then the Belgian Congo. At the time of Congolese independence on 30 June 1960 he became Interior Affairs Minister under Prime Minister Patrice Lumumba.

Following Lumbumba's removal from power in September 1960, Gbenye and many of his former supporters relocated to Brazzaville. There they set up a revolutionary movement under the title of Comité National de Libération, headed by Gbenye. Assistance was sought from the Soviet Union in the form of equipment and training.[2] Under the leadership of Gbenye, Mulele and Soumialot much of the eastern Congo was overrun by young rebel fighters known as simbas (lions). Gbenye has been described as a henchman,[3] and served as President of the rebel state, the People's Republic of the Congo, established by the rebels in Stanleyville. In late 1967 the rebellion was suppressed by the ANC (National Congolese Army) and Gbenye and other leaders fled the country. In 2010 the then 83 year old Gbenye was living in retirement in Kinshasa.[4] He died in the night from 2 to 3 February 2015.[5]


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