Zaire, officially the Republic of Zaire, was the name of a sovereign state between 1971 and 1997 in Central Africa that was previously and is now again known as the Democratic Republic of the Congo. It was, by area, the largest country in sub-Saharan Africa, the third-largest in all of Africa, and the 11th-largest in the world. With a population of over 23 million inhabitants, Zaire was the most-populous officially Francophone country in Africa, as well as one of the most populous in Africa.
The country was a one-party totalitarian dictatorship, run by Mobutu Sese Seko and his ruling Popular Movement of the Revolution party. Zaire was established following Mobutu's seizure of power in a military coup in 1965, following five years of political upheaval following independence known as the Congo Crisis. Zaire had a strongly centralist constitution, and foreign assets were nationalized. The period is sometimes referred to as the Second Congolese Republic.
A wider campaign of Authenticité, ridding the country of the influences from the colonial era of the Belgian Congo, was also launched under Mobutu's direction.