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Kasai-Oriental is a province of the Democratic Republic of the Congo in the south-central part of the country. Its capital is Mbuji-Mayi, formerly Bakwanga, on the Sankuru river. Until 2009 it was ruled as the District of Tshilenge.


Kasai-Oriental is inhabited by members of the Luba tribe.

Congo obtained independence from Belgium in 1960. Friction with Congo's other ethnic groups and encouragement by Belgian corporations hoping to keep their mining concessions led to the secession of the province of South Kasai as a separate state headed by Albert Kalonji.

After being repulsed, the Congo occupied the province in September 1961. Several thousand people were killed during the "pacification" of South Kasai, which lasted through the spring of 1962.

The population of Mbuji-Mayi grew rapidly with the immigration of Luba people from other parts of the country.

Diamond mining

The region in which Mbuji-Mayi is situated annually produces one-tenth in weight of the world's industrial diamonds, with mining managed by the Société Minière de Bakwanga. This is the largest accumulation of diamonds in the world, more concentrated than those at Kimberley, South Africa. Mbuji-Mayi handles most of the industrial diamonds produced in the Congo.

Political divisions

The province consists of the following five territories:


French is the official language. Tshiluba is one of the four national languages of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Tshiluba is spoken by about 6.3 million people in the Kasai-Oriental, Kasai and Lulua provinces.

bg:Касаи-Ориентал es:Kasai Oriental fr:Kasaï-Oriental (province Constitution 2005) hu:Kelet-Kasai tartomány (2009) pl:Kasai Wschodnie pt:Kasaï Oriental ru:Восточное Касаи sv:Kasaï-Oriental wa:Province do Kasai Levantrece war:Kasai-oriental (lalawigan) zh:东开赛省