Across the Congo River in last month's riots in the Belgian city of Léopoldville, it had been black v. white. In Brazzaville last week it was black v. black, and bloodier. Less than three months after voting for autonomy within the French Community, the new Congo Republic was already learning the perils of being on its own.

So long as the French were in control, the rivalry between the territory's two leading politicians was kept in hand. The flamboyant Abbé Fulbert Youlou—a Roman Catholic priest who is forbidden to say Mass but still wears a soutane—has long favored keeping a...

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