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About Congo Kinshasa

Africa

The Democratic Republic of Congo (; French: République démocratique du Congo [kɔ̃ɡo]), also known as DR Congo, DRC, the former Belgian Congo, East Congo, Congo-Kinshasa or simply the Congo, is a country located in Central Africa. It is sometimes referred to by its former name of Zaire, which was its official name between 1971 and 1997. The DRC borders the Central African Republic and South Sudan to the north; Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi and Tanzania to the east; Zambia to the south; Angola to the southwest; and the Republic of the Congo and the Atlantic Ocean to the west. It is the second-largest country in Africa (largest in Sub-Saharan Africa) by area and 11th largest in the world. With a population of over 78 million, the Democratic Republic of the Congo is the most populated officially Francophone country, the fourth most-populated nation in Africa, and the 17th most populated country in the world. The territory of the DRC is centered on the Congo basin. Inhabited by Central African foragers since the Middle Stone Age, the area was reached by the Bantu expansion about 3,000 years ago. The Bantu Kingdom of Kongo ruled the African west coast around the mouth of the Congo river during the 14th to 19th centuries. In the central and eastern parts, the kingdoms of Luba and Lunda ... [read more]

The Democratic Republic of Congo (; French: République démocratique du Congo [kɔ̃ɡo]), also known as DR Congo, DRC, the former Belgian Congo, East Congo, Congo-Kinshasa or simply the Congo, is a country located in Central Africa. It is sometimes referred to by its former name of Zaire, which was its official name between 1971 and 1997. The DRC borders the Central African Republic and South Sudan to the north; Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi and Tanzania to the east; Zambia to the south; Angola to the southwest; and the Republic of the Congo and the Atlantic Ocean to the west. It is the second-largest country in Africa (largest in Sub-Saharan Africa) by area and 11th largest in the world. With a population of over 78 million, the Democratic Republic of the Congo is the most populated officially Francophone country, the fourth most-populated nation in Africa, and the 17th most populated country in the world. The territory of the DRC is centered on the Congo basin. Inhabited by Central African foragers since the Middle Stone Age, the area was reached by the Bantu expansion about 3,000 years ago. The Bantu Kingdom of Kongo ruled the African west coast around the mouth of the Congo river during the 14th to 19th centuries. In the central and eastern parts, the kingdoms of Luba and Lunda ruled from the 16th and 17th centuries to the 19th century. In the 1870s, just before the onset of the Scramble for Africa, European exploration of the Congo basin was carried out, first led by Henry Morton Stanley under the sponsorship of King Leopold II of Belgium. Leopold formally acquired rights to the Congo territory at the Berlin Conference in 1885 and made the land his private property, naming it the Congo Free State. During the Free State, the colonial military unit, the Force Publique, forced the local population into producing rubber, and from 1885 to 1908, millions of Congolese died as a consequence of disease and exploitation. In 1908, Belgium, despite initial reluctance, formally annexed the Free State, which became the Belgian Congo. The Belgian Congo achieved independence on 30 June 1960 under the name Republic of the Congo. Congolese nationalist Patrice Lumumba was elected the first Prime Minister, while Joseph Kasa-Vubu became the first President. Conflict arose over the administration of the territory which became known as the Congo Crisis. The provinces of Katanga, under Moïse Tshombe, and South Kasai attempted to secede from the Congo. On 5 September 1960, Kasa-Vubu dismissed Lumumba from office, encouraged by the United States and Belgium after Lumumba turned to the Soviet Union for assistance in the crisis. On 14 September, with U.S. and Belgian support, Lumumba was arrested by forces loyal to Army Chief of Staff Joseph-Désiré Mobutu, who had gained de facto control over the country through a coup d'état the same day, and on 17 January 1961 Lumumba was handed over to Katangan authorities and executed by Belgian-led Katangese troops. In 1965, Joseph-Désiré Mobutu, who later renamed himself Mobutu Sese Seko, officially came into power through a second coup. In 1971, he renamed the country Zaire. The country was run as a dictatorial one-party state with his Popular Movement of the Revolution as the sole legal party. Mobutu's government received considerable support from the United States, due to its anti-communist stance during the Cold War. By the early 1990s, Mobutu's government began to weaken. Destabilization in eastern Zaire resulting from the Rwandan genocide and disenfranchisement among the eastern Banyamulenge population (a.k.a. Congolese Tutsi) led to a 1996 invasion led by Tutsi FPR-ruled Rwanda, which began the First Congo War. The war led to the end of Mobutu's 32-year rule. On 17 May 1997, Laurent-Désiré Kabila, a leader of Tutsi forces from the province of South Kivu, became President, reverting the country's name to the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Tensions between President Kabila and the Rwandan and Tutsi presence in the country led to the Second Congo War from 1998 to 2003. Ultimately, nine African countries and around twenty armed groups became involved in the war, which resulted in the deaths of 5.4 million people. The two wars devastated the country. President Laurent-Désiré Kabila was assassinated by one of his bodyguards on 16 January 2001 and was succeeded eight days later as President by his son Joseph. The Democratic Republic of Congo is extremely rich in natural resources but has had political instability, a lack of infrastructure, issues with corruption and centuries of both commercial and colonial extraction and exploitation with little holistic development. Besides the capital Kinshasa, the two next largest cities Lubumbashi and Mbuji-Mayi are both mining communities. DR Congo's largest export is raw minerals, with China accepting over 50% of DRC's exports in 2012. As of 2016, DR Congo's level of human development is 176th out of 187 countries, according to the Human Development Index. [read less]

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