Democratic Republic of the Congo, also popularly
known as DR Congo, Congo Democratic, Congo-Kinsasa, or Eastern Congo
and called Zaire between 1971 and 1997, is one of the fifty-four
countries that make up the African continent. Its capital and most
populated city is Kinsasa. Located in the equatorial region of
Africa, it comprises a large part of the basin of the Congo River,
extending to the region of the great lakes. It is the second largest
country in the continent, after Algeria. It borders the Central
African Republic and South Sudan to the north, Uganda, Rwanda,
Burundi, and Tanzania to the east, Zambia and Angola to the south,
and the Republic of the Congo to the west. It has access to the sea
through a narrow strip of 37 km of coastline, following the Congo
River to the Gulf of Guinea. The name Congo finds its origin in the
Bakongo natives, settled on the banks of the Nzadi or Zaire River,
renamed in Portuguese as Congo River.
The DRC owns a rich and
varied history that begins with the first Bantu immigrants who
arrived in the area, which would become the epicenter of the great
Kingdom of the Congo in the mid-fifteenth century. After the
territory was claimed by the African International Association
(owned by King Leopold II of Belgium) as a Free State, and then
following a particularly brutal colonization by Belgium, the Belgian
Congo colony would reach independence in 1960, to become Zaire under
the aegis of the dictator Mobutu Sese Seko. During the government of
Sese Seko the country was subjected to an authoritarian, violent and
kleptocratic government, which ruined the economy of the Congo. The
fall of the latter led to the start of a serious civil war that
would degenerate into a continental conflagration, in which armed
forces from more than seven countries intervened, leaving as tragic
more than four million deaths. The result was the intervention of
the UN with its peace forces organized in MONUC.
and 2007 the country experienced a tense calm, under the direction
of a transitional government. At the end of 2006 there were
elections in which he was elected for President Joseph Kabila, who
until then exercised the functions interim.
Travel Destinations in Democratic
Republic of Congo
Kahuzi-Biéga National Park in Democratic Republic of
Congo is home to several gorilla families.
Virunga National Park located in Congo is famous
for its wild life and particularly primates.
History of DRC
The most ancient people of the Congo were pygmies.
In the II millennium BC. Bantu agricultural tribes began to migrate
from the north, who brought farming, metallurgy with them and
created the first state formations. The most significant among them
was the kingdom of the Congo, which arose around the 14th century,
which covered the north of Angola. The rulers of this state were
called mani-conga, and the capital was the city of Mbansa-Congo.
At the end of the 15th century, Portuguese appeared at the mouth
of the Congo River. The main income of the owners of the Congo was
the slave trade with European countries, especially with Portugal.
Congolese slaves were used on plantations in America.
1876, the Belgians entered the country.
In 1885-1908, a
country called the Free State of the Congo was the personal property
of the Belgian King Leopold II. This period of history is
characterized by a brutal dictatorship, forcing the local population
to extract rubber and ivory. In 1908, Leopold sold this territory to
a Belgian state and the country became a colony of Belgium, known as
the Belgian Congo.
In May 1960, the Congo National Movement,
led by Patrice Lumumba, won the elections to the local parliament;
on June 30, 1960, the country gained independence under the name of
the Republic of Congo.
Since the neighboring French colony of
Moyen Congo, located on the right bank of the great African river
Congo, after gaining independence also chose the name "Republic of
the Congo", for some time these countries distinguished by the names
of their capitals - the Republic of Congo-Brazzaville and the
Republic of Congo-Leopoldville (the modern name of Leopoldville is
Soon after gaining independence, the country faced
separatism in the southeastern provinces of Katanga (led by Moise
Chombe, leader of the right-wing party CONAKAT, affiliated with the
Belgian corporation Union Minière) and South Kasai (led by Albert
Kalonge, a former associate of Lumumba) .
On September 5,
1960, President Kasavubu removed Prime Minister Lumumba from his
post, which provoked a long-term political crisis in the country.
In 1961, the chief of the General Staff of the Congolese army,
Mobutu (the future dictator who renamed Congo in Zaire in 1971)
secretly extradits (in the guise of kidnapping) the opposition
Lumumbu to his worst enemies - armed formations of the
self-proclaimed Katanga. The separatists, supported by the Belgians,
brutally tortured and killed Lumumba (according to other sources,
the execution of the national leader of the Congo was a planned
special operation of the US CIA).
By January 1963, UN troops
helped the Congo government crush the rebellion in the southeast of
the country. As a result of the civil war, the Caucasian population
left the country, which made up a large diaspora in Katanga (31% of
the more than one hundred thousand white population of the Republic
of Congo as of the first years of independence).
President Kasavubu appointed Moise Chombe, returning from exile,
Prime Minister of the Congo. The Tshombe government suppresses the
Simba Rebellion, raised by Lumumba supporters. In the spring of
1965, the CONACO омombe party won the parliamentary elections.
However, in October, Kasavubu removes Tshombe from the post of head
of government and replaces Evarist Kimba.
In November 1965,
Mobutu, who received financial assistance from the United States and
Belgium to reward his troops, made a coup d'etat and ousted
In 1966, the Mobutu government gave the
capital the country a new name - Kinshasa, instead of the old -
On October 27, 1971, the country itself was
After the overthrow of the dictatorship of
Mobutu in 1997 (as a result of the First Congolese War), the country
began to bear the modern name - the Democratic Republic of the
In 1998-2002, the country became the scene of the
so-called Great African War (Second Congolese War), into which
almost all the states of Central and South Africa were drawn.
He has diplomatic relations with the Russian Federation, which
were established since the USSR on July 7, 1960.