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Democratic Republic of the Congo

 

Democratic Republic of the Congo Destinations Travel Guide

 

 

Language: French, Swahili, Kikongo and other regional languages

Currency: Congolese franc (CDF)

Calling Code: 243

 

 

 

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.

Between 2003 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

 

Kahuzi-Biéga National Park in Democratic Republic of Congo is home to several gorilla families.

Virunga National Park

 

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.

In 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 Kinshasa).

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).

In 1964, 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 President Casavuba.

In 1966, the Mobutu government gave the capital the country a new name - Kinshasa, instead of the old - Leopoldville.

On October 27, 1971, the country itself was renamed Zaire.

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 Congo.

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.