The official name is the Democratic Republic of the Congo, DRC.
Located in Central Africa. The area is 2345.4 thousand km2, the population is 55.2 million people. (2002). The official language is French. The capital is Kinshasa (7 million people, 2002). Public holiday – Independence Day June 30 (since 1960). The monetary unit is the Congolese franc.
Member of the UN (since 1960), AU (since 1963), associate member of the EU, etc.
Geography of the Congo
It is located between 12°13′ and 3D15′ East longitude and 5°25′ North latitude and 13°30′ South latitude. It borders in the north with Sudan and the Central African Republic, in the east – with Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, in the south – with Zambia, in the southwest – with Angola, in the west – with the Republic of the Congo and Angola. In the west it has access to the Atlantic Ocean, the length of the coastline is 37 km. Most of the territory is occupied by the Congo depression and the plateaus up to 1300 m high that frame it. In the east there are mountain ranges up to 2000-3000 m high with the peak of Margherita (5109 m.). There are world reserves of cobalt (1.92 million tons), germanium (1.5 thousand tons), tantalum (37 thousand tons), diamonds (800 million carats), tungsten (10 thousand tons), copper (50 million tons ), lead, zinc (5.8 million tons), tin (200 thousand tons), oil (25.4 million tons), coal, manganese, bauxite, iron and uranium ores and other minerals. Soils: red-yellow and yellow ferralitic ones predominate; in the Congo depression, hydromorphic lateritic-gley alluvial; marshy in the estuary of the Congo River. The climate is equatorial, in the south and the far north – subequatorial. The average temperatures of the warmest month are +24-28°С, the coldest +22-25°С. Precipitation falls 1000-2500 mm per year. The river network is dense and abundant. The main river is the Congo with tributaries Lufir, Luvua, Aruvimi, Ubangi, Lomami, Lulong, Ruki, Kasai. Large lakes – Mobutu-Sese-Seko, Edward, Kivu, Tanganyika, Mweru, Mai-Ndombe, Tumba. More than half of the territory of the DRC is occupied by humid equatorial forests. With the advancement to the south and north, they are replaced by secondary savannahs; in the south and southeast they pass into dry tropical light forests, vertical belts of vegetation are characteristic of the highlands, mangrove forests are characteristic of the mouths of the Congo River.
According to Countryaah, the average annual growth rate is 2.73% (2000-02). Population density – 24 people. per 1 km2. Birth rate 46%, mortality 15%, infant mortality – 98 people. per 1000 newborns. Life expectancy – 49 years (men – 47, women – 51). Sex and age structure: 0-14 years – 48% (ratio of men and women 1.01); 15-64 years – 49% (0.96); 65 years and older – 3% (0.71). The ratio of men and women in the entire population is 0.98. Among the adult population, 23% are illiterate (men – 14%, women – 32%).
There are more than 200 ethnic groups, mainly the Bantu peoples; Mongo, Luba, Congo and Azande make up 45% of the total population of the country. The national languages of Kikongo, Lingala, Kiswahili and Chiluba are widely spoken.
50% of the population are Catholics, 20% are Protestants, 10% are Kimbangs, 10% are Muslims, 10% adhere to traditional beliefs.
History of the Congo
In the 13th-17th centuries. on the territory of modern Congo there were early state formations of the Congo, Cuba, Matamba, Lub, Kasongo. In con. 15th c. the Portuguese appeared here, the slave trade began, which continued until the middle. 19th century In con. 19th century these territories were captured by the Belgian colonizers and from 1885 became the possession of the Belgian King Leopold II, and from 1908 – the Belgian colony – the Belgian Congo, which existed until independence was declared in June 1960. The first national government was headed by the leader of the National Movement of the Congo party. P. Lumumba, who was removed as a result of a military coup on September 14, 1960 and killed in January 1961. All political parties and public organizations were dissolved. In November 1965, as a result of a military coup, pro-Western forces led by S.S. Mobutu came to power. who was president of the country for over 30 years. In 1971-97 the country was called Zaire. In May 1997, rebels led by L. D. Kabila removed Mobutu from power. Kabila, who headed the Alliance of Democratic Forces for the Liberation of the Congo-Zaire, became president. In August 1998, Banyamulenge (Tutsi) soldiers serving in the Congolese army mutinied in protest against a presidential decree obliging foreign troops to leave the Congo. The conflict, which took on an armed character, involved Rwanda and Uganda (supporting the rebels), Zimbabwe, Angola, Chad and Namibia (supporting Kabila). In April-August 1999, agreements on a peaceful settlement of the conflict and a ceasefire were signed, but the Transitional Parliament formed in July 2000 denounced the ceasefire agreement. The government decided to deploy a UN peacekeeping contingent in the Congo. On January 16, 2001, an attempted coup d’etat was made, as a result of which Kabila was killed. On January 24, 2001, the Transitional Parliament appointed the son of L.-D. Kabila, J. Kabila, as president of the country.