November 30, 2021

The Democratic Republic of the Congo (abbreviated DRC, sometimes as DR Congo; French République démocratique du Congo), also known as Congo-Kinshasa, or simply Congo, formerly Zaire. Zaïre), is a country in central Africa. It is the second largest on the continent, behind Algeria, and the eleventh in the world. It has a short coastline (37 km) overlooking the Atlantic Ocean at the mouth of the Congo River, and borders 9 countries: the Republic of Congo in the northwest, the Central African Republic in the north, South Sudan in the northeast, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi and Tanzania in the east, Zambia in the southeast and Angola in the southwest. With a population of over 78 million, the Democratic Republic of the Congo is the most populous officially Francophone country, the fourth most populous in Africa and the seventeenth most populous in the world. The territory of DR Congo was first inhabited by humans about 90,000 years ago. The Bantu people began migrating to this region in the 5th century and again in the 10th century. In the western part of the region, the Kingdom of the Congo ruled from the 14th to the 19th century, while in the central and eastern region, the kingdoms of Luba and Lunda ruled from the 16th and 17th centuries to the 19th century. During the 1870s, just before the conquest of Africa began, a European survey of the Congo was conducted, first led by Henry Morton Stanley under the auspices of King Leopold II of Belgium. Leopold formally acquired rights over Congolese territory at the Berlin Conference in 1885 and made the country his private property, naming it the Free State of Congo. During the existence of the Free State, a colonial military unit, Force Publique forced the local population to produce natural rubber, and between 1885 and 1908, millions of Congolese died of disease and exploitation. In 1908, Belgium, despite initial hesitation, formally annexed the Free State of Leopold, and formed the Belgian Congo. The Belgian Congo gained independence on June 30, 1960, forming the Republic of the Congo (Leopoldville). Congolese nationalist Patrice Lumumba was elected the first prime minister, while Joseph Casa-Wubu became the first president. There was a conflict over the administration of the territory which became known as the Congolese crisis. The provinces of Katanga, under Moiz Chombe, and South Kosaj tried to secede from Congo. �

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