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Sunday, 6 July 2014


The Democratic Republic of the Congo was formerly, in chronological order, the Congo Free State, Belgian Congo, Congo-Léopoldville, Congo-Kinshasa, and Zaire.

King Leopold II of Belgium established the Congo as a personal possession on February 5, 1885. The Belgian Congo covered an area eighty times that of Belgium.

Leopold's regime began various infrastructure projects, such as construction of the railway that ran from the coast to the capital of Leopoldville (now Kinshasa).

View of Leopoldville Station and Port in 1884.

During the period of 1885–1908, millions of Congolese died as a consequence of exploitation and disease. In some areas the population declined dramatically – it has been estimated that sleeping sickness and smallpox killed nearly half the population in the areas surrounding the lower Congo River

The Republic of Zaire was the name of the state that existed between October 27, 1971 and May 17, 1997 in the present Democratic Republic of the Congo. Founded by Mobutu Sese Seko, the name of Zaire derives from the Portuguese: Zaire, itself an adaptation of the Kongo word nzere or nzadi, or "the river that swallows all rivers."

Flag of Zaire

The Second Congo War, beginning on August 2, 1998, devastated the country. Despite the signing of a peace accord on December 17, 2002, hostilities have continued since in the ongoing Lord's Resistance Army insurgency, and the Kivu and Ituri conflicts.

 Congolese soldier with a PK machine gun photographed near the Rwandan border in 2001

The war was the world's deadliest conflict since World War II, killing 5.4 million people since 1998. The vast majority died from conditions of malaria, diarrhea, pneumonia and malnutrition.

The flag of the Democratic Republic of the Congo was adopted on February 20, 2006.

It is the second largest country in Africa by area and the eleventh largest in the world.

Congo is the world leader in cobalt mining.

The Congo has access to the Atlantic Ocean through a 23 mile stretch of Atlantic coastline at Muanda and the roughly 5 mile wide mouth of the Congo River which opens into the Gulf of Guinea.

The River Congo, at up to 750ft in depth, is the world's deepest river.

It was the explorer David Livingstone who revealed the full extent of the River Congo.

The spots on the planet with the highest amount of lightning are Lake Maracaibo in Venezuela and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Source Wikipedia

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