Officially known as the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the country has a 25-mile (40-km) coastline on the Atlantic Ocean but is otherwise landlocked. It has become the fourth-largest oil producer in the Gulf of Guinea, providing the country with a degree of prosperity despite political and economic instability in some areas and unequal distribution of oil revenue nationwide. Over the years, Sassou had to rely more on political repression and less on patronage to maintain his dictatorship. From 1970 to 1991, t… Democratic Republic of the Congo, country located in central Africa. The current administration presides over an uneasy internal peace and faces difficult economic problems of stimulating recovery and reducing poverty, despite record-high oil prices since 2003. Search, Finally, the good figures seem to come from, This page was last edited on 9 December 2020, at 14:10. [68], As of 2010[update], the maternal mortality rate was 560 deaths/100,000 live births, and the infant mortality rate was 59.34 deaths/1,000 live births. Brazzaville itself derives from the colony's founder, Pierre Savorgnan de Brazzà, an Italian nobleman whose title referred to the town of Brazzacco, in the comune of Moruzzo, whose name derived from the Latin Brattius or Braccius, both meaning "arm". They wanted to take me to eastern Congo, home of the deadliest conflict in Africa, to learn first-hand about the violence that is devastating the region. The official langu… Pupils who complete six years of primary school and seven years of secondary school obtain a baccalaureate. The Lari people also have unique artifacts. [66], Before the 1997 war, about 9,000 Europeans and other non-Africans lived in Congo, most of whom were French; only a fraction of this number remains. The Katanga plateaus reach as far north as the Lukuga River and contain the Manika Plateau, the Kibara and the Bia mountains, and the high plains of Marungu. French citizenship was granted to local residents in 1946. To the south and east of it is the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Soils are of two types: those of the equatorial areas and those of the drier savanna (grassland) regions. [62] Around 300 American expatriates reside in the Congo. Gabon, the Central African Republic, and Chad were combined with Middle Congo to become French Equatorial Africa in 1910. A Civilised Savagery: Britain and the New Slaveries in Africa, 1884–1926. [50] The country also has large untapped mineral wealth. Departments are divided into communes and districts. Formerly Zaire, the Democratic Republic of the Congo is located in central Africa and has a small coastline. The northern escarpment of the Angola Plateau rises in the southwest, while in the far west a coastal plateau zone includes the hill country of Mayumbe and the Cristal Mountains. New elections took place in April 1959. [71] The numerous ethnic groups and various political structures express a rich cultural diversity and forms of art. Officially known as the Democratic Republic of the Congo , the country has a 25-mile (40-km) coastline on the Atlantic Ocean but is otherwise landlocked. These are: Congo is located in the central-western part of sub-Saharan Africa, along the Equator, lying between latitudes 4°N and 5°S, and longitudes 11° and 19°E. Under the 1963 constitution, Massamba-Débat was elected President for a five-year term. info) French: République du Congo, Kongo: Repubilika ya Kôngo), also known as Congo-Brazzaville, the Congo Republic or simply either Congo or the Congo is a country located in the western coast of Central Africa. [62], Ethnically and linguistically the population of the Republic of the Congo is diverse—Ethnologue recognises 62 spoken languages in the country[63]—but can be grouped into three categories. Many Pygmies belong from birth to Bantus in a relationship many refer to as slavery. Originally, it was probably a loose federation of small polities, but, as the kingdom expanded, conquered territories were integrated as a royal patrimony. It is the last stronghold for forest elephant, gorilla, forest buffalo, bongo, and okapi. [14], The Portuguese explorer Diogo Cão reached the mouth of the Congo in 1484. It sits in Central Africa and is bordered by Cameroon, the Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Angola’s exclave province of Cabinda, Gabon, and the Gulf of Guinea. Marien Ngouabi University—which offers courses in medicine, law, and other fields—is the country's only public university. Associate Vice Provost for General Education and Professor of History, Southern Methodist University, Dallas, Texas. [23] The Congolese military briefly took charge of the country, and installed a civilian provisional government headed by Alphonse Massamba-Débat. In swampy areas the very thick soil is constantly nourished by humus, the organic material resulting from the decomposition of plant or animal matter. In rural areas, industrial and commercial activity has declined rapidly in recent years, leaving rural economies dependent on the government for support and subsistence. The population is estimated at somewhere near 86.8 million people (as of 2019). The government has mortgaged a substantial portion of its petroleum earnings, contributing to a shortage of revenues. The Congo rainforest in central Africa contains one of the longest rivers in the world, the Congo River.The tropical rainforest covers most of the eastern part of the Congo.This forest and its river were the subject of a famous book called The Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad. The country occupies an area of 342,000 sq. Welcome to Republic of Congo. Economic reform efforts continued with the support of international organizations, notably the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. Today marks the end of the 11th Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), nearly six months after the first cases were reported in Equateur Province. The Republic of the Congo is located in northern Africa's western coast with a coastline of 169 km along the Atlantic Ocean. ISBN 978-0-7007-1589-3. Instruction at all levels is in French, and the educational system as a whole models the French system. Following the revision of the French constitution that established the Fifth Republic in 1958, the AEF dissolved into its constituent parts, each of which became an autonomous colony within the French Community. In 2008, oil sector accounted for 65% of the GDP, 85% of government revenue, and 92% of exports. Ngouabi, who had participated in the coup, assumed the presidency on 31 December 1968. Dozens of armed groups are active in eastern DR Congo. National Identity. His two main rivals, Lissouba and Bernard Kolelas, were prevented from competing and the only remaining credible rival, André Milongo, advised his supporters to boycott the elections and then withdrew from the race. Congo is bounded to the north by the Central African Republic and South Sudan; to the east by Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, and Tanzania; to the southeast by Zambia; and to the southwest by Angola. The country’s major topographical features include a large river basin, a major valley, high plateaus, three mountain ranges, and a low coastal plain. In Bukavu, for example, the average annual temperature is in the mid-60s F (high 10s C), and annual precipitation levels measure about 52 inches (1,320 mm). More than a dozen people have been killed in two attacks near Beni in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo that were blamed on the Islamist ADF group, local sources said Sunday. Natural gas and diamonds are also recent major Congolese exports, although Congo was excluded from the Kimberley Process in 2004 amid allegations that most of its diamond exports were in fact being smuggled out of the neighboring Democratic Republic of the Congo; it was re-admitted to the group in 2007. After violent protests in the capital, Sassou attacked the Pool region, where the Ninja rebels of the civil war used to be based, in what was believed to be a distraction. He survived an attempted coup in 1972 but was assassinated on 16 March 1977. Be on the lookout for your Britannica newsletter to get trusted stories delivered right to your inbox. The mighty Congo River winds its way through more than 4,000 kilometers of rainforest in central Africa. [39] On 25 October the government held a referendum to allow Sassou Nguesso to run in the next election. [44][needs update]. Koffi Olomide. It has a short coast on the Atlantic Ocean. ISBN … After centuries as a major hub for transatlantic trade, direct European colonization of the Congo river delta began in the late 19th century, subsequently eroding the power of the Bantu societies in the region. Congo may refer to either of two countries that border the Congo River in central Africa: . The dry season is from June to August, while in the majority of the country the wet season has two rainfall maxima: one in March–May and another in September–November. United States State Department. Congo River, river in west-central Africa. The mountain climate occurs in the eastern high plateaus and mountains. In addition to the ITCZ, elevation and proximity to the Atlantic Ocean and its maritime influences also act as factors of climatic differentiation. The government claimed that the proposal was approved by 92% of voters with 72% of eligible voters participating. [73] In 2005 net primary enrollment rate was 44%, a significant drop from the 79% in 1991. In the equatorial climate zone, temperatures are hot, the average monthly temperature rarely dropping below the mid-70s F (low to mid-20s C). This soil is almost fixed in place because of the lack of erosion in the forests. Following the overthrow of Mobutu in 1997, the country’s name prior to 1971, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, was reinstated. CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (, Economic Community of Central African States, Foreign relations of the Republic of the Congo, Human rights in the Republic of the Congo, List of companies based in the Republic of the Congo, Organization for the Harmonization of Business Law in Africa, Demographics of the Republic of the Congo, Learn how and when to remove this template message, Index of Republic of the Congo–related articles, United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs, "Report for Selected Countries and Subjects", https://ambacongofr.org/index.php/le-congo, Historical Dictionary of European Imperialism, "BBC NEWS – Africa – The man who would be Congo's king", CONGO REPUBLIC: BRAZZAVILLE RIOTS AFTERMATH, "Fulbert Youlou facts, information, pictures – Encyclopedia.com articles about Fulbert Youlou", Les voies du politique au Congo: essai de sociologie historique, "17 candidates in Congo presidential race: commission", Vote results expected as opposition alleges fraud, "FACTBOX-African leaders' French assets under scrutiny", "Les Africains du Panama (1) : les circuits offshore des " fils de, Congo Republic president says expects referendum over the third term, "Congo opposition holds ceremony for killed protesters=Reuters", "Violences au Congo : le government accuse les opposants à Sassou-Nguesso", "Pygmies in the Congo treated like "pets": report", "UN expert praises Congo's draft law on indigenous rights", site of the Presidency of the Republic of the Congo, Map: Situation de l'exploitation forestière en République du Congo, "Kimberley Process Removes the Republic of Congo from the List of Participants", "OHADA.com: The business law portal in Africa", "South Africa's white farmers prepare to trek to the Congo", Congo hands land to South African farmers, "Republic of the Congo GDP and Economic Data", "Les pygmées du Congo en "danger d'extinction, Congo. The largest city in central Africa, it serves as the country’s official administrative, economic, and cultural centre. [9], According to a 2011–12 survey, total fertility rate was 5.1 children born per woman, with 4.5 in urban areas and 6.5 in rural areas. The country borders the Central African Republic and Sudan to the north. Religion in the Republic of the Congo by the Association of Religion Data Archives (2015)[61], The Republic of the Congo's sparse population is concentrated in the southwestern portion of the country, leaving the vast areas of tropical jungle in the north virtually uninhabited. There are also over 1000 km of paved roads and two major international airports (Maya-Maya Airport and Pointe-Noire Airport) which have flights to destinations in Europe, Africa, and the Middle East. United States State Department. The capital, Brazzaville, is located on the Congo River, in the south of the country, immediately across from Kinshasa, the capital of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The volcanic Virunga Mountains stretch across the Western Rift Valley north of Lake Kivu. Congolese culture, art, and media have suffered from a lack of investment due to the unstable political conditions and warfare. [20] Antagonism between the Mbochis (who favored Jacques Opangault) and the Laris and Kongos (who favored Fulbert Youlou, the first black mayor elected in French Equatorial Africa) resulted in a series of riots in Brazzaville in February 1959, which the French Army subdued.[21]. [12], Other names are sometimes known to as the French Congo, Middle Congo and Congo (Brazzaville) with the latter inclusion of the country's capital to distinguish it from Congo (Léopoldville) or (Kinshasa) to its south. Followers of Islam make up 1.6%; this is primarily due to an influx of foreign workers into the urban centers. [30] Following the presidential elections, fighting restarted in the Pool region between government forces and rebels led by Pastor Ntumi; a peace treaty to end the conflict was signed in April 2003. The air that is forced upward is cooled, and the resulting condensation produces prolonged and heavy precipitation. The economy is a mixture of village agriculture and handicrafts, an industrial sector based largely on petroleum,[49] support services, and a government characterized by budget problems and overstaffing. Nevertheless, Massamba-Débat was unable to reconcile various institutional, tribal and ideological factions within the country[24] and his regime ended abruptly with a bloodless coup in September 1968. The basin may once have been an inland sea whose only vestiges are Lakes Tumba and Mai-Ndombe in the west-central region. 14 UN peacekeepers killed and more than 40 injured in Congo attack. [14] It also received a local legislature after the adoption of the 1946 constitution that established the Fourth Republic. The snow-covered peaks of the Ruwenzori Range between Lakes Albert and Edward lie astride the Ugandan border and mark the country’s highest elevation of 16,763 feet (5,109 metres) at Margherita Peak. It is also bounded by Gabon to the west, Cameroon and the Central African Republic to the north, and Cabinda (Angola) to the southwest. During the Nazi occupation of France during World War II, Brazzaville functioned as the symbolic capital of Free France between 1940 and 1943. The Bakongo, a Bantu ethnic group that also occupied parts of present-day Angola, Gabon, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, formed the basis for ethnic affinities and rivalries among those countries. International observers took issue with the organization of the presidential election and the constitutional referendum, both of which were reminiscent in their organization of Congo's era of the one-party state. The country’s name means "[Land beside] the Congo River", adopted by the country upon independence in 1960 from the previous French autonomous colony Republic of the Congo (French: République du Congo) established in 1958, ultimately from the name of the original French colony French Congo (Congo français) established in 1882. Restoration of architectural works is underway in Brazzaville, such as the Basilica of Sainte-Anne du Congo, which was completed in 2011.[72]. [67], Public expenditure health was at 8.9% of the GDP in 2004, whereas private expenditure was at 1.3%. Transport in the Republic of the Congo includes land, air and water transportation. The election raised questions and was accompanied by civil unrest and police shootings of protesters;[41] at least 18 people were killed by security forces during opposition rallies leading up to the referendum held in October. Rather than seeking to make a feature film for distribution, generally filmmakers directly broadcast their productions as videos on the internet. Enquête Démographique et de Santé 2011–2012, "IRIN Africa – CONGO: Grappling with malnutrition and post-conflict woes – Congo – Food Security – Health & Nutrition", "CONGO (BRAZZAVILLE): UNFPA Leads Fight Against FGM " UNFPA in the News", "Inauguration de la basilique Sainte-Anne du Congo à Brazzaville", Refworld | 2008 Findings on the Worst Forms of Child Labor – Congo, Republic of the, Wikimedia Atlas of the Republic of the Congo, Humanitarian news and analysis from IRIN – Congo, Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha, African Court on Human and Peoples' Rights, African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights, African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights, Organisation internationale de la Francophonie, Agence de Coopération Culturelle et Technique, Prix des cinq continents de la francophonie, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Republic_of_the_Congo&oldid=993230095, French-speaking countries and territories, Member states of the Organisation internationale de la Francophonie, States and territories established in 1960, Wikipedia articles needing factual verification from October 2011, CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown, Wikipedia indefinitely move-protected pages, Short description is different from Wikidata, Articles containing Kituba (Congo)-language text, Articles containing Lingala-language text, Articles containing explicitly cited English-language text, Wikipedia articles needing clarification from October 2019, Wikipedia articles in need of updating from October 2019, All Wikipedia articles in need of updating, Pages using columns with the default column width, Articles containing potentially dated statements from 2012, All articles containing potentially dated statements, Articles containing potentially dated statements from 2010, Articles needing additional references from August 2017, All articles needing additional references, Wikipedia articles needing rewrite from April 2020, Articles with French-language sources (fr), Wikipedia articles with MusicBrainz area identifiers, Wikipedia articles with SUDOC identifiers, Wikipedia articles with WORLDCATID identifiers, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, A list of subprefects (higher representatives of State in a district) nominated in December 2008 lists 86 districts. [25][26] Massamba-Débat's regime also invited several hundred Cuban army troops into the country to train his party's militia units and these troops helped his government survive a coup d'état in 1966 led by paratroopers loyal to future President Marien Ngouabi. info) French: République du Congo, Kituba: Repubilika ya Kôngo), also known as Congo-Brazzaville, the Congo Republic[7][8] or simply either Congo or the Congo is a country located in the western coast of Central Africa. The capital, Kinshasa, is located on the Congo River about 320 miles (515 km) from its mouth. Most of the country is composed of the central Congo basin, a vast rolling plain with an average elevation of about 1,700 feet (520 metres) above sea level. [38], On 27 March 2015, Sassou Nguesso announced that his government would hold a referendum on changing the country's 2002 constitution to allow him to run for a third consecutive term in office. The vast drainage area of the Congo River includes [42][43] The Congolese Human Rights Observatory says that the Pygmies are treated as property the same way "pets" are. The country is often referred to as DR Congo, DROC, DRC, or RDC. In the south the plateaus begin at the lower terraces of the Lulua and Lunda river valleys and rise gradually toward the east. [24] On the night between February 14 and 15, 1965, three prominent public officials in the Republic of the Congo were kidnapped; Lazare Matsocota (prosecutor of the Republic), Joseph Pouabou (president of the Supreme Court) and Massouémé Anselme (director of the Congolese Information Agency). The former colony adopted its present name, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), in 1964.. Colonial rule in the Congo began in the late 19th century. Richmond: Curzon. The lower river flows southwestward to empty into the Atlantic Ocean below Matadi. The low elevation and the cold Benguela Current are the major influences. Savanna soils are threatened by erosion, but the river valleys contain rich and fertile alluvial soils. Thereafter the ITCZ moves northward again, crossing central Congo in March and April, so this zone has two rainfall maxima. By the time the Congo became independent in August 1960, Opangault, the former opponent of Youlou, agreed to serve under him. The bodies of two of them were later found, mutilated, by the Congo River. Petroleum extraction has supplanted forestry as the mainstay of the economy. Since President Félix Tshisekedi took power in 2019 in the Democratic Republic of Congo, political mechanisms have been put in place to bring political stability to the country. [46], Since the country is located on the Equator, the climate is consistent year-round, with the average day temperature a humid 24 °C (75 °F) and nights generally between 16 °C (61 °F) and 21 °C (70 °F). The French designated Brazzaville as the federal capital. [31], Sassou also won the following presidential election in July 2009. Among the best known are Vili nail fetishes, Beembe statuettes that are full of expression; the masks of the Punu and Kwele, Kota reliquaries, Teke fetishes, and cemeteries with monumental tombs are examples of this variety. As presidential elections scheduled for July 1997 approached, tensions between the Lissouba and Sassou camps mounted. However, economic progress was badly hurt by slumping oil prices and the resumption of armed conflict in December 1998, which worsened the republic's budget deficit. Many sites are difficult to reach in overland visits. Congo is rich in natural resources. In 1960 after gaining independence, the French Region known as the Middle Congo became the Republic of the Congo. The Congo Basin supports the highest biological diversity in Africa: over 400 mammal species and more than 1,000 bird species. This led to a revival of the Ninja rebels who launched attacks against the army in April 2016, leading 80,000 people to flee their homes. ... A look inside 'Africa's Versailles' Africa. At university, students can obtain a bachelor's degree in three years and a master's after five. The Atlantic climate zone is confined to the west coast. The most significant subgroups of the Kongo are Laari, in Brazzaville and Pool regions, and the Vili, around Pointe-Noire and along the Atlantic coast. In July and August this zone of maximum precipitation occurs in the north; it then shifts into central Congo in September and October. Congo gained independence from Belgium in 1960. This part of the country is the highest and most rugged, with striking chains of mountains. From four to seven months ( usually April to October ), it serves as country... Mitumba Mountains stretch along the Atlantic Ocean ceasefire deal was signed in December 2017. 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