Portal:Democratic Republic of the Congo

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

The Democratic Republic of the Congo Portal

Flag of the Democratic Republic of the Congo
Coat of Arms of the Democratic Republic of the Congo
Location on the world map

The Democratic Republic of the Congo ( French: République démocratique du Congo [kɔ̃ɡo]), also known as DR Congo, the DRC, DROC, Congo-Kinshasa, or simply the Congo, is a country located in Central Africa. It was formerly called Zaire (1971–1997). It is, by area, the largest country in sub-Saharan Africa, the second-largest in all of Africa (after Algeria), and the 11th-largest in the world. With a population of over 84 million, the Democratic Republic of the Congo is the most populous officially Francophone country, the fourth-most-populous country in Africa, and the 16th-most-populous country in the world. Eastern DR Congo has been the scene of ongoing military conflict in Kivu, since 2015.

Centred on the Congo Basin, the territory of the DRC was first inhabited by Central African foragers around 90,000 years ago and was reached by the Bantu expansion about 3,000 years ago. In the west, the Kingdom of Kongo ruled around the mouth of the Congo River from the 14th to 19th centuries. In the centre and east, the kingdoms of Luba and Lunda ruled from the 16th and 17th centuries to the 19th century.

In the 1870s, just before the onset of the Scramble for Africa, European exploration of the Congo Basin was carried out, first led by Henry Morton Stanley under the sponsorship of Leopold II of Belgium. Leopold formally acquired rights to the Congo territory at the Berlin Conference in 1885 and made the land his private property, naming it the Congo Free State. During the Free State, his colonial military unit, the Force Publique, forced the local population to produce rubber. From 1885 to 1908, millions of the Kongo people died as a consequence of disease and exploitation. In 1908, Belgium, despite initial reluctance, formally annexed the Free State, which became known as the Belgian Congo.

The Belgian Congo achieved independence on 30 June 1960 under the name Republic of the Congo. Congolese nationalist Patrice Lumumba was elected the first Prime Minister, while Joseph Kasa-Vubu became the first President. Conflict arose over the administration of the territory, which became known as the Congo Crisis. The provinces of Katanga, under Moïse Tshombe, and South Kasai attempted to secede. After Lumumba turned to the Soviet Union for assistance in the crisis, the U.S. and Belgium became wary and oversaw his removal from office by Kasa-Vubu on 5 September and ultimate execution by Belgian-led Katangese troops on 17 January 1961. On 25 November 1965, Army Chief of Staff Joseph-Désiré Mobutu, who later renamed himself Mobutu Sese Seko, officially came into power through a coup d'état. In 1971, he renamed the country Zaire. The country was run as a dictatorial one-party state, with his Popular Movement of the Revolution as the sole legal party. Mobutu's government received considerable support from the United States, due to its anti-communist stance during the Cold War. By the early 1990s, Mobutu's government began to weaken. Destabilisation in the east resulting from the 1994 Rwandan genocide and disenfranchisement among the eastern Banyamulenge (Congolese Tutsi) population led to a 1996 invasion led by Tutsi FPR-ruled Rwanda, which began the First Congo War.

On 17 May 1997, Laurent-Désiré Kabila, a leader of Tutsi forces from the province of South Kivu, became President after Mobutu fled to Morocco, reverting the country's name to the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Tensions between President Kabila and the Rwandan and Tutsi presence in the country led to the Second Congo War from 1998 to 2003. Ultimately, nine African countries and around twenty armed groups became involved in the war, which resulted in the deaths of 5.4 million people. The two wars devastated the country. President Laurent-Désiré Kabila was assassinated by one of his bodyguards on 16 January 2001 and was succeeded eight days later as President by his son Joseph.

The Democratic Republic of the Congo is extremely rich in natural resources but has had political instability, a lack of infrastructure, issues with corruption and centuries of both commercial and colonial extraction and exploitation with little holistic development. Besides the capital Kinshasa, the two next largest cities Lubumbashi and Mbuji-Mayi are both mining communities. DR Congo's largest export is raw minerals, with China accepting over 50% of DRC's exports in 2012. In 2016, DR Congo's level of human development was ranked 176th out of 187 countries by the Human Development Index. , around 600,000 Congolese have fled to neighbouring countries from conflicts in the centre and east of the DRC. Two million children risk starvation, and the fighting has displaced 4.5 million people. The sovereign state is a member of the United Nations, Non-Aligned Movement, African Union, and COMESA.

Selected article - show another

Flag of the Democratic Republic of the Congo

The Armed Forces of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (French: Forces armées de la république démocratique du Congo [FARDC]) is the state organisation responsible for defending the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The FARDC was rebuilt patchily as part of the peace process which followed the end of the Second Congo War in July 2003.

The majority of FARDC members are land forces, but it also has a small air force and an even smaller navy. In 2010–11 the three services may have numbered between 144,000 and 159,000 personnel. In addition, there is a presidential force called the Republican Guard, but it and the Congolese National Police (PNC) are not part of the Armed Forces. Read more...

General images - show another

The following are images from various Democratic Republic of the Congo-related articles on Wikipedia.

Symbol support vote.svg Good article - show another

This is a Good article, an article that meets a core set of high editorial standards.

WHS portrait.jpg

William Henry Sheppard (March 8, 1865 – November 25, 1927) was one of the earliest African Americans to become a missionary for the Presbyterian Church. He spent 20 years in Africa, primarily in and around the Congo Free State, and is best known for his efforts to publicize the atrocities committed against the Kuba and other Congolese peoples by King Leopold II's Force Publique.

Sheppard's efforts contributed to the contemporary debate on European colonialism and imperialism in the region, particularly amongst those of the African American community. However, it has been noted that he traditionally received little attention in literature on the subject. Read more...

Cscr-featured.png Featured article - show another

This is a Featured article, which represents some of the best content on English Wikipedia..

Marcel Lihau.jpg

Marcel Antoine Lihau or Ebua Libana la Molengo Lihau (29 September 1931 – 9 April 1999) was a Congolese jurist, law professor, and politician who served as the inaugural First President of the Supreme Court of Justice of the Congo from 1968 until 1975 and was involved in the creation of two functional constitutions for the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Lihau attended the Université catholique de Louvain in Belgium with the help of sympathetic Jesuit educators, becoming one of the first Congolese to study law. While there he encouraged Congolese politicians to form an alliance that allowed them to secure the independence of the Congo from Belgium. He served briefly as a justice official and negotiator for the Congolese central government before being appointed to lead a commission to draft a permanent national constitution. He was made dean of law faculty at Lovanium University in 1963. The following year he helped deliver the Luluabourg Constitution to the Congolese, which was adopted by referendum. In 1965 Joseph-Desiré Mobutu seized total control of the country and directed Lihau to produce a new constitution. Three years later Lihau was appointed First President of the new Supreme Court of Justice of the Congo. He retained the position, advocating for judicial independence, until 1975 when he refused to force a harsh sentence upon student protesters. Lihau was summarily removed from his post by Mobutu and placed under house arrest. Becoming increasingly opposed to the government, he helped found the reform-oriented Union pour la Démocratie et le Progrès Social. Mobutu responded by suspending his rights and banishing him to a rural village. Read more...

WikiProjects

Topics

Categories

Category puzzle
Select [►] to view subcategories

Related portals

Associated Wikimedia

The following Wikimedia Foundation sister projects provide more on this subject:

Wikibooks
Books

Commons
Media

Wikinews 
News

Wikiquote 
Quotations

Wikisource 
Texts

Wikiversity
Learning resources

Wikivoyage 
Travel guides

Wiktionary 
Definitions

Wikidata 
Database

Portals