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Portal:Democratic Republic of the Congo

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The Democratic Republic of the Congo Portal

Flag of the Democratic Republic of the Congo
Flag of the Democratic Republic of the Congo
Coat of Arms of the Democratic Republic of the Congo
Coat of Arms of the Democratic Republic of the Congo
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The Democratic Republic of the Congo, also known as Congo-Kinshasa, Congo-Zaire, Congo DR, DR Congo, DRC, or simply either Congo or the Congo, is a country in Central Africa. By land area, the DRC is the second-largest country in Africa and the 11th-largest in the world. With a population of around 105 million, the Democratic Republic of the Congo is the most populous Francophone country in the world, and the fourth-largest in Africa. The national capital and largest city is Kinshasa, which is also the economic center. The country is bordered by the Republic of the Congo, Central African Republic, South Sudan, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, Tanzania (across Lake Tanganyika), Zambia, Angola, the Cabinda exclave of Angola, and the South Atlantic Ocean.

Centered 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 northeast, center, and east, the kingdoms of Azande, Luba, and Lunda ruled from the 16th and 17th centuries to the 19th century. King Leopold II of Belgium formally acquired rights to the Congo territory from the colonial nations of Europe in 1885 and declared the land his private property, naming it the Congo Free State. From 1885 to 1908, his colonial military forced the local population to produce rubber and committed widespread atrocities. In 1908, Leopold ceded the territory, which thus became a Belgian colony.

Congo achieved independence from Belgium on 30 June 1960 and was immediately confronted by a series of secessionist movements, the assassination of Prime Minister Patrice Lumumba, and the seizure of power by Mobutu Sese Seko in a 1965 coup d'état. Mobutu renamed the country Zaire in 1971 and imposed a harsh personalist dictatorship until his overthrow in 1997 by the First Congo War. The country then had its name changed back and was confronted by the Second Congo War from 1998 to 2003, which resulted in the deaths of 5.4 million people. The war ended under President Joseph Kabila, who governed the country from 2001 to 2019 and under whom human rights in the country remained poor and included frequent abuses such as forced disappearances, torture, arbitrary imprisonment and restrictions on civil liberties. Following the 2018 general election, in the country's first peaceful transition of power since independence, Kabila was succeeded as president by Félix Tshisekedi, who has served as president since. Since 2015, the Eastern DR Congo has been the site of an ongoing military conflict in Kivu.

The Democratic Republic of the Congo is extremely rich in natural resources but has suffered from political instability, a lack of infrastructure, corruption, and centuries of both commercial and colonial extraction and exploitation, followed by more than 60 years of independence, with little widespread development. Besides the capital Kinshasa, the two next largest cities, Lubumbashi and Mbuji-Mayi, are both mining communities. The DRC's largest export is raw minerals, with China accepting over 50% of its exports in 2019. In 2021, DR Congo's level of human development was ranked 179th out of 191 countries by the Human Development Index and is classed as a least developed country by the UN. , following two decades of various civil wars and continued internal conflicts, around 600,000 Congolese refugees were still living in neighbouring countries. Two million children risk starvation, and the fighting has displaced 4.5 million people. The country is a member of the United Nations, Non-Aligned Movement, African Union, COMESA, Southern African Development Community, Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie, and Economic Community of Central African States. (Full article...)

Korongo Airlines sprl (after the Swahili term for large migrating birds) was an airline from the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DR Congo), headquartered in Lubumbashi. It was founded on behalf of Brussels Airlines and other Belgian investors in 2009, and operated scheduled regional flights from its base at Lubumbashi International Airport.

On 4 September 2015, Korongo Airlines ceased all operations because it did not have enough reservations (despite a 70% load factor), and because of damage caused to the only airplane in the fleet a week earlier. (Full article...)
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Male okapi at Beauval Zoo

The okapi (/ˈkɑːp/; Okapia johnstoni), also known as the forest giraffe, Congolese giraffe and zebra giraffe, is an artiodactyl mammal that is endemic to the northeast Democratic Republic of the Congo in central Africa. However, non-invasive genetic identification has suggested that a population has occurred south-west of the Congo River as well. It is the only species in the genus Okapia. Although the okapi has striped markings reminiscent of zebras, it is most closely related to the giraffe. The okapi and the giraffe are the only living members of the family Giraffidae.

The okapi stands about 1.5 m (4 ft 11 in) tall at the shoulder and has a typical body length around 2.5 m (8 ft 2 in). Its weight ranges from 200 to 350 kg (440 to 770 lb). It has a long neck, and large, flexible ears. Its coat is a chocolate to reddish brown, much in contrast with the white horizontal stripes and rings on the legs, and white ankles. Male okapis have short, distinct horn-like protuberances on their heads called ossicones, less than 15 cm (5.9 in) in length. Females possess hair whorls, and ossicones are absent. (Full article...)

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Jason Sendwe (1917 – 19 June 1964) was a Congolese politician and a leader of the Association Générale des Baluba du Katanga (BALUBAKAT) party. He served as Second Deputy Prime Minister of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (then Republic of the Congo) from August 1961 until January 1963, and as President of the Province of North Katanga from September 1963 until his death, with a brief interruption.

Sendwe was born in 1917 in Mwanya, Kabongo Territory, Belgian Congo, to a Baluba family. He was educated in Methodist schools and nursing institutions. Unable to become a doctor due to a lack of medical schools in the Congo, he found work as a minister, teacher, and nurse. He became involved in several cultural organisations, and in 1957 founded BALUBAKAT to fight for the interests of the Baluba. He espoused nationalism and believed that the Congo should remain a united country after Belgian rule. In May 1960, shortly before the country's independence, he was elected to the newly constituted Chamber of Deputies. Sendwe sought to obtain control over the government of Katanga Province, but lost a power struggle against his rival, Moïse Tshombe, and the Confédération des associations tribales du Katanga (CONAKAT) party. Regardless, Prime Minister Patrice Lumumba nominated him for the office of State Commissioner for Katanga. (Full article...)




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