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The Congo is situated in west-central Africa astride the equator. It borders Gabon, Cameroon, the Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and the Angola exclave of Cabinda, with a short stretch of coast on the South Atlantic. Its area is nearly three times that of Pennsylvania. Most of the inland is tropical rain forest, drained by tributaries of the Congo River.
In precolonial times, the region now called the Republic of Congo was dominated by three kingdoms: Kongo (originating about 1000), the Loango (flourishing in the 17th century), and Tio. After the Portuguese located the Congo River in 1482, commerce was carried on with the tribes, especially the slave trade.
The Frenchman Pierre Savorgnan de Brazza signed a treaty with Makoko, ruler of the Bateke people, in 1880, thus establishing French control. It was first called French Congo, and after 1905 Middle Congo. With Gabon and Ubangi-Shari, it became the colony of French Equatorial Africa in 1910. Abuse of laborers led to public outcry against the French colonialists as well as rebellions among the Congolese, but the exploitation of the native workers continued until 1930. During World War II, the colony joined Chad in supporting the Free French cause against the Vichy government. The Congo proclaimed its independence without leaving the French Community in 1960, calling itself the Republic of Congo.
The Congo's second president, Alphonse Massemba-Débat, instituted a Marxist-Leninist government. In 1968, Maj. Marien Ngouabi overthrew him but kept the Congo on a Socialist course. He was sworn in for a second five-year term in 1975. A four-man commando squad assassinated Ngouabi on March 18, 1977. Col. Joachim Yhombi-Opango, army chief of staff, assumed the presidency on April 4. Yhombi-Opango resigned on Feb. 4, 1979, and was replaced by Col. Denis Sassou-Nguesso.
In July 1990, the leaders of the ruling party voted to end the one-party system. A national political conference, hailed as a model for sub-Saharan Africa, renounced Marxism in 1991 and scheduled the country's first free elections for 1992. Pascal Lissouba became the country's first democratically elected president.
Political and ethnic tensions intensified in 1993 after legislative elections, when the opposition's rejection of the results developed into violence. A peace agreement was signed between the government and the opposition in Aug. 1994. A four-month civil war (June 5–Oct. 15, 1997) devastated Brazzaville, the capital. Buttressed by military aid from Angola, former Marxist dictator Denis Sassou-Nguesso overthrew President Lissouba. In late 1999 a peace agreement was signed between Sassou-Nguesso, who comes from the north, and the rebels representing the populous south. The postwar period has been traumatic for the desperately poor country. In March 2002, President Sassou-Nguesso was reelected with 89.4% of the vote. His opponents were either barred from the country or withdrew from the election.
The so-called Ninja rebels continued to battle government forces, each attempting to gain or maintain control of the country's rich oil reserves and each seemingly unconcerned about the toll this new outbreak of violence took on civilians. In May 2003, the government and Ninja rebels signed an agreement to end hostilities.
Sassou-Nguesso was reelected to another 7-year term in July 2009. The opposition boycotted the election.
Mon, 08 Feb 2016 04:00:00 -0800
As he pointed out, Safmarine Kuramo, a Maersk merchant ship registered in Singapore, was transporting general cargo from Port-Noire, Congo, to Onne Sea Port in Rivers. “On Jan. 5 at about 08:00 hours; Sufmarine Kuramo was attacked by sea pirates about ...
Mon, 08 Feb 2016 01:22:30 -0800
Gabonese authorities are reported to have investigated the case and have called upon Interpol to open an international investigation. All countries that could potentially be the origin of the timber are part of the Congo Basin, a region where illegal ...
Fri, 15 Jan 2016 06:15:00 -0800
“The works are going well, and we are very confident that we will be able to meet current and future cargo handling requirements for the Democratic Republic of the Congo in both the container and general cargo handling sectors,”ICTSI Senior-Vice ...
BusinessWorld Online Edition
Sat, 06 Feb 2016 10:27:02 -0800
They said this verification should be done at the port instead of transferring the burden to the CFS, such as Portside Container Terminal where KRA has ordered a 100 per cent physical inspection of all cargo. The traders say they do not understand why ...
The Standard Digital News (satire) (press release) (registration) (blog)
Fri, 05 Feb 2016 06:48:45 -0800
All countries that could potentially be the origin of the timber are part of the Congo Basin, a region where illegal logging is a widespread problem. The forestry sector in the region is beset by rampant corruption, a lack of transparency and a lack of ...
Greenpeace Africa (blog)
Fri, 25 Dec 2015 06:06:04 -0800
25 (UPI) -- At least seven people were killed when a cargo plane missed its landing in Mbuji-Mayi, Democratic Republic of Congo, and crashed into a residential area. The plane, an Airbus 310 flown by the cargo company Services Air, arrived Thursday ...
Sat, 06 Feb 2016 15:26:15 -0800
The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) said the 195m (640-foot) vessel was hijacked at about 8.06pm (Singapore time) en route from Pointe Noire, Congo, to Port Onne, Nigeria. The vessel was boarded by armed pirates who robbed the crew and ...
The Maritime Executive
Thu, 21 Jan 2016 04:41:22 -0800
ICTSI said in a statement that the new terminal will be located in Matadi on the Congo River, Democratic Republic of the Congo as well as deliver purpose-designed container handling capacity coupled with modern general cargo handling and storage ...
Celebrating Progress Africa