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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, 25 May 2015 02:22:30 -0700
HERCULES. C130 airplanes at the Waterkloof air force base on June 1, 2013, in Pretoria, South Africa. These planes are 50 years old, but are still used as cargo planes due to budget limitations. Picture: Gallo Images ... They were en route from the ...
Fri, 22 May 2015 02:00:00 -0700
SUMMARY: The humanitarian community in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) relies on the United Nations Humanitarian Air Service's (UNHAS) to reach remote areas, support national disaster responses, as well as carry out emergency evacuations ...
Sat, 23 May 2015 17:45:00 -0700
Novi Pazar, Serbia: In a once-abandoned factory deep in Serbia's southern mountains, migrants bring pots of tea to the boil as snow drifts blanket the surrounding ravines and peaks. From Syria and Somalia, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Ivory ...
Sydney Morning Herald
Sat, 23 May 2015 01:46:38 -0700
With the numbers of refugees expected to double in the next six months, the ancient liner is losing the race to evacuate its desperate cargo. Since gravely ill children are given the highest priority to leave, it often arrives in Kigoma port with tiny ...
Wed, 20 May 2015 04:46:43 -0700
The cargo will enable cargo from Kisarawe to be shipped to DR Congo, Malawi and Zambia to reduce freight charges. Tazara which has capacity of transporting some five million metric tons of cargo per annum but currently only handles less than 400,000MT ...
Sun, 17 May 2015 20:11:46 -0700
Zimbabwe also shares borders with Botswana, Zambia and Mozambique, while heavy haulers travelling to the Democratic Republic of Congo and Malawi also pass through the country. “The situation hasn't improved since last Sunday and Zimra officials are ...
Wed, 20 May 2015 03:41:15 -0700
"The centres will also play a critical role in marketing 'Made in Rwanda' products in the Republic of Congo besides strengthening trade links between the two countries," Kamanzi said. According to the agreement seen by The New Times, the centres ...
Fri, 22 May 2015 02:45:00 -0700
The Dar es Salaam port is the gateway to the Central Transport Corridor that has great potential to make significant impact to trade in landlocked countries of Malawi, Zambia, DR Congo, Rwanda Burundi and Uganda. ... Inspection Stations (OSISs) at ...