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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.
Sat, 29 Aug 2015 02:11:15 -0700
Christy opens a cargo container crammed full of tusks, both cut up and intact, and estimates that viewers are looking at the result of 400 dead elephants, including infants. He wants to find out where the ivory is going, to track the ivory from Garamba ...
Fri, 21 Aug 2015 02:00:00 -0700
Captain Bempele told reporters that the steamer had no mechanical problems adding that MV Serengeti left Mwanza port with 185 passengers and 80 tonnes of cargo. He noted that normally between June and August each year navigation on Lake Victoria is ...
Thu, 27 Aug 2015 16:15:00 -0700
... the modular refining operations to include guarantee of 100 percent crude oil feedstock for all refiners for at least 10 years; discounted price of crude oil for domestic consumption; a minimum of 60 days credit for each cargo of crude oil, at ...
Thu, 27 Aug 2015 01:47:51 -0700
It costs almost US$4 500 to transport a container from Brazzaville in the Republic of Congo, across about four kilometres of the Congo River, to Kinshasa, capital of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) on the opposite bank of the river, according to ...
Institute for Security Studies (press release) (blog)
Fri, 28 Aug 2015 22:25:57 -0700
Among sub-Saharan African countries, only South Africa currently has a DTT with the United States, and only six sub-Saharan African countries (Cameroon, Congo Brazzaville, Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Mozambique, Rwanda, and Senegal) have ...
Mon, 24 Aug 2015 08:54:21 -0700
He opens a single cargo container crammed full of tusks, both cut up and intact, and estimates that we're looking at the result of 400 elephant deaths, including infants. Christy wants to find out where the ivory is going, to track the ivory from the ...
San Francisco Chronicle (subscription)
Thu, 20 Aug 2015 22:11:07 -0700
Mombasa is boosting capacity to cater for growing domestic demand and rising cargo volumes for landlocked countries including Uganda, Rwanda, South Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo that it serves. Kenya's economy, the largest in East ...
Thu, 27 Aug 2015 08:56:15 -0700
“What is it about Rhodes that is so attractive that we were driven to create the same community wherever we went — to Congo, in Rhodesia, in Seattle and California? What is it that was so special, that unites all these people?” said 91-year-old Stella ...