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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, 20 Dec 2014 16:22:30 -0800
Thus began a three-year stint of travel during which she said Mr. Hunter accompanied Mr. Le Roux on business trips to Brazil, the Republic of Congo, Mali and the Philippines. He was making good money, his sister said, and those who knew him seemed ...
New York Times
Sun, 21 Dec 2014 14:52:30 -0800
A row has erupted over delay in supply of medicines, transport items and spare parts to Indian troops serving in UN peacekeeping missions in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, South Sudan and Lebanon. ... denying Indian troops the provisions ...
The Indian Express
Sun, 14 Dec 2014 10:20:31 -0800
Many boats in Congo carry far more people and cargo than are listed. The disaster is believed to have happened early Friday in southeastern Congo. An official investigation is underway to determine the cause of the sinking, which officials blamed on ...
Sun, 21 Dec 2014 05:52:30 -0800
KIGALI, Rwanda - Rwanda has received $9 million from the Howard G. Buffet Foundation, for upgrading the Rubavu post along the border with the Democratic Republic Congo. Work will take the next 18 months. Rubavu will then meet the required standards of ...
East African Business Week
Tue, 16 Dec 2014 09:26:15 -0800
UN-backed Radio Okapi said it was not clear how many people were travelling on the ferry, which was carrying passengers and cargo between Katanga and South Kivu provinces in eastern Congo. However, Tanzanian authorities said the vessel had been ...
The Maritime Executive
Fri, 19 Dec 2014 06:21:10 -0800
Some passengers have reportedly checked in with as much as 13 bags. Passengers with excess luggage pay extra for such bags, but the extra luggage per person also causes the cargo hold of the plane to be filled before all booked passengers are checked ...
Sun, 14 Dec 2014 10:56:15 -0800
The accident took place in an area of the lake claimed by Democratic Republic of Congo, Tanzania's Director of Presidential Communications, Salvator Rweyemamu, said by phone from Dar es Salaam. The lake's geography is shared shared among four countries ...
Fri, 19 Dec 2014 00:48:45 -0800
Namibia intends to position itself as a channel for trade by landlocked neighbours including Botswana, Zimbabwe, Zambia, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Malawi. Namibia is expanding capacity and building bulk cargo handling capabilities at its ...