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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, 23 Aug 2014 00:41:15 -0700
The cargo plane is loaded with some 60 tons of food supplies from German Army 'Bundeswehr' stocks as well as with sanitary materials supplied by the Republic of Austria which are meant for the residents and refugees who fled to the regions in northern ...
Fri, 22 Aug 2014 17:22:30 -0700
REFLECTING on the horrors of World War I, 100 years on, it is hard to fathom that so many volunteered, apparently willingly, for what became such a catastrophic mass slaughter. Men queued up in droves throughout the UK answering General Kitchener's ...
Thu, 21 Aug 2014 12:52:30 -0700
The report shows that on average, it costs more for Rwanda, Burundi and the Democratic Republic of Congo to transport cargo by road from Mombasa than they would if they used Dar es Salam Port and route. Only Uganda and South Sudan would pay less ...
The Standard Digital News
Thu, 21 Aug 2014 14:19:38 -0700
Kenya's Mombasa port may handle 5 percent more cargo this year and construction of a second container terminal at East Africa's busiest seaport is running ahead of schedule, according to the state-run harbor authority. Throughput may climb to 23.5 ...
Thu, 21 Aug 2014 03:41:15 -0700
MUSKEGON, MI – The last of four European cargo ships due to arrive in the Port of Muskegon this summer is expected to do so on Aug. 28, according to Ed ... The HHL Congo was the most recent to arrive when it was docked on Aug. 18. Two more "salties" ...
The Muskegon Chronicle
Thu, 21 Aug 2014 20:56:15 -0700
Raised during the 1950s and '60s in the shadow of the steel mills of Gary, Indiana, McGee served in Vietnam, often sitting in the back of a World War II-era cargo plane stuffed with electronics. As a member of a .... be held in family trusts. He forged ...
Thu, 21 Aug 2014 03:52:30 -0700
... Democratic Republic of Congo. According to the company, the project, which involved reconstruction of 67 stations and will allow a maximum train speed of 90 kilometres per hour and 20 million tons of cargo per year, cost the Angolan state US$1.83 ...
Fri, 08 Aug 2014 03:47:49 -0700
MUSKEGON, MI – Three more large cargo ships are set to arrive in the Port of Muskegon this month, according to Ed Hogan, vice president of operations for Port City Marine Services. All three "salties" will be carrying wind turbine parts bound for the ...