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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.
Wed, 01 Oct 2014 01:47:21 -0700
Increasing global fuel prices, state of security and storage from delayed cargo clearance have also been blamed for the high cost of doing business and transporting cargo in the region. “Bad roads have continued to increase vehicle wear and tear and ...
Tue, 30 Sep 2014 05:00:00 -0700
PHOENIX -- Volunteers with Project C.U.R.E. will be spending Tuesday morning filling and preparing a 40-foot cargo container with much-needed medical supplies. The supplies are heading for West African communities devastated by the Ebola virus ...
Tue, 30 Sep 2014 01:48:45 -0700
Cargo shipped via the port of Mombasa will attract an additional levy of $2 per metric ton, or $10 per consignment, under new measures proposed in a bill introduced by the Mombasa County Assembly last week. New fees for export and import permits ...
Wed, 17 Sep 2014 13:48:51 -0700
Three sailors on Marine Phoenix cargo ship were hospitalized Wednesday evening. Federal and state health officials met the ship late Wednesday, after crew members fell ill. Health officials took ... Around 1 p.m. the ship, the Marine Phoenix, which ...
Wed, 24 Sep 2014 03:41:15 -0700
MUSKEGON, MI – For the better part of 30 years, foreign cargo ships from around the world flocked to Muskegon and its deep-water port. Then, a stretch ... The HHL Congo was the third of four shipments to arrive at Muskegon's Mart Dock. It brought wind ...
Mon, 22 Sep 2014 03:30:00 -0700
Existing roads have deteriorated so much that, by some estimates, an hour's travel in Congo at independence in 1960 is the equivalent of a day's travel today. The continent cannot speak to itself economically: only 15 percent of trade is inter-African ...
Mon, 22 Sep 2014 06:07:30 -0700
It originally carried cargo, hunting parties and missionaries along the Victoria Nile and Lake Albert, on the border of Congo and Uganda. The boat continued to operate in Africa until 1968 when it was brought to the United States, working in San ...
Fri, 26 Sep 2014 05:00:00 -0700
San Francisco — Jake Harriman is a cargo pants and muddy shoes kind of guy. Visiting the sleek ... These locations serve as prototypes for refining the Nuru model before going into failed states and conflict zones such as Somalia, South Sudan, and Congo.
Christian Science Monitor