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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.
Sun, 02 Mar 2014 17:07:30 -0800
DR Congo is now the second largest destination of transit cargo through Dar es Salaam port after Zambia as its cargo kept on increasing year after year. The Minister for Transport Dr Harrison Mwakyembe said in Dar es Salaam on Saturday that the DR ...
Fri, 07 Mar 2014 01:45:00 -0800
In separate disclosures, International Container Terminal Services Inc (ICTSI) and Asian Terminals Inc (ATI) reported turning in a profit, with the first enjoying an increase and the latter suffering a decline. ICTSI said its net income rose by a fifth ...
Sun, 09 Mar 2014 05:00:00 -0700
Elsewhere, Sayyari referred to the presence of the Iranian fleets of warships in the international waters to protect the cargo ships and oil tankers from the pirates' attacks, and said, “We have escorted and led away nearly 2,000 cargo ships and oil ...
Fars News Agency
Wed, 05 Mar 2014 08:07:30 -0800
UNHCR and the National Commission for the Reception and Reintegration of Refugees and Returnees have been interviewing and pre-registering these people at eight transit centres in N'Djamena, including the Transit Centre No. 3 in the city's Paris-Congo ...
UNHCR (press release)
Sun, 02 Mar 2014 21:03:45 -0800
This was as at the height of the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) insurgency led by Jamil Mukulu in the western parts of Uganda and the DR Congo and the Rwenzori Mountain jungle was infested with the insurgents. Finding this wreckage and unraveling the ...
Thu, 06 Mar 2014 11:30:00 -0800
Tazara will, therefore, provide this export route with reliable transport in train wagons, which have sufficient freight volume to cart cargo to the GLR. The GLR has a ready market in the vast Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Burundi, Rwanda ...
Mon, 03 Mar 2014 07:33:45 -0800
The EUTR in theory closes off one avenue for a lot of that illegal cargo and requires timber companies trading in Europe to ensure due diligence and prevent any suspect or illegally sourced wood entering their supply chains. But, although it may be ...
Mon, 03 Mar 2014 21:15:00 -0800
Imagine places such as Afghanistan, the Central African Republic, Chad, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Somalia/Kenya, South Sudan, Sudan and Yemen for starters. ... are focused around the UNHAS, the aviation unit ...
Aviation International News