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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, 30 Apr 2016 21:41:15 -0700
Dodoma — The government has directed the Tanzania Ports Authority (TPA) and Tanzania Revenue Authority (TRA) to evaluate the economic impact of the decline of transit cargo Port of Dar es Salaam. Finance and Planning Minister, Dr Philip Mpango, gave ...
Sat, 30 Apr 2016 01:26:15 -0700
Sixty days to the start of new regional regulations of verified gross mass (VGM) for container exports, there is disagreement over who should set up the new container weighing equipment. According to the the Kenya Ports Authority, the VGM regulations ...
Mon, 02 May 2016 01:01:20 -0700
Recently in the Democratic Republic of Congo, African Parks reported that three of its rangers had died of bullet wounds sustained during clashes with elephant poachers on April 23 in Garamba National Park. ... The poachers who go after rhinos and ...
Fri, 25 Dec 2015 06:03:45 -0800
25 (UPI) -- At least seven people were killed when a cargo plane missed its landing in Mbuji-Mayi, Democratic Republic of Congo, and crashed into a residential area. The plane, an Airbus 310 flown by the cargo company Services Air, arrived Thursday ...
Fri, 29 Apr 2016 17:03:38 -0700
All that they now suffer, and far more, they, or their king, his government and his officers wreaked on the well nigh defenceless people of the Congo basin. In early December Casement made his first visit to the camp at Limburg an der Lahn, near ...
Sun, 01 May 2016 06:07:30 -0700
That is a massive amount of water intake and it is all coming from the Falls and the upper Zambezi basin in Zambia, Angola and the Congo. I understand that water ... That is 450 000 tonnes of cargo a month plus all the other traffic and busses. The ...
Mon, 25 Apr 2016 06:31:56 -0700
Mombasa handles imports such as fuel and other vital goods for Uganda, Burundi, Rwanda, South Sudan and eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo, and interruption of traffic along the highway could affect regional business. Queues began forming at ...
Mon, 18 Apr 2016 16:48:45 -0700
He was wearing what I soon learned is his de facto uniform: baggy cargo pants with an elastic waistband, dirty hiking boots, and an oversize John Deere T-shirt (nothing runs like a deere). His large, unfashionable eyeglasses were smudged. ..... Over ...