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Congo

Everything you need to know about Congo: news, reviews, in-depth analysis, opinion and more

DR Congo: Equatorial African Country torn by Civil Strife

The Democratic Republic of the Congo, or Congo or DRC or RDC or DR Congo or Congo-Kinshasa is an African state that has varied colonial past thanks to its vast natural resources that includes the Congo Rainforests. The country was first colonized by Belgium and called the Belgian Congo. The country was renamed Zaire by Joseph Mobutu in 1960 whose reign witnessed a tremendous increase in corruption and brought the country on the brink of a civil war. The country reclaimed its original name in 1997. The African Congo is currently torn by a civil war between the Congo government, backed by Zimbabwe, Angola and Namibia on one side and the Mobutu rebels backed by Rwanda and Uganda on the other.

Congo Facts and Figures:

  • National Name: Republique Democratique du Congo
  • Capital: Kinshasa (formerly Leopoldville)
  • Total area : 2,267,599 sq km
  • Population: 68,008,922
  • Currency : Congolese franc
  • Languages: French (official), Lingala, Kingwana, Kikongo, Tshiluba
  • Ethnicity/ Races: With over 200 African ethnic groups, the majority are Bantu; the four largest tribes?Mongo, Luba, Kongo (all Bantu), and the Mangbetu-Azande (Hamitic)?make up about 45% of the population
  • Religion: Roman Catholic 50%, Protestant 20%, Kimbanguist 10%, Islam 10%; other syncretic and indigenous 10%
  • GDP (Per Capita): $700 (2004 est.)
  • Life Expectancy: Male: 47 Years, Female: 51 Years (2001 est.)
  • Literacy: 67.2% (2006 est.)

Geoghraphy and Climate of DR Congo:

The Congo or Zaire is a country through which the Equator passes and located in sub-Saharan Africa. The DRC is the third largest country in Africa area wise. The Congo River dominates much of the Congolese mainland and is a major contributor to the Congo economy. Apart from the desert expanse Congo also consists of plateaus that merge into the savannas in the south and glaciated mountains in the east.

Due to Congo's equatorial location the country witnesses heavy precipitation that exceeds 200 cms in some areas. Also Congo has the second largest expanse of rainforests in the world after Brazil. Congo or the DRC also has the highest thunderstorm frequency anywhere in the world.

Economy and Civil Strife in Congo:

Congo has been blessed with rich natural wealth that has proved to be both a blessing and curse. The country is the World's largest Cobalt ore producer, apart from producing Copper and industrial Diamonds. However the two major wars have drastically curtailed the Congolese economy, so much so that nearly 2/3 rd Congolese are victims of malnutrition. The country is heavily dependent on foreign aid and humanitarian agencies to sustain itself.

Congo is witness to decade long civil war beginning in 1997 when the Rwandan Hutus started using Congo as a base for attack against Tutsi-led government in Rwanda. Since then much of the conflict has raged around the issue of control of Congo's substantial mineral resources. The war has killed 5.4 million till now and has been termed ?Africa's World War'.

Culture and Tourist Attractions in DR Congo:

The Democratic Republic of the Congo inheres hundreds of different ethnic groups that abound the course of the River Congo. Even the Congolese music is well blended, which includes Soukous, a mixture of Cuban rumba and the Merengue. Congolese art is also well known for the fine masks and well-crafted wooden statues.

The Equatorial rainforests of DR Congo offer a diverse range of flora and fauna including the bonobo Chimpanzee, white rhino and mountain gorilla. Congo features must-see National Parks that include the Garumba, Kahuzi-Biega, Salonga and Virunga National Parks, and the Okapi Wildlife Reserve, all of which are on the World Heritage Site list of UNESCO. Tourists traveling to DR Congo can also enjoy the serene view along the Congo River cruise that terminates in the Congo Capital Kinshasa.

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Bigger gorillas attract more mates and better at raising offspring

May 2, 2012 at 12:42 PM

Washington, May 2 (ANI): Larger male gorillas living in the rainforests of Congo seem to be more successful than smaller ones at attracting mates and even raising young, researchers have found.

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April 25, 2012 at 7:09 PM

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April 25, 2012 at 1:25 AM

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April 23, 2012 at 4:12 PM

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April 23, 2012 at 1:48 PM

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April 13, 2012 at 12:03 PM

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April 12, 2012 at 6:59 PM

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April 3, 2012 at 1:12 PM

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March 6, 2012 at 8:40 PM

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Several bird species on the verge of extinction

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Hundreds of tropical bird species at risk of extinction

March 6, 2012 at 1:11 PM

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Female bonobos 'advertise' homosexual bonds to boost their status

March 2, 2012 at 10:04 PM

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UK teacher splashes 20k pounds to amass official shirt from every FIFA team

January 21, 2012 at 8:08 PM

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