BlueWorld

Africa: Congo, Dem Rep



About Congo, Dem Rep

Since 1994 the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DROC; formerly called Zaire) has been rent by ethnic strife and civil war, touched off by a massive inflow of refugees from the fighting in Rwanda and Burundi. The government of former president MOBUTU Sese Seko was toppled by a rebellion led by Laurent KABILA in May 1997; his regime was subsequently challenged by a Rwanda- and Uganda-backed rebellion in August 1998. Troops from Zimbabwe, Angola, Namibia, Chad, and Sudan intervened to support the Kinshasa regime. A cease-fire was signed on 10 July 1999, but sporadic fighting continued. KABILA was assassinated in January 2001 and his son Joseph KABILA was named head of state. The new president quickly began overtures to end the war.


Vital Statistics
Capitol City: Kinshasa
Population: 53,624,718
Percent below poverty: NA%
Language: French (official), Lingala (a lingua franca trade language), Kingwana (a dialect of Kiswahili or Swahili), Kikongo, Tshiluba
Date of independence: 30 June 1960 (from Belgium)
Form of government: dictatorship; presumably undergoing
Title of Leader: president
Natural Resources: cobalt, copper, cadmium, petroleum, industrial and gem diamonds, gold, silver, zinc, manganese, tin, germanium, uranium, radium, bauxite, iron ore, coal, hydropower, timber
Environmental Issues: poaching threatens wildlife populations; water pollution; deforestation; refugees who arrived in mid-1994 were responsible for significant deforestation, soil erosion, and wildlife poaching in the eastern part of the country (most of those refugees were r
Agricultural Products: coffee, sugar, palm oil, rubber, tea, quinine, cassava (tapioca), palm oil, bananas, root crops, corn, fruits; wood products
Imports: foodstuffs, mining and other machinery, transport equipment, fuels
Exports: diamonds, copper, coffee, cobalt, crude oil
Trading Partners: IMPORTS: South Africa 28%, Benelux 14%, Nigeria 9%, Kenya 7%, China (1999)
EXPORTS: Benelux 62%, US 18%, South Africa, Finland, Italy (1999)

 

Congo, Dem Rep Headlines


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