Portal:Democratic Republic of the Congo

The Democratic Republic of the Congo Portal

Flag of the Democratic Republic of the Congo
Coat of Arms of the Democratic Republic of the Congo
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The Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) ( French: République démocratique du Congo (RDC) [kɔ̃ɡo]), also known as Congo-Kinshasa, DR Congo (French: RD Congo), the DROC, the DRC, or simply either Congo or the Congo, and formerly Zaire, is a country in Central Africa. It is, by area, the largest country in sub-Saharan Africa, the second-largest in all of Africa (after Algeria), and the 11th-largest in the world. With a population of around 105 million, the Democratic Republic of the Congo is the most populous officially Francophone country in the world, as well as the fourth-most populous country in Africa (after Nigeria, Ethiopia and Egypt) and the 15th-most populous country in the world. It is a member of the United Nations, Non-Aligned Movement, African Union, and COMESA. Since 2015, the Eastern DR Congo has been the site of an ongoing military conflict in Kivu. The capital and largest city is Kinshasa.

Centered on the Congo Basin, the territory of the DRC was first inhabited by Central African foragers around 90,000 years ago and was reached by the Bantu expansion about 3,000 years ago. In the west, the Kingdom of Kongo ruled around the mouth of the Congo River from the 14th to 19th centuries. In the northeast, center and east, the kingdoms of Azande, Luba and Lunda ruled from the 16th and 17th centuries to the 19th century.

In the 1870s, just before the onset of the Scramble for Africa, European exploration of the Congo Basin was carried out, first led by Henry Morton Stanley under the sponsorship of Leopold II of Belgium. Leopold formally acquired rights to the Congo territory at the Berlin Conference in 1885 and declared the land his private property, naming it the Congo Free State. During the Free State, his colonial military unit, the Force Publique, forced the local population to produce rubber. From 1885 to 1908, millions of Congolese people died as a consequence of disease and exploitation. In 1908, Leopold, despite his initial reluctance, ceded the so-called Free State to Belgium, thus it became known as the Belgian Congo.

Congo achieved independence from Belgium on 30 June 1960 under the name Republic of the Congo. Congolese nationalist Patrice Lumumba was elected the first Prime Minister, while Joseph Kasa-Vubu became the first President. During the Congo Crisis, Joseph-Désiré Mobutu, who later renamed himself Mobutu Sese Seko, officially came into power through a coup d'état and renamed the country Zaire in 1971. The country was run as a dictatorial one-party state, with his Popular Movement of the Revolution as the sole legal party. By the early 1990s, Mobutu's government began to weaken. Destabilisation in the east resulting from the 1994 Rwandan genocide led to a 1996 invasion led by Rwanda, which led to Mobutu's ousting in the First Congo War the following year.

Laurent-Désiré Kabila then became the new president, reverting the country's name to the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Tensions between President Kabila and the Rwandan and Tutsi presence in the country led to the Second Congo War from 1998 to 2003. Ultimately, nine African countries and around twenty armed groups became involved in the war, which resulted in the deaths of 5.4 million people. The two wars devastated the country. President Laurent-Désiré Kabila was assassinated by one of his bodyguards on 16 January 2001 and was succeeded eight days later by his son Joseph, under whom human rights in the country remained poor and included frequent abuses such as forced disappearances, torture, arbitrary imprisonment and restrictions on civil liberties according to NGOs. Following the 2018 general election, in the country's first peaceful transition of power since independence, Kabila was succeeded as president by Félix Tshisekedi, who has served as president since.

The Democratic Republic of the Congo is extremely rich in natural resources but has suffered from political instability, a lack of infrastructure, corruption, and centuries of both commercial and colonial extraction and exploitation with little widespread development. Besides the capital Kinshasa, the two next largest cities, Lubumbashi and Mbuji-Mayi, are both mining communities. The DRC's largest export is raw minerals, with China accepting over 50% of its exports in 2019. In 2019, DR Congo's level of human development was ranked 175th out of 189 countries by the Human Development Index. , around 600,000 Congolese have fled to neighbouring countries from conflicts in the centre and east of the DRC. Two million children risk starvation, and the fighting has displaced 4.5 million people. (Full article...)

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Zaiko Langa Langa (also spelled Zaïko Langa Langa and in other variants) is a popular Contemporary band from DR Congo. Zaiko was named in 2000, by the Congolese Media Association, as the best Congolese musical group of the 20th century, and has been very influential. The word "Zaiko" is a portmanteau for the lingala phrase Zaire ya bankoko, meaning "Zaire of our ancestors", where "Zaire" must be read as a reference to the river by that name, now called Congo. The meaning of the phrase "Langa Langa" is controversial; according to the band's website, it means "marvelous" or "almighty".

Founded in the early 1969 by D.V. Moanda, Marcelin Delo, Henry Mongombe, Olemi Eshar-Eshar dem'belina and Andre Bita, Zaiko Langa Langa survived into the 2000s (decade), and have been largely popular through the decades. Because of their "rebel" and "hippie" attitude, and their innovative approach to soukous, they became a symbol of the new generations of post-independence Zaire, and are sometimes compared to the Rolling Stones for their appeal on the Congolese youth. (Full article...)
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The following are images from various Democratic Republic of the Congo-related articles on Wikipedia.

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The independence ceremony for the Congo during which Lumumba delivered his speech

The Speech at the Ceremony of the Proclamation of the Congo's Independence was a short political speech given by Patrice Lumumba on 30 June 1960 at the ceremonies marking the independence of the Republic of Congo (the modern-day Democratic Republic of the Congo) from Belgium. It is best known for its outspoken criticism of colonialism.

Lumumba, the first Congolese Prime Minister, gave the address during the official independence commemorations at the Palais de la Nation in Léopoldville (modern-day Kinshasa). The ceremony was intended to mark the harmonious end of Belgian rule and was attended by both Congolese and Belgian dignitaries, including King Baudouin. Lumumba's speech, which was itself unscheduled, was in large part a response to Baudouin's speech which argued that the end of colonial rule in the Congo had been depicted as the culmination of the Belgian "civilising mission" begun by Leopold II in the Congo Free State. Lumumba's speech, broadcast live on the radio across the world, denounced colonialism and was interpreted as an affront to Belgium and Baudouin personally. While it was well-received within the Congo, it was widely condemned internationally as unnecessarily confrontational and for showing ingratitude at a time when Belgium had granted independence to the state. The speech nearly provoked a diplomatic incident between the Congo and Belgium, and Lumumba later gave further speeches attempting to adopt a more conciliatory tone. (Full article...)

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T. d. derbianus
Senegal

The giant eland (Taurotragus derbianus), also known as the Lord Derby eland, is an open-forest and savanna antelope. A species of the family Bovidae and genus Taurotragus, it was described in 1847 by John Edward Gray. The giant eland is the largest species of antelope, with a body length ranging from 220–290 cm (86.5–114 in). There are two subspecies: T. d. derbianus and T. d. gigas.

The giant eland is a herbivore, eating grasses, foliage and branches. They usually form small herds consisting of 15–25 members, both males and females. Giant elands are not territorial, and have large home ranges. They are naturally alert and wary, which makes them difficult to approach and observe. They can run at up to 70 km/h (43 mph) and use this speed as a defence against predators. Mating occurs throughout the year but peaks in the wet season. They mostly inhabit broad-leafed savannas, woodlands and glades. (Full article...)

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