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Democratic Republic of the Congo
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{{distinguish|text=the neighbouring Republic of the Congo}}{{short description|Country in Central Africa}}{{Use dmy dates|date=January 2019}}{{coord|-3|24|display=title|type:country}}







factoids
}}{{resize>80%kg80%ln80%sw80%lu|Ditunga dia Kongu wa Mungalaata}}}}| image_flag = Flag of the Democratic Republic of the Congo.svg| image_coat = Coat of arms of the Democratic Republic of the Congo.svgEmblem of the Democratic Republic of the Congo>Coat of armsfritalics=off"Justice â€“ Peace â€“ Work"}}frDebout Congolais>nolink=on}}{{smallcenter)| image_map = Democratic_Republic_of_the_Congo_(orthographic_projection).svgcountryprefix= |location_color=dark green}}| image_map2 =| capital = Kinshasa4S19type:city}}| largest_city = capitalFrench language>FrenchLingala language >Kikongo Swahili language>Swahili Luba-Kasai language>Tshiluba}}See #Ethnic groups>Ethnic groups section below| demonym = CongoleseUnitary state>Unitary Semi-presidential systemFREEDOM IN THE WORLD 2018 – CONGO, DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF (KINSHASA) WEBSITE=FREEDOMHOUSE ACCESSDATE=7 OCTOBER 2018 ARCHIVE-DATE=25 NOVEMBER 2018 DF=DMY-ALL, 4 January 2018, President of the Democratic Republic of the Congo>President| leader_name1 = Félix TshisekediPrime Minister of the Democratic Republic of the Congo>Prime MinisterSylvestre Ilunga >legislature = ParliamentSenate (Democratic Republic of the Congo)>SenateNational Assembly (Democratic Republic of the Congo)>National AssemblyHistory of the Democratic Republic of Congo>FormationInternational Association of the Congo>Colonised| established_date1 = 17 November 1879| established_event2 = Congo Free State| established_date2 = 1 July 1885| established_event3 = Belgian Congo| established_date3 = 15 November 1908Congo Crisis>Independence from Belgium| established_date4 = 30 June 1960WEB, Central Intelligence Agency, Democratic Republic of Congo, The World Factbook, Central Intelligence Agency, Langley, Virginia, 2014,weblink 29 April 2014,weblink 10 August 2016, live, dmy-all, United Nations Security Council Resolution 142>Admitted to the United Nations| established_date5 = 20 September 1960| established_event6 = Renamed to Democratic Republic of Congo| established_date6 = 1 August 1964Zaire>Republic of Zaire| established_date7 = 29 October 1971First Congo War>Fall of Mobutu| established_date8 = 17 May 1997Constitution of the Democratic Republic of the Congo>Current constitution| established_date9 = 18 February 2006| area_km2 = 2,345,409| area_rank = 11th| area_sq_mi = 905,355 | percent_water = 3.32PUBLISHER=INTERNATIONAL MONETARY FUND, | population_estimate_rank = 16th| population_density_km2 = 39.19| population_density_sq_mi = 101.54 | population_density_rank =| GDP_PPP = {{Increase}} $77.486 billion| GDP_PPP_year = 2019| GDP_PPP_rank =| GDP_PPP_per_capita = {{Increase}} $842| GDP_PPP_per_capita_rank =| GDP_nominal = {{Increase}} $46.117 billion| GDP_nominal_year = 2019| GDP_nominal_rank =| GDP_nominal_per_capita = {{Increase}} $501| GDP_nominal_per_capita_rank =| Gini = 44.4| Gini_year = 2006| Gini_change = increase PUBLISHER=WORLD BANKARCHIVE-URL=HTTPS://WEB.ARCHIVE.ORG/WEB/20130927100305/HTTP://DATA.WORLDBANK.ORG/INDICATOR/SI.POV.GINI?PAGE=1URL-STATUS=LIVE, dmy-all, | Gini_rank =| HDI = 0.470 | HDI_year = 2018| HDI_change = increase YEAR=2018 PUBLISHER=UNITED NATIONS DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMME ARCHIVE-DATE=14 SEPTEMBER 2018 DF=DMY-ALL, | HDI_rank = 176th| currency = Congolese franc| currency_code = CDFWest Africa Time>WAT and CAT+1 to +2}}| utc_offset_DST =| time_zone_DST =| drives_on = right| calling_code = +243| iso3166code = CD| cctld = .cd}}The Democratic Republic of the Congo ({{pronunciation|En-DRC-pronunciation.ogg}} {{IPA-fr|kɔ̃ɡo|}}), also known as DR Congo, the DRC, DROC,BOOK, Starbird, Caroline, Deboer, Dale, Pettit, Jenny, 2004, Teaching International Economics and Trade,weblink Center for Teaching International Relations, University of Denver, 78, 978-0-943804-92-7, Aid Applicant: The Democratic Republic of the Congo (DROC), 14 October 2015,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20150319004856weblink">weblink 19 March 2015, live, dmy-all, BOOK, Office of the United States Trade Representative, United States House of Representatives United States House Committee on Ways and Means, Committee on Ways and Means, 2003, Comprehensive Report on U.S. Trade and Investment Policy Toward Sub-Saharan Africa,weblink Message from the President of the United States, United States Government Printing Office, 87, 978-1-4289-5014-6, Democratic Republic of the Congo (DROC) will become eligible for AGOA trade benefits upon formation of a transitional government., 14 October 2015,weblink 20 July 2018, live, dmy-all, Congo-Kinshasa, or simply the Congo, is a country located in Central Africa. It is sometimes anachronistically referred to by its former name of Zaire, which was its official name between 1971 and 1997. 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 over {{#expr:floor({{formatnum:{{UN_Population|Democratic Republic of the Congo}}|R}}/1e6)}} million,{{UN_Population|ref}} the Democratic Republic of the Congo is the most populous officially Francophone country, the fourth-most-populous country in Africa, and the 16th-most-populous country in the world. Eastern DR Congo has been the scene of ongoing military conflict in Kivu, since 2015.Centred 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 centre and east, the kingdoms of 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 made 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 the Kongo people died as a consequence of disease and exploitation. In 1908, Belgium, despite initial reluctance, formally annexed the Free State, which became known as the Belgian Congo.The Belgian Congo achieved independence 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. Conflict arose over the administration of the territory, which became known as the Congo Crisis. The provinces of Katanga, under Moïse Tshombe, and South Kasai attempted to secede. After Lumumba turned to the Soviet Union for assistance in the crisis, the U.S. and Belgium became wary and oversaw his removal from office by Kasa-Vubu on 5 September and ultimate execution by Belgian-led Katangese troops on 17 January 1961. On 25 November 1965, Army Chief of Staff Joseph-Désiré Mobutu, who later renamed himself Mobutu Sese Seko, officially came into power through a coup d'état. In 1971, he renamed the country Zaire. The country was run as a dictatorial one-party state, with his Popular Movement of the Revolution as the sole legal party. Mobutu's government received considerable support from the United States, due to its anti-communist stance during the Cold War. By the early 1990s, Mobutu's government began to weaken. Destabilisation in the east resulting from the 1994 Rwandan genocide and disenfranchisement among the eastern Banyamulenge (Congolese Tutsi) population led to a 1996 invasion led by Tutsi FPR-ruled Rwanda, which began the First Congo War.On 17 May 1997, Laurent-Désiré Kabila, a leader of Tutsi forces from the province of South Kivu, became President after Mobutu fled to Morocco, 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,WEB,weblink World War Three, 24 July 2006, My Direct Democracy,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20081007113538weblink">weblink 7 October 2008, Bowers, Chris, which resulted in the deaths of 5.4 million people.REPORT,weblink Mortality in the Democratic Republic of Congo: An ongoing crisis: Full 26-page report, 26, PDF, Coghlan, Benjamin, 21 March 2013, 2007, etal,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20130908204131weblink">weblink 8 September 2013, live, dmy-all, NEWS,weblink The deadliest war in the world, Robinson, Simon, 28 May 2006, Time, 2 May 2010,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20130911082009weblink">weblink 11 September 2013, live, dmy-all, NEWS,weblink Congo War driven crisis kills 45,000 a month, Bavier, Joe, 22 January 2008, Reuters, 2 May 2010,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20110414093820weblink">weblink 14 April 2011, live, dmy-all, WEB,weblink Measuring Mortality in the Democratic Republic of Congo, 2007, International Rescue Committee, 2 September 2011,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20110811153815weblink">weblink 11 August 2011, live, dmy-all,
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 as President by his son Joseph.
The Democratic Republic of the Congo is extremely rich in natural resources but has had political instability, a lack of infrastructure, issues with corruption and centuries of both commercial and colonial extraction and exploitation with little holistic development. Besides the capital Kinshasa, the two next largest cities Lubumbashi and Mbuji-Mayi are both mining communities. DR Congo's largest export is raw minerals, with China accepting over 50% of DRC's exports in 2012. In 2016, DR Congo's level of human development was ranked 176th out of 187 countries by the Human Development Index. {{as of|2018}}, around 600,000 Congolese have fled to neighbouring countries from conflicts in the centre and east of the DRC.WEB,weblink DR Congo crisis stirs concerns in central Africa, Samir Tounsi, 6 June 2018, AFP, 6 June 2018,weblink 13 June 2018, live, dmy-all, Two million children risk starvation, and the fighting has displaced 4.5 million people.NEWS,weblink Violence is roiling the Democratic Republic of Congo. Some say it's a strategy to keep the president in power, Robyn Dixon, 12 April 2018, Los Angeles Times, 8 June 2018,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20180608045928weblink">weblink 8 June 2018, live, dmy-all, The sovereign state is a member of the United Nations, Non-Aligned Movement, African Union, and COMESA.

Etymology

{{further|Congo River|Kongo people}}The Democratic Republic of the Congo is named after the Congo River, which flows throughout the country. The Congo River is the world's deepest river and the world's second largest river by discharge. The Comité d'études du haut Congo ("Committee for the Study of the Upper Congo"), established by King Leopold II of Belgium in 1876, and the International Association of the Congo, established by him in 1879, were also named after the river.BOOK,weblink The Democratic Republic of the Congo. La République Démocratique du Congo, Bobineau, Julien, Gieg, Philipp, 2016, LIT Verlag Münster, 978-3-643-13473-8, 32, en, The Congo River itself was named by early European sailors after the Kingdom of Kongo and its Bantu inhabitants, the Kongo people, when they encountered them in the 16th century.BOOK,weblink Historical Dictionary of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Kisangani, Emizet Francois, 2016, Rowman & Littlefield, 978-1-4422-7316-0, 158, en, BOOK,weblinklast=Andersondate=2000, 978-0-85255-761-7, The word Kongo comes from the Kongo language (also called Kikongo). According to American writer Samuel Henry Nelson: "It is probable that the word 'Kongo' itself implies a public gathering and that it is based on the root konga, 'to gather' (trans[itive])."Nelson, Samuel Henry. Colonialism In The Congo Basin, 1880–1940. Athens, Ohio: Ohio University Press, 1994 The modern name of the Kongo people, Bakongo was introduced in the early 20th century.The Democratic Republic of the Congo has been known in the past as, in chronological order, the Congo Free State, Belgian Congo, the Republic of Congo-Léopoldville, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the Republic of Zaire, before returning to its current name the Democratic Republic of the Congo.At the time of independence, the country was named the Republic of Congo-Léopoldville to distinguish it from its neighbour the Republic of the Congo-Brazzaville. With the promulgation of the Luluabourg Constitution on 1 August 1964, the country became the DRC, but was renamed to Zaire (a past name for the Congo River) on 27 October 1971 by President Mobutu Sese Seko as part of his Authenticité initiative.BOOK, Emizet Francois Kisangani, Scott F. Bobb, Historical Dictionary of the Democratic Republic of the Congo,weblinkaccessdate=29 April 2016 page=i, 978-0-8108-6325-5, The word Zaire is from a Portuguese adaptation of a Kikongo word nzere ("river"), a truncation of nzadi o nzere ("river swallowing rivers").Forbath, Peter. The River Congo (1977), p. 19. The river was known as Zaire during the 16th and 17th centuries; Congo seems to have replaced Zaire gradually in English usage during the 18th century, and Congo is the preferred English name in 19th-century literature, although references to Zaire as the name used by the natives (i.e. derived from Portuguese usage) remained common.James Barbot, An Abstract of a Voyage to Congo River, Or the Zair and to Cabinde in the Year 1700 (1746). James Hingston Tuckey, Narrative of an Expedition to Explore the River Zaire, Usually Called the Congo, in South Africa, in 1816 (1818). "Congo River, called Zahir or Zaire by the natives" John Purdy, Memoir, Descriptive and Explanatory, to Accompany the New Chart of the Ethiopic or Southern Atlantic Ocean, 1822, p. 112.In 1992, the Sovereign National Conference voted to change the name of the country to the "Democratic Republic of the Congo", but the change was not made.BOOK, Nzongola-Ntalaja, Georges, From Zaire to the Democratic Republic of the Congo,weblink 2004, Nordic Africa Institute, 978-91-7106-538-4, 5–, 14 October 2015,weblink 5 May 2016, live, dmy-all, The country's name was restored by President Laurent-Désiré Kabila following the fall of Mobutu in 1997.BOOK, Yusuf, A.A., African Yearbook of International Law, 1997,weblink 1998, Martinus Nijhoff Publishers, 978-90-411-1055-8, 14 October 2015,weblink 10 May 2016, live, dmy-all,

History

{{More citations needed section|date=December 2017}}

Early history

The geographical area now known as the Democratic Republic of the Congo was populated as early as 90,000 years ago, as shown by the 1988 discovery of the Semliki harpoon at Katanda, one of the oldest barbed harpoons ever found, believed to have been used to catch giant river catfish.WEB,weblink Katanda Bone Harpoon Point | The Smithsonian Institution's Human Origins Program, Humanorigins.si.ed, 10 March 2015, dead,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20150302062128weblink">weblink 2 March 2015, JOURNAL, Barbed Bone Points: Tradition and Continuity in Saharan and Sub-Saharan Africa, 1 September 1998, 10.1023/A:1021659928822, 15, 3, African Archaeological Review, 173–98, Yellen, John E., Bantu peoples reached Central Africa at some point during the first millennium BC, then gradually started to expand southward. Their propagation was accelerated by the adoption of pastoralism and of Iron Age techniques.The people living in the south and southwest were foraging groups, whose technology involved only minimal use of metal technologies. The development of metal tools during this time period revolutionized agriculture and animal husbandry. This led to the displacement of the hunter-gatherer groups in the east and southeast.The final wave of the Bantu expansion was complete by the 10th century, followed by the establishment of the Bantu kingdoms, whose rising populations soon made possible intricate local, regional and foreign commercial networks that traded mostly in slaves, salt, iron and copper.

Congo Free State (1877–1908)

{{See also|Atrocities in the Congo Free State|Congo Arab war}}File:Dhanis Expedition.JPG|thumb|upright|A contemporary depiction of a Belgian expedition during the Congo Arab warCongo Arab warFile:Stanley Founding of Congo Free State 186 View of Leopoldville Station and Port 1884 The Baptist Mission on the summit of Leopold Hill.jpg|thumb|View of Leopoldville Station and Port in 1884]]Belgian exploration and administration took place from the 1870s until the 1920s. It was first led by Sir Henry Morton Stanley, who undertook his explorations under the sponsorship of King Leopold II of Belgium. The eastern regions of the precolonial Congo were heavily disrupted by constant slave raiding, mainly from Arab–Swahili slave traders such as the infamous Tippu Tip, who was well known to Stanley.The East African slave trade {{Webarchive|url=https://web.archive.org/web/20131206194052weblink |date=6 December 2013 }}. BBC World Service: The Story of Africa; accessed 2 December 2017.Leopold had designs on what was to become the Congo as a colony.Keyes, Michael. The Congo Free State â€“ a colony of gross excess. {{Webarchive|url=https://web.archive.org/web/20120319094604weblink |date=19 March 2012 }} September 2004. In a succession of negotiations, Leopold, professing humanitarian objectives in his capacity as chairman of the front organization Association Internationale Africaine, actually played one European rival against another. {{citation needed|date=March 2013}}Leopold formally acquired rights to the Congo territory at the Conference of Berlin in 1885 and made the land his private property. He named it the Congo Free State. Leopold's regime began various infrastructure projects, such as the construction of the railway that ran from the coast to the capital of Leopoldville (now Kinshasa), which took eight years to complete. Nearly all such infrastructure projects were aimed at making it easier to increase the assets which Leopold and his associates could extract from the colony.Hochschild, Adam. King Leopold's Ghost, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 1999; {{ISBN|0-547-52573-7}}In the Free State, colonists coerced the local population into producing rubber, for which the spread of automobiles and development of rubber tires created a growing international market. Rubber sales made a fortune for Leopold, who built several buildings in Brussels and Ostend to honor himself and his country. To enforce the rubber quotas, the army, the Force Publique, was called in and made the practice of cutting off the limbs of the natives a matter of policy.Fage, John D. (1982). The Cambridge history of Africa: From the earliest times to c. 500 BC {{Webarchive|url=https://web.archive.org/web/20150318211755weblink |date=18 March 2015 }}, Cambridge University Press. p. 748; {{ISBN|0-521-22803-4}}During the period of 1885–1908, millions of Congolese died as a consequence of exploitation and disease. In some areas the population declined dramatically â€“ it has been estimated that sleeping sickness and smallpox killed nearly half the population in the areas surrounding the lower Congo River.News of the abuses began to circulate. In 1904, the British consul at Boma in the Congo, Roger Casement was instructed by the British government to investigate. His report, called the Casement Report, confirmed the accusations of humanitarian abuses. The Belgian Parliament forced Leopold II to set up an independent commission of inquiry. Its findings confirmed Casement's report of abuses, concluding that the population of the Congo had been "reduced by half" during this period. Determining precisely how many people died is impossible, as no accurate records exist.

Belgian Congo (1908–60)

In 1908, the Belgian parliament, in spite of initial reluctance, bowed to international pressure (especially from the United Kingdom) and took over the Free State from King Leopold II.MAGAZINE,weblink History Today, Tim Stanley, 62, 10, October 2012, Belgium's Heart of Darkness, 30 November 2016,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20161121065836weblink">weblink 21 November 2016, live, dmy-all, On 18 October 1908, the Belgian parliament voted in favour of annexing the Congo as a Belgian colony. Executive power went to the Belgian minister of colonial affairs, assisted by a Colonial Council (Conseil Colonial) (both located in Brussels). The Belgian parliament exercised legislative authority over the Belgian Congo. In 1926 the colonial capital moved from Boma to Léopoldville, some {{convert|300|km|mi}} further upstream into the interior.The transition from the Congo Free State to the Belgian Congo was a break but it also featured a large degree of continuity. The last Governor-general of the Congo Free State, Baron Théophile Wahis, remained in office in the Belgian Congo and the majority of Leopold II's administration with him.Stengers, Jean (2005), Congo: Mythes et réalités, Brussels: Editions Racine. Opening up the Congo and its natural and mineral riches to the Belgian economy remained the main motive for colonial expansion â€“ however, other priorities, such as healthcare and basic education, slowly gained in importance.File:Congo belge campagne 1918.jpg|thumb|Force PubliqueForce PubliqueColonial administrators ruled the territory and a dual legal system existed (a system of European courts and another one of indigenous courts, tribunaux indigènes). Indigenous courts had only limited powers and remained under the firm control of the colonial administration. Records show that in 1936, 728 Belgian administrators ran the colony.{{citation needed|date=July 2016}} The Belgian authorities permitted no political activity in the Congo whatsoever,BOOK, Meredith, Martin, The Fate of Africa, 2005, Public Affairs, New York, 6, and the Force Publique, a locally-recruited army under Belgian command, put down any attempts at rebellion.The Belgian population of the colony increased from 1,928 in 1910 to nearly 89,000 in 1959.{{citation needed|date=December 2017}}The Belgian Congo was directly involved in the two world wars. During World War I (1914–1918), an initial stand-off between the Force Publique and the German colonial army in German East Africa (Tanganyika) turned into open warfare with a joint Anglo-Belgian invasion of German colonial territory in 1916 and 1917 during the East African Campaign. The Force Publique gained a notable victory when it marched into Tabora in September 1916 under the command of General Charles Tombeur after heavy fighting.After 1918, Belgium was rewarded for the participation of the Force Publique in the East African campaign with a League of Nations mandate over the previously German colony of Ruanda-Urundi. During World War II, the Belgian Congo provided a crucial source of income for the Belgian government-in-exile in London, and the Force Publique again participated in Allied campaigns in Africa. Belgian Congolese forces under the command of Belgian officers notably fought against the Italian colonial army in Ethiopia in Asosa, BortaïBOOK,weblink Bortaï: journal de campagne: Abyssinie 1941, offensive belgo-congolaise, Faradje, Asosa, Gambela, Saio, Philippe Brousmiche, Harmattan, 2010, 978-2-296-13069-2, Google Books, French, and Saïo under Major-General Auguste-Eduard Gilliaert during the second East African Campaign.NEWS, McCrummen, Stephanie, Nearly Forgotten Forces of WWII, Washington Post Foreign Service, 4 August 2009, The Washington Post,weblink 26 August 2017,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20171014073325weblink">weblink 14 October 2017, live, dmy-all,

Independence and political crisis (1960–65)

File:Joseph Kasa-Vubu in Israel.png|thumb|upright|right|The leader of ABAKO, Joseph Kasa-Vubu, first democratically elected President of Congo-Léopoldville ]]File:Patrice Lumumba official portrait.jpg|thumb|Patrice Lumumba, first democratically elected Prime Minister of the Congo-Léopoldville, was murdered by Belgian-supported Katangan separatists in 1961]]In May 1960, a growing nationalist movement, the Mouvement National Congolais (MNC) led by Patrice Lumumba, won the parliamentary elections. Patrice Lumumba thus became the first Prime Minister of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, then known as the Republic of the Congo, on 24 June 1960. The parliament elected Joseph Kasavubu as President, of the Alliance des Bakongo (ABAKO) party. Other parties that emerged included the Parti Solidaire Africain (PSA) led by Antoine Gizenga, and the Parti National du Peuple (PNP) led by Albert Delvaux and Laurent Mbariko.Congo 1960, dossiers du CRISP, BelgiumThe Belgian Congo achieved independence on 30 June 1960 under the name "République du Congo" ("Republic of Congo" or "Republic of the Congo" in English). As the neighboring French colony of Middle Congo (Moyen Congo) also chose the name "Republic of Congo" upon achieving its independence, the two countries were more commonly known as "Congo-Léopoldville" and "Congo-Brazzaville", after their capital cities.Shortly after independence the Force Publique mutinied, and on 11 July the province of Katanga (led by Moïse Tshombe) and South Kasai engaged in secessionist struggles against the new leadership."Jungle Shipwreck {{Webarchive|url=https://web.archive.org/web/20141216231712weblink |date=16 December 2014 }}", Time, 25 July 1960.WEB, - HeinOnline.org,weblink www.heinonline.org, en, 16 November 2018,weblink 16 November 2018, live, dmy-all, Most of the 100,000 Europeans who had remained behind after independence fled the country,WEB,weblink The United Nations and the Congo, Historylearningsite.co.uk, 30 March 2007, 2 May 2010,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20130601233005weblink">weblink 1 June 2013, live, dmy-all, opening the way for Congolese to replace the European military and administrative elite."Hearts of Darkness" {{Webarchive|url=https://web.archive.org/web/20120425130056weblink |date=25 April 2012 }}, allacademic.comOn 5 September 1960, Kasavubu dismissed Lumumba from office. Lumumba declared Kasavubu's action unconstitutional and a crisis between the two leaders developed.Sécession au Katanga â€“ J.Gerald-Libois -Brussels- CRISPEvents set in motion by the U.S. and Belgium on 14 September removed Lumumba from office with forces loyal to Joseph Mobutu. On 17 January 1961, he was handed over to Katangan authorities and executed by Belgian-led Katangese troops.WEB,weblink Patrice Lumumba: 50 Years Later, Remembering the U.S.-Backed Assassination of Congo's First Democratically Elected Leader, Democracy Now!, 21 January 2011, 10 March 2015,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20150310085021weblink">weblink 10 March 2015, live, dmy-all, An investigation by the Belgium's Parliament in 2001 found Belgium "morally responsible" for the murder of Lumumba, and the country has since officially apologised for its role in his death.NEWS,weblink Belgians accused of war crimes in killing of Congo leader Lumumba, 23 June 2010, The Independent, 21 May 2017,weblink 3 October 2017, live, dmy-all, Amidst widespread confusion and chaos, a temporary government was led by technicians (the Collège des commissaires généraux). The secession ended in January 1963 with the assistance of UN forces. Several short-lived governments, of Joseph Ileo, Cyrille Adoula and Moise Tshombe, took over in quick succession.Lumumba had previously appointed Joseph Mobutu chief of staff of the new Congo army, Armée Nationale Congolaise (ANC). {{citation needed|date=September 2013}} Taking advantage of the leadership crisis between Kasavubu and Tshombe, Mobutu garnered enough support within the army to launch a coup. With financial support from the United States and Belgium, Mobutu paid his soldiers privately.{{citation needed|date=October 2018}} The aversion of Western powers to communism and leftist ideology influenced their decision to finance Mobutu's quest to neutralize Kasavubu and Lumumba in a coup by proxy.{{citation needed|date=October 2018}} A constitutional referendum the year before Mobutu's coup of 1965 resulted in the country's official name being changed to the "Democratic Republic of the Congo." In 1971 Mobutu changed the name again, this time to "Republic of Zaire".WEB, Payanzo, Ntsomo, Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC),weblink britannica.com, Encyclopædia Britannica, 2 October 2015,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20151009021241weblink">weblink 9 October 2015, live, dmy-all,

Mobutu and Zaire (1965–97)

File:Mobutu Nixon.gif|thumb|Mobutu Sese SekoMobutu Sese SekoThe new president had the staunch support of the United States because of his opposition to Communism; the US believed that his administration would serve as an effective counter to communist movements in Africa.MAGAZINE,weblink Rape of the Congo, Adam Hochschild, 13 August 2009, New York Review of Books, 1 March 2018,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20180301164520weblink">weblink 1 March 2018, live, dmy-all, A single-party system was established, and Mobutu declared himself head of state. He periodically held elections in which he was the only candidate. Although relative peace and stability were achieved, Mobutu's government was guilty of severe human rights violations, political repression, a cult of personality and corruption.By late 1967 Mobutu had successfully neutralized his political opponents and rivals, either through co-opting them into his regime, arresting them, or rendering them otherwise politically impotent.{{sfn|Young|Turner|2013|p=58}} Throughout the late 1960s Mobutu continued to shuffle his governments and cycle officials in and out of office to maintain control. Kasa-Vubu's death in April 1969 ensured that no person with First Republic credentials could challenge his rule.{{sfn|Young|Turner|2013|pp=61–62}} By the early 1970s Mobutu was attempting to assert Zaire as a leading African nation. He traveled frequently across the continent while the government became more vocal about African issues, particularly those relating to the southern region. Zaire established semi-clientelist relationships with several smaller African states, especially Burundi, Chad, and Togo.{{sfn|Young|Turner|2013|p=64}}Corruption became so common the term "le mal Zairois" or "Zairean Sickness",WEB,weblink "Zaire: The Hoax of Independence", The Aida Parker Newsletter #203, 4 August 1997, cycad.com, 4 February 2010,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20110511093917weblink">weblink 11 May 2011, live, dmy-all, meaning gross corruption, theft and mismanagement, was coined, reportedly by Mobutu himself.{{sfn|Young|Turner|2013|p=74}} International aid, most often in the form of loans, enriched Mobutu while he allowed national infrastructure such as roads to deteriorate to as little as one-quarter of what had existed in 1960. Zaire became a kleptocracy as Mobutu and his associates embezzled government funds.File:Prince Bernhard and Mobutu Sese Seko 1973.jpg|thumb|Mobutu with the Dutch Prince Bernhard in Kinshasa in 1973]]In a campaign to identify himself with African nationalism, starting on 1 June 1966, Mobutu renamed the nation's cities: Léopoldville became Kinshasa (the country was now Congo-Kinshasa), Stanleyville became Kisangani, Elisabethville became Lubumbashi, and Coquilhatville became Mbandaka. This renaming campaign was completed in the 1970s.In 1971, Mobutu renamed the country the Republic of Zaire, its fourth name change in eleven years and its sixth overall. The Congo River was renamed the Zaire River.During the 1970s and 1980s, he was invited to visit the United States on several occasions, meeting with U.S. Presidents Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan and George H. W. Bush.Johns, Michael (29 June 1989) weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20060721174238weblink">"Zaire's Mobutu Visits America", Heritage Foundation Executive Memorandum #239. Following the dissolution of the Soviet Union U.S. relations with Mobutu cooled, as he was no longer deemed necessary as a Cold War ally. Opponents within Zaire stepped up demands for reform. This atmosphere contributed to Mobutu's declaring the Third Republic in 1990, whose constitution was supposed to pave the way for democratic reform. The reforms turned out to be largely cosmetic. Mobutu continued in power until armed forces forced him to flee in 1997. "From 1990 to 1993, the United States facilitated Mobutu's attempts to hijack political change", one academic wrote, and "also assisted the rebellion of Laurent-Desire Kabila that overthrew the Mobutu regime."WEB,weblink The 2006 CONSTITUTION OF THE DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO, Icla.up.ac.za, 23 June 2018,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20180303225109weblink">weblink 3 March 2018, live, dmy-all,

Continental and Civil wars (1996–present)

File:Second Congo War Africa map en.png|thumb|Belligerents of the Second Congo WarSecond Congo WarBy 1996, following the Rwandan Civil War and genocide and the ascension of a Tutsi-led government in Rwanda, Rwandan Hutu militia forces (Interahamwe) fled to eastern Zaire and used refugee camps as a base for incursions against Rwanda. They allied with the Zairian armed forces (FAZ) to launch a campaign against Congolese ethnic Tutsis in eastern Zaire.Thom, William G. weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20060821184303weblink">"Congo-Zaire's 1996–97 civil war in the context of evolving patterns of military conflict in Africa in the era of independence", Conflict Studies Journal at the University of New Brunswick, Vol. XIX No. 2, Fall 1999.A coalition of Rwandan and Ugandan armies invaded Zaire to overthrow the government of Mobutu, and ultimately to control the mineral resources of Zaire,{{citation needed|date=October 2018}} launching the First Congo War. The coalition allied with some opposition figures, led by Laurent-Désiré Kabila, becoming the Alliance of Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Congo (AFDL). In 1997 Mobutu fled and Kabila marched into Kinshasa, named himself president, and reverted the name of the country to the Democratic Republic of the Congo.Kabila later requested that foreign military forces return to their own countries. He had concerns that the Rwandan officers running his army were plotting to give the presidency to a Tutsi who would report directly to Rwandan president, Paul Kagame.{{citation needed|date=October 2018}} Rwandan troops retreated to Goma and launched a new Tutsi-led rebel military movement called the Rassemblement Congolais pour la Democratie (RCD) to fight Kabila, while Uganda instigated the creation of new rebel movement called the Movement for the Liberation of Congo (MLC), led by Congolese warlord Jean-Pierre Bemba.{{citation needed|date=October 2018}} The two rebel movements, along with Rwandan and Ugandan troops, started the Second Congo War by attacking the DRC army in 1998. Angolan, Zimbabwean and Namibian militaries entered the hostilities on the side of the government.Kabila was assassinated in 2001. His son Joseph Kabila succeeded him and called for multilateral peace-talks. UN peacekeepers, MONUC, now known as MONUSCO, arrived in April 2001. In 2002 and 2003 Bemba intervened in the Central African Republic on behalf of its former president, Ange-Félix Patassé.WEB,weblink ICC Convicts Bemba of War Crimes and Crimes against Humanity, 29 March 2016, 30 July 2016, International Justice Resource Center,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20160911194742weblink">weblink 11 September 2016, live, dmy-all,
Talks led to a peace accord under which Kabila would share power with former rebels. By June 2003 all foreign armies except those of Rwanda had pulled out of Congo. A transitional government was set up until after the election. A constitution was approved by voters, and on 30 July 2006 DRC held its first multi-party elections. An election-result dispute between Kabila and Jean-Pierre Bemba turned into an all-out battle between their supporters in the streets of Kinshasa. MONUC took control of the city. A new election took place in October 2006, which Kabila won, and on December 2006 he was sworn in as President.
(File:Refugees in Congo.jpeg|thumb|Refugees in the Congo)

Kivu conflict

Laurent Nkunda, a member of RCD-Goma, an RCD branch integrated to the army, defected along with troops loyal to him and formed the National Congress for the Defence of the People (CNDP), which began an armed rebellion against the government, starting the Kivu conflict. They were believed{{by whom|date=May 2015}} to be again backed by Rwanda as a way to tackle the Hutu group, Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR). In March 2009, after a deal between the DRC and Rwanda, Rwandan troops entered the DRC and arrested Nkunda and were allowed to pursue FDLR militants. The CNDP signed a peace treaty with the government in which it agreed to become a political party and to have its soldiers integrated into the national army in exchange for the release of its imprisoned members.NEWS,weblink DR Congo government, CNDP rebels 'sign peace deal', 23 March 2012, Agence France-Presse, 18 November 2012, 30 November 2012,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20121130053138weblink">weblink live, In 2012 Bosco Ntaganda, the leader of the CNDP, and troops loyal to him, mutinied and formed the rebel military March 23 Movement, claiming the government violated the treaty.WEB,weblink Congo-Kinshasa: General Ntaganda and Loyalists Desert Armed Forces, Melanie, Gouby, 4 April 2012, allafrica.com, 18 November 2012, 21 September 2013,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20130921061859weblink">weblink live, In the resulting M23 rebellion, M23 briefly captured the provincial capital of Goma in November 2012.NEWS,weblink Rebels in DR Congo withdraw from Goma, 1 December 2012, BBC News, 10 December 2012,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20121206190239weblink">weblink 6 December 2012, live, dmy-all, NEWS,weblink Goma: M23 rebels capture DR Congo city, 20 November 2012, BBC News, 18 November 2012,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20121120103234weblink">weblink 20 November 2012, live, dmy-all, Neighboring countries, particularly Rwanda, have been accused of arming rebels groups and using them as proxies to gain control of the resource-rich country, an accusation they deny.NEWS,weblink Rwanda defence chief leads DR Congo rebels, UN report says, BBC News, 21 November 2012, 17 October 2012,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20121103170522weblink">weblink 3 November 2012, live, dmy-all, NEWS,weblink Rwanda military aiding DRC mutiny, report says, BBC News, 21 November 2012, 4 June 2012,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20120926222613weblink">weblink 26 September 2012, live, dmy-all, In March 2013, the United Nations Security Council authorized the United Nations Force Intervention Brigade, the first offensive United Nations peacekeeping unit, to neutralize armed groups.WEB,weblink Tanzanian troops arrive in eastern DR Congo as part of UN intervention brigade, United Nations, 8 September 2013, 10 May 2013,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20130928085644weblink">weblink 28 September 2013, live, dmy-all, On 5 November 2013, M23 declared an end to its insurgency.NEWS,weblink DR Congo M23 rebels 'end insurgency', BBC News, 5 November 2013, 5 November 2013,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20131106025523weblink">weblink 6 November 2013, live, dmy-all, File:Opening ceremony of new PNC headquarters in Goma (6988913212).jpg|thumb|People fleeing their villages due to fighting between FARDC and rebel groups, North KivuNorth KivuAdditionally, in northern Katanga, the Mai-Mai created by Laurent Kabila slipped out of the control of Kinshasa with Gédéon Kyungu Mutanga's Mai Mai Kata Katanga briefly invading the provincial capital of Lubumbashi in 2013 and 400,000 persons displaced in the province {{As of|2013|lc=y}}.NEWS,weblink Katanga: Fighting for DR Congo's cash cow to secede, BBC News, 12 September 2013, 11 August 2013,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20130910232832weblink">weblink 10 September 2013, live, dmy-all, On and off fighting in the Ituri conflict occurred between the Nationalist and Integrationist Front (FNI) and the Union of Congolese Patriots (UPC) who claimed to represent the Lendu and Hema ethnic groups, respectively. In the northeast, Joseph Kony's LRA moved from their original bases in Uganda and South Sudan to DR Congo in 2005 and set up camps in the Garamba National Park.NEWS, Fessy, Thomas,weblink Congo terror after LRA rebel raids, BBC News, 23 October 2008, 2 May 2010,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20120530032022weblink">weblink 30 May 2012, live, dmy-all, NEWS,weblink thousands flee LRA in DR Congo, BBC News, 25 September 2008, 2 May 2010,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20090930003655weblink">weblink 30 September 2009, live, dmy-all, In 2009, The New York Times reported that people in the Congo continued to die at a rate of an estimated 45,000 per monthKristof, Nicholas D. (31 January 2010) "Orphaned, Raped and Ignored" {{Webarchive|url=https://web.archive.org/web/20170625130432weblink |date=25 June 2017 }}, The New York Times â€“ estimates of the number who have died from the long conflict range from 900,000 to 5,400,000.Butty, James (21 January 2010) "A New Study Finds Death Toll in Congo War too High" {{Webarchive|url=https://web.archive.org/web/20150402193834weblink |date=2 April 2015 }}, VOA News, 21 January 2010. The death toll is due to widespread disease and famine; reports indicate that almost half of the individuals who have died are children under five years of age.NEWS,weblink The New York Times, Congo's Death Rate Unchanged Since War Ended, Lydia, Polgreen, 23 January 2008, 27 March 2010,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20090417034523weblink">weblink 17 April 2009, live, dmy-all, There have been frequent reports of weapon bearers killing civilians, of the destruction of property, of widespread sexual violence,"IHL and Sexual Violence" {{webarchive |url=https://web.archive.org/web/20110504000928weblink |date=4 May 2011 }}. The Program for Humanitarian Policy and Conflict Research. causing hundreds of thousands of people to flee their homes, and of other breaches of humanitarian and human rights law. One study found that more than 400,000 women are raped in the Democratic Republic of Congo every year."400,000 rapes in Congo in one year" {{Webarchive|url=https://web.archive.org/web/20151222110758weblink |date=22 December 2015 }}. The Independent, 12 May 2011.The war in the Congo has been described as the bloodiest war since World War II.BBC. (9 October 2013). "DR Congo: Cursed by its natural wealth".BBC News website {{Webarchive|url=https://web.archive.org/web/20180531054859weblink |date=31 May 2018 }} Retrieved 9 December 2017.
On 8 December 2017, fourteen UN soldiers and five Congolese regular soldiers were killed in a rebel attack at Semuliki in Beni territory. The rebels were thought to be Allied Democratic Forces.BBC. "DR Congo: UN peacekeepers killed in attack in North Kivu". (9 December 2017) BBC website {{Webarchive|url=https://web.archive.org/web/20181116151500weblink |date=16 November 2018 }} Retrieved 9 December 2017. UN investigations confirmed that aggressor in the December attack.Lederer, Edith M.; Associated Press. (2 March 2018). "UN probe blames ADF rebels in Congo for peacekeeper attacks." Washington Post website {{Webarchive|url=https://web.archive.org/web/20180303023802weblink |date=3 March 2018 }} Retrieved 10 March 2018.
File:FARDC and MONUSCO reinforce their presence in and around Goma following a second day (21 May 2013) of clashes between M23 and National troops. (8782972992).jpg|thumb|Government troops near Goma during the M23 rebellionM23 rebellionAccording to the Human Rights Watch and the New York University-based Congo Research Group, armed troops in DRC’s eastern Kivu region have killed over 1,900 civilians and kidnapped at least 3,300 people since June 2017 to June 2019._WEB,weblink 1,900 killed, over 3,300 abducted in DR Congo's eastern Kivu provinces, 15 August 2019, Africa News,

Kabila's term in office and multiple anti-government protests

In 2015, major protests broke out across the country and protesters demanded that Joseph Kabila step down as President. The protests began after the passage of a law by the Congolese lower house that, if also passed by the Congolese upper house, would keep Kabila in power at least until a national census was conducted (a process which would likely take several years and therefore keep him in power past the planned 2016 elections, which he is constitutionally barred from participating in).This bill passed; however, it was gutted of the provision that would keep Kabila in power until a census took place. A census is supposed to take place, but it is no longer tied to when the elections take place. In 2015, elections were scheduled for late 2016 and a tenuous peace held in the Congo.WEB, Global, PGW, THE DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO: HURDLE AFTER HURDLE,weblink PGW Global Risk Management, PGW Global Risk Management LLP, 5 July 2017,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20171003225531weblink">weblink 3 October 2017, live, dmy-all, On 27 November Congolese foreign minister Raymond Tshibanda told the press no elections would be held in 2016, after 20 December, the end of president Kabila's term. In a conference in Madagascar, Tshibanda said that Kabila's government had "consulted election experts" from Congo, the United Nations and elsewhere, and that "it has been decided that the voter registration operation will end on July 31, 2017, and that elections will take place in April 2018."NEWS,weblink No elections in DR Congo before April 2018: minister, modernghana.com, 27 November 2016, 27 November 2016,weblink 28 November 2016, live, dmy-all, Protests broke out in the country on 20 December when Kabila's term in office ended. Across the country dozens of protesters were killed and hundreds were arrested.

Upsurge in violence

{{See also|Ituri conflict}}According to Jan Egeland, presently Secretary General of the Norwegian Refugee Council, the situation in the DRC became much worse in 2016 and 2017 and is a major moral and humanitarian challenge comparable to the wars in Syria and Yemen, which receive much more attention. Women and children are abused sexually and "abused in all possible manners". Besides the conflict in North Kivu, violence has gone up in the Kasai region. The armed groups are after gold, diamonds, oil, and cobalt to line the pockets of rich men both in the region and internationally. There are also ethnic and cultural rivalries at play, as well as religious motives and the political crisis with postponed elections. He says people believe the situation in the DRC is "stably bad" but in fact it has become much, much worse. "The big wars of the Congo that were really on top of the agenda 15 years ago are back and worsening".Interview on BBC Newshour, Feb. 15, 2018 {{Webarchive|url=https://web.archive.org/web/20180305123156weblink |date=5 March 2018 }}. See also BBC DR Congo country profile {{Webarchive|url=https://web.archive.org/web/20180729052105weblink |date=29 July 2018 }}. Due to disruption of planting and harvesting caused by the conflict, the UN estimated in March 2018 that two million children risk starvation.Al Jazeera News (9 March 2018). "UN: Two million children risk starvation in DRC." Al Jazeera News website {{Webarchive|url=https://web.archive.org/web/20180309220832weblink |date=9 March 2018 }} Retrieved 9 March 2018.Human Rights Watch said in 2017 that Joseph Kabila recruited former M23 fighters to put down country-wide protests over his refusal to step down from office at the end of his term. "M23 fighters patrolled the streets of Congo’s main cities, firing on or arresting protesters or anyone else deemed to be a threat to the president," they said.WEB,weblink DR Congo: Rebels Were Recruited to Crush Protests, 4 December 2017, Hrw.org, 23 June 2018,weblink 22 April 2018, live, dmy-all, Fierce fighting has erupted in Masisi between government forces and a powerful local warlord, General Delta. The United Nations mission in the DRC is its largest and most expensive peacekeeping effort, but it shut down five UN bases near Masisi in 2017, after the US led a push to cut costs.WEB, 'The wars will never stop' – millions flee bloodshed as Congo falls apart: Starving and sick, people living in the Democratic Republic of Congo are caught in a bloody cycle of violence and political turmoil, Jason Burke, 3 April 2018,weblink 8 June 2018,weblink 5 June 2018, live, dmy-all,

Tribal conflict

A tribal conflict erupted on 16–17 December 2018 at Yumbi in Mai-Ndombe Province, 400 km (250 miles) north of Kinshasa. Nearly 900 Banunu people from four villages were slaughtered by members of the Batende community in a deep-rooted rivalry over monthly tribal duties, land, fields and water resources. Some 100 Banunus fled to Moniende island in the Congo River, and another 16,000 to Makotimpoko District in the Republic of Congo. Military-style tactics were employed in the bloodbath, and some assailants were clothed in army uniforms. Local authorities and elements within the security forces were suspected of lending them support.NEWS, Huguet, Alexis, Fear and trauma haunt Congolese massacre survivors,weblink 13 February 2019, AFP, 2019-02-12,weblink 14 February 2019, live, dmy-all,

2018 election and new president

On December 30, 2018 the presidential election to determine the successor to Kabila was held. On January 10, 2019, the electoral commission announced opposition candidate Félix Tshisekedi as the winner of the vote.WEB,weblink Surprise Winner Of Congolese Election Is An Opposition Leader, NPR.org, 11 January 2019,weblink 10 January 2019, live, dmy-all, He was officially sworn in as President on January 24, 2019.NEWS,weblink REFILE-Opposition leader Felix Tshisekedi sworn in as Congo president, Reuters, 2019-01-24, 11 February 2019,weblink 14 February 2019, live, dmy-all, However, there were widespread suspicions that the results were rigged and that a deal had been made between Tshisekedi and Kabila. The Catholic Church said that the official results did not correspond to the information its election monitors had collected.NEWS, DR Congo presidential election: Outcry as Tshisekedi named winner,weblink BBC, Jan 10, 2019, 11 February 2019,weblink 11 February 2019, live, dmy-all, The government had also "delayed" the vote until March in some areas, citing the Ebola outbreak in Kivu as well as the ongoing military conflict. This was criticized as these regions are known as opposition strongholds.Mohamed, Hamza (26 December 2018). DR Congo election board delays vote in three cities {{Webarchive|url=https://web.archive.org/web/20190210112836weblink |date=10 February 2019 }}. Al Jazeera.DR Congo: Nearly 900 killed in ethnic clashes last month, UN says {{Webarchive|url=https://web.archive.org/web/20190305214515weblink |date=5 March 2019 }}. BBC. Published 16 January 2019. Retrieved 21 January 2019.Nearly 900 killed in ethnic violence in Congo in mid-December -UN {{Webarchive|url=https://web.archive.org/web/20190122094859weblink |date=22 January 2019 }}. Reuters. Published 16 January 2019. Retrieved 21 January 2019. In August 2019, six months after the inauguration of Félix Tshisekedi, a coalition government was announced.WEB,weblink DR Congo announces new govt 7 months after president inaugurated, 2019-08-26, Journal du Cameroun, fr, 2019-08-26,

Geography

{{more citations needed section|date=June 2017}}(File:Cg-map.png|thumb|The map of the Democratic Republic of the Congo)(File:Koppen-Geiger Map COD present.svg|thumb|Democratic Republic of the Congo map of Köppen climate classification)The Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) is located in central sub-Saharan Africa, bordered to the northwest by the Republic of the Congo, to the north by the Central African Republic, to the northeast by South Sudan, to the east by Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi, and by Tanzania (across Lake Tanganyika), to the south and southeast by Zambia, to the southwest by Angola, and to the west by the South Atlantic Ocean and the Cabinda Province exclave of Angola. The country lies between latitudes 6°N and 14°S, and longitudes 12° and 32°E. It straddles the Equator, with one-third to the North and two-thirds to the South. The size of Congo, {{convert|2345408|km2|sqmi}}, is slightly greater than the combined areas of Spain, France, Germany, Sweden, and Norway. It is the second largest country in Africa by area, after Algeria.As a result of its equatorial location, the DRC experiences high precipitation and has the highest frequency of thunderstorms in the world. The annual rainfall can total upwards of {{convert|2000|mm|in|round=5}} in some places, and the area sustains the Congo Rainforest, the second-largest rain forest in the world after the Amazon. This massive expanse of lush jungle covers most of the vast, low-lying central basin of the river, which slopes toward the Atlantic Ocean in the west. This area is surrounded by plateaus merging into savannas in the south and southwest, by mountainous terraces in the west, and dense grasslands extending beyond the Congo River in the north. High, glaciated mountains (Rwenzori Mountains) are found in the extreme eastern region. {{citation needed|date=September 2013}}File:Rainforest - Ituri (20874628148).jpg|thumb|left|Ituri RainforestIturi RainforestThe tropical climate also produced the Congo River system which dominates the region topographically along with the rainforest it flows through, though they are not mutually exclusive. The name for the Congo state is derived in part from the river. The river basin (meaning the Congo River and all of its myriad tributaries) occupies nearly the entire country and an area of nearly {{convert|1000000|km2|sqmi|abbr=on}}. The river and its tributaries form the backbone of Congolese economics and transportation. Major tributaries include the Kasai, Sangha, Ubangi, Ruzizi, Aruwimi, and Lulonga.{{MapLibrary|dem_congo_sat.jpg|Democratic Republic of the Congo}}The sources of the Congo are in the Albertine Rift Mountains that flank the western branch of the East African Rift, as well as Lake Tanganyika and Lake Mweru. The river flows generally west from Kisangani just below Boyoma Falls, then gradually bends southwest, passing by Mbandaka, joining with the Ubangi River, and running into the Pool Malebo (Stanley Pool). Kinshasa and Brazzaville are on opposite sides of the river at the Pool. Then the river narrows and falls through a number of cataracts in deep canyons, collectively known as the Livingstone Falls, and runs past Boma into the Atlantic Ocean. The river also has the second-largest flow and the second-largest watershed of any river in the world (trailing the Amazon in both respects). The river and a {{convert|37|km|mi}} wide strip of coastline on its north bank provide the country's only outlet to the Atlantic. {{citation needed|date=September 2013}}The Albertine Rift plays a key role in shaping the Congo's geography. Not only is the northeastern section of the country much more mountainous, but due to the rift's tectonic activity, this area also experiences volcanic activity, occasionally with loss of life. The geologic activity in this area also created the African Great Lakes, three of which lie on the Congo's eastern frontier: Lake Albert (known during the Mobutu era as Lake Mobutu Sese Seko), Lake Kivu (Unknown until late 1712), Lake Edward (known during the Amin era as Lake Idi Amin Dada), and Lake Tanganyika. Lake Edward and Lake Albert are connected by the Semliki River.{{citation needed|date=September 2013}}The Rift valley has exposed an enormous amount of mineral wealth throughout the south and east of the Congo, making it accessible to mining. Cobalt, copper, cadmium, industrial and gem-quality diamonds, gold, silver, zinc, manganese, tin, germanium, uranium, radium, bauxite, iron ore, and coal are all found in plentiful supply, especially in the Congo's southeastern Katanga region.WEB,weblink About Katanga {{!, Pamoja Tujenge|website=pamojasolutions.org|language=en-US|access-date=29 October 2017|archive-url=https://web.archive.org/web/20171029174110weblink|archive-date=29 October 2017|url-status=live|df=dmy-all}}File:An aerial view of the towering volcanic peak of Mt. Nyiragongo.jpg|thumb|Mount NyiragongoMount NyiragongoFile:La rivière Lulilaka, parc national de Salonga, 2005.jpg|thumb|Salonga National ParkSalonga National ParkFile:Paysage du territoire de Masisi (28130228449).jpg|thumb|Masisi TerritoryMasisi TerritoryFile:Nord-Kivu, RD Congo - Vue sur un cratère aux abords de la ville de Goma. (22722760943).jpg|thumb|Lake Kivu in North KivuNorth KivuOn 17 January 2002 Mount Nyiragongo erupted in Congo, with the lava running out at {{convert|64|km/h|abbr=on}} and {{convert|46|m|yd|abbr=on}} wide. One of the three streams of extremely fluid lava flowed through the nearby city of Goma, killing 45 and leaving 120,000 homeless. Four hundred thousand people were evacuated from the city during the eruption. The lava poisoned the water of Lake Kivu, killing fish. Only two planes left the local airport because of the possibility of the explosion of stored petrol. The lava passed the airport but ruined the runway, trapping several airplanes. Six months after the 2002 eruption, nearby Mount Nyamuragira also erupted. Mount Nyamuragira then erupted in 2006 and again in January 2010.WEB,weblink Nyamuragira Volcano, Democratic Republic of Congo {{!, John Seach|website=Volcanolive.com|access-date=29 November 2017|archive-url=https://web.archive.org/web/20171114120624weblink|archive-date=14 November 2017|url-status=live|df=dmy-all}}World Wide Fund for Nature ecoregions located in the Congo include: World Heritage Sites located in Democratic Republic of Congo are:Virunga National Park (1979),Garamba National Park (1980),Kahuzi-Biega National Park (1980),Salonga National Park (1984) andOkapi Wildlife Reserve (1996).

Provinces

{{Further|Administrative divisions of the Democratic Republic of the Congo}}The country is currently divided into the city-province of Kinshasa and 25 other provinces. The provinces are subdivided into districts which are divided into territories. Before 2015, the country had 11 provinces.The National Assembly adopts the laws regarding the limits of the provinces in the Democratic Republic of the Congo {{Webarchive|url=https://web.archive.org/web/20150127065041weblink |date=27 January 2015 }}, National Assembly of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, 10 January 2015. {{fr icon}}{| style="border-spacing: 20px 1px;" (File:Provinces de la République démocratique du Congo - 2005.svgupright=1.25)Kinshasa >| 14. Ituri ProvinceKongo Central >| 15. Haut-UeleKwango >| 16. TshopoKwilu Province >| 17. Bas-UeleMai-Ndombe Province >| 18. Nord-UbangiKasaï Province >| 19. MongalaKasaï-Central >| 20. Sud-UbangiKasaï-Oriental >Province of Équateur>ÉquateurLomami Province >| 22. TshuapaSankuru >| 23. Tanganyika ProvinceManiema >| 24. Haut-LomamiSouth Kivu >| 25. Lualaba ProvinceNorth Kivu >| 26. Haut-Katanga Province

Flora and fauna

File:Bas-congo.JPG|thumb(File:Okapi2.jpg|An Okapi|thumb)File:Male gorilla in SF zoo.jpg|A male thumbFile:Hippo pod edit.jpg|thumbThe rainforests of the Democratic Republic of the Congo contain great biodiversity, including many rare and endemic species, such as the common chimpanzee and the bonobo, the African forest elephant, the mountain gorilla, the okapi and the white rhino. Five of the country's national parks are listed as World Heritage Sites: the Garumba, Kahuzi-Biega, Salonga and Virunga National Parks, and the Okapi Wildlife Reserve.The Democratic Republic of the Congo is the most biodiverse African country.WEB,weblink Lambertini, A Naturalist's Guide to the Tropics, excerpt, 30 June 2008,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20120516181308weblink">weblink 16 May 2012, live, dmy-all, The civil war and resulting poor economic conditions have endangered much of this biodiversity. Many park wardens were either killed or could not afford to continue their work. All five sites are listed by UNESCO as World Heritage in Danger.Conservationists have particularly worried about primates. The Congo is inhabited by several great ape species: the common chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes), the bonobo (Pan paniscus), the eastern gorilla (Gorilla beringei), and possibly the western gorilla (Gorilla gorilla).WEB,weblink The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, 23 October 2018,weblink 23 October 2018, live, dmy-all, It is the only country in the world in which bonobos are found in the wild. Much concern has been raised about great ape extinction. Because of hunting and habitat destruction, the chimpanzee, the bonobo and the gorilla, each of whose populations once numbered in the millions, have now dwindled down to only about 200,000 gorillas, 100,000 chimpanzees and possibly only about 10,000 bonobos.WEB
,weblink
, Gorillas on Thin Ice
, 15 January 2009
, United Nations Environment Programme
, 19 May 2010
, yes
,weblink
, 18 May 2016
, dmy-all
, JOURNAL, Vigilant, Linda, 2004, Chimpanzees, Current Biology, 14, 10, R369–R371, 10.1016/j.cub.2004.05.006, 15186757,
Gorillas, chimpanzees, and bonobos are all classified as endangered by the World Conservation Union, as well as the okapi, which is also native to the area.

Poaching

Poaching for the exotic animal or ivory trade has been a persistent problem for species loss in the DRC, it has been made a necessity for some trying to escape poverty and a means of continuing the civil war for some rebel groups including the Lords Resistance army (LRA).NEWS,weblink Elephant Poaching on Rise in Resistance Army Stronghold in Democratic Republic of Congo, Scientific American, 18 October 2018, en,weblink 21 November 2018, live, dmy-all, The Forest Elephant is particularly at risk due to the high cost of its ivory, especially in the Far East, due to this its population has reduced by 62% in 2002–2011JOURNAL, Maisels, Fiona, Strindberg, Samantha, Blake, Stephen, Wittemyer, George, Hart, John, Williamson, Elizabeth A., Aba’a, Rostand, Abitsi, Gaspard, Ambahe, Ruffin D., 4 March 2013, Devastating Decline of Forest Elephants in Central Africa, PLoS ONE, en, 8, 3, e59469, 10.1371/journal.pone.0059469, 1932-6203, 3587600, 23469289, The main way this poaching for ivory can be reduced is through the hampering of the international demand for ivory, as this drives the trade.The introduction of park guards and the implementation of eco-tourism in Virunga National park, a primary habitat for great apes, has allowed the endangered mountain gorilla population to jump over 1000, a 25% rise on 2010 numbers.WEB,weblink Mountain gorilla population rises above 1,000, Carrington, Damian, 31 May 2018, the Guardian, en, 18 October 2018,weblink 11 October 2018, live, dmy-all, However, the study indicated that poaching is still an existing problem, with researchers finding 380 snares and park guards continually being ambushed and killed by poachers.

Politics

Government

File:Joseph kabila.jpg|thumb|upright|Joseph KabilaJoseph KabilaAfter a four-year interlude between two constitutions, with new political institutions established at the various levels of government, as well as new administrative divisions for the provinces throughout the country, a new constitution came into effect in 2006 and politics in the Democratic Republic of the Congo finally settled into a stable presidential democratic republic.The 2003 transitional constitutions: had established a parliament with a bicameral legislature, consisting of a Senate and a National Assembly.The Senate had, among other things, the charge of drafting the new constitution of the country. The executive branch was vested in a 60-member cabinet, headed by a President and four vice presidents. The President was also the Commander-in Chief of the armed forces. The transitional constitution also established a relatively independent judiciary, headed by a Supreme Court with constitutional interpretation powers.WEB,weblink Interim Constitution - Democratic Republic of the Congo (2003-2006), ConstitutionNet, en, 2019-02-02,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20190202095718weblink">weblink 2 February 2019, live, dmy-all, The 2006 constitution, also known as the Constitution of the Third Republic, came into effect in February 2006. It had concurrent authority, however, with the transitional constitution until the inauguration of the elected officials who emerged from the July 2006 elections. Under the new constitution, the legislature remained bicameral; the executive was concomitantly undertaken by a President and the government, led by a Prime Minister, appointed from the party able to secure a majority in the National Assembly.The government â€“ not the President â€“ is responsible to the Parliament. The new constitution also granted new powers to the provincial governments, creating provincial parliaments which have oversight of the Governor and the head of the provincial government, whom they elect. The new constitution also saw the disappearance of the Supreme Court, which was divided into three new institutions. The constitutional interpretation prerogative of the Supreme Court is now held by the Constitutional Court.WEB, Congo (Democratic Republic of the) 2005 (rev. 2011),weblink Constitute, 23 April 2015,weblink 5 September 2015, live, dmy-all, Although located in the Central African UN subregion, the nation is also economically and regionally affiliated with Southern Africa as a member of the Southern African Development Community (SADC).WEB, Member States, Southern African Development Community: Towards a common future,weblink 25 April 2014,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20140422060429weblink">weblink 22 April 2014, live, dmy-all,

Corruption

Mobutu Sese Seko ruled the DRC, which he renamed Zaire, from 1965 to 1997. A relative explained how the government illicitly collected revenue: "Mobutu would ask one of us to go to the bank and take out a million. We'd go to an intermediary and tell him to get five million. He would go to the bank with Mobutu's authority, and take out ten. Mobutu got one, and we took the other nine."BOOK, Ludwig, Arnold M., 2002, King of the Mountain: The Nature of Political Leadership, 72, 978-0-8131-2233-5, registration,weblink Mobutu institutionalized corruption to prevent political rivals from challenging his control, leading to an economic collapse in 1996.BOOK, Nafziger, E. Wayne, Raimo Frances Stewart, 2000, War, Hunger, and Displacement: The Origins of Humanitarian Emergencies, 261, 978-0-19-829739-0, Mobutu allegedly stole as much as US$4–5 billion while in office.BOOK, Mesquita, Bruce Bueno de, Bruce Bueno de Mesquita, 2003, The Logic of Political Survival, 167, 978-0-262-02546-1, The Logic of Political Survival, He was not the first corrupt Congolese leader by any means: "Government as a system of organized theft goes back to King Leopold II," noted Adam Hochschild in 2009.MAGAZINE, Rape of the Congo, Adam Hochschild, New York Review of Books, 13 August 2009,weblink 1 March 2018,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20180301164520weblink">weblink 1 March 2018, live, dmy-all, In July 2009, a Swiss court determined that the statute of limitations had run out on an international asset recovery case of about $6.7 million of deposits of Mobutu's in a Swiss bank, and therefore the assets should be returned to Mobutu's family."Court agrees to release Mobutu assets" {{webarchive|url=https://web.archive.org/web/20150923175440weblink |date=23 September 2015 }}. Swissinfo, Basel Institute of Governance, 14 July 2009.President Joseph Kabila established the Commission of Repression of Economic Crimes upon his ascension to power in 2001.BOOK, Werve, Jonathan, 2006, The Corruption Notebooks 2006, 57,

Human rights

File:DRC- Child Soldiers.jpg|thumb|A group of demobilized child soldierschild soldiers{{Further|Sexual violence in the Democratic Republic of the Congo|Child soldiers in the Democratic Republic of the Congo}}The International Criminal Court investigation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo was initiated by Joseph Kabila in April 2004. The international Criminal Court prosecutor opened the case in June 2004.Child soldiers have been used on a large scale in DRC, and in 2011 it was estimated that 30,000 children were still operating with armed groups.{{sfn|Drumbl|2012|p=32}}Instances of child labor and forced labor have been observed and reported in the U.S. Department of Labor's Findings on the Worst Forms of Child Labor in the DRC in 2013WEB,weblink Findings on the Worst Forms of Child Labor â€“ Democratic Republic of the Congo, United States Department of Labor, 10 March 2015,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20150303052150weblink">weblink 3 March 2015, live, dmy-all,
and six goods produced by the country's mining industry appear on the department's December 2014 List of Goods Produced by Child Labor or Forced Labor.

Violence against women

Violence against women seems to be perceived by large sectors of society to be normal.WEB,weblinkweblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20080217035544weblink">weblink 17 February 2008, UN expert on violence against women expresses serious concerns following visit to Democratic Republic of Congo, 30 July 2007, UNOG.ch, The 2013–2014 DHS survey (pp. 299) found that 74.8% of women agreed that a husband is justified in beating his wife in certain circumstances.Ministère du Plan et Suivi de la Mise en Å“uvre de la Révolution de la Modernité (MPSMRM), Ministère de la Santé Publique (MSP) et ICF International (2014). Enquête Démographique et de Santé en République Démocratique du Congo 2013–2014 {{Webarchive|url=https://web.archive.org/web/20161226192128weblink |date=26 December 2016 }}. Rockville, Maryland, USA : MPSMRM, MSP and ICF InternationalThe United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women in 2006 expressed concern that in the post-war transition period, the promotion of women's human rights and gender equality is not seen as a priority.WEB,weblink Concluding comments of the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women: Democratic Republic of the Congo, United Nations, 28 June 2017,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20160304084538weblink">weblink 4 March 2016, live, dmy-all, WEB,weblink Violence Against Women in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), peacewomen.org,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20070925192704weblink">weblink 25 September 2007,
Mass rapes, sexual violence and sexual slavery are used as a weapon of war by the Armed Forces of the Democratic Republic of the Congo and armed groups in the eastern part of the country.WEB,weblink OHCHR {{!, Africa Region|website=Ohchr.org|language=en-US|access-date=20 May 2017|archive-url=https://web.archive.org/web/20170517224508weblink|archive-date=17 May 2017|url-status=live|df=dmy-all}} The eastern part of the country in particular has been described as the "rape capital of the world" and the prevalence of sexual violence there described as the worst in the world.
NEWS,weblink Prevalence of Rape in E. Congo Described as Worst in World, The Washington Post, 9 September 2007, 2 May 2010, Stephanie, McCrummen,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20110516092502weblink">weblink 16 May 2011, live, dmy-all, NEWS,weblink UN official calls DR Congo 'rape capital of the world.', 28 April 2010, BBC, 23 November 2012,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20121122182050weblink">weblink 22 November 2012, live, dmy-all, Female genital mutilation (FGM) is also practiced in DRC, although not on a large scale. The prevalence of FGM is estimated at about 5% of women.WEB, Matundu Mbambi, Annie, Faray-Kele, Marie-Claire, April–December 2010,weblink GENDER INEQUALITY AND SOCIAL INSTITUTIONS IN THE D.R.CONGO, peacewomen.org, 12 November 2014,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20141031190906weblink">weblink 31 October 2014, live, dmy-all, "Female Genital Cutting Rates | African Women's Health Center at BWH" {{Webarchive|url=https://web.archive.org/web/20141129052427weblink |date=29 November 2014 }}. brighamandwomens.org. FGM is illegal: the law imposes a penalty of two to five years of prison and a fine of 200,000 Congolese francs on any person who violates the "physical or functional integrity" of the genital organs.RESPONSES TO INFORMATION REQUESTS (RIRs) {{Webarchive|url=https://web.archive.org/web/20140414042910weblink |date=14 April 2014 }}. justice.gov. 17 April 2012.The law on sexual violence, DRC 2006 (Les lois sur les violences sexuelles) reads (in French): "Article 3, Paragraphe 7: De la mutilation sexuelle; Article 174g; Sera puni d’une peine de servitude pénale de deux à cinq ans et d’une amende de deux cent mille francs congolais constants, quiconque aura posé un acte qui porte atteinte à l’intégrité physique ou fonctionnelle des organes génitaux d’une personne. Lorsque la mutilation a entraîné la mort, la peine est de servitude pénale à perpétuité."WEB,weblink Archived copy, 12 November 2014, dead,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20140819085226weblink">weblink 19 August 2014, In July 2007, the International Committee of the Red Cross expressed concern about the situation in eastern DRC.WEB,weblink DRC: 'Civilians bearing brunt of South Kivu violence', The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has expressed concern over abuses against civilians, especially women and children, in South Kivu in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo. It frequently receives reports of abductions, executions, rapes, and pillage., 11 March 2015,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20150402090313weblink">weblink 2 April 2015, live, dmy-all,
A phenomenon of "pendulum displacement" has developed, where people hasten at night to safety. According to Yakin Ertürk, the UN Special Rapporteur on Violence against Women who toured eastern Congo in July 2007, violence against women in North and South Kivu included "unimaginable brutality". Ertürk added that "Armed groups attack local communities, loot, rape, kidnap women and children, and make them work as sexual slaves".
WEB,weblink DRC: 'Pendulum displacement' in the Kivus, 1 August 2007, IRIN, 11 March 2015,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20150402142316weblink">weblink 2 April 2015, live, dmy-all,
In December 2008, GuardianFilms of The Guardian released a film documenting the testimony of over 400 women and girls who had been abused by marauding militia.
NEWS,weblink The Guardian, London, Rape in a lawless land, Christian, Bennett, 5 December 2008, 27 March 2010,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20130905102448weblink">weblink 5 September 2013, live, dmy-all, In June 2010, Oxfam reported a dramatic increase in the number of rapes in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and researchers from Harvard discovered that rapes committed by civilians had increased seventeenfold.WEB,weblink Rapes 'surge' in DR Congo, Al Jazeera, 15 April 2010, 22 November 2010,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20121011084649weblink">weblink 11 October 2012, live, dmy-all, In June 2014, Freedom from Torture published reported rape and sexual violence being used routinely by state officials in Congolese prisons as punishment for politically active women.Rape As torture in the DRC {{Webarchive|url=https://web.archive.org/web/20140722101355weblink |date=22 July 2014 }}. Freedom From Torture. June 2014 The women included in the report were abused in several locations across the country including the capital Kinshasa and other areas away from the conflict zones.In 2015, figures both inside and outside of the country, such as Filimbi and Emmanuel Weyi, spoke out about the need to curb violence and instability as the 2016 elections approached.WEB,weblink Rights Groups, DRC Lawmakers Call for 'Filimbi' Activists' Release, VOA, 31 March 2016,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20160412023149weblink">weblink 12 April 2016, live, dmy-all, WEB,weblink Is Emmanuel Weyi "the change" the DRC needs?, Africa Agenda, en-US, 31 March 2016, dead,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20160826144022weblink">weblink 26 August 2016,

Foreign relations

{{See also|Foreign relations of the Democratic Republic of the Congo}}File:Joseph Kabila with Obamas 2014.jpg|thumb|President Joseph Kabila with U.S. President Barack ObamaBarack ObamaThe global growth in demand for scarce raw materials and the industrial surges in China, India, Russia, Brazil and other developing countries require that developed countries employ new, integrated and responsive strategies for identifying and ensuring, on a continual basis, an adequate supply of strategic and critical materials required for their security needs.JOURNAL, Overland, Indra, 2019-03-01, The geopolitics of renewable energy: Debunking four emerging myths, Energy Research & Social Science, 49, 36–40, 10.1016/j.erss.2018.10.018, 2214-6296, Highlighting the DR Congo's importance to United States national security, the effort to establish an elite Congolese unit is the latest push by the U.S. to professionalize armed forces in this strategically important region.WEB, Vandiver, John,weblink Stars and Stripes, 29 September 2017, GIs retrain Congo troops known for being violent,weblink 10 October 2017, live, dmy-all, There are economic and strategic incentives to bring more security to the Congo, which is rich in natural resources such as cobalt, a strategic and critical metal used in many industrial and military applications. The largest use of cobalt is in superalloys, used to make jet engine parts. Cobalt is also used in magnetic alloys and in cutting and wear-resistant materials such as cemented carbides. The chemical industry consumes significant quantities of cobalt in a variety of applications including catalysts for petroleum and chemical processing; drying agents for paints and inks; ground coats for porcelain enamels; decolorant for ceramics and glass; and pigments for ceramics, paints, and plastics. The country possesses 80% of the world's cobalt reserves.WEB, Vandiver, John,weblink An April 2009 report to Congress by the National Defense Stockpile Center, Stripes.com, 22 November 2010,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20100810152611weblink">weblink 10 August 2010, live, dmy-all, It is thought that due to the importance of cobbalt for batteries for electric vehicles and stabilization of electric grids with large proportions of intermittent renewables in the electricity mix, the DRC could become an object of increased geopolitical competition.In the 21st century, Chinese investment in the DRC and Congolese exports to China have grown rapidly. In July 2019, UN ambassadors of 37 countries, including DRC, have signed a joint letter to the UNHRC defending China's treatment of Uyghurs and other Muslim ethnic minorities.NEWS, Which Countries Are For or Against China's Xinjiang Policies?,weblink The Diplomat, 15 July 2019, 16 July 2019,weblink 16 July 2019, live,

Military

{{See also|Armed Forces of the Democratic Republic of the Congo}}(File:Aveba, district de l’Ituri, Province Orientale, DR Congo - Des militaires FARDC en patrouille. (16643921095).jpg|thumb|300px|FARDC soldiers on patrol in Ituri province)The Forces Armées de la République Démocratique du Congo (FARDC) consist of about 144,000 personnel, the majority of whom are part of the land forces, also with a small air force and an even smaller navy. The FARDC was established in 2003 after the end of the Second Congo War and integrated many former rebel groups into its ranks. Due to the presence of undisciplined and poorly trained ex-rebels, as well as a lack of funding and having spent years fighting against different militias, the FARDC suffers from rampant corruption and inefficiency. The agreements signed at the end of the Second Congo War called for a new "national, restructured and integrated" army that would be made up from Kabila's government forces (the FAC), the RCD, and the MLC. Also stipulated was that rebels like the RCD-N, RCD-ML, and the Mai-Mai would become part of the new armed forces. It also provided for the creation of a Conseil Superieur de la Defense (Superior Defence Council) which would declare states of siege or war and give advice on security sector reform, disarmament/demobilisation, and national defence policy. The FARDC is organised on the basis of brigades, which are dispersed throughout the provinces of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Congolese troops have been fighting the Kivu conflict in the eastern North Kivu region, the Ituri conflict in the Ituri region, and other rebellions since the Second Congo War. Besides the FARDC, the largest peacekeeping mission of the United Nations, known as MONUSCO, is also present in the country with about 18,000 peacekeepers.The Democratic Republic of Congo signed the UN treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.WEB,weblink Chapter XXVI: Disarmament â€“ No. 9 Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, United Nations Treaty Collection, 7 July 2017,

Economy and infrastructure

(File:Democratic Republic of the Congo GDP evolution-fr.svg|thumb|Evolution of GDP)The Central Bank of the Congo is responsible for developing and maintaining the Congolese franc, which serves as the primary form of currency in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. In 2007, The World Bank decided to grant the Democratic Republic of Congo up to $1.3 billion in assistance funds over the following three years.NEWS, World Bank Pledges $1 Billion to Democratic Republic of Congo, 10 March 2007, VOA News, Voice of America,weblink 25 December 2008,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20130922170742weblink">weblink 22 September 2013, live, dmy-all,
Kinshasa is currently negotiating membership in the Organization for the Harmonization of Business Law in Africa (OHADA).WEB, OHADA.com: The business law portal in Africa,weblink 22 March 2009,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20090326033744weblink">weblink 26 March 2009, live, dmy-all,
The Democratic Republic of Congo is widely considered one of the world's richest countries in natural resources; its untapped deposits of raw minerals are estimated to be worth in excess of US$24 trillion.WEB,weblink's+$24+trillion+fortune.-a0193800184, DR Congo's $24 trillion fortune, Thefreelibrary.com, 22 July 2011,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20140221202108weblink">weblink 21 February 2014, live, dmy-all, WEB,weblink Congo with $24 Trillion in Mineral Wealth BUT still Poor, News About Congo, 15 March 2009, 22 July 2011,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20130514063014weblink">weblink 14 May 2013, live, dmy-all, WEB, Kuepper, Justin,weblink Mining Companies Could See Big Profits in Congo, Theotcinvestor.com, 26 October 2010, 22 July 2011,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20110717022430weblink">weblink 17 July 2011, live, dmy-all,
The Congo has 70% of the world's coltan, a third of its cobalt, more than 30% of its diamond reserves, and a tenth of its copper.Coltan is a major source of tantalum which is used in the fabrication of electronic components in computers and mobile phones. The coltan mines are small, and non-mechanized. DR Congo poll crucial for Africa" {{Webarchive|url=https://web.archive.org/web/20101202153903weblink |date=2 December 2010 }}, BBC News. 16 November 2006.Bream, Rebecca (8 November 2007). "A bid for front-line command in Africa" {{Webarchive|url=https://web.archive.org/web/20080317112641weblink |date=17 March 2008 }}. Financial Times.
Despite such vast mineral wealth, the economy of the Democratic Republic of the Congo has declined drastically since the mid-1980s. The African country generated up to 70% of its export revenue from minerals in the 1970s and 1980s, and was particularly hit when resource prices deteriorated at that time. By 2005, 90% of the DRC's revenues derived from its minerals (Exenberger and Hartmann 2007:10).WEB,weblink The Dark Side of Globalization. The Vicious Cycle of Exploitation from World Market Integration: Lesson from the Congo, Exenberger, Andreas, Hartmann, Simon, 2007, Working Papers in Economics and Statistics, University of Innsbruck, 11 May 2011,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20110815122645weblink">weblink 15 August 2011, live, dmy-all,
The country's woes mean that despite its potential its citizens are among the poorest people on Earth. DR Congo consistently has the lowest, or nearly the lowest, nominal GDP per capita in the world. The DRC is also one of the twenty lowest-ranked countries on the Corruption Perception Index.

Mining

(File:Diamonds- Zaire, (DR Congo) (8458935824).jpg|thumb|Rough diamonds ≈1 to 1.5 mm in size from DR Congo.)The Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) is the world's largest producer of cobalt ore, and a major producer of copper and diamonds.WEB,weblink Cobalt: World Mine Production, By Country, 30 June 2008,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20080327044418weblink">weblink 27 March 2008, live, dmy-all,
The latter come from Kasai province in the west. By far the largest mines in the DRC are located in southern Katanga province (formerly Shaba), and are highly mechanized, with a capacity of several million tons per year of copper and cobalt ore, and refining capability for metal ore. The DRC is the second-largest diamond-producing nation in the world,In terms of annual carats produced and artisanal and small-scale miners account for most of its production.
At independence in 1960, DRC was the second-most industrialized country in Africa after South Africa; it boasted a thriving mining sector and a relatively productive agriculture sector.WEB
,weblink
, Province orientale: le diamant et l'or quelle part dans la reconstruction socio â€“ économique de la Province?
, French
, societecivile.cd
, 23 October 2009
, bot: unknown
,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20091125042436weblink">weblink
, 25 November 2009
,
The First and Second Congo Wars began in 1996. These conflicts have dramatically reduced national output and government revenue, increased external debt, and resulted in deaths of more than five million people from war and associated famine and disease. Malnutrition affects approximately two thirds of the country's population.{{citation needed|date=September 2013}}
Foreign businesses have curtailed operations due to uncertainty about the outcome of the conflict, lack of infrastructure, and the difficult operating environment. The war intensified the impact of such basic problems as an uncertain legal framework, corruption, inflation, and lack of openness in government economic policy and financial operations.Conditions improved in late 2002, when a large portion of the invading foreign troops withdrew. A number of International Monetary Fund and World Bank missions met with the government to help it develop a coherent economic plan, and President Joseph Kabila began implementing reforms. Much economic activity still lies outside the GDP data. A United Nations Human Development Index report shows that the human development index of DRC is one of the worst the country has had in decades. Through 2011 the DRC had the lowest Human Development Index of the 187 ranked countries. It ranked lower than Niger, despite a higher margin of improvement than the latter country over 2010's numbers.{{citation needed|date=September 2013}}File:Democratic Republic of Congo, Trends in the Human Development Index 1970-2010.png|thumb|upright=1.5|DR Congo's Human Development IndexHuman Development IndexFile:Basankusu collecting firewood by Francis Hannaway.jpg|thumb|Collecting firewood in BasankusuBasankusuThe economy of DRC relies heavily on mining. However, the smaller-scale economic activity from artisanal mining occurs in the informal sector and is not reflected in GDP data.WEB,weblink Economic activity in DRC, Research and Markets, 22 November 2010,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20100703114124weblink">weblink 3 July 2010, live, dmy-all,
A third of the DRC's diamonds are believed to be smuggled out of the country, making it difficult to quantify diamond production levels."Ranking Of The World's Diamond Mines By Estimated 2013 Production" {{Webarchive|url=https://web.archive.org/web/20130921053511weblink |date=21 September 2013 }}, Kitco, 20 August 2013. In 2002, tin was discovered in the east of the country, but to date has only been mined on a small scale.
NEWS,weblink Congo's Riches, Looted by Renegade Troops, The New York Times, Lydia, Polgreen, 16 November 2008, 27 March 2010,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20090416194014weblink">weblink 16 April 2009, live, dmy-all,
Smuggling of conflict minerals such as coltan and cassiterite, ores of tantalum and tin, respectively, helped to fuel the war in the Eastern Congo.
WEB,weblinkweblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20110930123653weblink">weblink 30 September 2011, What is happening in the Congo, In September 2004, state-owned Gécamines signed an agreement with Global Enterprises Corporate (GEC), a company formed by the merger of Dan Gertler International (DGI) with Beny Steinmetz Global, to rehabilitate and operate the Kananga and Tilwezembe copper mines. The deal was ratified by presidential decree. In 2007, a World Bank report reviewed DR Congo's three biggest mining contracts, finding that the 2005 deals, including one with Global Enterprises Company, were approved with "a complete lack of transparency" (Mahtani, 3 January 2007).NEWS, Financial Times, Mahtani, Dino, 3 January 2007, Transparency fears lead to review of Congo contracts, WEB
,weblink
,weblink" title="archive.today/20150405104550weblink">weblink
, yes
, 5 April 2015
, Nikanor's DRC mining contract quandary
, Sergeant, Barry
, 3 April 2007
, 16 November 2011
, WEB,weblinkweblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20120120200816weblink">weblink 20 January 2012, History, Katanga Mining, 16 November 2011,
Gertler and Steinmetz put GEC's 75% share in Komoto Oliveira Virgule (KOV), the project made of up of Tilwezembe and Kananga, along with the Kolwesi concentrator, into Nikanor plc. Registered in the Isle of Man, reached a market capitalization of $1.5 billion by 2007. In February 2007, 22% of the Nikanor Mining company was owned by the Gertner Family Trust and 14% by Dan Gertler.
WEB,weblink DRC's Katanga governor woos bona fide resources investors, heaps praise on Nikanor, Mining weekly, Creamer, Martin, 26 February 2007, 15 November 2011,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20160304075338weblink">weblink 4 March 2016, live, dmy-all,
In January 2008 Katanga Mining acquired Nikanor for $452 million.
In April 2006, Gertler's DGI took a major stake in DEM Mining, a cobalt-copper mining and services company based in Katanga. In June 2006, Gertler bought Tremalt from the Zimbabwean businessman John Bredenkamp for about $60 million. Tremalt had a half share in the Mukondo Mine. In 2007, Tremalt was owned by Prairie International Ltd, of which Dan Gertler's family trust was a major shareholder. Tremalt owned 80% of Savannah Mining, which held concessions C17 and C18 in Katanga Province and 50% of the Mukondo project. The other 50% of Mukondo was held by Boss Mining, which in turn was 80% owned by Central African Mining & Exploration Company (CAMEC). Boss Mining had rented and operated Bredenkamp's half of Mukondo. Gertler terminated this arrangement.Katanga Mining Limited, a Swiss-owned company, owns the Luilu Metallurgical Plant, which has a capacity of 175,000 tonnes of copper and 8,000 tonnes of cobalt per year, making it the largest cobalt refinery in the world. After a major rehabilitation program, the company resumed copper production operations in December 2007 and cobalt production in May 2008.WEB,weblink Katanga Project Update and 2Q 2008 Financials, Katanga Mining Limited, 12 August 2008, 11 March 2015,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20130622112815weblink">weblink 22 June 2013, live, dmy-all, In April 2013, anti-corruption NGOs revealed that Congolese tax authorities had failed to account for $88 million from the mining sector, despite booming production and positive industrial performance. The missing funds date from 2010 and tax bodies should have paid them into the central bank.{{Citation|url=http://www.miningweekly.com/article/watchdog-says-88m-missing-in-congolese-mining-taxes-2013-04-16|title=Watchdog says $88m missing in Congolese mining taxes|year=2013|work=Mining Weekly|location=South Africa|access-date=16 April 2013|archive-url=https://web.archive.org/web/20130921054130weblink|archive-date=21 September 2013|url-status=live|df=dmy-all}}
Later in 2013, the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative suspended the country's candidacy for membership due to insufficient reporting, monitoring and independent audits, but in July 2013 the country improved its accounting and transparency practices to the point where the EITI gave the country full membership.
In February 2018, global asset management firm AllianceBernsteinBernstein {{Webarchive|url=https://web.archive.org/web/20181122051711weblink |date=22 November 2018 }} 10th Annual Pan-European Conference Strategic Decisions 2013, AllianceBernstein LP, Sanford C. Bernstein Ltd., 2013. Retrieved 21 November 2018. defined the DRC as economically "the Saudi Arabia of the electric vehicle age," due to its cobalt resources, as essential to the lithium-ion batteries that drive electric vehicles.Mining Journal {{Webarchive|url=https://web.archive.org/web/20181122005748weblink |date=22 November 2018 }} "The [Ivanhoe] pullback investors have been waiting for", Aspermont Ltd., London, UK, 22 February 2018. Retrieved 21 November 2018.

Transportation

File:First train in Kindu, DRC.jpg|thumb|Train from Lubumbashi arriving in KinduKinduGround transport in the Democratic Republic of Congo has always been difficult. The terrain and climate of the Congo Basin present serious barriers to road and rail construction, and the distances are enormous across this vast country. The DRC has more navigable rivers and moves more passengers and goods by boat and ferry than any other country in Africa, but air transport remains the only effective means of moving goods and people between many places within the country, especially in rural areas. Chronic economic mismanagement, political corruption and internal conflicts have led to long-term under-investment of infrastructure.

Rail

(File:Train rdc.svg|upright=1.25|thumb|Map of rail network)Rail transportation is provided by the Congo Railroad Company (Société Nationale des Chemins de Fer du Congo) and the Office National des Transports (Congo) (ONATRA) and the Office of the Uele Railways (Office des Chemins de fer des Ueles, CFU). Like much of the infrastructure in the Congo, the railways are poorly maintained, dirty, crowded and dangerous.

Road

The Democratic Republic of the Congo has fewer all-weather paved highways than any country of its population and size in Africa â€” a total of {{convert|2250|km|mi|abbr=on}}, of which only {{convert|1226|km|mi|abbr=on}} is in good condition (see below). To put this in perspective, the road distance across the country in any direction is more than {{convert|2500|km|mi|abbr=on}} (e.g. Matadi to Lubumbashi, {{convert|2700|km|mi|abbr=on}} by road). The figure of {{convert|2250|km|mi|abbr=on}} converts to {{convert|35|km|mi|abbr=on}} of paved road per 1,000,000 of population. Comparative figures for Zambia and Botswana are {{convert|721|km|mi|abbr=on}} and {{convert|3427|km|mi|abbr=on}} respectively.The figures are obtained by dividing the population figures in the Wikipedia country articles by the paved roads figure in the 'Transport in [country]' articles.Three routes in the Trans-African Highway network pass through DR Congo:
  • Tripoli-Cape Town Highway: this route crosses the western extremity of the country on National Road No. 1 between Kinshasa and Matadi, a distance of {{convert|285|km|mi|abbr=on}} on one of the only paved sections in fair condition.
  • Lagos-Mombasa Highway: the DR Congo is the main missing link in this east-west highway and requires a new road to be constructed before it can function.
  • Beira-Lobito Highway: this east-west highway crosses Katanga and requires re-construction over most of its length, being an earth track between the Angolan border and Kolwezi, a paved road in very poor condition between Kolwezi and Lubumbashi, and a paved road in fair condition over the short distance to the Zambian border.

Water

The Democratic Republic of Congo has thousands of kilometres of navigable waterways. Traditionally water transport has been the dominant means of moving around in approximately two-thirds of the country.

Air

{{as of|2016|June|}}, DR Congo had one major national airline (Congo Airways) that offered flights inside DR Congo. Congo Airways was based at Kinshasa's international airport. All air carriers certified by the DRC have been banned from European Union airports by the European Commission, due to inadequate safety standards.weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20110430124922weblink">List of airlines banned within the EU, Official EC list, updated 20 April 2011. Retrieved 20 September 2011.Several international airlines service Kinshasa's international airport and a few also offer international flights to Lubumbashi International Airport.

Energy

In the Democratic Republic of the Congo, there are both coal and crude oil resources that were mainly used domestically in 2008. The Democratic Republic of Congo has infrastructure for hydro-electricity from the Congo River at the Inga dams.WEB,weblink Energie hydraulique des barrages d'Inga : Grands potentiels pour le développement de la République Démocratique du Congo et de l'Afrique, Technical Study preparing lobby-work on energy-resources and conflict prevention â€“ Hydroelectric power dams at Inga: Great potential for the development of the Democratic Republic of Congo and Africa, French, suedwind-institut.de, 27 February 2013, dead,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20130921055519weblink">weblink 21 September 2013, The Democratic Republic of Congo also possesses 50% of Africa's forests and a river system that could provide hydro-electric power to the entire continent, according to a UN report on the country's strategic significance and its potential role as an economic power in central Africa.WEB, Vandiver, John,weblink DR Congo economic and strategic significance, Stripes.com, 22 November 2010,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20100810152611weblink">weblink 10 August 2010, live, dmy-all, The generation and distribution of electricity is controlled by Société nationale d'électricité (SNEL), but only 15% of the country has access to electricity.NEWS, Yee, Amy, The Power Plants That May Save a Park, and Aid a Country,weblink 4 September 2017, The New York Times, 30 August 2017,weblink 4 September 2017, live, dmy-all, The DRC a member of three electrical power pools. These are SAPP (Southern African Power Pool), EAPP (East African Power Pool), CAPP (Central African Power Pool.

Renewable energy

Because of abundant sunlight, potential for solar development is very high in the DRC. There are already about 836 solar power systems in the DRC, with a total power of 83 kW, located in Équateur (167), Katanga (159), Nord-Kivu (170), the two Kasaï provinces (170), and Bas-Congo (170). Also, the 148 Caritas network system has a total power of 6.31 kW.WEB,weblink Energy Profile Congo, Dem. Rep, Reegle.info, 21 January 2017,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20170725214348weblink">weblink 25 July 2017, live, dmy-all,

Education

(File:DRC classroom.jpg|thumb|A classroom in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.)In 2014, the literacy rate for the population between the ages of 15 and 49 was estimated to be 75.9% (88.1% male and 63.8% female) according to a DHS nationwide survey.WEB,weblink Enquête Démographique et de Santé en République Démocratique du Congo 2013–2014, Ministère du Plan et Suivi de la Mise en oeuvre de la Révolution de la Modernité (MPSMRM), Ministère de la Santé Publique (MSP), and ICF International, 41–43, 16 May 2015,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20161226192128weblink">weblink 26 December 2016, live, dmy-all, The education system in the Democratic Republic of the Congo is governed by three government ministries: the Ministère de l'Enseignement Primaire, Secondaire et Professionnel (MEPSP), the Ministère de l'Enseignement Supérieur et Universitaire (MESU) and the Ministère des Affaires Sociales (MAS). Primary education in the Democratic Republic of the Congo is not free or compulsory,{{citation needed|date=May 2015}} even though the Congolese constitution says it should be (Article 43 of the 2005 Congolese Constitution).{{fr icon}} Constitution de la République démocratique du Congo â€“ Wikisource {{Webarchive|url=https://web.archive.org/web/20111025124200weblink |date=25 October 2011 }}. Fr.wikisource.org. Retrieved 27 February 2013.As a result of the six-year civil war in the late 1990s—early 2000s, over 5.2 million children in the country did not receive any education."Congo, Democratic Republic of the." weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20061201190837weblink">www.dol.gov 2005 Findings on the Worst Forms of Child Labor, Bureau of International Labor Affairs, U.S. Department of Labor (2006). ''This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain. Since the end of the civil war, the situation has improved tremendously, with the number of children enrolled in primary schools rising from 5.5 million in 2002 to 13.8 million in 2015, and the number of children enrolled in secondary schools rising from 2.8 million in 2007 to 4.6 million in 2015 according to UNESCO.WEB,weblink UIS.Stat (see: Education >> Participation >> Enrollment >> Enrollment by level of education), UNESCO Institute for Statistics, 2019-04-13,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20170610023128weblink">weblink 10 June 2017, live, dmy-all, Actual school attendance has also improved greatly in recent years, with primary school net attendance estimated to be 82.4% in 2014 (82.4% of children ages 6–11 attended school; 83.4% for boys, 80.6% for girls).WEB,weblink Enquête Démographique et de Santé en République Démocratique du Congo 2013–2014, Ministère du Plan et Suivi de la Mise en oeuvre de la Révolution de la Modernité (MPSMRM), Ministère de la Santé Publique (MSP), and ICF International, XXV, 16 May 2015,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20161226192128weblink">weblink 26 December 2016, live, dmy-all,

Health

The hospitals in the Democratic Republic of the Congo include the General Hospital of Kinshasa. DRC has the world's second-highest rate of infant mortality (after Chad). In April 2011, through aid from Global Alliance for Vaccines, a new vaccine to prevent pneumococcal disease was introduced around Kinshasa.NEWS,weblink The New York Times, Donald G., McNeil Jr, Congo, With Donors' Help, Introduces New Vaccine for Pneumococcal Disease, 11 April 2011, 21 February 2017,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20160722065943weblink">weblink 22 July 2016, live, dmy-all, In 2012, it was estimated that about 1.1% of adults aged 15–49 were living with HIV/AIDS.WEB,weblink The World Factbook â€“ Field Listing : HIV/AIDS : adult prevalence rate, Cia.gov, 2012, 10 March 2015,weblink 16 February 2015, dead, dmy-all, Malaria is also a problem.WEB,weblink DRC: Malaria still biggest killer, IRIN, 28 April 2008, 10 March 2015,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20141112124205weblink">weblink 12 November 2014, live, dmy-all, WEB,weblink Democratic Republic of the Congo, Epidemiological profile, World Malaria Report 2014, World Health Organization, 10 March 2015,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20150419112412weblink">weblink 19 April 2015, live, dmy-all, Yellow fever also affects DRC.WEB,weblink Yellow fever in the Democratic Republic of Congo, World Health Organization, 24 April 2014, 10 March 2015,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20150605110715weblink">weblink 5 June 2015, live, dmy-all, Maternal health is poor in DRC. According to 2010 estimates, DRC has the 17th highest maternal mortality rate in the world.WEB,weblink The World Factbook â€“ Country Comparison : Maternal mortality rate, Cia.gov, 2010, 10 March 2015,weblink 18 April 2015, live, dmy-all, According to UNICEF, 43.5% of children under five are stunted."Democratic Republic of Congo" {{Webarchive|url=https://web.archive.org/web/20150402100753weblink |date=2 April 2015 }}. scalingupnutrition.org.In May 2019, the death toll from the Ebola outbreak in DRC surpassed 1,000.NEWS, The Latest: Ebola deaths top 1,000 in Congo outbreak,weblink The Washington Post,

Crime and law enforcement

The Congolese National Police (PNC) are the primary police force in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.BOOK, Democratic Republic of the Congo: Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper-Progress Report (EPub),weblink 2010, International Monetary Fund, 978-1-4552-2241-4, 56–, 14 October 2015,weblink 9 May 2016, live, dmy-all,

Demographics

{{further|Poverty in the Democratic Republic of the Congo}}

Largest cities

{{Largest cities of the Democratic Republic of the Congo}}

Ethnic groups

File:Kongo people2.jpg|thumb|Kongo youth and adults in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo ]]{|class="wikitable" style="float: right; margin-left: 10px"! colspan="4" style="text-align:center; background:#cfb;"|Population{{UN_Population|ref}}! style="background:#cfb;"|Year! style="background:#cfb;"|Million1950 style="text-align:right;"|12.22000 style="text-align:right;"|47.1{{UN_Population{{#expr:{{formatnum:{{UN_PopulationR}}/1e6 round 1}}File:Photo of the Day, 17 February 2014 (12589890963).jpg|thumb|Amani festival in GomaGoma(File:Cecilia and her family.jpg|thumb|Family in Rutshuru, North Kivu, Democratic Republic of the Congo)Over 200 ethnic groups populate the Democratic Republic of the Congo, of which the majority are Bantu peoples. Together, Mongo, Luba and Kongo peoples (Bantu) and Mangbetu-Azande peoples constitute around 45% of the population. The Kongo people are the largest ethnic group in the Democratic Republic of Congo.BOOK, Anthony Appiah, Henry Louis Gates, Encyclopedia of Africa,weblink 2010, Oxford University Press, 978-0-19-533770-9, 14–15, 2 November 2016,weblink 23 March 2017, live, dmy-all, In {{UN_Population|Year}}, the United Nations estimated the country's population to be {{#expr:{{formatnum:{{UN_Population|Democratic Republic of the Congo}}|R}}/1e6 round 0}} million people,{{UN_Population|ref}} a rapid increase from 39.1 million in 1992 despite the ongoing war."Zaire â€“ Population {{Webarchive|url=https://web.archive.org/web/20170628105720weblink |date=28 June 2017 }}". Library of Congress Country Studies. As many as 250 ethnic groups have been identified and named. The most numerous people are the Kongo, Luba, and Mongo. About 600,000 Pygmies are the aboriginal people of the DR Congo."Pygmies want UN tribunal to address cannibalism {{Webarchive|url=https://web.archive.org/web/20100121110837weblink |date=21 January 2010 }}." The Sydney Morning Herald. 23 May 2003. Although several hundred local languages and dialects are spoken, the linguistic variety is bridged both by widespread use of French and the national intermediary languages Kituba, Tshiluba, Swahili, and Lingala.

Migration

(File:Opening ceremony of new PNC headquarters in Goma (7134901927).jpg|thumb|Population fleeing their villages due to fighting between FARDC and rebels groups, Sake North Kivu 30 April 2012)Given the situation in the country and the condition of state structures, it is extremely difficult to obtain reliable migration data. However, evidence suggests that DRC continues to be a destination country for immigrants, in spite of recent declines in their numbers. Immigration is very diverse in nature; refugees and asylum-seekers â€“ products of the numerous and violent conflicts in the Great Lakes Region â€“ constitute an important subset of the population. Additionally, the country's large mine operations attract migrant workers from Africa and beyond. There is also considerable migration for commercial activities from other African countries and the rest of the world, but these movements are not well studied. Transit migration towards South Africa and Europe also plays a role.Immigration to the DRC has decreased steadily over the past two decades, most likely as a result of the armed violence that the country has experienced. According to the International Organization for Migration, the number of immigrants in the DRC has fallen from just over one million in 1960, to 754,000 in 1990, to 480,000 in 2005, to an estimated 445,000 in 2010. Official figures are unavailable, partly due to the predominance of the informal economy in the DRC. Data are also lacking on irregular immigrants, however given neighbouring countries' ethnic links to DRC nationals, irregular migration is assumed to be a significant phenomenon.JOURNAL,weblink International Organization for Migration, Migration en République Démocratique du Congo: Profil national 2009, 2009, 17 August 2010,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20110511092512weblink">weblink 11 May 2011, live, dmy-all, Figures for Congolese nationals abroad vary greatly depending on the source, from three to six million. This discrepancy is due to a lack of official, reliable data. Emigrants from the DRC are above all long-term emigrants, the majority of whom live in Africa and to a lesser extent in Europe; 79.7% and 15.3% respectively, according to estimated 2000 data. New destination countries include South Africa and various points en route to Europe. The DRC has produced a considerable number of refugees and asylum-seekers located in the region and beyond. These numbers peaked in 2004 when, according to UNHCR, there were more than 460,000 refugees from the DRC; in 2008, Congolese refugees numbered 367,995 in total, 68% of whom were living in other African countries.Since 2003, more than 400,000 Congolese migrants have been expelled from Angola.""Calls for Angola to Investigate Abuse of Congolese Migrants" {{Webarchive|url=https://web.archive.org/web/20130525172019weblink |date=25 May 2013 }}, Inter Press Service. 21 May 2012.

Religion

(File:Population pyramid of the Democratic Republic of the Congo.jpg|thumb|The population pyramid of the Democratic Republic of the Congo)Christianity is the majority religion in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The most recent survey, conducted by the Demographic and Health Surveys Program in 2013-2014 indicated that Christians constituted 93.7% of the population (with Catholics making up 29.7%, Protestants 26.8%, and other Christians 37.2%). An indigenous religion, Kimbanguism, has the adherence of only 2.8%, while Muslims make up 1.2%.WEB,weblink Enquête Démographique et de Santé (EDS-RDC) 2013-2014, Ministère du Plan et Suivi de la Mise en Å“uvre de la Révolution de la Modernité, Ministère de la Santé Publique, French, 36, 20 April 2018,weblink 10 October 2017, live, dmy-all, Other recent estimates have found Christianity the majority religion, followed by 95.8% of the population according to a 2010 Pew Research CenterWEB,weblink Global Religious Landscape, Pew Forum, 11 March 2015,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20140518013537weblink">weblink 18 May 2014, live, dmy-all, estimate, while the CIA World Factbook reports this figure to be 80% and Pew Research Center 2013 data.WEB,weblink Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life / Islam and Christianity in Sub-Saharan Africa, 28 May 2015,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20150924113617weblink">weblink 24 September 2015, dead, dmy-all, The proportion of followers of Islam is variously estimated from 1%WEB,weblink Enquête Démographique et de Santé (EDS-RDC) 2013-2014, Dhsprogram.com, 23 June 2018,weblink 10 October 2017, live, dmy-all, to 10%WEB,weblink The World Factbook — Central Intelligence Agency, Cia.gov, 23 June 2018,weblink 10 August 2016, live, dmy-all, depending on the source, and followers of indigenous beliefs similarly estimated to range from about 3–10% .There are about 35 million Catholics in the country with six archdioceses and 41 dioceses.{{Catholic-hierarchy|diocese|qview5|Structured View of Dioceses|21 January 2015}} The impact of the Catholic Church in the Democratic Republic of Congo is difficult to overestimate. Schatzberg has called it the country's "only truly national institution apart from the state."Schatzberg, Michael G (February 1980) Politics and Class in Zaire: Bureaucracy, Business and Beer in Lisala, Africana Pub. Co. {{ISBN|0-8419-0438-3}} Its schools have educated over 60% of the nation's primary school students and more than 40% of its secondary students. The church owns and manages an extensive network of hospitals, schools, and clinics, as well as many diocesan economic enterprises, including farms, ranches, stores, and artisans' shops.{{citation needed|date=September 2013}}Kimbanguism was seen as a threat to the colonial regime and was banned by the Belgians. Kimbanguism, officially "the church of Christ on Earth by the prophet Simon Kimbangu", now has about three million members,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20010707120530weblink">"Zaire (Democratic Republic of Congo)", Adherents.com â€“ Religion by Location. Sources quoted are The World Factbook (1998), 'official government web site' of Democratic Republic of Congo. Retrieved 25 May 2007. primarily among the Bakongo of Bas-Congo and Kinshasa.File:Cathedrale notre dame de la victoire bukavu.png|thumb|Our Lady of Peace Cathedral in BukavuBukavuSixty-two Protestant denominations are federated under the umbrella of the Church of Christ in Congo. It is often simply referred to as the Protestant Church, since it covers most of the DRC Protestants. With more than 25 million members, it constitutes one of the largest Protestant bodies in the world.According to the Pew Forum, Islam is the faith of 12% of the population. According to the CIA World Factbook, Muslims make up 10% of the population. Islam was introduced and mainly spread by traders/merchants/slave raiders.Insoll, Timothy (2003) The Archaeology of Islam in Sub-Saharan Africa {{Webarchive|url=https://web.archive.org/web/20130525140621weblink |date=25 May 2013 }}, Cambridge University Press; {{ISBN|0-521-65702-4}} Congolose Muslims are divided into Sunnis (50%), Shias (10%), Ahmadis (6%), and non-denominational Muslims (14%).Pew Forum on Religious & Public life. 9 August 2012. Retrieved 29 October 2013 In 2013 the Allied Democratic Forces, a group linked to the Islamic State (ISIS), began carrying out attacks in Congo which killed civilians, mostly Christians.WEB, Bariyo, Nicholas,weblink Women and Children Slaughtered in Congo Attack, The Wall Street Journal, 17 December 2013, 10 March 2015,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20141231042119weblink">weblink 31 December 2014, live, dmy-all, The first members of the Baha'i Faith to live in the country came from Uganda in 1953. Four years later the first local administrative council was elected. In 1970 the National Spiritual Assembly (national administrative council) was first elected. Though the religion was banned in the 1970s and 1980s, due to misrepresentations of foreign governments, the ban was lifted by the end of the 1980s. In 2012 plans were announced to build a national Baha'i House of Worship in the country.Ridvan Message 2012 {{Webarchive|url=https://web.archive.org/web/20131108235827weblink |date=8 November 2013 }}. p. 3. Universal House of Justice;Traditional religions embody such concepts as monotheism, animism, vitalism, spirit and ancestor worship, witchcraft, and sorcery and vary widely among ethnic groups. The syncretic sects often merge elements of Christianity with traditional beliefs and rituals and are not recognized by mainstream churches as part of Christianity. New variants of ancient beliefs have become widespread, led by US-inspired Pentecostal churches which have been in the forefront of witchcraft accusations, particularly against children and the elderly.{{Clarify|reason=What is the new belief? Witchcraft, or the accusations of witchcraft?|date=January 2013}}BOOK, De Boeck, Filip, Plissart, Marie-Frangoise, 1899, Kinshasa tales of the invisible City, Ludion, 978-90-5544-554-7,
Children accused of witchcraft are sent away from homes and family, often to live on the street, which can lead to physical violence against these children.WEB,weblink Street Children in D.R.Congo, Congo Children Trust, en-US, 2019-05-09,weblink 9 May 2019, live, {{Clarify|reason=What leads to violence?|date=January 2013}}
WEB, Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, 2010 Human Rights Report: Democratic Republic of the Congo, 2010 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices, US Department of State, 2011,weblink 24 April 2011, dmy-all,
There are charities supporting street children such as the Congo Children Trust.WEB,weblink About the trust, Congo Children Trust, en-US, 2019-05-09,weblink 9 May 2019, live, The Congo Children Trust's flagship project is Kimbilio,WEB,weblink Home, Kimbilio, en-US, 2019-05-09,weblink 9 May 2019, live, which works to reunite street children in Lubumbashi. The usual term for these children is enfants sorciers (child witches) or enfants dits sorciers (children accused of witchcraft). Non-denominational church organizations have been formed to capitalize on this belief by charging exorbitant fees for exorcisms. Though recently outlawed, children have been subjected in these exorcisms to often-violent abuse at the hands of self-proclaimed prophets and priests.
NEWS, Harris, Dan, Children in Congo forced into exorcisms, world news, USA today,weblinkweblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20121104115309weblink">weblink 4 November 2012, 24 April 2011, 21 May 2009, {| class="wikitable sortable" style="text-align:center"! Source!width="90pt"|Christianity(total)!width="90pt"|Catholicism!width="90pt"|Protestantism!width="90pt"|Islam!width="90pt"|Other!width="90pt"|SourceUS State Department 90% 50% 35% 5% 5% weblinkPew Research Center 96% 47% 48% 1.5% 2.5% weblink" title="https:/-/web.archive.org/web/20130101080244weblink">weblink weblinkCIA World Factbook 80% 50% 20% 10% 10% weblink

Languages

(File:Map - DR Congo, major languages.svg|thumb|Major Bantu languages in the Congo)French is the official language of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. It is culturally accepted as the lingua franca facilitating communication among the many different ethnic groups of the Congo. According to a 2014 OIF report, 33 million Congolese people (47% of the population) could read and write in French.BOOK, Organisation internationale de la Francophonie, La langue française dans le monde 2014,weblink Paris, Éditions Nathan, 17, 2014, 978-2-09-882654-0, 16 May 2015,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20150702202909weblink">weblink 2 July 2015, live, dmy-all, Organisation internationale de la Francophonie,
In the capital city Kinshasa, 67% of the population could read and write French, and 68.5% could speak and understand it.
BOOK, Organisation internationale de la Francophonie, La langue française dans le monde 2014,weblink Paris, Éditions Nathan, 30, 2014, 978-2-09-882654-0, 16 May 2015,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20150702202909weblink">weblink 2 July 2015, live, dmy-all, Organisation internationale de la Francophonie, Approximately 242 languages are spoken in the country, but only four have the status of national languages: Kituba ("Kikongo ya leta"), Lingala, Tshiluba, and Swahili. Although some people speak these regional, or trade languages as first languages, most of the population speak them as a second language after their own tribal language. Lingala was the official language of the colonial army, the "Force Publique", under Belgian colonial rule, and remains to this day the predominant language in the armed forces. Since the recent rebellions, a good part of the army in the East also uses Swahili where it is prevalent.When the country was a Belgian colony, the Belgian colonizers instituted teaching and use of the four national languages in primary schools, making it one of the few African nations to have had literacy in local languages during the European colonial period. This trend was reversed after independence, when French became the sole language of education at all levels.BOOK, Organisation internationale de la Francophonie, La langue française dans le monde 2014,weblink Paris, Éditions Nathan, 117, 2014, 978-2-09-882654-0, 16 May 2015,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20150702202909weblink">weblink 2 July 2015, live, dmy-all, Organisation internationale de la Francophonie, Since 1975, the four national languages have been reintroduced in the first two years of primary education, with French becoming the sole language of education from the third year onward, but in practice many primary schools in urban areas solely use French from the first year of school onward.

Culture

File:Hemba male figure1.jpg|thumb|upright|A HembaHembaThe culture of the Democratic Republic of the Congo reflects the diversity of its hundreds of ethnic groups and their differing ways of life throughout the country  â€” from the mouth of the River Congo on the coast, upriver through the rainforest and savanna in its centre, to the more densely populated mountains in the far east. Since the late 19th century, traditional ways of life have undergone changes brought about by colonialism, the struggle for independence, the stagnation of the Mobutu era, and most recently, the First and Second Congo Wars. Despite these pressures, the customs and cultures of the Congo have retained much of their individuality. The country's 81 million inhabitants (2016) are mainly rural. The 30% who live in urban areas have been the most open to Western influences.

Music

Another feature in Congo culture is its music. The DRC has blended its ethnic musical sources with Cuban rumba, and merengue to give birth to soukous.BOOK,weblink Stone, Ruth M., The Garland Handbook of African Music, 133, 24 August 2014, 978-1-135-90001-4, 2010,weblink 12 May 2016, live, dmy-all, Other African nations produce music genres derived from Congolese soukous. Some of the African bands sing in Lingala, one of the main languages in the DRC. The same Congolese soukous, under the guidance of "le sapeur", Papa Wemba, have set the tone for a generation of young men always dressed up in expensive designer clothes. They came to be known as the fourth generation of Congolese music and mostly come from the former well-known band {{ILL|Wenge Musica|fr}}.

Sports

Many sports are played in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, including football, basketball, and rugby. The sports are played in numerous stadiums throughout the country, including the Stade Frederic Kibassa Maliba.Stadiums in the Democratic Republic Congo {{Webarchive|url=https://web.archive.org/web/20130206213344weblink |date=6 February 2013 }}. World Stadiums. Retrieved 27 February 2013.As Zaire they have participated in the World Cup Football (Final stage) in 1974.Internationally, the country is especially famous for its professional basketball NBA and football players. Dikembe Mutombo is one of the best African basketball players to ever play the game. Mutombo is well known for humanitarian projects in his home country. Bismack Biyombo, Christian Eyenga, and Emmanuel Mudiay are others who gained significant international attention in basketball. Several Congolese players and players of Congolese descent—including strikers Romelu Lukaku, Yannick Bolasie, and Dieumerci Mbokani—have gained prominence in world football. DR Congo has twice won the African Cup of Nations football tournament.

Food

Media

Newspapers of the DRC include L'Avenir, Radion Télévision Mwangaza, {{ILL|La Conscience|fr}}, {{ILL|L'Observateur|fr|L'Observateur (RDC)}}, Le Phare, Le Potentiel, Le Soft and LeCongolais.CD,WEB, International, Courrier, Le Congolais,weblink Courrierinternational.com/, Courrier International, 26 November 2015,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20151126234501weblink">weblink 26 November 2015, live, dmy-all, a web-based daily."Countries: Democatric Republic of the Congo: News" (weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20131213055112weblink">Archive).{{sic}} Stanford University Libraries & Academic Information Resources. Retrieved 28 April 2014. Radio Télévision Nationale Congolaise (RTNC) is the national broadcaster of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. RTNC currently broadcasts in Lingala, French, and English.

Literature

Congolese authors use literature as a way to develop a sense of national consciousness amongst the Congo people. The tragic history of colonialism and war lead the Congolese people to settle in a place of complacency, accepting the culture that was forced upon them by Belgium.The Belgian attitude was paternalism, training and treating Africans as if they were children. Belgian parliament replaced the privately owned free state. This acceptance led to a diffusion of language, and many Congolese people spoke, and wrote in French.Modern Congolese literature began to emerge in the late 1950s. There are a few rare pieces of literature dated back to before WWI, but it was not until about 1954 that literature written in French made its appearance in the Congo. After gaining their independence from Belgium in the 1960s, new authors, such as Guy Menga and Jean Pierre Makouta-Mboukou, were inspired by older authors, such as Jean Malonga, and used writing to bring attention to new issues affecting the Congo. The rise of female authors began in the 1970s introducing diversity to Congolese literature and support for gender empowerment. Many authors who have contributed to the success of Congolese literature are now living abroad due to economic and political issues.WEB,weblink Women Perception of French Colonial Life in 19th Century Africa, 1996,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20180817100658weblink">weblink 17 August 2018, live, dmy-all, Frederick Kambemba Yamusangie writes literature for the between generations of those who grew up in the Congo, during the time when they were colonised, fighting for independence and after. Yamusangie in an interviewWEB,weblink Frederick Kambemba Yamusangie Interview, said he felt the distance in literature and wanted to remedy that he wrote the novel, Full Circle, which is a story of a boy named Emanuel who in the beginning of the book feels a difference in culture among the different groups in the Congo and elsewhere.BOOK, Full Circle, 978-0595282944, Yamusangie, Frederick, 2003, Rais Neza Boneza, an author from the Katanga province of the Democratic Republic of Congo, wrote novels and poems to promote artistic expressions as a way to address and deal with conflicts.WEB,weblink Rais Neza Boneza's Baraza,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20181205193404weblink">weblink 5 December 2018, live, dmy-all, Born in 1907, Jean Molonga, was a novelist and storyteller, who sat in parliament from 1946 to 1951. He was noted for his original work, Coeur d'Aryenne, Heart of Aryenne, consisting of controversial themes; cultural identity, national unity, and reformation of the oppressed.WEB,weblink Coeur d'Aryenne,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20171224213534weblink">weblink 24 December 2017, live, dmy-all, These authors, along with others, used their platforms to bring awareness to the crises and conflicts that took place in the Congo.

Environmental issues

A dense tropical rainforest in the DRC's central river basin and eastern highlands is bordered on the east by the Albertine Rift (the western branch of Africa's Great Rift System). It includes several of Africa's Great Lakes.Major environmental issuesDR Congo's major environmental issues include:
  • deforestation
  • poaching, which threatens wildlife populations
  • water pollution
  • mining
Displaced refugees cause or are otherwise responsible for significant deforestation, soil erosion and wildlife poaching. Another significant issue is environmental damage from the mining of minerals, especially diamonds, gold, and coltan – a mineral used to manufacture capacitors.

Species and Biodiversity loss

File:Mountain_gorilla_(Gorilla_beringei_beringei)_yawn.jpg|thumb|The endangered Mountain Gorilla, half of its population live in the DRC's (Virunga National Park]], making the park a critical habitat for these animals.WEB,weblink Mountain Gorilla {{!, Gorillas {{!}} WWF|website=World Wildlife Fund|language=en|access-date=20 November 2018|archive-url=https://web.archive.org/web/20181128075427weblink|archive-date=28 November 2018|url-status=live|df=dmy-all}})The environmental problems associated with The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) affect its many endemic species of flora and fauna. The DRC has the worlds second largest contiguous rain forest after the Amazon as well as other ecosystems including Savanna, swamps and flood plains. According to the World Wildlife Fund, these unique habitats and species make the DRC one of the most valuable yet vulnerable areas in the world for biodiversity, wildlife protection and rainforest sustainability.WEB,weblink Congo Rainforest and Basin {{!, Places {{!}} WWF|website=World Wildlife Fund|language=en|access-date=2 November 2018|archive-url=https://web.archive.org/web/20181030045815weblink|archive-date=30 October 2018|url-status=live|df=dmy-all}}Species loss has been cited as a problem in the DRC, brought about or exacerbated by reasons that include deforestation for mining, wood fuel, infrastructure or agriculture, war, illegal poaching and increased consumption of bush meat due to overpopulation and lack of food security.JOURNAL, Butsic, Van, Baumann, Matthias, Shortland, Anja, Walker, Sarah, Kuemmerle, Tobias, 2015, Conservation and conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo: The impacts of warfare, mining, and protected areas on deforestation, Biological Conservation, 191, 266–273, 10.1016/j.biocon.2015.06.037, 0006-3207, Some attempts to combat species loss in countries such as the DRC are actions such as the UN's Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), specifically SDG 15 Life on Land, the primary goals of which is to increase reforestation and biodiversity and reduce species loss, desertification, and illegal poaching.WEB,weblink Forests, desertification and biodiversity – United Nations Sustainable Development, www.un.org, en-US, 2 November 2018,weblink 1 November 2018, live, dmy-all, One of the primary defences for species and habitat protection in the DRC is its system of national parks and reserves, which gives protected status to nearly 12% of the DRC's rainforest.JOURNAL, Butsic, Van, Baumann, Matthias, Shortland, Anja, Walker, Sarah, Kuemmerle, Tobias, November 2015, Conservation and conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo: The impacts of warfare, mining, and protected areas on deforestation, Biological Conservation, 191, 266–273, 10.1016/j.biocon.2015.06.037, 0006-3207, Five of these parks and reserves are UNESCO world heritage sites, including Africa’s first national park Virunga national park. All of these parks have been put on the World Heritage in Danger List.WEB,weblink Natural World Heritage in the Congo Basin, Centre, UNESCO World Heritage, whc.unesco.org, en, 2 November 2018,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20181031082832weblink">weblink 31 October 2018, live, dmy-all, Poor governance and low economic conditions have reduced the effectiveness of these protections, especially during war times. The human cost of protecting these parks has also been high with 200 park ranger deaths in the past 20 years.BOOK, The last stand of the gorilla : environmental crime and conflict in the Congo basin : a rapid response assessment, Johannes, Nellemann, C., Redmond, Ian. Refisch, 2010, United Nations Environment Programme, GRID-Arendal, 978-82-7701-076-2, 642908252, Virunga national park and Salongo National Park, both of which are UNESCO world heritage sites are currently being looked at for mining and oil exploration. The move would open 21.5% of the Virunga park for exploitation, this is highly criticised by animal rights activists as it would threaten the habitat of Mountain Gorillas and other endangered species.

Deforestation

(File:Changing land use in the Masisi - Julien Harneis - May 2 2007 - 4.jpg|thumb|Deforested lands in the DRC, which used to be forest)Between 2000 and 2014 the DRC lost an average of 570,000 hectares (0.2%) of rainforest to deforestation per year, with the highest amount of deforestation coming between 2011 and 2014.JOURNAL, Harris, Nancy L, Goldman, Elizabeth, Gabris, Christopher, Nordling, Jon, Minnemeyer, Susan, Ansari, Stephen, Lippmann, Michael, Bennett, Lauren, Raad, Mansour, 1 February 2017, Using spatial statistics to identify emerging hot spots of forest loss, Environmental Research Letters, 12, 2, 024012, 10.1088/1748-9326/aa5a2f, 1748-9326, Deforestation is the primary cause of biodiversity reduction and species loss globally, through habitat loss and fragmentation.NEWS,weblink Impact of habitat loss on species, 26 November 2018, en,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20181116134037weblink">weblink 16 November 2018, live, dmy-all, One of the goals of the SDG 15 is to reduce deforestation and encourage reforestation by 2020The DRC has Africa’s largest rainforest, which is under the threat of deforestation through mining operations, agriculture, infrastructure and wood fuel. In the DRC 94% of wood taken from the rainforest is used for wood fuel, mainly due to poverty, lack of energy infrastructure and the decentralised nature of its population. To mitigate this aid agencies have tried to promote agro-forestry with fast growing trees to avoid over exploitation of the rainforests.WEB,weblink Woodfuel in the Congo forests, Global Forest Atlas, 2 November 2018,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20171026130911weblink">weblink 26 October 2017, live, dmy-all, Other large drivers of deforestation include mining and conflict, during the Congo conflict deforestation by militia groups was high for wood fuel, small mining operations and illegal logging to fund their operations. However, conversely conflict reduced deforestation for large scale mining due to security instability.One policy being attempted to reduce the deforestation and increase biodiversity in the DRC is the UN-REDD program, which uses emissions trading system so that developed nations can offset their carbon emissions by paying developing nations with rainforest to manage and conserve their forest.WEB,weblink UN-REDD Programme, UN-REDD Programme, en, 20 November 2018,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20181119074856weblink">weblink 19 November 2018, live, dmy-all,

Bush meat

Bush meat refers to any meat which is procured from the wild, as overpopulation and continual conflicts in the DRC has led to food shortages this has therefore increased the use of bush meat. Although, data on bush meat use is not extensive, studies estimate 6 million tonnes of animals are taken for bush meat globally each year.JOURNAL, Nasi, R., Taber, A., Van Vliet, N., 1 September 2011, Empty forests, empty stomachs? Bushmeat and livelihoods in the Congo and Amazon Basins, International Forestry Review, 13, 3, 355–368, 10.1505/146554811798293872, 1465-5489, What animals are hunted are done so indiscriminately without thought of the importance of certain species that could be eco-system engineers or keystone species.Bush meat is an important source of protein for millions in the DRC, especially in rural areas where it makes up 50-70% of meals and for some who cannot afford farmed produce it is a free meal.NEWS,weblink There's Another Side To Bush Meat That Doesn't Get Much Attention, NPR.org, 20 November 2018, en,weblink 19 November 2018, live, dmy-all, A recent study in the DRC revealed that almost all of the animals are taken from the Congo each year, at 93% of all live animals there are in the forest are extracted for bush meat, whereas a sustainable rate would be 20%.{{Citation|last=Fa|first=John E.|title=Bushmeat Markets - White Elephants or Red Herrings?|year=2008|work=Bushmeat and Livelihoods: Wildlife Management and Poverty Reduction|pages=47–60|publisher=Blackwell Publishing Ltd|isbn=978-0-470-69259-2|doi=10.1002/9780470692592.ch3}} This is a huge amount compared to the Amazon where bush meat is hunted at only 3% the rate of the Congo. the study reveals the only way to solve this is to find other food sources to feed people in the Congo Basin as bush meat is their only means of eating. Another study showed that the species of bush meat in the meat markets of the DRC's third largest city Kisangani were primarily Artiodactyla at 40.06% of the carcasses sold then primates at 37.79% of carcasses sold.JOURNAL, D, Olivier Basa, M, Casimir Nebesse, K, Consolate Kaswera, M, Judith Tsongo, M, Sylvestre Gambalemoke, A, Benjamin Dudu, Makungu, Lelo-Di, 2017, Bush meat sold on the markets in Kisangani: analysis addressed to the right on species conservation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, International Journal of Environment, Agriculture and Biotechnology, 2, 2, 624–629, 10.22161/ijeab/2.2.9, 2456-1878, Recently the prevalence of hunting for bush meat has declined because of the risk to hunters and butchers from the Ebola virus from specifically ape and bat meat.NEWS,weblink Ebola poses challenges for bush meat in Congo, Mednick, Sam, Philadelphia Tribunal,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20181202071702weblink">weblink 2 December 2018, live, dmy-all, Even though when the meat is cooked smoked or dried it kills the virus, business has dropped significantly with some hunters reporting as much of a reduction in sales of 80%.

Conflicts

There has been a war in the DRC in different levels of intensity since 1994 when the country was called Zaire.NEWS,weblink Q&A: DR Congo conflict, 20 November 2012, BBC News, 18 October 2018, en-GB,weblink 7 October 2018, live, dmy-all, Although what was known as Africas World War had ended in 2003 the eastern part of the country still has ongoing skirmishes between rebel groups and government forces. No other method has reduced species population so dramatically than conflict, when a militia reached the Garamba National Park in 1997 within three months, half of the park's elephants, two thirds of the buffalo, and three quarters of its hippos vanished.NEWS,weblink War's Other Victims: Animals, Nuwer, R, New York Times, 18 October 2018, en,weblink 17 October 2018, live, dmy-all, The reason conflict is so damaging to wildlife is the increased use of bush meat to feed soldiers, the prevalence of weapons, the lucrative industry of selling exotic animals and ivory as well as the general failure of law and order. According to another study, which was taken during the time of the civil war in the Okapi Faunal Reserve there was a 50% reduction in the abundance of elephants and a vast change in the distribution of them to the more secluded areas of the park.JOURNAL, Beyers, Rene L., Hart, John A., Sinclair, Anthony R. E., Grossmann, Falk, Klinkenberg, Brian, Dino, Simeon, 9 November 2011, Resource Wars and Conflict Ivory: The Impact of Civil Conflict on Elephants in the Democratic Republic of Congo – The Case of the Okapi Reserve, PLOS ONE, en, 6, 11, e27129, 10.1371/journal.pone.0027129, 22096529, 1932-6203, dmy-all, 3212536,

See also

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Citations

{{Reflist}}

References

  • BOOK, {{harvid, Young, Turner, 2013, | last = Young| first = M. Crawford| last2 = Turner| first2 = Thomas Edwin| title = The Rise and Decline of the Zairian State| publisher = University of Wisconsin Press| edition = illustrated, reprint| date = 2013| url =weblink| isbn = 978-0-299-10113-8}}

Further reading

  • Clark, John F., The African Stakes of the Congo War, 2004.
  • Callaghy, T., The State-Society Struggle: Zaire in Comparative Perspective. New York: Columbia University Press, 1984, {{ISBN|0-231-05720-2}}.
  • BOOK, Devlin, Larry, Larry Devlin, Chief of Station, Congo: A Memoir of 1960–67, PublicAffairs, New York, 2007, 978-1-58648-405-7, .
  • Drummond, Bill and Manning, Mark, The Wild Highway, 2005.
  • Edgerton, Robert, The Troubled Heart of Africa: A History of the Congo. St. Martin's Press, 2002.
  • Exenberger, Andreas/Hartmann, Simon. The Dark Side of Globalization. The Vicious Cycle of Exploitation from World Market Integration: Lesson from the Congo, Working Papers in Economics and Statistics 31, University Innsbruck 2007.
  • Exenberger, Andreas/Hartmann, Simon. weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20110901165807weblink">Doomed to Disaster? Long-term Trajectories of Exploitation in the Congo, Paper to be presented at the Workshop "Colonial Extraction in the Netherlands Indies and Belgian Congo: Institutions, Institutional Change and Long Term Consequences", Utrecht 3–4 December 2010.
  • Gondola, Ch. Didier, "The History of Congo", Westport: Greenwood Press, 2002.
  • Joris, Lieve, translated by Waters, Liz, The Rebels' Hour, Atlantic, 2008.
  • Justenhoven, Heinz-Gerhard; Ehrhart, Hans Georg. Intervention im Kongo: eine kritische Analyse der Befriedungspolitik von UN und EU. Stuttgart: Kohlhammer, 2008. (In German) {{ISBN|978-3-17-020781-3}}.
  • Kingsolver, Barbara. The Poisonwood Bible HarperCollins, 1998.
  • Larémont, Ricardo René, ed. 2005. Borders, nationalism and the African state. Boulder, Colorado and London: Lynne Rienner Publishers.
  • Lemarchand, Reni and Hamilton, Lee; Burundi: Ethnic Conflict and Genocide. Woodrow Wilson Center Press, 1994.
  • Mealer, Bryan: "All Things Must Fight To Live", 2008. {{ISBN|1-59691-345-2}}.
  • Melvern, Linda, Conspiracy to Murder: The Rwandan Genocide and the International Community. Verso, 2004.
  • Miller, Eric: "The Inability of Peacekeeping to Address the Security Dilemma", 2010. {{ISBN|978-3-8383-4027-2}}.
  • Mwakikagile, Godfrey, Nyerere and Africa: End of an Era, Third Edition, New Africa Press, 2006, "Chapter Six: Congo in The Sixties: The Bleeding Heart of Africa", pp. 147–205, {{ISBN|978-0-9802534-1-2}}; Mwakikagile, Godfrey, Africa and America in The Sixties: A Decade That Changed The Nation and The Destiny of A Continent, First Edition, New Africa Press, 2006, {{ISBN|978-0-9802534-2-9}}.
  • Nzongola-Ntalaja, Georges, The Congo from Leopold to Kabila: A People's History, 2002.
  • O'Hanlon, Redmond, Congo Journey, 1996.
  • O'Hanlon, Redmond, No Mercy: A Journey into the Heart of the Congo, 1998.
  • Prunier, Gérard, Africa's World War: Congo, the Rwandan Genocide, and the Making of a Continental Catastrophe, 2011 (also published as From Genocide to Continental War: The Congolese Conflict and the Crisis of Contemporary Africa: The Congo Conflict and the Crisis of Contemporary Africa).
  • Renton, David; Seddon, David; Zeilig, Leo. The Congo: Plunder and Resistance, 2007. {{ISBN|978-1-84277-485-4}}.
  • Reyntjens, Filip, The Great African War: Congo and Regional Geopolitics, 1996–2006 , 2009.
  • Rorison, Sean, Bradt Travel Guide: Congo  â€” Democratic Republic/Republic, 2008.
  • Schulz, Manfred. Entwicklungsträger in der DR Kongo: Entwicklungen in Politik, Wirtschaft, Religion, Zivilgesellschaft und Kultur, Berlin: Lit, 2008, (in German) {{ISBN|978-3-8258-0425-1}}.
  • Stearns, Jason: Dancing in the Glory of Monsters: the Collapse of the Congo and the Great War of Africa, Public Affairs, 2011.
  • Tayler, Jeffrey, Facing the Congo, 2001.
  • Turner, Thomas, The Congo Wars: Conflict, Myth and Reality, 2007.
  • Van Reybrouck, David, Congo: The Epic History of a People, 2014
  • Wrong, Michela, In the Footsteps of Mr. Kurtz: Living on the Brink of Disaster in Mobutu's Congo.

External links

{{Sister project links|voy=Democratic Republic of the Congo}}{{Commons category|Mines in the Democratic Republic of the Congo}}{{Scholia|topic}}
  • weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20090506023504weblink">Chief of State and Cabinet Members
  • Country Profile from the BBC News
  • {{CIA World Factbook link|cg|Democratic Republic of the Congo}}
  • weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20080727023932weblink">Democratic Republic of the Congo from UCB Libraries GovPubs
  • {{curlie|Regional/Africa/Congo,_Democratic_Republic_of_the}}
  • {{Wikiatlas|Democratic Republic of the Congo}}
  • The Democratic Republic of Congo from Global Issues
  • WEB,weblink Democratic Republic of the Congo, Africa South of the Sahara: Selected Internet Resources, Stanford University, Karen Fung,
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