Democratic Republic of the Congo

The Democratic Republic of the Congo is an African country situated along the Equator, and is one of the largest countries in Africa, extending along the river of the same name which crosses the country. The empire of the Congo was colonised by the Dutch and Portuguese, until 1885 when the area was given to Belgium. Following a bloody battle for independence, secession came in 1960. In 1965, following the gaining of power by Mobutu, the country changed its name to Zaire. The era of Mobutu ended in 1996, the year in which Laurent Kabila entered power and changed the country’s name again to its current denomination: The Democratic Republic of the Congo, in order to distinguish it from the bordering Congo with the capital of Brazzaville.

The country is suffering under the weight of poverty and guerilla ware fare, especially in the eastern provinces of Kivu and Ituri. The capital, as well as the most important city, is Kinshasa.