The Republic of the Congo (République Du Congo)

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  • Republic of the Congo 1

    Republic of the CongoNot to be confused with the neighboring Democratic Republic of the Congo or its antecedent, the Republic of theCongo-Lopoldville.Coordinates: 1.44S 15.556E [1]

    Republic of the CongoRpublique du Congo(French)

    Flag Coat of arms

    Motto:"Unit, Travail, Progrs"(French)"Unity, Work, Progress"

    Anthem:La Congolaise(French)The Congolese

  • Republic of the Congo 2

    Capitaland largest city

    Brazzaville416S 1517E [2]

    Official languages French

    Recognised regionallanguages Kongo Lingala

    Ethnicgroups 48% Kongo 20% Sangha 17% Teke 12% M'Bochi 3% Europeans / others

    Demonym Congolese

    Government Dominant-party presidential republic

    - President Denis Sassou Nguesso

    Legislature Parliament

    - Upper house Senate

    - Lower house National Assembly


    - from France August 15, 1960


    - Total 342,000km2 (64th)132,047sqmi

    - Water(%) 3.3


    - 2014estimate 4,662,446 (125th)

    - Density 12.8/km2 (204th)33.1/sqmi

    GDP(PPP) 2014estimate

    - Total $21.992 billion

    - Per capita $5,145

    GDP(nominal) 2014estimate

    - Total $14.705 billion

    - Per capita $3,400

    HDI (2013) 0.534low 142nd

    Currency Central African CFA franc (XAF)

    Time zone WAT (UTC+1)

    Drives on the right

    Calling code +242

    ISO 3166 code CG

    Internet TLD .cg

  • Republic of the Congo 3

    The Republic of the Congo (French: Rpublique du Congo), sometimes referred to as Congo Republic[3] orCongo-Brazzaville, is a country located in Central Africa. It is bordered by Gabon, Cameroon, the Central AfricanRepublic, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the Angolan exclave of Cabinda.The region was dominated by Bantu-speaking tribes, who built trade links leading into the Congo River basin.Congo-Brazzaville was formerly part of the French colony of Equatorial Africa. Upon independence in 1960, theformer colony of French Congo became the Republic of the Congo. The People's Republic of the Congo was aMarxist-Leninist single-party state from 1970 to 1991. Multi-party elections have been held since 1992, although ademocratically elected government was ousted in the 1997 Republic of the Congo Civil War.

    HistoryMain article: History of the Republic of the Congo

    Pre-ColonialBantu-speaking peoples who founded tribes during the Bantu expansions largely displaced and absorbed the earliestinhabitants of the region, the Pygmy people about 1500 BCE. The Bakongo, a Bantu ethnicity that also occupiedparts of present-day Angola, Gabon and Democratic Republic of the Congo, formed the basis for ethnic affinities andrivalries among those countries. Several Bantu kingdomsnotably those of the Kongo, the Loango, and theTekebuilt trade links leading into the Congo River basin.

    The court of N'Gangue M'voumbe Niambi, fromthe book Description of Africa (1668)

    The Portuguese explorer Diogo Co reached the mouth of the Congo in1484. Commercial relationships quickly grew up between the inlandBantu kingdoms and European merchants who traded variouscommodities, manufactured goods, and slaves captured from thehinterlands. For centuries the Congo river delta served as a majorcommercial hub for transatlantic trade. However, direct Europeancolonization of the area began in the late 19th century and eroded thepower of the Bantu societies in the region .[4]

    French Colonial Era

    The area north of the Congo River came under French sovereignty in 1880 as a result of Pierre de Brazza's treatywith Makoko of the Bateke.[] This Congo Colony became known first as French Congo, then as Middle Congo in1903. In 1908, France organized French Equatorial Africa (AEF), comprising Middle Congo, Gabon, Chad, andOubangui-Chari (the modern Central African Republic). The French designated Brazzaville as the federal capital.Economic development during the first 50 years of colonial rule in Congo centered on natural-resource extraction.The methods were often brutal: establishment of the CongoOcean Railroad following World War I has beenestimated to have cost at least 14,000 lives.

    During the Nazi occupation of France during World War II, Brazzaville functioned as the symbolic capital of FreeFrance between 1940 and 1943.[5] The Brazzaville Conference of 1944 heralded a period of major reform in Frenchcolonial policy. Congo benefited from the postwar expansion of colonial administrative and infrastructure spendingas a result of its central geographic location within AEF and the federal capital at Brazzaville. It also received a locallegislature after the adoption of the 1946 constitution that established the Fourth Republic.Following the revision of the French constitution that established the Fifth Republic in 1958, the AEF dissolved intoits constituent parts, each of which became an autonomous colony within the French Community. During thesereforms, Middle Congo became known as the Republic of the Congo in 1958[6] and published its first constitution in1959.[7] Antagonism between the pro-Opangault Mbochis and the pro-Youlou Balalis resulted in a series of riots inBrazzaville in February 1959, which the French Army subdued.[8]

  • Republic of the Congo 4

    Post-Independence EraThe Republic of the Congo received full independence from France on August 15, 1960. Fulbert Youlou ruled as thecountry's first president until labour elements and rival political parties instigated a three-day uprising that oustedhim. The Congolese military took charge of the country briefly and installed a civilian provisional governmentheaded by Alphonse Massamba-Dbat.Under the 1963 constitution, Massamba-Dbat was elected President for a five-year term. During Massamba-Dbat'sterm in office the regime adopted "scientific socialism" as the country's constitutional ideology. In 1965, Congoestablished relations with the Soviet Union, the People's Republic of China, North Korea and North Vietnam.Massamba-Dbat was unable to reconcile various institutional and ideological factions and his regime endedabruptly with a bloodless coup d'tat in August 1968.

    The flag of the People's Republic of the Congo.

    Marien Ngouabi, who had participated in the coup, assumed thepresidency on December 31, 1968. One year later, President Ngouabiproclaimed Congo Africa's first "people's republic", the People'sRepublic of the Congo, and announced the decision of the NationalRevolutionary Movement to change its name to the Congolese LabourParty (PCT). On March 16, 1977, President Ngouabi was assassinated.An 11-member Military Committee of the Party (CMP) was named tohead an interim government with Joachim Yhombi-Opango to serve asPresident of the Republic. Two years later, Yhombi-Opango wasforced from power and Denis Sassou Nguesso become the newpresident.

    Sassou Nguesso aligned the country with the Eastern Bloc and signed a twenty-year friendship pact with the SovietUnion. Over the years, Sassou had to rely more on political repression and less on patronage to maintain hisdictatorship.

    Pascal Lissouba, who became Congo's first elected president (19921997) during the period of multi-partydemocracy, attempted to implement economic reforms with IMF backing to liberalise the economy. In June 1996 theIMF approved a three-year SDR69.5m (US$100m) enhanced structural adjustment facility (ESAF) and was on theverge of announcing a renewed annual agreement when civil war broke out in Congo in mid-1997.Congo's democratic progress was derailed in 1997 when Lissouba and Sassou started to fight over power. Aspresidential elections scheduled for July 1997 approached, tensions between the Lissouba and Sassou campsmounted. On June 5, President Lissouba's government forces surrounded Sassou's compound in Brazzaville andSassou ordered members of his private militia (known as "Cobras") to resist. Thus began a four-month confl...


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