DRC Profile

What is now known as the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has changed names a few times over the last half century. Until 1960 it was a Belgian colony known as the Belgian Congo. On gaining independence, political instability ensued followed by a coup in 1965 which installed Joseph-Désiré Mobutu as national leader. Mobutu then changed both his name to Mobutu Sese Seko and that of the country to Zaire, or Republic of Zaire with himself as president. He stayed in power until 1997 when his regime fell to the armies of Rwanda and Uganda with Laurent Kabila then installed as president. This event marked the beginning of what is called the Second Congo War, a war that involved nine African countries and some twenty armed groups.

The basis of the war was that Rwanda and Uganda wanted to control the perceived riches of the Democratic Republic of Congo having installed Kabila as president only to find he wanted their troops out of the country fearing they would in turn oust him and install a Tutsi subservient to Rwanda's President Paul Kagame.

The war itself, which was to outlast Kabila after he was assassinated in 2001, lasted 4 years, 11 months, 2 weeks and 2 days and took the lives of around 5,400,000 people, mostly through disease; the most causalities of any war in earth's history, save for the Second World War. 

It was a war that still simmers today particularly in the east of the country. Even in 2009 it has been estimated that around forty five thousand people a month were dying and as recently as 2012 an estimated 260,000 people were displaced after eastern Congo rebels seized parts of North Kivu province with the alleged tacit support of the Rwandan government, claims Rwanda strongly denies.

Despite this ongoing conflict DRC is currently seen as a democratic state following successful elections in 2006/2007 even if the DRC army isn't fully in control of all of the country and its borders. However the ongoing warfare has badly scarred the land and its peoples, with a recent survey suggesting that three quarters of the population being affected by events there.



 
 
 
 
 
 

DRC Profile

DRC Profile

DRC Profile

DRC Profile

 


DRC History

DRC History

A video documentary profile about the history of DRC, the Democratic Republic of Congo.
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DRC Child Soldiers

Uganda Images

A video documentary profile of the use of child soldiers in DRC, the Democratic Republic of Congo.
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Volunteer DRC

Volunteer Work Democratic Republic of Congo

Check out all the latest African volunteer work placements and opportunities in the DRC.
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DRC Profile

DRC Profile

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Today the country is home to over 68 million people making it Africa's third largest country by size and fourth largest by population, and, as with so many other former colonies, nearly 47% of its population is under the age of fifteen. It is in joint bottom place out of 186 countries and territories in 2013 when ranked in terms of life expectancy, literacy, access to knowledge and the living standards of a country.

The wars have also damaged the country's economy, despite the it natural wealth, with foreign businesses and investors unwilling to work in partnership with the country because of its instability. This situation is slowly changing and foreign investment is beginning to rise.

 
 


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