The Democratic Republic of the Congo is one of the fifty and four countries that make up the African continent. Your capital and most populous city is Kinshasa. Located in the equatorial region of Africa, this country comprises much of the Congo River basin, extending to the Great Lakes region. It is the second largest country in the continent, after Algeria. It borders the Republic Central African and South Sudan to the north, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, and Tanzania to the east, Zambia and Angola to the south, and the Republic of the Congo to the west.
It has access to the sea through a narrow 37 km strip of coastline, 1 following the Congo River to the Gulf of Guinea. The name Congo finds its origin in the Bakongo natives, settled on the banks of the Nzadi River or Zaire, renamed in Portuguese as the Congo River. The DRC has a rich and varied history that begins with the first Bantu immigrants to arrive in the area, which would become the epicenter of the great Kingdom of the Congo mid-15th century.
The territory was claimed by the International Association African owned by King Leopold II of Belgium as a state Free from the Congo. The king applied a colonization particularly brutal, which left as a tragic balance between five and ten million of murdered men, women and children.6 The Congo colony Belgian would achieve independence in 1960, to become Zaire under the aegis of the dictator Mobutu Sese Seko. During the government of Sese Seko the country was subjected to a government authoritarian, violent and kleptocratic, who ruined the economy of the Congo.
The fall of the latter caused the beginning of a serious civil war that would degenerate into a continental conflagration, in which the armed forces of more than seven countries intervened, leaving as a tragic balance more than four million dead. The The result was the intervention of the UN with its peacekeepers organized in MONUC.
Between 2003 and 2007 the country experienced a tense calm, under the leadership of a transitional government. Democratic Republic of the Congo was a colony of Belgium called Belgian Congo, after independence the name used was the name of Republic of the Congo until August 1 1964, when its name was changed to República Democratic of the Congo. Before this, the two countries were distinguished by their capitals, the Democratic Republic of Congo with Leopoldville (present-day Kinshasa), Congo-Léopoldville, and the Republic of the Congo with Brazzaville, Congo-Brazzaville.
In 1971, then-President Mobutu changed the name of the country for Republic of Zaire, a name derived from a bad Portuguese pronunciation of the kikongo word nzere o nzadi, which translates as “the river that swallows all rivers “, alluding to the Congo River, which also changed its name to that of Zaire. In the wake of the First Congo War that led to the overthrow of Mobutu in 1997, the country was once again called the Republic Democratic of Congo. Around the third century, a society began to develop in a region initially comprised in an area of 200 kilometers along the banks of the Lualaba River in what is now the province of Katanga. This culture, known as the Upemba, finally became the most important Luba kingdom, and the Kingdom of Congo.
The process by which the Upemba societies were transformed into the Luba Kingdom was gradual and complex. This transition is developed without interruption, with many different societies developing outside the Upemba culture, after the beginning of the Luba. Each of these kingdoms got rich thanks to the exploitation of the minerals of the region. The civilization began to develop and implement the technologies of iron and copper, along with the ivory trade and other goods. The Luba established a strong commercial demand for their metal technologies and were able to create extensive network trade. Around 1500 the kingdom had established a strong central government based on caciquismo. The influence that radiated from the colony of Angola was very important, embracing their kings Catholicism and accepting many cultural elements. From the seventeenth century, after various civil wars and clashes with the Dutch and Portuguese, entered into decline, although it lasted two centuries plus.
The Congo Free State or Independent State of the Congo was an African colonial domain, private property of King Leopold II of Belgium, established at the Berlin Conference in 1885, whose borders coincided with the current Democratic Republic of the Congo. The Congo was privately administered by the king Leopoldo until his death in 1908, the year in which the territory was ceded to Belgium. During this period, the Congo was subject to exploitation systematic and indiscriminate use of its natural resources, especially ivory and rubber, for which hand was used of indigenous work in conditions of slavery. To keep your control over the native population, the colonial administration established a regime of terror, in which the mass killings and mutilations, which produced a extremely high number of victims. Although it is impossible to realize exact calculations, most authors mention figures of between five and ten million dead.
Beginning in 1900, the European and American press began to report on the dramatic conditions in which the native population of the territory. Diplomatic maneuvers and pressure from public opinion got the Belgian king renounce his personal dominion over the Congo, which became become a colony of Belgium, under the name Congo Belgian. As part of the international policy of the United Nations, the end of the colonization of the nations that they came to form the so-called Third World. In the case of Belgian possessions, in 1959 the first elections were held free that were won by the Congolese National Movement, directed by Patrice Lumumba
In 1960, Patrice Lumumba, together with the National Movement Congolese, he was appointed prime minister by winning the first legislative free elections. Joseph Kasavubu, of the party Bakongo Alliance, he was appointed president by the parliament. The Belgian government wanted to continue to control mining wealth of the country and, frightened by the chaos in which he had sunk, supported the split of Katanga and South Kasai, where there was a large colony of Belgian citizens, supporting puppet governments in those territories. The Government of Patrice Lumumba requested American aid, not even being received by the President of the USA, which motivated the approach to the sphere Soviet Union, which provided transportation and military advisers with the object of intervening in the separatist provinces. Lumumba he repeatedly denied having any communist ideology.
Subsequent events led to a crisis between the president and the prime minister, culminating on September 5, 1960, when Prime Minister Lumumba was dispossessed by the President Kasavubu. The United Nations sent troops to Lumumba was imprisoned, and he was finally captured by the rebels, led to Katanga and shot on January 17, 1961 with the direct intervention of agents of the Belgian government and the CIA. His mortal remains were burned. with North American support, they fought the secessionists and precariously restored the unity of the country. The most serious crisis occurred in the spring of 1964 when former supporters of Patrice Lumumba, with strong tribal presence, carried out a great revolt. I quickly know seized the north of the country, sweeping away the demoralized government troops.
Likewise, dozens of guerrillas were massacred