Congo

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Following the revision of the French constitution that established the Fifth Republic in , the AEF dissolved into its constituent parts, each of which became an autonomous colony within the French Community. During these reforms, Middle Congo became known as the Republic of the Congo in [12] and published its first constitution in New elections took place in April By the time the Congo became independent in August , Opangault, the former opponent of Youlou, agreed to serve under him. Youlou became the first President of the Republic of the Congo. The Republic of the Congo received full independence from France on 15 August Youlou ruled as the country's first president until labour elements and rival political parties instigated a three-day uprising that ousted him.

Ngouabi, who had participated in the coup, assumed the presidency on 31 December Two years later, Yhombi-Opango was forced from power and Denis Sassou Nguesso become the new president. Sassou Nguesso aligned the country with the Eastern Bloc and signed a twenty-year friendship pact with the Soviet Union. Over the years, Sassou had to rely more on political repression and less on patronage to maintain his dictatorship.

Pascal Lissouba , who became Congo's first elected president — during the period of multi-party democracy, attempted to implement economic reforms with IMF backing to liberalize the economy. Congo's democratic progress was derailed in , when Lissouba and Sassou started to fight for power in the civil war. As presidential elections scheduled for July approached, tensions between the Lissouba and Sassou camps mounted. On 5 June, President Lissouba's government forces surrounded Sassou's compound in Brazzaville and Sassou ordered members of his private militia known as "Cobras" to resist.

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Thus began a four-month conflict that destroyed or damaged much of Brazzaville and caused tens of thousands of civilian deaths. In mid-October, the Lissouba government fell. Soon thereafter, Sassou declared himself president. International observers took issue with the organization of the presidential election and the constitutional referendum, both of which were reminiscent in their organization of Congo's era of the one-party state. Sassou also won the following presidential election in July He won the election believed by many to be fraudulent. After violent protests in the capital, Sassou attacked the Pool region, where the Ninja rebels of the civil war used to be based, in what was believed to be a distraction.

This led to a revival of the Ninja rebels who launched attacks against the army in April , leading 80, people to flee their homes. A ceasefire deal was signed in December Congo-Brazzaville has had a multi-party political system since the early s, although the system is heavily dominated by President Denis Sassou Nguesso ; he has lacked serious competition in the presidential elections held under his rule. Sassou's regime has been hit by corruption revelations despite attempts to censor them. One French investigation found over bank accounts and dozens of lavish properties in France; Sassou denounced embezzlement investigations as "racist" and "colonial".

On 27 March , Sassou Nguesso announced that his government would hold a referendum on changing the country's constitution to allow him to run for a third consecutive term in office. The opposition, who boycotted the referendum, said that the government's statistics were false and the vote was a fake one. The election raised questions and was accompanied by civil unrest and police shootings of protesters; [32] at least 18 people were killed by security forces during opposition rallies leading up to the referendum held in October.

In , the main media were owned by the government, but much more privately run forms of media were being created. There is one government-owned television station and around 10 small private television channels. Many Pygmies belong from birth to Bantus in a relationship many refer to as slavery. This law is the first of its kind in Africa, and its adoption is a historic development for indigenous peoples on the continent.


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Departments are divided into communes and districts. To the south and east of it is the Democratic Republic of the Congo. It has a short coast on the Atlantic Ocean. The capital, Brazzaville , is located on the Congo River, in the south of the country, immediately across from Kinshasa , the capital of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The southwest of the country is a coastal plain for which the primary drainage is the Kouilou-Niari River ; the interior of the country consists of a central plateau between two basins to the south and north.

Forests are under increasing exploitation pressure. The dry season is from June to August, while in the majority of the country the wet season has two rainfall maxima: one in March—May and another in September—November. In —07, researchers from the Wildlife Conservation Society studied gorillas in heavily forested regions centered on the Ouesso district of the Sangha Region.

They suggest a population on the order of , western lowland gorillas , whose isolation from humans has been largely preserved by inhospitable swamps. The economy is a mixture of village agriculture and handicrafts, an industrial sector based largely on petroleum , [40] support services, and a government characterized by budget problems and overstaffing.

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Petroleum extraction has supplanted forestry as the mainstay of the economy. The government has mortgaged a substantial portion of its petroleum earnings, contributing to a shortage of revenues. Economic reform efforts continued with the support of international organizations, notably the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund.

The reform program came to a halt in June when civil war erupted. When Sassou Nguesso returned to power at the end of the war in October , he publicly expressed interest in moving forward on economic reforms and privatization and in renewing cooperation with international financial institutions. However, economic progress was badly hurt by slumping oil prices and the resumption of armed conflict in December , which worsened the republic's budget deficit. The current administration presides over an uneasy internal peace and faces difficult economic problems of stimulating recovery and reducing poverty, despite record-high oil prices since Natural gas and diamonds are also recent major Congolese exports, although Congo was excluded from the Kimberley Process in amid allegations that most of its diamond exports were in fact being smuggled out of the neighboring Democratic Republic of the Congo ; it was re-admitted to the group in The Republic of the Congo also has large untapped base metal, gold, iron and phosphate deposits.

Transport in the Republic of the Congo includes land, air and water transportation. The country's rail system was built by forced laborers during the s and largely remains in operation. The Republic of the Congo's sparse population is concentrated in the southwestern portion of the country, leaving the vast areas of tropical jungle in the north virtually uninhabited. In rural areas, industrial and commercial activity has declined rapidly in recent years, leaving rural economies dependent on the government for support and subsistence. Ethnically and linguistically the population of the Republic of the Congo is diverse— Ethnologue recognises 62 spoken languages in the country [54] —but can be grouped into three categories.

The Kongo are the largest ethnic group and form roughly half of the population. Before the war, about 9, Europeans and other non-Africans lived in Congo, most of whom were French ; only a fraction of this number remains. Followers of Islam make up 1. According to a —12 survey, total fertility rate was 5. Public expenditure health was at 8. The presence of numerous ethnic groups and various political structures once Kongo Empire, Kingdom of Loango kingdom Teke, Northern chiefdoms provided an enormous amount of diversity in the traditional cultures as well as in many ancient artistic expressions.

Vili Nail fetishes, Bembe statuettes which are very expressive despite their small size, the strange masks of the Punu and Kwele, reliquaries Kinabalu, Teke fetishes, curious cemeteries, with their monumental tombs and the Lari country are all such features.

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The Congolese also have a considerable colonial architectural heritage, which they are rediscovering today as part of their ancestry, and their tourist capital. They are also taking great pains to restore these artefacts, at least in Brazzaville.

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Tourism remains a very marginal resource in the Congo, reception facilities based out of Pointe-Noire and Brazzaville lack a sufficient and consistent communications network. Many sites are difficult to visit but, paradoxically, some of the South's most populous and developed locations are often the least accessible. For example, the massive Chaillu Mountains are almost impossible to visit.

Other artistic genres such as movies often struggle to make breakthroughs. After a promising start in the s, the troubled political situation and the closure of cinemas made production difficult. The country produces no feature film each year and generally the filmmakers directly broadcast their video production. Unfortunately, Congolese culture, art, and media has remained a poor investment due to the various successive governments creating instability. Public expenditure of the GDP was less in —05 than in Pupils who complete six years of primary school and seven years of secondary school obtain a baccalaureate.

The country has universities. At university, students can obtain a bachelor's degree in three years and a master's after four. Marien Ngouabi University —which offers courses in medicine, law, and other fields—is the country's only public university. Instruction at all levels is in French , and the educational system as a whole models the French system. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

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Kivu Security Tracker Click here to explore the Tracker! World Report On Twitter Tweets. Interactives More Interactives November 10, May 26, In July, two journalists and two human rights activists were threatened and went into hiding following the release of a documentary about mass evictions from land claimed by the presidential family in eastern Congo. In early August, Congolese security forces fired teargas and live ammunition to disperse political opposition supporters, killing at least two people—including a child—and injuring at least seven others with gunshot wounds, during the candidate registration period for presidential elections.

Congolese police arbitrarily arrested nearly 90 pro-democracy activists and injured more than 20 others during peaceful protests on September 3. The protesters had called on the national electoral commission to clean up the voter rolls after an audit by the Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie OIF found that over 16 percent of those on the lists had been registered without fingerprints, raising concerns about potentially fictitious voters. They also called on the commission to abandon the use of controversial voting machines that were untested in Congo and could potentially be used to tamper with results.

Kabeya was freed in September. In November, authorities arrested and detained for a few days 17 pro-democracy activists in Kinshasa. From December 9 to 13, security forces killed at least 7 opposition supporters, wounded more than 50 people, and arbitrarily detained scores of others. Many of their commanders have been implicated in war crimes, including ethnic massacres, rape, forced recruitment of children, and pillage. According to the Kivu Security Tracker, which documents violence in eastern Congo, assailants, including state security forces, killed more than civilians and abducted, as well as kidnapped for ransom, nearly 1, others in North Kivu and South Kivu in In Beni territory, North Kivu province, around civilians were killed in nearly attacks by various armed groups, including the ADF.

The park has since been closed for tourism.

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