Democratic Republic of the Congo

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Not to be confused with the neighboring Republic of the Congo; for similarly named entities, see Republic of the Congo (disambiguation). Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_0

"DRC" redirects here. Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_1

For other uses, see DRC (disambiguation). Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_2

Democratic Republic of the Congo_table_infobox_0

Democratic Republic of the Congo

République démocratique du Congo  (French) Repubilika ya Kôngo ya Dimokalasi  (Kituba) Republíki ya Kongó Demokratíki  (Lingala) Jamhuri ya Kidemokrasia ya Kongo  (Swahili) Ditunga dia Kongu wa Mungalaata  (Luba-Lulua)Democratic Republic of the Congo_header_cell_0_0_0

Capital

and largest cityDemocratic Republic of the Congo_header_cell_0_1_0

KinshasaDemocratic Republic of the Congo_cell_0_1_1
Official languagesDemocratic Republic of the Congo_header_cell_0_2_0 FrenchDemocratic Republic of the Congo_cell_0_2_1
Recognised national languagesDemocratic Republic of the Congo_header_cell_0_3_0 Democratic Republic of the Congo_cell_0_3_1
Ethnic groupsDemocratic Republic of the Congo_header_cell_0_4_0 See Ethnic groups section belowDemocratic Republic of the Congo_cell_0_4_1
Religion (2015)Democratic Republic of the Congo_header_cell_0_5_0 Democratic Republic of the Congo_cell_0_5_1
Demonym(s)Democratic Republic of the Congo_header_cell_0_6_0 Congolese

ZairianDemocratic Republic of the Congo_cell_0_6_1

GovernmentDemocratic Republic of the Congo_header_cell_0_7_0 Unitary semi-presidential constitutional republicDemocratic Republic of the Congo_cell_0_7_1
PresidentDemocratic Republic of the Congo_header_cell_0_8_0 Félix TshisekediDemocratic Republic of the Congo_cell_0_8_1
Prime MinisterDemocratic Republic of the Congo_header_cell_0_9_0 Sylvestre IlungaDemocratic Republic of the Congo_cell_0_9_1
President of the SenateDemocratic Republic of the Congo_header_cell_0_10_0 Alexis Thambwe MwambaDemocratic Republic of the Congo_cell_0_10_1
President of the National AssemblyDemocratic Republic of the Congo_header_cell_0_11_0 Jeannine MabundaDemocratic Republic of the Congo_cell_0_11_1
President of the Constitutional CourtDemocratic Republic of the Congo_header_cell_0_12_0 Benoît Lwamba BinduDemocratic Republic of the Congo_cell_0_12_1
LegislatureDemocratic Republic of the Congo_header_cell_0_13_0 ParliamentDemocratic Republic of the Congo_cell_0_13_1
Upper houseDemocratic Republic of the Congo_header_cell_0_14_0 SenateDemocratic Republic of the Congo_cell_0_14_1
Lower houseDemocratic Republic of the Congo_header_cell_0_15_0 National AssemblyDemocratic Republic of the Congo_cell_0_15_1
FormationDemocratic Republic of the Congo_header_cell_0_16_0
ColonisedDemocratic Republic of the Congo_header_cell_0_17_0 17 November 1879Democratic Republic of the Congo_cell_0_17_1
Congo Free StateDemocratic Republic of the Congo_header_cell_0_18_0 1 July 1885Democratic Republic of the Congo_cell_0_18_1
Belgian CongoDemocratic Republic of the Congo_header_cell_0_19_0 15 November 1908Democratic Republic of the Congo_cell_0_19_1
Independence from BelgiumDemocratic Republic of the Congo_header_cell_0_20_0 30 June 1960Democratic Republic of the Congo_cell_0_20_1
Admitted to the United NationsDemocratic Republic of the Congo_header_cell_0_21_0 20 September 1960Democratic Republic of the Congo_cell_0_21_1
Renamed Democratic Republic of CongoDemocratic Republic of the Congo_header_cell_0_22_0 1 August 1964Democratic Republic of the Congo_cell_0_22_1
Republic of ZaireDemocratic Republic of the Congo_header_cell_0_23_0 29 October 1971Democratic Republic of the Congo_cell_0_23_1
First Congo WarDemocratic Republic of the Congo_header_cell_0_24_0 17 May 1997Democratic Republic of the Congo_cell_0_24_1
Current constitutionDemocratic Republic of the Congo_header_cell_0_25_0 18 February 2006Democratic Republic of the Congo_cell_0_25_1
Area Democratic Republic of the Congo_header_cell_0_26_0
TotalDemocratic Republic of the Congo_header_cell_0_27_0 2,345,409 km (905,567 sq mi) (11th)Democratic Republic of the Congo_cell_0_27_1
Water (%)Democratic Republic of the Congo_header_cell_0_28_0 3.32Democratic Republic of the Congo_cell_0_28_1
PopulationDemocratic Republic of the Congo_header_cell_0_29_0
EstimateDemocratic Republic of the Congo_header_cell_0_30_0 89,561,404 (2020) (15th)Democratic Republic of the Congo_cell_0_30_1
DensityDemocratic Republic of the Congo_header_cell_0_31_0 39.19/km (101.5/sq mi)Democratic Republic of the Congo_cell_0_31_1
GDP (PPP)Democratic Republic of the Congo_header_cell_0_32_0 2019 estimateDemocratic Republic of the Congo_cell_0_32_1
TotalDemocratic Republic of the Congo_header_cell_0_33_0 $77.486 billionDemocratic Republic of the Congo_cell_0_33_1
Per capitaDemocratic Republic of the Congo_header_cell_0_34_0 $843Democratic Republic of the Congo_cell_0_34_1
GDP (nominal)Democratic Republic of the Congo_header_cell_0_35_0 2019 estimateDemocratic Republic of the Congo_cell_0_35_1
TotalDemocratic Republic of the Congo_header_cell_0_36_0 $46.117 billionDemocratic Republic of the Congo_cell_0_36_1
Per capitaDemocratic Republic of the Congo_header_cell_0_37_0 $501Democratic Republic of the Congo_cell_0_37_1
Gini (2006)Democratic Republic of the Congo_header_cell_0_38_0 44.4

mediumDemocratic Republic of the Congo_cell_0_38_1

HDI (2018)Democratic Republic of the Congo_header_cell_0_39_0 0.459

low · 179thDemocratic Republic of the Congo_cell_0_39_1

CurrencyDemocratic Republic of the Congo_header_cell_0_40_0 Congolese franc (CDF)Democratic Republic of the Congo_cell_0_40_1
Time zoneDemocratic Republic of the Congo_header_cell_0_41_0 UTC+1 to +2 (WAT and CAT)Democratic Republic of the Congo_cell_0_41_1
Driving sideDemocratic Republic of the Congo_header_cell_0_42_0 rightDemocratic Republic of the Congo_cell_0_42_1
Calling codeDemocratic Republic of the Congo_header_cell_0_43_0 +243Democratic Republic of the Congo_cell_0_43_1
ISO 3166 codeDemocratic Republic of the Congo_header_cell_0_44_0 CDDemocratic Republic of the Congo_cell_0_44_1
Internet TLDDemocratic Republic of the Congo_header_cell_0_45_0 .cdDemocratic Republic of the Congo_cell_0_45_1

The Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) (pronunciation (help·) French: République démocratique du Congo (RDC) [kɔ̃ɡo), also known as Congo-Kinshasa, DR Congo (French: RD Congo), the DROC, or simply either Congo or the Congo, and historically Zaire, is a country in Central Africa. Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_3

It is, by area, the largest country in sub-Saharan Africa, the second-largest in all of Africa (after Algeria), and the 11th-largest in the world. Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_4

With a population of around 90 million, the Democratic Republic of the Congo is the most-populous officially Francophone country in the world, as well as the 2nd-most populous country in Africa (after Nigeria), and the 13th-most populous country in the world. Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_5

Since 2015, the Eastern DR Congo has been the scene of an ongoing military conflict in Kivu. Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_6

Centred on the Congo Basin, the territory of the DRC was first inhabited by Central African foragers around 90,000 years ago and was reached by the Bantu expansion about 3,000 years ago. Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_7

In the west, the Kingdom of Kongo ruled around the mouth of the Congo River from the 14th to 19th centuries. Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_8

In the northeast, centre and east, the kingdoms of Azande, Luba and Lunda ruled from the 16th and 17th centuries to the 19th century. Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_9

In the 1870s, just before the onset of the Scramble for Africa, European exploration of the Congo Basin was carried out, first led by Henry Morton Stanley under the sponsorship of Leopold II of Belgium. Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_10

Leopold formally acquired rights to the Congo territory at the Berlin Conference in 1885 and declared the land his private property, naming it the Congo Free State. Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_11

During the Free State, his colonial military unit, the Force Publique, forced the local population to produce rubber. Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_12

From 1885 to 1908, millions of the Congolese people died as a consequence of disease and exploitation. Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_13

In 1908, Leopold, despite his initial reluctance, ceded the so-called Free State to Belgium, thus it became known as the Belgian Congo. Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_14

Congo achieved independence from Belgium on 30 June 1960 under the name Republic of the Congo. Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_15

Congolese nationalist Patrice Lumumba was elected the first Prime Minister, while Joseph Kasa-Vubu became the first President. Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_16

Conflict arose over the administration of the territory, which became known as the Congo Crisis. Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_17

The provinces of Katanga, under Moïse Tshombe, and South Kasai attempted to secede. Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_18

After the UN and Western governments refused his requests for aid and Lumumba stated that he was open to any country, including the Soviet Union, for assistance in the crisis, the US and Belgium became wary and oversaw his removal from office by Kasa-Vubu on 5 September and ultimate execution by Belgian-led Katangese troops on 17 January 1961. Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_19

On 25 November 1965, Army Chief of Staff Joseph-Désiré Mobutu, who later renamed himself Mobutu Sese Seko, officially came into power through a coup d'état. Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_20

In 1971, he renamed the country Zaire. Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_21

The country was run as a dictatorial one-party state, with his Popular Movement of the Revolution as the sole legal party. Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_22

Mobutu's government received considerable support from the United States, due to its anti-communist stance during the Cold War. Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_23

By the early 1990s, Mobutu's government began to weaken. Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_24

Destabilisation in the east resulting from the 1994 Rwandan genocide and disenfranchisement among the eastern Banyamulenge (Congolese Rwandans of the Tutsi tribe) population led to a 1996 invasion led by Tutsi FPR-ruled Rwanda, which began the First Congo War. Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_25

On 17 May 1997, Laurent-Désiré Kabila, a leader of Tutsi forces from the province of South Kivu, became President after Mobutu fled to Morocco, reverting the country's name to the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_26

Tensions between President Kabila and the Rwandan and Tutsi presence in the country led to the Second Congo War from 1998 to 2003. Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_27

Ultimately, nine African countries and around twenty armed groups became involved in the war, which resulted in the deaths of 5.4 million people. Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_28

The two wars devastated the country. Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_29

President Laurent-Désiré Kabila was assassinated by one of his bodyguards on 16 January 2001 and was succeeded eight days later by his son Joseph, under whom human rights in the country remained poor and included frequent abuses such as forced disappearances, torture, arbitrary imprisonment and restrictions on civil liberties according to NGOs. Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_30

The Democratic Republic of the Congo is extremely rich in natural resources but has suffered from political instability, a lack of infrastructure, corruption, and centuries of both commercial and colonial extraction and exploitation with little widespread development. Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_31

Besides the capital Kinshasa, the two next largest cities, Lubumbashi and Mbuji-Mayi are both mining communities. Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_32

DR Congo's largest export is raw minerals, with China accepting over 50% of DRC's exports in 2012. Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_33

In 2016, DR Congo's level of human development was ranked 176th out of 187 countries by the Human Development Index. Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_34

As of 2018, around 600,000 Congolese have fled to neighbouring countries from conflicts in the centre and east of the DRC. Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_35

Two million children risk starvation, and the fighting has displaced 4.5 million people. Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_36

The sovereign state is a member of the United Nations, Non-Aligned Movement, African Union, and COMESA. Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_37

Three-fifths of the Congo basin lies in the DR Congo. Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_38

It is a low-lying area surrounded by mountains on three sides. Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_39

Etymology Democratic Republic of the Congo_section_0

Further information: Congo River and Kongo people Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_40

The Democratic Republic of the Congo is named after the Congo River, which flows throughout the country. Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_41

The Congo River is the world's deepest river and the world's second-largest river by discharge. Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_42

The Comité d'études du haut Congo ("Committee for the Study of the Upper Congo"), established by King Leopold II of Belgium in 1876, and the International Association of the Congo, established by him in 1879, were also named after the river. Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_43

The Congo River itself was named by early European sailors after the Kingdom of Kongo and its Bantu inhabitants, the Kongo people, when they encountered them in the 16th century. Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_44

The word Kongo comes from the Kongo language (also called Kikongo). Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_45

According to American writer Samuel Henry Nelson: "It is probable that the word 'Kongo' itself implies a public gathering and that it is based on the root konga, 'to gather' (trans[itive])." Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_46

The modern name of the Kongo people, Bakongo was introduced in the early 20th century. Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_47

The Democratic Republic of the Congo has been known in the past as, in chronological order, the Congo Free State, Belgian Congo, the Republic of Congo-Léopoldville, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the Republic of Zaire, before returning to its current name the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_48

At the time of independence, the country was named the Republic of Congo-Léopoldville to distinguish it from its neighbour the Republic of the Congo-Brazzaville. Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_49

With the promulgation of the Luluabourg Constitution on 1 August 1964, the country became the DRC, but was renamed to Zaire (a past name for the Congo River) on 27 October 1971 by President Mobutu Sese Seko as part of his Authenticité initiative. Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_50

The word Zaire is from a Portuguese adaptation of a Kikongo word nzere ("river"), a truncation of nzadi o nzere ("river swallowing rivers"). Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_51

The river was known as Zaire during the 16th and 17th centuries; Congo seems to have replaced Zaire gradually in English usage during the 18th century, and Congo is the preferred English name in 19th-century literature, although references to Zaire as the name used by the natives (i.e. derived from Portuguese usage) remained common. Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_52

In 1992, the Sovereign National Conference voted to change the name of the country to the "Democratic Republic of the Congo", but the change was not made. Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_53

The country's name was restored by President Laurent-Désiré Kabila following the fall of Mobutu in 1997. Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_54

History Democratic Republic of the Congo_section_1

Geography Democratic Republic of the Congo_section_2

Politics Democratic Republic of the Congo_section_3

Government Democratic Republic of the Congo_section_4

Main article: Politics of the Democratic Republic of the Congo Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_55

After a four-year interlude between two constitutions, with new political institutions established at the various levels of government, as well as new administrative divisions for the provinces throughout the country, a new constitution came into effect in 2006 and politics in the Democratic Republic of the Congo finally settled into a stable presidential democratic republic. Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_56

The 2003 transitional constitution had established a parliament with a bicameral legislature, consisting of a Senate and a National Assembly. Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_57

The Senate had, among other things, the charge of drafting the new constitution of the country. Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_58

The executive branch was vested in a 60-member cabinet, headed by a President and four vice presidents. Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_59

The President was also the Commander-in-Chief of the armed forces. Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_60

The transitional constitution also established a relatively independent judiciary, headed by a Supreme Court with constitutional interpretation powers. Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_61

The 2006 constitution, also known as the Constitution of the Third Republic, came into effect in February 2006. Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_62

It had concurrent authority, however, with the transitional constitution until the inauguration of the elected officials who emerged from the July 2006 elections. Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_63

Under the new constitution, the legislature remained bicameral; the executive was concomitantly undertaken by a President and the government, led by a Prime Minister, appointed from the party able to secure a majority in the National Assembly. Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_64

The government – not the President – is responsible to the Parliament. Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_65

The new constitution also granted new powers to the provincial governments, creating provincial parliaments which have oversight of the Governor and the head of the provincial government, whom they elect. Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_66

The new constitution also saw the disappearance of the Supreme Court, which was divided into three new institutions. Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_67

The constitutional interpretation prerogative of the Supreme Court is now held by the Constitutional Court. Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_68

Although located in the Central African UN subregion, the nation is also economically and regionally affiliated with Southern Africa as a member of the Southern African Development Community (SADC). Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_69

Corruption Democratic Republic of the Congo_section_5

Main article: Corruption in the Democratic Republic of the Congo Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_70

Mobutu Sese Seko ruled the DRC, which he renamed Zaire, from 1965 to 1997. Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_71

A relative explained how the government illicitly collected revenue: "Mobutu would ask one of us to go to the bank and take out a million. Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_72

We'd go to an intermediary and tell him to get five million. Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_73

He would go to the bank with Mobutu's authority and take out ten. Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_74

Mobutu got one, and we took the other nine." Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_75

Mobutu institutionalized corruption to prevent political rivals from challenging his control, leading to an economic collapse in 1996. Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_76

Mobutu allegedly stole as much as US$4–5 billion while in office. Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_77

He was not the first corrupt Congolese leader by any means: "Government as a system of organized theft goes back to King Leopold II," noted Adam Hochschild in 2009. Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_78

In July 2009, a Swiss court determined that the statute of limitations had run out on an international asset recovery case of about $6.7 million of deposits of Mobutu's in a Swiss bank, and therefore the assets should be returned to Mobutu's family. Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_79

President Joseph Kabila established the Commission of Repression of Economic Crimes upon his ascension to power in 2001. Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_80

However, in 2016 the Enough Project issued a report claiming that the Congo is run as a violent kleptocracy. Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_81

Human rights Democratic Republic of the Congo_section_6

Main article: Human rights in the Democratic Republic of the Congo Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_82

Further information: Sexual violence in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Child soldiers in the Democratic Republic of the Congo Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_83

The International Criminal Court investigation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo was initiated by Joseph Kabila in April 2004. Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_84

The International Criminal Court prosecutor opened the case in June 2004. Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_85

Child soldiers have been used on a large scale in DRC, and in 2011 it was estimated that 30,000 children were still operating with armed groups. Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_86

Instances of child labor and forced labor have been observed and reported in the U.S. Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_87 Department of Labor's Findings on the Worst Forms of Child Labor in the DRC in 2013 and six goods produced by the country's mining industry appear on the department's December 2014 List of Goods Produced by Child Labor or Forced Labor. Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_88

Violence against women Democratic Republic of the Congo_section_7

Main articles: Sexual violence in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Military macho-violence in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and International Criminal Court investigation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_89

Violence against women seems to be perceived by large sectors of society to be normal. Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_90

The 2013–2014 DHS survey (pp. 299) found that 74.8% of women agreed that a husband is justified in beating his wife in certain circumstances. Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_91

The United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women in 2006 expressed concern that in the post-war transition period, the promotion of women's human rights and gender equality is not seen as a priority. Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_92

Mass rapes, sexual violence and sexual slavery are used as a weapon of war by the Armed Forces of the Democratic Republic of the Congo and armed groups in the eastern part of the country. Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_93

The eastern part of the country in particular has been described as the "rape capital of the world" and the prevalence of sexual violence there described as the worst in the world. Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_94

Female genital mutilation (FGM) is also practiced in DRC, although not on a large scale. Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_95

The prevalence of FGM is estimated at about 5% of women. Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_96

FGM is illegal: the law imposes a penalty of two to five years of prison and a fine of 200,000 Congolese francs on any person who violates the "physical or functional integrity" of the genital organs. Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_97

In July 2007, the International Committee of the Red Cross expressed concern about the situation in eastern DRC. Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_98

A phenomenon of "pendulum displacement" has developed, where people hasten at night to safety. Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_99

According to Yakin Ertürk, the UN Special Rapporteur on Violence against Women who toured eastern Congo in July 2007, violence against women in North and South Kivu included "unimaginable brutality". Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_100

Ertürk added that "Armed groups attack local communities, loot, rape, kidnap women and children, and make them work as sexual slaves". Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_101

In December 2008, GuardianFilms of The Guardian released a film documenting the testimony of over 400 women and girls who had been abused by marauding militia. Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_102

In June 2010, Oxfam reported a dramatic increase in the number of rapes in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and researchers from Harvard discovered that rapes committed by civilians had increased seventeenfold. Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_103

In June 2014, Freedom from Torture published reported rape and sexual violence being used routinely by state officials in Congolese prisons as punishment for politically active women. Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_104

The women included in the report were abused in several locations across the country including the capital Kinshasa and other areas away from the conflict zones. Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_105

In 2015, figures both inside and outside of the country, such as Filimbi and Emmanuel Weyi, spoke out about the need to curb violence and instability as the 2016 elections approached. Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_106

Foreign relations Democratic Republic of the Congo_section_8

See also: Foreign relations of the Democratic Republic of the Congo Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_107

The global growth in demand for scarce raw materials and the industrial surges in China, India, Russia, Brazil and other developing countries require that developed countries employ new, integrated and responsive strategies for identifying and ensuring, on a continual basis, an adequate supply of strategic and critical materials required for their security needs. Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_108

Highlighting the DR Congo's importance to United States national security, the effort to establish an elite Congolese unit is the latest push by the U.S. to professionalize armed forces in this strategically important region. Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_109

There are economic and strategic incentives to bring more security to the Congo, which is rich in natural resources such as cobalt, a strategic and critical metal used in many industrial and military applications. Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_110

The largest use of cobalt is in superalloys, used to make jet engine parts. Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_111

Cobalt is also used in magnetic alloys and in cutting and wear-resistant materials such as cemented carbides. Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_112

The chemical industry consumes significant quantities of cobalt in a variety of applications including catalysts for petroleum and chemical processing; drying agents for paints and inks; ground coats for porcelain enamels; decolorant for ceramics and glass; and pigments for ceramics, paints, and plastics. Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_113

The country possesses 80% of the world's cobalt reserves. Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_114

It is thought that due to the importance of cobalt for batteries for electric vehicles and stabilization of electric grids with large proportions of intermittent renewables in the electricity mix, the DRC could become an object of increased geopolitical competition. Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_115

In the 21st century, Chinese investment in the DRC and Congolese exports to China have grown rapidly. Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_116

In July 2019, UN ambassadors of 37 countries, including DRC, have signed a joint letter to the UNHRC defending China's treatment of Uyghurs and other Muslim ethnic minorities. Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_117

Military Democratic Republic of the Congo_section_9

See also: Armed Forces of the Democratic Republic of the Congo Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_118

The Forces Armées de la République Démocratique du Congo (FARDC) consist of about 144,000 personnel, the majority of whom are part of the land forces, also with a small air force and an even smaller navy. Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_119

The FARDC was established in 2003 after the end of the Second Congo War and integrated many former rebel groups into its ranks. Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_120

Due to the presence of undisciplined and poorly trained ex-rebels, as well as a lack of funding and having spent years fighting against different militias, the FARDC suffers from rampant corruption and inefficiency. Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_121

The agreements signed at the end of the Second Congo War called for a new "national, restructured and integrated" army that would be made up of Kabila's government forces (the FAC), the RCD, and the MLC. Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_122

Also stipulated was that rebels like the RCD-N, RCD-ML, and the Mai-Mai would become part of the new armed forces. Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_123

It also provided for the creation of a Conseil Superieur de la Defense (Superior Defence Council) which would declare states of siege or war and give advice on security sector reform, disarmament/demobilisation, and national defence policy. Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_124

The FARDC is organised on the basis of brigades, which are dispersed throughout the provinces of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_125

Congolese troops have been fighting the Kivu conflict in the eastern North Kivu region, the Ituri conflict in the Ituri region, and other rebellions since the Second Congo War. Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_126

Besides the FARDC, the largest peacekeeping mission of the United Nations, known as MONUSCO, is also present in the country with about 18,000 peacekeepers. Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_127

The Democratic Republic of Congo signed the UN treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_128

Economy Democratic Republic of the Congo_section_10

Main articles: Economy of the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Poverty in the Democratic Republic of the Congo Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_129

The Central Bank of the Congo is responsible for developing and maintaining the Congolese franc, which serves as the primary form of currency in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_130

In 2007, The World Bank decided to grant the Democratic Republic of Congo up to $1.3 billion in assistance funds over the following three years. Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_131

The Congolese government started negotiating membership in the Organization for the Harmonization of Business Law in Africa (OHADA), in 2009. Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_132

The Democratic Republic of Congo is widely considered one of the world's richest countries in natural resources; its untapped deposits of raw minerals are estimated to be worth in excess of US$24 trillion. Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_133

The Congo has 70% of the world's coltan, a third of its cobalt, more than 30% of its diamond reserves, and a tenth of its copper. Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_134

Despite such vast mineral wealth, the economy of the Democratic Republic of the Congo has declined drastically since the mid-1980s. Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_135

The African country generated up to 70% of its export revenue from minerals in the 1970s and 1980s and was particularly hit when resource prices deteriorated at that time. Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_136

By 2005, 90% of the DRC's revenues derived from its minerals (Exenberger and Hartmann 2007:10). Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_137

Congolese citizens are among the poorest people on Earth. Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_138

DR Congo consistently has the lowest, or nearly the lowest, nominal GDP per capita in the world. Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_139

The DRC is also one of the twenty lowest-ranked countries on the Corruption Perception Index. Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_140

Mining Democratic Republic of the Congo_section_11

Main article: Mining industry of the Democratic Republic of the Congo Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_141

The Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) is the world's largest producer of cobalt ore, and a major producer of copper and diamonds. Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_142

The latter come from Kasai province in the west. Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_143

By far the largest mines in the DRC are located in southern Katanga province (formerly Shaba), and are highly mechanized, with a capacity of several million tons per year of copper and cobalt ore, and refining capability for metal ore. Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_144

The DRC is the second-largest diamond-producing nation in the world, and artisanal and small-scale miners account for most of its production. Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_145

At independence in 1960, DRC was the second-most industrialized country in Africa after South Africa; it boasted a thriving mining sector and a relatively productive agriculture sector. Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_146

The First and Second Congo Wars began in 1996. Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_147

These conflicts have dramatically reduced national output and government revenue, increased external debt, and resulted in deaths of more than five million people from war and associated famine and disease. Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_148

Malnutrition affects approximately two-thirds of the country's population. Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_149

Foreign businesses have curtailed operations due to uncertainty about the outcome of the conflict, lack of infrastructure, and the difficult operating environment. Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_150

The war intensified the impact of such basic problems as an uncertain legal framework, corruption, inflation, and lack of openness in government economic policy and financial operations. Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_151

Conditions improved in late 2002, when a large portion of the invading foreign troops withdrew. Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_152

A number of International Monetary Fund and World Bank missions met with the government to help it develop a coherent economic plan, and President Joseph Kabila began implementing reforms. Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_153

Much economic activity still lies outside the GDP data. Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_154

A United Nations Human Development Index report shows that the human development index of DRC is one of the worst the country has had in decades. Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_155

Through 2011 the DRC had the lowest Human Development Index of the 187 ranked countries. Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_156

It ranked lower than Niger, despite a higher margin of improvement than the latter country over 2010's numbers. Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_157

The economy of DRC relies heavily on mining. Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_158

However, the smaller-scale economic activity from artisanal mining occurs in the informal sector and is not reflected in GDP data. Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_159

A third of the DRC's diamonds are believed to be smuggled out of the country, making it difficult to quantify diamond production levels. Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_160

In 2002, tin was discovered in the east of the country, but to date has only been mined on a small scale. Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_161

Smuggling of conflict minerals such as coltan and cassiterite, ores of tantalum and tin, respectively, helped to fuel the war in the Eastern Congo. Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_162

In September 2004, state-owned Gécamines signed an agreement with Global Enterprises Corporate (GEC), a company formed by the merger of Dan Gertler International (DGI) with Beny Steinmetz Global, to rehabilitate and operate the Kananga and Tilwezembe copper mines. Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_163

The deal was ratified by presidential decree. Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_164

In 2007, a World Bank report reviewed DR Congo's three biggest mining contracts, finding that the 2005 deals, including one with Global Enterprises Company, were approved with "a complete lack of transparency" (Mahtani, 3 January 2007). Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_165

Gertler and Steinmetz put GEC's 75% share in Komoto Oliveira Virgule (KOV), the project made of up of Tilwezembe and Kananga, along with the Kolwesi concentrator, into Nikanor plc. Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_166

Registered in the Isle of Man, reached a market capitalization of $1.5 billion by 2007. Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_167

In February 2007, 22% of the Nikanor Mining company was owned by the Gertner Family Trust and 14% by Dan Gertler. Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_168

In January 2008 Katanga Mining acquired Nikanor for $452 million. Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_169

In April 2006, Gertler's DGI took a major stake in DEM Mining, a cobalt-copper mining, and services company based in Katanga. Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_170

In June 2006, Gertler bought Tremalt from the Zimbabwean businessman John Bredenkamp for about $60 million. Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_171

Tremalt had a half share in the Mukondo Mine. Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_172

In 2007, Tremalt was owned by Prairie International Ltd, of which Dan Gertler's family trust was a major shareholder. Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_173

Tremalt owned 80% of Savannah Mining, which held concessions C17 and C18 in Katanga Province and 50% of the Mukondo project. Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_174

The other 50% of Mukondo was held by Boss Mining, which in turn was 80% owned by Central African Mining & Exploration Company (CAMEC). Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_175

Boss Mining had rented and operated Bredenkamp's half of Mukondo. Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_176

Gertler terminated this arrangement. Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_177

Katanga Mining Limited, a Swiss-owned company, owns the Luilu Metallurgical Plant, which has a capacity of 175,000 tonnes of copper and 8,000 tonnes of cobalt per year, making it the largest cobalt refinery in the world. Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_178

After a major rehabilitation program, the company resumed copper production operations in December 2007 and cobalt production in May 2008. Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_179

In April 2013, anti-corruption NGOs revealed that Congolese tax authorities had failed to account for $88 million from the mining sector, despite booming production and positive industrial performance. Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_180

The missing funds date from 2010 and tax bodies should have paid them into the central bank. Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_181

Later in 2013, the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative suspended the country's candidacy for membership due to insufficient reporting, monitoring and independent audits, but in July 2013 the country improved its accounting and transparency practices to the point where the EITI gave the country full membership. Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_182

In February 2018, global asset management firm AllianceBernstein defined the DRC as economically "the Saudi Arabia of the electric vehicle age," due to its cobalt resources, as essential to the lithium-ion batteries that drive electric vehicles. Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_183

Infrastructure Democratic Republic of the Congo_section_12

Transportation Democratic Republic of the Congo_section_13

Main article: Transport in the Democratic Republic of the Congo Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_184

Ground transport in the Democratic Republic of Congo has always been difficult. Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_185

The terrain and climate of the Congo Basin present serious barriers to road and rail construction, and the distances are enormous across this vast country. Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_186

The DRC has more navigable rivers and moves more passengers and goods by boat and ferry than any other country in Africa, but air transport remains the only effective means of moving goods and people between many places within the country, especially in rural areas. Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_187

Chronic economic mismanagement, political corruption and internal conflicts have led to long-term under-investment of infrastructure. Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_188

Rail Democratic Republic of the Congo_section_14

Main article: Rail transport in the Democratic Republic of the Congo Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_189

Rail transportation is provided by the Congo Railroad Company (Société Nationale des Chemins de Fer du Congo) and the Office National des Transports (Congo) (ONATRA) and the Office of the Uele Railways (Office des Chemins de fer des Ueles, CFU). Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_190

Like much of the infrastructure in the Congo, the railways are poorly maintained, dirty, crowded and dangerous. Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_191

Road Democratic Republic of the Congo_section_15

The Democratic Republic of the Congo has fewer all-weather paved highways than any country of its population and size in Africa — a total of 2,250 km (1,400 mi), of which only 1,226 km (762 mi) is in good condition (see below). Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_192

To put this in perspective, the road distance across the country in any direction is more than 2,500 km (1,600 mi) (e.g. Matadi to Lubumbashi, 2,700 km (1,700 mi) by road). Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_193

The figure of 2,250 km (1,400 mi) converts to 35 km (22 mi) of paved road per 1,000,000 of population. Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_194

Comparative figures for Zambia and Botswana are 721 km (448 mi) and 3,427 km (2,129 mi) respectively. Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_195

Three routes in the Trans-African Highway network pass through DR Congo: Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_196

Democratic Republic of the Congo_unordered_list_0

  • Tripoli-Cape Town Highway: this route crosses the western extremity of the country on National Road No. 1 between Kinshasa and Matadi, a distance of 285 km (177 mi) on one of the only paved sections in fair condition.Democratic Republic of the Congo_item_0_0
  • Lagos-Mombasa Highway: the DR Congo is the main missing link in this east-west highway and requires a new road to be constructed before it can function.Democratic Republic of the Congo_item_0_1
  • Beira-Lobito Highway: this east-west highway crosses Katanga and requires re-construction over most of its length, being an earth track between the Angolan border and Kolwezi, a paved road in very poor condition between Kolwezi and Lubumbashi, and a paved road in fair condition over the short distance to the Zambian border.Democratic Republic of the Congo_item_0_2

Water Democratic Republic of the Congo_section_16

The Democratic Republic of Congo has thousands of kilometres of navigable waterways. Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_197

Traditionally water transport has been the dominant means of moving around in approximately two-thirds of the country. Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_198

Air Democratic Republic of the Congo_section_17

As of June 2016, DR Congo had one major national airline (Congo Airways) that offered flights inside DR Congo. Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_199

Congo Airways was based at Kinshasa's international airport. Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_200

All air carriers certified by the DRC have been banned from European Union airports by the European Commission, due to inadequate safety standards. Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_201

Several international airlines service Kinshasa's international airport and a few also offer international flights to Lubumbashi International Airport. Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_202

Energy Democratic Republic of the Congo_section_18

Main article: Energy in the Democratic Republic of the Congo Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_203

In the Democratic Republic of the Congo, there are both coal and crude oil resources that were mainly used domestically in 2008. Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_204

The Democratic Republic of Congo has the infrastructure for hydro-electricity from the Congo River at the Inga dams. Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_205

The Democratic Republic of Congo also possesses 50% of Africa's forests and a river system that could provide hydro-electric power to the entire continent, according to a UN report on the country's strategic significance and its potential role as an economic power in central Africa. Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_206

The generation and distribution of electricity are controlled by Société nationale d'électricité (SNEL), but only 15% of the country has access to electricity. Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_207

The DRC is a member of three electrical power pools. Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_208

These are SAPP (Southern African Power Pool), EAPP (East African Power Pool), CAPP (Central African Power Pool). Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_209

Renewable energy Democratic Republic of the Congo_section_19

Main article: Renewable energy in the Democratic Republic of the Congo Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_210

Because of abundant sunlight, the potential for solar development is very high in the DRC. Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_211

There are already about 836 solar power systems in the DRC, with a total power of 83 kW, located in Équateur (167), Katanga (159), Nord-Kivu (170), the two Kasaï provinces (170), and Bas-Congo (170). Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_212

Also, the 148 Caritas network system has a total power of 6.31 kW. Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_213

Education Democratic Republic of the Congo_section_20

Main article: Education in the Democratic Republic of the Congo Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_214

In 2014, the literacy rate for the population between the ages of 15 and 49 was estimated to be 75.9% (88.1% male and 63.8% female) according to a DHS nationwide survey. Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_215

The education system in the Democratic Republic of the Congo is governed by three government ministries: the Ministère de l'Enseignement Primaire, Secondaire et Professionnel (MEPSP), the Ministère de l'Enseignement Supérieur et Universitaire (MESU) and the Ministère des Affaires Sociales (MAS). Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_216

Primary education in the Democratic Republic of the Congo is not free or compulsory, even though the Congolese constitution says it should be (Article 43 of the 2005 Congolese Constitution). Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_217

As a result of the six-year civil war in the late 1990s—early 2000s, over 5.2 million children in the country did not receive any education. Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_218

Since the end of the civil war, the situation has improved tremendously, with the number of children enrolled in primary schools rising from 5.5 million in 2002 to 16.8 million in 2018, and the number of children enrolled in secondary schools rising from 2.8 million in 2007 to 4.6 million in 2015 according to UNESCO. Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_219

Actual school attendance has also improved greatly in recent years, with primary school net attendance estimated to be 82.4% in 2014 (82.4% of children ages 6–11 attended school; 83.4% for boys, 80.6% for girls). Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_220

Health Democratic Republic of the Congo_section_21

Main articles: Health in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and HIV/AIDS in the Democratic Republic of the Congo Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_221

The hospitals in the Democratic Republic of the Congo include the General Hospital of Kinshasa. Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_222

DRC has the world's second-highest rate of infant mortality (after Chad). Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_223

In April 2011, through aid from Global Alliance for Vaccines, a new vaccine to prevent pneumococcal disease was introduced around Kinshasa. Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_224

In 2012, it was estimated that about 1.1% of adults aged 15–49 were living with HIV/AIDS. Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_225

Malaria is also a problem. Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_226

Yellow fever also affects DRC. Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_227

Maternal health is poor in DRC. Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_228

According to 2010 estimates, DRC has the 17th highest maternal mortality rate in the world. Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_229

According to UNICEF, 43.5% of children under five are stunted. Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_230

In May 2019, the death toll from the Ebola outbreak in DRC surpassed 1,000. Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_231

United Nations emergency food relief agency warned that amid the escalating conflict and worsening situation following COVID-19 in the Democratic Republic of Congo, millions of lives were at risk as they could die of hunger. Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_232

According to the data of the World Food Programme, four in ten people in Congo lack food security and about 15.6 million have been facing hunger crisis. Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_233

Crime and law enforcement Democratic Republic of the Congo_section_22

Main article: Crime in the Democratic Republic of the Congo Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_234

The Congolese National Police (PNC) are the primary police force in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_235

Demographics Democratic Republic of the Congo_section_23

Main article: Demographics of the Democratic Republic of the Congo Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_236

Further information: Poverty in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Child marriage in Democratic Republic of the Congo Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_237

Largest cities Democratic Republic of the Congo_section_24

Ethnic groups Democratic Republic of the Congo_section_25

Over 200 ethnic groups populate the Democratic Republic of the Congo, of which the majority are Bantu peoples. Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_238

Together, Mongo, Luba, Kongo peoples, Mangbetu and the Azande peoples constitute around 45% of the population. Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_239

The Kongo people are the largest ethnic group in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_240

In 2018, the United Nations estimated the country's population to be 84 million people, a rapid increase from 39.1 million in 1992 despite the ongoing war. Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_241

As many as 250 ethnic groups have been identified and named. Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_242

The most numerous people are the Kongo, Luba, and Mongo. Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_243

About 600,000 Pygmies are the aboriginal people of the DR Congo. Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_244

Although several hundred local languages and dialects are spoken, the linguistic variety is bridged both by widespread use of French and the national intermediary languages Kikongo, Tshiluba, Swahili, and Lingala. Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_245

Migration Democratic Republic of the Congo_section_26

Given the situation in the country and the condition of state structures, it is extremely difficult to obtain reliable migration data. Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_246

However, evidence suggests that DRC continues to be a destination country for immigrants, in spite of recent declines in their numbers. Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_247

Immigration is very diverse in nature; refugees and asylum-seekers – products of the numerous and violent conflicts in the Great Lakes Region – constitute an important subset of the population. Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_248

Additionally, the country's large mine operations attract migrant workers from Africa and beyond. Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_249

There is also considerable migration for commercial activities from other African countries and the rest of the world, but these movements are not well studied. Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_250

Transit migration towards South Africa and Europe also plays a role. Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_251

Immigration to the DRC has decreased steadily over the past two decades, most likely as a result of the armed violence that the country has experienced. Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_252

According to the International Organization for Migration, the number of immigrants in the DRC has fallen from just over one million in 1960, to 754,000 in 1990, to 480,000 in 2005, to an estimated 445,000 in 2010. Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_253

Official figures are unavailable, partly due to the predominance of the informal economy in the DRC. Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_254

Data are also lacking on irregular immigrants, however given neighbouring countries' ethnic links to DRC nationals, irregular migration is assumed to be a significant phenomenon. Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_255

Figures for Congolese nationals abroad vary greatly depending on the source, from three to six million. Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_256

This discrepancy is due to a lack of official, reliable data. Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_257

Emigrants from the DRC are above all long-term emigrants, the majority of whom live in Africa and to a lesser extent in Europe; 79.7% and 15.3% respectively, according to estimated 2000 data. Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_258

New destination countries include South Africa and various points en route to Europe. Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_259

The DRC has produced a considerable number of refugees and asylum-seekers located in the region and beyond. Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_260

These numbers peaked in 2004 when, according to UNHCR, there were more than 460,000 refugees from the DRC; in 2008, Congolese refugees numbered 367,995 in total, 68% of whom were living in other African countries. Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_261

Since 2003, more than 400,000 Congolese migrants have been expelled from Angola. Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_262

Religion Democratic Republic of the Congo_section_27

Main article: Religion in the Democratic Republic of the Congo Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_263

Christianity is the majority religion in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_264

The most recent survey, conducted by the Demographic and Health Surveys Program in 2013-2014 indicated that Christians constituted 93.7% of the population (with Catholics making up 29.7%, Protestants 26.8%, and other Christians 37.2%). Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_265

An indigenous religion, Kimbanguism, has the adherence of only 2.8%, while Muslims make up 1.2%. Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_266

Other recent estimates have found Christianity the majority religion, followed by 95.8% of the population according to a 2010 Pew Research Center estimate, while the CIA World Factbook reports this figure to be 95.9%. Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_267

The proportion of followers of Islam is variously estimated from 1% to 12% Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_268

There are about 35 million Catholics in the country with six archdioceses and 41 dioceses. Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_269

The impact of the Catholic Church in the Democratic Republic of Congo is difficult to overestimate. Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_270

Schatzberg has called it the country's "only truly national institution apart from the state." Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_271

Its schools have educated over 60% of the nation's primary school students and more than 40% of its secondary students. Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_272

The church owns and manages an extensive network of hospitals, schools, and clinics, as well as many diocesan economic enterprises, including farms, ranches, stores, and artisans' shops. Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_273

Sixty-two Protestant denominations are federated under the umbrella of the Church of Christ in Congo. Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_274

It is often simply referred to as the Protestant Church, since it covers most of the DRC Protestants. Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_275

With more than 25 million members, it constitutes one of the largest Protestant bodies in the world. Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_276

Kimbanguism was seen as a threat to the colonial regime and was banned by the Belgians. Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_277

Kimbanguism, officially "the church of Christ on Earth by the prophet Simon Kimbangu", now has about three million members, primarily among the Bakongo of Bas-Congo and Kinshasa. Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_278

Islam has been present in the Democratic Republic of the Congo since the 18th century, when Arab traders from East Africa pushed into the interior for ivory- and slave-trading purposes. Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_279

Today, Muslims constitute approximately 1% of the Congolese population according to Pew research center. Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_280

The majority are Sunni Muslims. Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_281

The first members of the Baháʼí Faith to live in the country came from Uganda in 1953. Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_282

Four years later the first local administrative council was elected. Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_283

In 1970 the National Spiritual Assembly (national administrative council) was first elected. Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_284

Though the religion was banned in the 1970s and 1980s, due to misrepresentations of foreign governments, the ban was lifted by the end of the 1980s. Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_285

In 2012 plans were announced to build a national Baháʼí House of Worship in the country. Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_286

Traditional religions embody such concepts as monotheism, animism, vitalism, spirit and ancestor worship, witchcraft, and sorcery and vary widely among ethnic groups. Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_287

The syncretic sects often merge elements of Christianity with traditional beliefs and rituals and are not recognized by mainstream churches as part of Christianity. Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_288

New variants of ancient beliefs have become widespread, led by US-inspired Pentecostal churches which have been in the forefront of witchcraft accusations, particularly against children and the elderly. Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_289

Children accused of witchcraft are sent away from homes and family, often to live on the street, which can lead to physical violence against these children. Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_290

There are charities supporting street children such as the Congo Children Trust. Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_291

The Congo Children Trust's flagship project is Kimbilio, which works to reunite street children in Lubumbashi. Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_292

The usual term for these children is enfants sorciers (child witches) or enfants dits sorciers (children accused of witchcraft). Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_293

Non-denominational church organizations have been formed to capitalize on this belief by charging exorbitant fees for exorcisms. Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_294

Though recently outlawed, children have been subjected in these exorcisms to often-violent abuse at the hands of self-proclaimed prophets and priests. Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_295

Democratic Republic of the Congo_table_general_1

SourceDemocratic Republic of the Congo_header_cell_1_0_0 Christianity

(total)Democratic Republic of the Congo_header_cell_1_0_1

CatholicismDemocratic Republic of the Congo_header_cell_1_0_2 ProtestantismDemocratic Republic of the Congo_header_cell_1_0_3 IslamDemocratic Republic of the Congo_header_cell_1_0_4 OtherDemocratic Republic of the Congo_header_cell_1_0_5 SourceDemocratic Republic of the Congo_header_cell_1_0_6
US State DepartmentDemocratic Republic of the Congo_cell_1_1_0 90%Democratic Republic of the Congo_cell_1_1_1 45%Democratic Republic of the Congo_cell_1_1_2 40%Democratic Republic of the Congo_cell_1_1_3 5%Democratic Republic of the Congo_cell_1_1_4 10%(Including other Christians)Democratic Republic of the Congo_cell_1_1_5 Democratic Republic of the Congo_cell_1_1_6
Pew Research CenterDemocratic Republic of the Congo_cell_1_2_0 96%Democratic Republic of the Congo_cell_1_2_1 47%Democratic Republic of the Congo_cell_1_2_2 48%Democratic Republic of the Congo_cell_1_2_3 1.5%Democratic Republic of the Congo_cell_1_2_4 2.5%Democratic Republic of the Congo_cell_1_2_5 Democratic Republic of the Congo_cell_1_2_6
CIA World FactbookDemocratic Republic of the Congo_cell_1_3_0 95.9%Democratic Republic of the Congo_cell_1_3_1 29.9%Democratic Republic of the Congo_cell_1_3_2 26.7%Democratic Republic of the Congo_cell_1_3_3 1.3%Democratic Republic of the Congo_cell_1_3_4 42.1%(Including other Christians)Democratic Republic of the Congo_cell_1_3_5 Democratic Republic of the Congo_cell_1_3_6
Association of Religion Data ArchivesDemocratic Republic of the Congo_cell_1_4_0 93.9%Democratic Republic of the Congo_cell_1_4_1 55.8%Democratic Republic of the Congo_cell_1_4_2 39.1%Democratic Republic of the Congo_cell_1_4_3 2.1%Democratic Republic of the Congo_cell_1_4_4 5.1%Democratic Republic of the Congo_cell_1_4_5 Democratic Republic of the Congo_cell_1_4_6

Languages Democratic Republic of the Congo_section_28

Main article: Languages of the Democratic Republic of the Congo Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_296

French is the official language of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_297

It is culturally accepted as the lingua franca facilitating communication among the many different ethnic groups of the Congo. Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_298

According to a 2014 OIF report, 33 million Congolese people (47% of the population) could read and write in French. Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_299

In the capital city Kinshasa, 67% of the population could read and write French, and 68.5% could speak and understand it. Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_300

Approximately 242 languages are spoken in the country, but only four have the status of national languages: Kituba ("Kikongo ya leta"), Lingala, Tshiluba, and Swahili. Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_301

Although some people speak these regional, or trade languages as first languages, most of the population speak them as a second language after their own tribal language. Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_302

Lingala was the official language of the colonial army, the "Force Publique", under Belgian colonial rule, and remains to this day the predominant language in the armed forces. Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_303

Since the recent rebellions, a good part of the army in the East also uses Swahili where it is prevalent. Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_304

When the country was a Belgian colony, the Belgian colonizers instituted teaching and use of the four national languages in primary schools, making it one of the few African nations to have had literacy in local languages during the European colonial period. Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_305

This trend was reversed after independence, when French became the sole language of education at all levels. Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_306

Since 1975, the four national languages have been reintroduced in the first two years of primary education, with French becoming the sole language of education from the third year onward, but in practice many primary schools in urban areas solely use French from the first year of school onward. Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_307

Portuguese is taught in the Congolese schools as a foreign language. Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_308

The lexical similarity and phonology with French makes Portuguese a relatively easy language for the people to learn. Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_309

Most of the roughly 175,000 Portuguese speakers in the DRC are Angolan and Mozambican expatriates. Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_310

Culture Democratic Republic of the Congo_section_29

Main article: Culture of the Democratic Republic of the Congo Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_311

The culture of the Democratic Republic of the Congo reflects the diversity of its hundreds of ethnic groups and their differing ways of life throughout the country  — from the mouth of the River Congo on the coast, upriver through the rainforest and savanna in its centre, to the more densely populated mountains in the far east. Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_312

Since the late 19th century, traditional ways of life have undergone changes brought about by colonialism, the struggle for independence, the stagnation of the Mobutu era, and most recently, the First and Second Congo Wars. Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_313

Despite these pressures, the customs and cultures of the Congo have retained much of their individuality. Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_314

The country's 81 million inhabitants (2016) are mainly rural. Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_315

The 30% who live in urban areas have been the most open to Western influences. Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_316

Music Democratic Republic of the Congo_section_30

Another feature in Congo culture is its music. Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_317

The DRC has its influences on Cuban music rumba,originally kumba from Congo and merengue. Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_318

And those two later give birth to soukous. Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_319

Other African nations produce music genres derived from Congolese soukous. Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_320

Some of the African bands sing in Lingala, one of the main languages in the DRC. Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_321

The same Congolese soukous, under the guidance of "le sapeur", Papa Wemba, have set the tone for a generation of young men always dressed up in expensive designer clothes. Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_322

They came to be known as the fourth generation of Congolese music and mostly come from the former well-known band Wenge Musica []. Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_323

Sports Democratic Republic of the Congo_section_31

Main article: Sport in DR Congo Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_324

Many sports are played in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, including football, basketball, and rugby. Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_325

The sports are played in numerous stadiums throughout the country, including the Stade Frederic Kibassa Maliba. Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_326

As Zaire they have participated in the World Cup Football (Final stage) in 1974. Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_327

Internationally, the country is especially famous for its professional basketball NBA and football players. Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_328

Dikembe Mutombo is one of the best African basketball players to ever play the game. Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_329

Mutombo is well known for humanitarian projects in his home country. Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_330

Bismack Biyombo, Christian Eyenga, and Emmanuel Mudiay are others who gained significant international attention in basketball. Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_331

Several Congolese players and players of Congolese descent—including strikers Romelu Lukaku, Yannick Bolasie, and Dieumerci Mbokani—have gained prominence in world football. Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_332

DR Congo has twice won the African Cup of Nations football tournament. Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_333

Food Democratic Republic of the Congo_section_32

Main article: Congolese cuisine Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_334

Media Democratic Republic of the Congo_section_33

Main article: Media of the Democratic Republic of the Congo Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_335

Newspapers of the DRC include L'Avenir, Radion Télévision Mwangaza, La Conscience [], L'Observateur [], Le Phare, Le Potentiel, Le Soft and LeCongolais.CD, a web-based daily. Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_336

Radio Télévision Nationale Congolaise (RTNC) is the national broadcaster of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_337

RTNC currently broadcasts in Lingala, French, and English. Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_338

Literature Democratic Republic of the Congo_section_34

Congolese authors use literature as a way to develop a sense of national consciousness amongst the Congo people. Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_339

The tragic history of colonialism and war lead the Congolese people to settle in a place of complacency, accepting the culture that was forced upon them by Belgium. Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_340

Modern Congolese literature began to emerge in the late 1950s. Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_341

There are a few rare pieces of literature dated back to before WWI, but it was not until about 1954 that literature written in French made its appearance in the Congo. Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_342

After gaining their independence from Belgium in the 1960s, new authors, such as Guy Menga and Jean Pierre Makouta-Mboukou, were inspired by older authors, such as Jean Malonga from Congo-Brazzaville, and used writing to bring attention to new issues affecting the Congo. Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_343

The rise of female authors began in the 1970s introducing diversity to Congolese literature and support for gender empowerment. Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_344

Many authors who have contributed to the success of Congolese literature are now living abroad due to economic and political issues. Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_345

Frederick Kambemba Yamusangie writes literature for the between generations of those who grew up in the Congo, during the time when they were colonised, fighting for independence and after. Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_346

Yamusangie in an interview said he felt the distance in literature and wanted to remedy that he wrote the novel, Full Circle, which is a story of a boy named Emanuel who in the beginning of the book feels a difference in culture among the different groups in the Congo and elsewhere. Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_347

Rais Neza Boneza, an author from the Katanga province of the Democratic Republic of Congo, wrote novels and poems to promote artistic expressions as a way to address and deal with conflicts. Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_348

These authors, along with others, used their platforms to bring awareness to the crises and conflicts that took place in the Congo. Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_349

Environmental issues Democratic Republic of the Congo_section_35

A dense tropical rainforest in the DRC's central river basin and eastern highlands is bordered on the east by the Albertine Rift (the western branch of Africa's Great Rift System). Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_350

It includes several of Africa's Great Lakes. Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_351

Major environmental issues Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_352

DR Congo's major environmental issues include: Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_353

Democratic Republic of the Congo_unordered_list_1

  • deforestationDemocratic Republic of the Congo_item_1_3
  • poaching, which threatens wildlife populationsDemocratic Republic of the Congo_item_1_4
  • water pollutionDemocratic Republic of the Congo_item_1_5
  • miningDemocratic Republic of the Congo_item_1_6

Displaced refugees cause or are otherwise responsible for significant deforestation, soil erosion and wildlife poaching. Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_354

Another significant issue is environmental damage from the mining of minerals, especially diamonds, gold, and coltan – a mineral used to manufacture capacitors. Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_355

Species and Biodiversity loss Democratic Republic of the Congo_section_36

The environmental problems associated with The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) affect its many endemic species of flora and fauna. Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_356

The DRC has the world's second largest contiguous rain forest after the Amazon as well as other ecosystems including Savanna, swamps and flood plains. Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_357

According to the World Wildlife Fund, these unique habitats and species make the DRC one of the most valuable yet vulnerable areas in the world for biodiversity, wildlife protection and rainforest sustainability. Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_358

Species loss has been cited as a problem in the DRC, brought about or exacerbated by reasons that include deforestation for mining, wood fuel, infrastructure or agriculture, war, illegal poaching and increased consumption of bush meat due to overpopulation and lack of food security. Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_359

Some attempts to combat species loss in countries such as the DRC are actions such as the UN's Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), specifically SDG 15 Life on Land, the primary goals of which is to increase reforestation and biodiversity and reduce species loss, desertification, and illegal poaching. Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_360

One of the primary defences for species and habitat protection in the DRC is its system of national parks and reserves, which gives protected status to nearly 12% of the DRC's rainforest. Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_361

Five of these parks and reserves are UNESCO world heritage sites, including Africa’s first national park Virunga national park. Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_362

All of these parks have been put on the World Heritage in Danger List. Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_363

Poor governance and low economic conditions have reduced the effectiveness of these protections, especially during war times. Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_364

The human cost of protecting these parks has also been high with 200 park ranger deaths in the past 20 years. Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_365

Virunga national park and Salongo National Park, both of which are UNESCO world heritage sites are currently being looked at for mining and oil exploration. Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_366

The move would open 21.5% of the Virunga park for exploitation, this is highly criticised by animal rights activists as it would threaten the habitat of mountain gorillas and other endangered species. Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_367

Deforestation Democratic Republic of the Congo_section_37

Main article: Deforestation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_368

Between 2000 and 2014 the DRC lost an average of 570,000 hectares (0.2%) of rainforest to deforestation per year, with the highest amount of deforestation coming between 2011 and 2014. Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_369

Deforestation is the primary cause of biodiversity reduction and species loss globally, through habitat loss and fragmentation. Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_370

One of the goals of the SDG 15 is to reduce deforestation and encourage reforestation by 2020. Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_371

The DRC has Africa’s largest rainforest, which is under the threat of deforestation through mining operations, agriculture, infrastructure and wood fuel. Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_372

In the DRC 94% of wood taken from the rainforest is used for wood fuel, mainly due to poverty, lack of energy infrastructure and the decentralised nature of its population. Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_373

To mitigate this aid agencies have tried to promote agro-forestry with fast growing trees to avoid over exploitation of the rainforests. Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_374

Other large drivers of deforestation include mining and conflict, during the Congo conflict deforestation by militia groups was high for wood fuel, small mining operations and illegal logging to fund their operations. Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_375

However, conversely conflict reduced deforestation for large scale mining due to security instability. Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_376

One policy being attempted to reduce the deforestation and increase biodiversity in the DRC is the UN-REDD program, which uses emissions trading system so that developed nations can offset their carbon emissions by paying developing nations with rainforest to manage and conserve their forest. Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_377

Bush meat Democratic Republic of the Congo_section_38

Bush meat refers to any meat that is procured from the wild. Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_378

Overpopulation and continual conflicts in the DRC have led to food shortages, which have therefore increased the use of bush meat. Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_379

Although, data on bush meat use is not extensive, studies estimate 6 million tonnes of animals are taken for bush meat globally each year. Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_380

What animals are hunted are done so indiscriminately without thought of the importance of certain species that could be ecosystem engineers or keystone species. Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_381

Bush meat is an important source of protein for millions in the DRC, especially in rural areas where it makes up 50-70% of meals. Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_382

For some who cannot afford farmed produce it is a free meal. Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_383

A recent study in the DRC revealed that almost all of the animals are taken from the Congo each year, at 93% of all live animals there are in the forest are extracted for bush meat, whereas a sustainable rate would be 20%. Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_384

This is a huge amount compared to the Amazon where bush meat is hunted at only 3% the rate of the Congo. Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_385

the study reveals the only way to solve this is to find other food sources to feed people in the Congo Basin as bush meat is their only means of eating. Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_386

Another study showed that the species of bush meat in the meat markets of the DRC's third largest city Kisangani were primarily Artiodactyla at 40.06% of the carcasses sold then primates at 37.79% of carcasses sold. Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_387

Recently the prevalence of hunting for bush meat has declined because of the risk to hunters and butchers from the Ebola virus from specifically ape and bat meat. Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_388

Even though when the meat is cooked smoked or dried it kills the virus, business has dropped significantly with some hunters reporting as much of a reduction in sales of 80%. Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_389

Conflicts Democratic Republic of the Congo_section_39

There has been a war in the DRC in different levels of intensity since 1994 when the country was called Zaire. Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_390

Although what was known as Africa's World War had ended in 2003 the eastern part of the country still has ongoing skirmishes between rebel groups and government forces. Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_391

No other method has reduced species population so dramatically than conflict, when a militia reached the Garamba National Park in 1997, within three months half of the park's elephants, two thirds of the buffalo, and three quarters of its hippos vanished. Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_392

The reason conflict is so damaging to wildlife is the increased use of bush meat to feed soldiers, the prevalence of weapons, the lucrative industry of selling exotic animals and ivory as well as the general failure of law and order. Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_393

According to another study which was taken during the time of the civil war in the Okapi Faunal Reserve, there was a 50% reduction in the abundance of elephants and a vast change in the distribution of them to the more secluded areas of the park. Democratic Republic of the Congo_sentence_394

See also Democratic Republic of the Congo_section_40

Democratic Republic of the Congo_unordered_list_2


Credits to the contents of this page go to the authors of the corresponding Wikipedia page: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Democratic Republic of the Congo.