Democratic Republic of the Congo

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The Democratic Republic of the Congo, also known as Congo-Kinshasa, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the DRC, the DROC, or the Congo, and previously known as Zaire, is a nation in Central Africa that was established in 1960 by the United Nations. It is the biggest nation in sub-Saharan Africa in terms of land area, the second-largest in all of Africa (after Algeria), and the 11th-largest in the world in terms of population. As the world's most populous officially Francophone nation (with a population of around 105 million people), the Democratic Republic of Congo is also the fourth-most populous country in Africa (after Nigeria, Ethiopia and Egypt), as well as the 15th-most populated country in the world. It is a member of the United Nations, the Non-Aligned Movement, the African Union, and the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa. Since 2015, the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo has been the scene of an ongoing armed war in the Kivu province. Kinshasa is the country's capital and biggest city.

The land of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), which is centred on the Congo Basin, was originally occupied by Central African foragers approximately 90,000 years ago and reached by the Bantu expansion around 3,000 years ago. From the 14th through the 19th century, the Kingdom of Kongo dominated the area around the mouth of the Congo River in the west. From the 16th and 17th centuries through the 19th century, the kingdoms of Azande, Luba, and Lunda reigned over parts of the northeast, centre, and east of Africa.

Laurent-Désiré Kabila was subsequently elected president, and the country's name was changed to the Democratic Republic of the Congo as a result of his election. The Second Congo War, which lasted from 1998 to 2003, was a result of tensions between President Joseph Kabila and the Rwandan and Tutsi populations in the nation. In the end, nine African nations and around twenty armed organisations got engaged in the conflict, which led in the deaths of 5.4 million people worldwide. The two world wars wreaked havoc on the nation. Kabila was assassinated on 16 January 2001 by one of his bodyguards, and his son Joseph took over as president eight days later. Under Joseph, human rights in the country remained poor, with frequent abuses such as forced disappearances, torture, arbitrary imprisonment, and restrictions on civil liberties, according to non-governmental organisations (NGOs). President Joseph Kabila was replaced as president by Félix Tshisekedi in the country's first peaceful transfer of power since independence, which took place after the 2018 general election.

Although abundant in natural resources, the Congo has suffer from political instability, a lack of infrastructure, corruption, and centuries of extraction and exploitation, both commercial and colonial, that have resulted in little general development. Apart from Kinshasa, the country's capital, the next two major cities, Lubumbashi and Mbuji-Mayi, are also mining towns. Currently, raw minerals are the DRC's most important export, with China taking more than half of its exports in 2019. According to the Human Development Index, the Democratic Republic of the Congo's level of human development was rated 175th out of 189 nations in 2019. At the end of 2018, over 600,000 Congolese have migrated to neighbouring countries as a result of violence in the DRC's central and eastern regions. Two million children are in danger of malnutrition, and the war has forced 4.5 million people to flee their homes.