General information: Since 1994, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC; formerly known as Zaire) has been ravaged by ethnic strife and civil war, exacerbated by a massive influx of refugees from civil war-torn Rwanda and Burundi. The government of former President MOBUTU was overthrown by rebels led by Laurent KABILA in May 1997; in August 1998, an uprising supported by Rwanda and Uganda began against his regime. The troops of Zimbabwe, Angola, Namibia, Chad and Sudan intervened in this conflict on the side of the regime ruling in Kinshasa. A ceasefire agreement was signed on 10 July 1999, but sporadic clashes continue. In January 2001, KABILA was assassinated and his son Joseph KABILA was proclaimed head of state. The new president immediately took steps to establish peace. See areacodesexplorer.com to know more about Democratic Republic of the Congo History.
Location: Central Africa, northwest of Angola.
Geographical coordinates: 0° 00′ s. latitude, 25° 00′ E
Reference map: Africa.
Area: total: 2,345,410 km2; land surface area: 2,267,600 square kilometers; water surface area: 11,810 km2
Comparative area: about a quarter of the area of the United States.
Land borders: total length: 10,744 km; with neighboring states: with Angola 2,511 km, with Burundi 233 km, with the Central African Republic 577 km, with the Republic of the Congo 2,410 km, with Rwanda 217 km, with Sudan 628 km, with Tanzania 473 km, with Uganda 765 km, with Zambia 1,930 km.
Coastline: 37 km.
Maritime claims: exclusive economic zone: to the borders with neighboring countries; territorial waters: 12 nautical miles.
Climate: tropical; hot and humid in the equatorial trough; drier and cooler on the southern plateaus; cooler and wetter in the eastern highlands; north of the equator – wet season from April to October, dry season from December to February; south of the equator – wet season from November to March, dry season from April to October.
Terrain: the vast central basin of the Congo River, which is an elevated plain; mountains in the east.
Maximum and minimum heights: lowest point: Atlantic Ocean 0 m; highest point: Marguerite Peak on Mount Mont Ngalema (Mount Stanley) 5,110 m
Natural Resources: cobalt, copper, cadmium, petroleum, industrial and precious diamonds, gold, silver, zinc, manganese, tin, germanium, uranium, radium, bauxite, iron ore, coal, hydropower resources, timber.
Land use: arable land: 3%; cultivated land: 0%; pastures: 7%; forests and plantations: 77%; others: 13% (1993 est.).
Irrigated land: 100 km2 (1993 est.).
Natural hazards: periodic droughts in the south; volcanic activity.
Current environmental issues: poaching that threatens wildlife populations; water pollution; deforestation; in the eastern part of the country, significant deforestation, soil erosion and poaching, which are responsible for the refugees who arrived in the country in mid-1994 (most of these refugees were repatriated in November-December 1996).
International Environmental Treaties: Member: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Waste, Law of the Sea, Marine Pollution, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection, Tropical Timber 1983, Tropical Timber 1994, Wetlands; signed but not ratified: Environmental change.
Note to the section “Geography”: the equator crosses the country; a very narrow strip of the sea coast, which allows you to control the lower reaches of the Congo River and is the only outlet to the southern part of the Atlantic Ocean; the central river basin and the eastern plateaus are home to tropical rain forests.
Population: 53,624,718; note: estimates for this country take into account rising AIDS deaths; due to the spread of AIDS, life expectancy, population size and population growth may actually be lower, and child mortality and overall mortality rates correspondingly higher; there may also be changes in age structure and sex ratios (July 2001 est.).
Age structure: under 14: 48.24% (male 12,988,488; female 12,878,232); 15 to 64 years old: 49.21% (male 12,931,886; female 13,459,109); over 65: 2.55% (male 575,113; female 791,890) (2001 est.).
Population growth: 3.1% (2001 est.).
Birth rate: 46.02 newborns / 1000 people. (2001 est.).
Mortality: 15.15 deaths/1000 people (2001 est.).
Migration: 0.14 people / 1000 people (2001 est.); note: in 1994, a million refugees fled to Zaire (now called the Democratic Republic of the Congo) to escape the war between the Hutu and Tutsi tribes; a large-scale armed conflict that began in October 1996 between the DRC government and rioters in October 1996 forced 875,000 refugees to return to Rwanda in late 1996 and early 1997; another 173,000 refugees from Rwanda went missing in early 1997, probably killed by Zairian soldiers; clashes between government forces and Congolese rebels backed by Uganda and Rwanda erupted in August 1998 into a regional conflict that forced 1.8 million Congolese to flee to other parts of the country and 300,000 to neighboring countries.
Sex ratio: at birth: 1.03 male/female; under 15: 1.01 male/female; 15 to 64 years old: 0.96 male/female; over 65: 0.73 male/female; for the general population: 0.98 male/female (2001 est.);
Child mortality: 99.88 deaths/1000 newborns (2001 est.).
Life expectancy: for the general population: 48.94 years; men: 46.96 years; women: 50.98 years (2001 est.).
General birth rate: 6.84 children/wives. (2001 est.).
Proportion of adults infected with HIV: 5.07% (1999 est.).
Number of people infected with HIV: 1.1 million (1999 est.).
AIDS deaths: 95,000 (1999 est.).
Nationality: noun: Congolese; adjective: Congolese.
Ethnic Groups: Over 200 African ethnic groups, most of which are Bantu tribes; the four largest tribes – Mongo, Luba, Kongo (all three belong to the Bantu) and Mangbetu Azande (Hamites) – make up 45% of the population.
Believers: Catholic 50%, Protestant 20%, Kim Bangui 10%, Muslim 10%, members of syncretic sects and adherents of local beliefs 10%.
Language(s): French (official), Lingala (common language of commerce using Latin script), Qingwana (Swahili dialect), Kikongo, Tsiluba.
Literacy: Definition: Persons aged 15 and over who can read and write French, Lingala, Kingwana or Tsiluba; for the general population: 77.3%; men: 86.6%; women: 67.7% (1995 est.).
conventional long form: Democratic Republic of the Congo;
Common short form: no. local long form: Republique Democratique du Congo; local short form: no; former: Congo Free State, Belgian Congo, Congo-Leopoldville, Congo-Kinshasa, Zaire; abbreviation: DRC.
Government: Dictatorship, presumably moving towards representative government.
Administrative divisions: 10 provinces and 1 city*: Ba-Kongo, Bandundu, Kasai-Orien-tal, Kasai-Occidental, Katanga, Kinshasa*, Maniema, Nor-Kivu, Oriental, Sud-Kivu, Equator.
Independence: from June 30, 1960 (until 1960 – a colony of Belgium).
National holiday: Independence Day, June 30 (since 1960).
Constitution: adopted June 24, 1967, amended August 1974; revised 15 February 1978, revised version amended April 1990; in April 1994, an interim constitution was proclaimed; On May 29, 1997, after a successful coup, the new government announced the start of a program of constitutional reforms; in November 1998 President KABILA approved a draft constitution to be adopted in a national referendum.
Legal system: based on the Belgian civil law system and tribal laws; does not accept the compulsory jurisdiction of the International Court of Justice.
Suffrage: from 18 years old; universal and mandatory.
chief of state: President Joseph KABILA (since 26 January 2001) note – assumed the presidency after the assassination of his father Laurent Desiree KABILA on January 16, 2001; the president is both head of state and head of government;
head of government: President Joseph KABILA (since 26 January 2001); note – the president is both head of state and head of government;
Government: a national executive council appointed by the president; elections: before Laurent Desiree KABILA seized power, the president was elected by popular vote for a seven-year term; elections last held on 29 July 1984 (next scheduled to be held in May 1997); the prime minister was previously elected by the Supreme Council of the Republic; note – elections were not held in 1991, as provided for by the constitution; election results: most recent election results: MOBUTU Sese Seko Kuku Ngbendu wa Za Banga re-elected president (1984) in unopposed elections; note: Marshal MOBUTU was president from November 24, 1965 until May 16, 1997, when his government was overthrown by Laurent Désiré KABILA; who took power into his own hands; KABILA promised to hold elections in April 1999;
Legislature: Transitional Constitutional Assembly (300 members) convened in August 2000; elections: no data; members of the Transitional Constitutional Assembly were appointed by President Laurent KABILA.
Judiciary: Supreme Court.
Political parties and leaders: People’s Revolutionary Movement (MPR) (leader – NA); Democratic Social Christian Party (PDSC) (André BO-BOLIKO); Lumumba United Party (PALU) (Antoine GIZEN-GA); Union for Democracy and Social Progress (UDPS) (Etienne TSHISEKEDI wa Mulumba); Union of Federalists and Independent Republicans (UFERI) (Kouyoumba MUCHULI Mulembe).
Political influence groups and their leaders:
Participation in international organizations: ACCT, ACP, AfDB, CCC, CEEAC, CEPGL, ECA, FAO, G-19, G-24, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICFTU, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IM0, Intelsat, Interpol, IOC, IOM (observer), ISO (correspondent), ITU, NAM, OAU, OPCW, PCA, SADC, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UPU, WCL, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTrO.
Diplomatic representation in the USA: head of mission: Ambassador Faida MITIFU (Faida Ml-TIFU); office: 1800 New Hampshire Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20009; phone:  (202) 234-7690, 234-7691; fax: [\) (202) 234-2609.
US Diplomatic Mission: Chief of Mission: Ambassador William Lacy SWING; embassy: 310 Avenue des Aviateurs, Kinshasa; mailing address: Unit 31550, APO AE 09828; phone:  (12) 21804, 21807; fax:  (88) 43805.
Description of the flag: blue, with a large yellow five-pointed star located in the center and a vertical column of six small yellow five-pointed stars near the flagpole. Economy