Pub. date: 2004 | Online Pub. Date: September 15, 2007 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412952415 | Print ISBN: 9780761926498 | Online ISBN: 9781412952415| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Congo (Democratic Republic of Congo)
The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), formerly known as Zaire, is in Central Africa, north of Angola and west of Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, and Tanzania. It has an area of 2,345,410 square kilometers and a population of 56.6 million people (July 2003 estimate). Colonized by Belgium in 1885 as the Belgian Congo (Democratic Republic of Congo), it became independent as the Democratic Republic of the Congo in 1960. The first president, Patrice Lumumba was killed in suspicious circumstances in the first year after independence. Col. Joseph Désiré Mobutu (later Mobutu Sese Seko) seized power in 1960, then ceded it and again took control after a military coup in 1965. Mobutu renamed the country Zaire. Mobutu was overthrown in 1997 by Laurent Désiré Kabila, who returned the country to its former name, the Democratic Republic of the Congo. He was assassinated in 2001 and succeeded by his son, Joseph Kabila. A ...