Republic of the Congo

Figure 1.--This photograph was taken in the (French) Congo, probably at about the time of independemve (1960). A mother and child were photographed in a rural village near Pointe-Noire.

The Republic of the Congo is also known as Congo-Brazzaville. It is located in central Africa, bordering on Congo/Zaire, but north of the Congo River. Congo was populated by Bantu tribes who developed trade links up the Congo into the huge Congo Basin. It was colonized by France and called the Middle Congo. Congo achieved independence (1960). Congo was a Marxist-Leninist single-party state (1970-91). This extended experimentation with Marxism did huge damage to the economy. Only important oil finnds prevented economic disaster. The failed pursuit of Marxism was finally abandoned (1990). A Multiparty election were held and a democratically elected government took power (1992). The democratically elected government was overthrown in a civil war (1997). The former Marxist President Denis Sassou-Nguesso seized opwer. Ethnic and political unrest ensued. A southern-based rebel groups agreed to a peace accord (2003). A serious refugee crisis ensued. We have a Congo history page. Poor management and administrative chaos has resulted in a decline in the importan oil industry. The principal ethnic groups include: Kongo (50 percent), Sangha (20 percent), and M'Bochi (10 percent). About half tghe population is Christian or animist. There is a small Muslim minority. The official language is French. Lingala and Monokutuba are wideky spoken commercial languages. There are also a large number of local languages and dialects. Kikongo is especially important.


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Created: 4:34 AM 12/4/2010
Last updated: 4:34 AM 12/4/2010