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Congo, Democratic Republic of the

Flag of Congo, Democratic Republic of the

Congo, Democratic Republic of the

The Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) has Africa's fourth largest population and is the second biggest country in terms of area (the largest is Algeria). DRC gained independence from Belgium in 1960 after a civil war. President Mobutu (1965-97) renamed the country Zaire, then President Laurent Kabila (1997-2001) renamed it the DRC. French is the official language, but Lingala is the most widely spoken.

Since independence, the DRC has experienced political instability and violence due to ethnic tensions (there are over 200 ethnic groups in the DRC) exacerbated by the periodic influx of refugees from neighbouring countries. In 2010, the United Nations (UN) Security Council established the UN Organization Stabilization Mission in the DRC.

DRC has some of the largest mineral reserves in sub-Saharan Africa and has experienced economic growth over the past ten years, based mainly on renewed activity in the mining sector. The DRC is a member of La Francophonie, the African Union, the Southern African Development Community, and the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region.

Australia's diplomatic representation to DRC is from the Embassy in Harare, Zimbabwe.

Economic and trade information

Travel information

Heads of Government

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