Flag of Democratic Republic of Congo

Democratic Republic of the Congo

The Democratic Republic of the Congo, also often referred to as DRC, RDC, Congo-Kinshasa or Congo, and formerly as Zaire, is the third largest country by area on the African continent. It is bounded by the Central African Republic (CAR) and Sudan to the north; Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi and Tanzania to the east; Zambia and Angola to the south; and the Republic of the Congo to the west. The country enjoys access to the sea through a narrow forty kilometre stretch that follows the Congo River into the Gulf of Guinea.

Formerly known as the Belgian Congo, the country gained independence in 1960, becoming the Republic of the Congo, then the Democratic Republic of the Congo to distinguish it from the neighbouring country of the same name. Its name was changed again in 1971 to Zaire (meaning the river that swallows all rivers); however, it reverted back to the DRC in 1997 after the overthrow of President Mobutu Sese Seko.

Since 1998, the country has suffered greatly from the devastating Second Congo War, the world's deadliest conflict since World War II.

Map of Democratic Republic of the Congo