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Democratic Republic of the Congo
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The Democratic Republic of the Congo (Republique Democratique du Congo) (Abbreviated:DROC) is a country in Central Africa. It straddles the Equator and is surrounded by Angola to the southwest, (Angola's discontiguous Cabinda Province lies to the west and north of a very narrow strip of land that controls the lower Congo River and is only outlet to South Atlantic Ocean), Republic of the Congo to the northwest, Central African Republic to the north, Sudan to the northeast, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, and Tanzania in the east from north to south, and Zambia to the southeast.
The country has formerly been known as Congo Free State, Belgian Congo, Congo or Zaire. The country is also known as Congo-Kinshasa to distinguish it from its northern neighbor, the Republic of Congo (Congo-Brazzaville).
There are 10 provinces:
Ports and harbors
The Democratic Republic of the Congo (formerly known as Zaire) has had a tumultuous recent history. Congolese politics have been dominated by the civil war in neighbouring Rwanda, with the influx of refugees from that conflict adding to the factional disputes following Mobutu's overthrow. Active civil war has been taking place on Congolese territory since approximately 1998. Joseph Kabila has established a government of national unity, however bitter divisions still exist nationwide.
Mobutu Sese Seko was president from 24 November 1965 until forced into exile on 16 May 1997 when his government was overthrown militarily by Laurent Kabila. Kabila immediately assumed governing authority, but his regime was subsequently challenged by a Rwanda- and Uganda-backed rebellion in August 1998. Troops from Zimbabwe, Angola, Namibia, Chad, and Sudan intervened to support the Kinshasa regime. A cease-fire was signed on 10 July 1999 by the DROC, Zimbabwe, Angola, Uganda, Namibia, Rwanda, and Congolese armed rebel groups, but sporadic fighting continued.
Kabila was assassinated in January 2001 and was succeeded by his son Joseph Kabila. In October 2002, the new president was successful in getting occupying Rwandan forces to withdraw from eastern Congo; two months later, an agreement was signed by all remaining warring parties to end the fighting and set up a government of national unity.
Local airline will transport you inland mainly with russian planes.
Passenger and VIP ferries operate daily between Brazzaville and Kinshasa roughly every two hours between 8am and 3pm. Prices for the ferries are: 15 US$ for the passenger and US$20 for the VIP ferry. The VIP ferry is recommended as these are brand new boats and not cramped. A valid visa for both countries is required in either direction. The bureaucracy at either end require some time. Entry and exit procedures in Brazzaville are "easy" and straight forward and people are very helpful in assisting to get through without troubles. In contrast, these procedures are a bit difficult in Kinshasa and depend much on whether you are an individual traveller or assisted by an organisation or an official government representative. There are also speed boats to hire, either in a group or alone (price!), however, it is not advisable to book them as they really speed across the river along the rapids.
Air France flies into and out of Kinshasa from Paris on Tuesdays and Thursdays (daytime flight from Paris to Kinshasa, nighttime flight arriving the next morning--Wednesday or Sunday--on the way back).
Sabena Belgian Airlines goes to and from Paris on Mondays (down during the day, and return overnight arriving Tuesday)
The Democratic Republic of the Congo should be considered a high-risk destination, particularly outside Kinshasa. The security situation is particularly volatile and the North and South Kivu provinces in particular are experiencing factional warfare at present. Certain regions are in fact controlled by rebel forces.
Crime rates are high, and visitors are advised not to walk alone at night.
Public transport is also unreliable at best, predominantly due to a lack of safety eqipment.
Congo is a malarian region, so please use insect repellent and take necessary precautions. It is advised that you should seek advice from a physician before visiting. The hygienic condition is not good, so beware of food and catering. It is dangerous to go to the local hospitals in towns since they are not hygienic and are often without a registered doctor. The needles are also unsafe because of the lack of sterilization. Ebola outbreaks have recently been reported in some areas. If you need emergency medical assistance, it is advised that you go to your nation's embassy. The embassy doctors are normally willing and skilled enough to help.
When motorcades pass, all vehicular traffic is expected to provide a clear path. Photography of these motorcades is illegal. Also illegal is photography of or near government buildings.
At approximately 6AM and 6PM daily, the national flag is raised and lowered. All traffic and pedestrians are required to stop for this ceremony, with reports indicating that those who do not are detained by security personnel.