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Congo, Democratic Republic

After obtaining independence in 1960, the Belgian Congo experienced a period of political and social instability that set the stage for the frequently brutal 32-year tenure of Colonel Joseph Mobutu, who changed the name of the country to Zaire. An influx of refugees from Rwanda and Burundi helped to topple Mobutu in 1997 and led to the establishment of the country as the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DROC) under Laurent Kabila. The ensuing battle for power led to interference from Rwanda, Uganda, Zimbabwe, Angola, Namibia, Chad, and the Sudan before peace was declared in July 1991. By that time, 2.33 million Congolese has been displaced internally and another 412,000 had fled the country. Estimates place the total death count at 3.3 million people, ...

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