Democratic Republic of the Congo

Edited by: Tom Lansford

In: Political Handbook of the World 2015

Democratic Republic of the Congo

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  • République Démocratique du Congo

    Political Status: Independent republic established June 30, 1960; one-party constitution of February 1978 modified in June 1990 to accommodate multiparty system; all government institutions dissolved on May 17, 1997, following rebel takeover of the capital, and executive, legislative, and judicial authority assumed the same day by a self-appointed president backed by the military; interim constitution providing for a transitional national government approved April 2, 2003, by various groups participating in the Inter-Congolese National Dialogue; new constitution endorsed by national referendum on December 18, 2005, and promulgated on February 18, 2006, providing for new national elections later in the year.

    Area: 905,562 sq. mi. (2,345,409 sq. km).

    Population: 6,943,500 (2014E—UN); 77,433,744 (2014—U.S. Census).

    Major Urban Centers: KINSHASA (8,798,000 [2011E]), Mbuji-Mayi (1,300,000 [2005E]), Lubumbashi (1,275,000 [2005E]).

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