Democratic Republic of the Congo

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; 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.

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

Population: 29,916,800 (1984C); 54,155,000 (2004E).

Major Urban Centers (1984C): KINSHASA (2,664,309), Lubumbashi (564,830), Mbuji-Mayi (486,235), Kisangani (317,581), Kananga (298,693).

Official Languages: French, local languages (principally Kikongo, Kiswahili, Lingala, Tshiluba).

Monetary Unit: Congolese Franc (market rate July 1, 2005: approximately 408 francs = $1US).

President: Joseph KABILA; appointed by ...

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