République du Congo

Political Status: Independent since August 15, 1960; one-party People's Republic proclaimed December 31, 1969; multiparty system authorized as of January 1, 1991; constitution approved in referendum of March 15, 1992, suspended in October 1997 following overthrow of the government; current constitution adopted by referendum of January 20, 2002.

Area: 132,046 sq. mi. (342,000 sq. km.).

Population: 2,591,271 (1996C); 4,066,000 (2004E).

Major Urban Centers (1997E): BRAZZAVILLE (950,000), Pointe-Noire (500,000).

Official Language: French.

Monetary Unit: CFA Franc (official rate July 1, 2005: 541.80 francs = $1US). (The CFA franc, previously pegged to the French franc, is now permanently pegged to the euro at 655.957 CFA francs = 1 euro.)

President: Gen. Denis SASSOU-NGUESSO (Congolese Labor Party); sworn in on October 25, 1997, following the military overthrow of the government of Pascal ...

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