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, 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: 29,916,800 (1984C); 57,496,000 (2006E).

Major Urban Centers (2005E): KINSHASA (7,000,000), Mbuji-Mayi (1,300,000), Lubumbashi (1,275,000).

Official Languages: French. Kikongo, Lingala, ...

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