The Republic of the Congo, or Congo-Brazzaville is a country in Central Africa, bordering the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Gabon, Angola and the Central African Republic. It was inhabited by the Kongo people until it was first explored by Pierre de Brazza in 1880, which led to French colonisation of the region in the Scramble for Africa. It was known as the Middle Congo, or French Congo to distinguish it from the neighbouring Lower Congo, or Belgian Congo. In 1908 it became part of French Equatorial Africa; in July 1940 becoming the first territory to join de Gaulle's Free France under Governor Félix Éboué. It became independent along with many other Francophone African countries in 1960, after which it became a communist state in 1969, and after a period of democracy, civil war broke out in 1997; as of 2018, there has not yet been a free and fair democratic election in the country, which has a population of about 5.1 million, and currently uses the Central African CFA Franc, but issues it's own commemorative coins.
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