The Democratic Republic of the Congo or Congo-Kinshasa is a country in Central Africa bordering the Republic of the Congo, the Central African Republic, South Sudan, Angola, Zambia, Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi. It remains largely unexplored to this day, but was first mapped by Pierre de Brazza, which allowed for Leopold II of Belgium to lay claim to the region as the Congo Free State during the Scramble for Africa in 1885. Reports of human rights abuses on rubber farms there led the Belgian government to take over the territory in 1908, and it became the Belgian Congo, or Lower Congo to distinguish it from the French Congo, or Middle Congo. Ruanda-Urundi (now Rwanda and Burundi) was attached to it from German East Africa after WWI in 1919; it was a supplier of uranium to the Allies in WWII, and gained it's formal independence from Belgium after the war in 1960. After attempted secession by Katanga, the DRC became an anti-communist right-wing dictatorship during the Cold War, known as Zaïre until 1997. After two civil wars in 1996-2003, the DRC is only a little closer to democracy as of 2018. It currently has a population of about 78.7 million, and uses the Congolese franc.
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