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The Two Congos
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Flag : The Two Congos
 

 
Fact file : The Two Congos
 
Area2,344,885 sq km
CapitalKinshasa (formerly Léopoldville)
Population58,317,930
LanguageFrench, Swahili, Kikongo, Tshiluba, and Lingala
CurrencyCongolese franc (346.49 Congolese francs equal US$1; 2002 average)

 

The Two Congos

The large country in the heart of Africa, formerly called Zaire,
has reverted to its earlier name, Congo, and will now be known as the Democratic Republic of Congo.
The country was ruled by the Belgians from 1885 to 1960 when it won its independence.
In 1971 the government changed its name to Zaire.
Now the country has a new government and it prefers the old name.
Congo is a poor country that could become wealthy through its valuable natural resources. It is a leading producer of copper, cobalt and industrial diamonds. It has gold and oil too.
Reverting to its old name could lead to some confusion because one of its neighbours is also called Congo (Republic of Congo).
This is a smaller country that was once ruled by France.
The two Congos are separated by the world's fifth longest river, the Congo, also known as the Zaire river.

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