Democratic Republic of the Congo map, Map of Democratic Republic of the Congo, Kinshasa, Congo, Central African Republic, Uganda, Tanzania, Zambia, Angola, Lake Tanganyika
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The most populous Francophone (French speaking) country goes by the names Democratic Republic of Congo, Congo-Kinshasa, or DRC. It has been called Congo Free State, Belgian Congo, Congo-Leopoldville, and Zaire. King Leopold acquired the rights in 1885 to the land, claiming humanitarian intentions while knowingly responsible for death and torture of thousands and manipulating the leaders of several countries. Approximately half the indigenous population died under his control, setting the stage for the famous novel Heart of Darkness, about a white leader with cruel and manipulative intentions. The country improved, in both social and economic conditions when Belgium took control away from Leopold, eventually giving the country independence in 1960. Even just after independence there has been constant confusion between this country and another with the name 'Congo' in it. Independence was rocky, as the country, especially children, suffered in three separate civil conflicts. Somewhere between 5,400 and 900,000 children are estimated to have died in those conflicts alone. Additionally, reports of genocidal cannibalism have been reported since 2003. Geographically, the area has the highest rate of thunderstorms in the world. It is the only country to have native bonobos in the wild, though they are in danger due to the illegal bushmeat trade that sells ape and monkey meat both across Africa and worldwide.

Population: 75,507,308
Area: 2,344,858 km2

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