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The Democratic Republic of the Congo is a Central African country, with Kinshasa serving as its capital. The region, once home to the powerful Kingdom of Kongo, was colonized by Belgium from the 1870s to the 1920s, and the Congo Free State was created in 1885 before being incorporated into the "Belgian Congo" in 1908 in response to the deaths of millions of Congolese natives from disease and exploitation while being forced into the rubber business.

On 30 June 1960, the region was given independence as "Congo-Leopoldville", but ethnic and political tensions led to the southern states of South Kasai and Katanga seceding. In the ensuing Congo Crisis, Belgium backed the secessionists against the US-backed president Joseph Kasa-Vubu and the Soviet-backed Prime Minister Patrice Lumumba. Animosity between the president and prime minister led to Joseph-Desire Mobutu leading a US and Belgian-backed coup against Lumumba in November 1960, and Lumumba was executed in January 1961. Lumumba's supporters founded a rival government at Congo-Stanleyville, but the Leopoldville government subdued all of the secessionist states by the start of 1963, and Mobutu crushed the communist Simbas from 1964 to 1965. In 1965, Mobutu seized power for himself, creating the state of "Zaire", a single-party state whose centralized government executed several political opponents and secessionists. Mobutu was a Third Positionist who continued to enjoy the support of the West due to his vehement anti-communism, but he lost Western support following the end of the Cold War in 1990. Throughout the 1990s, a terrible economy and Mobutu's declining health led to instability in the Congo, leading to the First Congo War in 1997. Mobutu was overthrown by Laurent-Desire Kabila, who renamed "Zaire" to the "Democratic Republic of the Congo". The country was plunged into civil war in the "Second Congo War" of 1998-2003, during which the government fought against Rwandan influence in the nation. The two wars devastated the Congo, which became one of the poorest countries in the world (despite its extreme richness in natural resources) due to corruption, foreign exploitation, and a lack of infrastructure. In 2017, the Democratic Republic of the Congo had a population of 82,243,000 people.

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