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The Republic of the Congo (French: République du Congo) is a country in Central Africa, bordered by Gabon, Cameroon, the Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the Angolan exclave of Cabinda, and the Atlantic Ocean, in clockwise order. Despite having a nigh-identical name to its eastern neighbor the DR Congo, most people wouldn't have a problem differentiating them, simply because not many know that it actually exists. Take it as the Lesser Star of the two Congos. In seriousness, the country has a (relatively) simpler history than the infamously chaotic DR Congo, although its problems should not be glossed over, either. In journalistic, the country is often referred to as "Congo-Brazzaville" (after the capital), contrasting it with the DR Congo's "Congo-Kinshasa".
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Formerly inhabited by the pygmies, then the Bantus before the Europeans moved in as an Outside-Context Problem to both of them. The prominent Bantu group who live in the country is (you guessed it) the Kongos, complemented by the Sanghas and the Tekes. The French began to expand their colony into the interior in the 19th century, eventually subsuming the Bantu kingdoms under their rule. The region was made the colony of French Congo, and, together with French Gabon, French Chad, and French Oubangui-Chari (the present-day CAR), made the French Equatorial Africa, with Brazzaville as its capital.

During World War II, Congo took a spotlight when the Free French government made Brazzaville the symbolic capital of the French Colonial Empire after the fall of Paris, although London was de jure the capital-in-exile. The capital was eventually moved to Algiers, but Brazzaville remained important as the site of the Brazzaville Declaration, which made significant reforms to the administration of the French colonies to be implemented after the war (especially after France's notorious implementation of hard labor on the Congolese people in the followup to World War I).

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The country became independent in 1960 with Fulbert Youlou as the first president, but he was ousted by Alphonse Massamba-Débat, who was fiercely left-leaning and established "scientific socialism" as the country's principal ideology. Massamba-Débat himself was deposed in a coup in 1968, to be succeeded by Marien Ngouabi, who renamed the country into the "People's Republic of the Congo". Ngouabi was eventually assassinated, but his successors continued the left-leaning ideology, including the country's current president, Denis Sassou Nguesso, who first took power in 1979.

After The Great Politics Mess-Up, Nguesso had to allow opposition to finally stand in party elections. Pascal Lissouba became the first democratically-elected president in the 1992 general election, but Nguesso continued a rivalry with him until it degenerated into a civil war in 1997 that claimed thousands of deaths. The war only ended when Nguesso took the helm again...to the present day.

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Like its neighbors, it has large reserves of oil and mineral, which the country has generously tapped on, making it one of Africa's wealthiest countries, though not as many people have received this incentive as expected. Its relative stability has allowed it grow on, though, avoiding the pitfall of its eastern neighbor.

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The Congolese Flag https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/320px_flag_of_the_republic_of_the_congosvg.png
The tricolor contains pan-African colors as used by Ethiopia: green, yellow, and red. Green represents agriculture, while yellow represents the friendship of the Congolese people. The red, however, has no particular meaning; it was probably a leftover of the Congolese flag during the Cold War era, which was stuck-up red with the socialist star and sickle and hammer in its canton. In this case, the red represents the revolution of the people.

The Congolese national anthem

En ce jour le soleil se lève
Et notre Congo resplendit.
Une longue nuit s'achève,
Un grand bonheur a surgi.
Chantons tous avec ivresse
Le chant de la liberté.

Congolais, debout fièrement partout,
Proclamons l'union de notre nation,
Oublions ce qui nous divise,
Soyons plus unis que jamais,
Vivons pour notre devise:
Unité, travail, progrès!
Vivons pour notre devise:
Unité, travail, progrès!

Des forêts jusqu'à la savanne,
Des savannes jusqu'à la mer,
Un seul peuple, une seule âme,
Un seul cœur, ardent et fier,
Luttons tous, tant que nous sommes,
Pour notre vieux pays noir.

Congolais, debout fièrement partout,
Proclamons l'union de notre nation,
Oublions ce qui nous divise,
Soyons plus unis que jamais,
Vivons pour notre devise:
Unité, travail, progrès!
Vivons pour notre devise:
Unité, travail, progrès!

Et s'il nous faut mourir, en somme
Qu'importe puisque nos enfants,
Partout, pourront dire comme
On triomphe en combattant,
Et dans le moindre village
Chantent sous nos trois couleurs.

Congolais, debout fièrement partout,
Proclamons l'union de notre nation,
Oublions ce qui nous divise,
Soyons plus unis que jamais,
Vivons pour notre devise:
Unité, travail, progrès!
Vivons pour notre devise:
Unité, travail, progrès!

On this day the sun rises
And our Congo stands resplendent.
A long night is ended,
A great happiness has come.
Let us all, with wild joyfulness, sing
The song of freedom

Arise, Congolese, proud every man,
Proclaim the unity of our nation.
Let us forget what divides us
And become more united than ever.
Let us live our motto:
Unity, work, progress.
Let us live our motto:
Unity, work, progress.

From the forest to the bush,
From the bush to the ocean,
One people, one soul,
One heart, ardent and proud.
Let us all fight, every one of us,
For our black country.

Arise, Congolese, proud every man,
Proclaim the unity of our nation.
Let us forget what divides us
And become more united than ever.
Let us live our motto:
Unity, work, progress.
Let us live our motto:
Unity, work, progress.

And if we have to die,
What does it really matter? Our children
Everywhere will be able to say how
Triumph comes through battle,
And in the smallest village
Sing beneath our three colours.

Arise, Congolese, proud every man,
Proclaim the unity of our nation.
Let us forget what divides us
And become more united than ever.
Let us live our motto:
Unity, work, progress.
Let us live our motto:
Unity, work, progress.

Government
  • Unitary dominant-party semi-presidential republic
    • President: Denis Sassou Nguesso
    • Prime Minister: Anatole Collinet Makosso

Miscellaneous
  • Capital and largest city: Brazzaville
  • Population: 5,244,359
  • Area: 342,000 km² (132,000 sq mi) (64th)
  • Currency: Central African CFA franc (FCFA) (XAF)
  • ISO-3166-1 Code: CG
  • Country calling code: 242
  • Highest point: Mont Nabemba (1020 m/3,346 ft) (169th)
  • Lowest point: Atlantic Ocean (3,646 m/11,962 ft) (-)
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