The Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) is located in central Africa. It is bordered by nine countries: Rwanda, Burundi, Uganda, and Tanzania to the east; South Sudan and The Central African Republic to the north; Zambia and Angola to the south, and The Republic of Congo to the west.
Prior to the arrival of western forces, the two major pre-colonial kingdoms in the region were the Kongo Kingdom and the Luba-Lunda Kingdom. DRC was colonized by Belgium’s King Leopold II in the late 1800s.
International pressure against Leopold’s brutality from people such as W.E.B. DuBois, George Washington Williams and Mark Twain, led the rule of DRC to be transferred over to the Belgian government in 1910. DRC gained its independence from Belgium on June 30, 1960.
The first elected Prime Minister was Patrice Lumumba, who was assassinated several months later in January, 1961. Joseph Mobutu assumed power and changed the name to Zaire.
Below are five other facts you should know about the Congo:
- The “Rumble in the Jungle” Was Fought There
The famed fight between Muhammad Ali and George Foreman took place in the Congolese capital of Kinshasa (then known as Zaire) in October 30, 1974. It has been called “arguably the greatest sporting event of the 20th century,” where Ali deployed his rope-a-dope and overcame 4-to-1 odds to defeat Foreman, who was the undefeated champ at the time.