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Republic of the Congo vs. Democratic Republic of the Congo

Introduction

Republic of the CongoDemocratic Republic of the Congo
BackgroundUpon independence in 1960, the former French region of Middle Congo became the Republic of the Congo. A quarter century of experimentation with Marxism was abandoned in 1990 and a democratically elected government took office in 1992. A brief civil war in 1997 restored former Marxist President Denis SASSOU-Nguesso, and ushered in a period of ethnic and political unrest. Southern-based rebel groups agreed to a final peace accord in March 2003. The Republic of Congo is one of Africa's largest petroleum producers, but with declining production it will need new offshore oil finds to sustain its oil earnings over the long term.
Established as an official Belgian colony in 1908, the then-Republic of the Congo gained its independence in 1960, but its early years were marred by political and social instability. Col. Joseph MOBUTU seized power and declared himself president in a November 1965 coup. He subsequently changed his name - to MOBUTU Sese Seko - as well as that of the country - to Zaire. MOBUTU retained his position for 32 years through several sham elections, as well as through brutal force. Ethnic strife and civil war, touched off by a massive inflow of refugees in 1994 from fighting in Rwanda and Burundi, led in May 1997 to the toppling of the MOBUTU regime by a rebellion backed by Rwanda and Uganda and fronted by Laurent KABILA. KABILA renamed the country the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), but in August 1998 his regime was itself challenged by a second insurrection again backed by Rwanda and Uganda. Troops from Angola, Chad, Namibia, Sudan, and Zimbabwe intervened to support KABILA's regime. In January 2001, KABILA was assassinated and his son, Joseph KABILA, was named head of state. In October 2002, the new president was successful in negotiating the withdrawal of Rwandan forces occupying the eastern DRC; two months later, the Pretoria Accord was signed by all remaining warring parties to end the fighting and establish a government of national unity. A transitional government was set up in July 2003; it held a successful constitutional referendum in December 2005 and elections for the presidency, National Assembly, and provincial legislatures took place in 2006.
In 2009, following a resurgence of conflict in the eastern DRC, the government signed a peace agreement with the National Congress for the Defense of the People (CNDP), a primarily Tutsi rebel group. An attempt to integrate CNDP members into the Congolese military failed, prompting their defection in 2012 and the formation of the M23 armed group - named after the 23 March 2009 peace agreements. Renewed conflict led to large population displacements and significant human rights abuses before the M23 was pushed out of DRC to Uganda and Rwanda in late 2013 by a joint DRC and UN offensive. In addition, the DRC continues to experience violence committed by other armed groups including the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda, the Allied Democratic Forces, and assorted Mai Mai militias. In the most recent national elections, held in November 2011, disputed results allowed Joseph KABILA to be reelected to the presidency. The DRC Constitution bars President KABILA from running for a third term, but the DRC Government has delayed national elections originally slated for November 2016. The failure to hold elections as scheduled has fueled sporadic street protests by KABILA’s opponents. In late December 2016, government officials and opposition leaders struck a last-minute deal that will require KABILA to step down after elections to be held by the end of 2017.

Geography

Republic of the CongoDemocratic Republic of the Congo
LocationCentral Africa, bordering the South Atlantic Ocean, between Angola and Gabon
Central Africa, northeast of Angola
Geographic coordinates1 00 S, 15 00 E
0 00 N, 25 00 E
Map referencesAfrica
Africa
Areatotal: 342,000 sq km
land: 341,500 sq km
water: 500 sq km
total: 2,344,858 sq km
land: 2,267,048 sq km
water: 77,810 sq km
Area - comparativeslightly smaller than Montana
slightly less than one-fourth the size of the US
Land boundariestotal: 5,008 km
border countries (5): Angola 231 km, Cameroon 494 km, Central African Republic 487 km, Democratic Republic of the Congo 1,229 km, Gabon 2,567 km
total: 10,481 km
border countries (9): Angola 2,646 km (of which 225 km is the boundary of Angola's discontiguous Cabinda Province), Burundi 236 km, Central African Republic 1,747 km, Republic of the Congo 1,229 km, Rwanda 221 km, South Sudan 714 km, Tanzania 479 km, Uganda 877 km, Zambia 2,332 km
Coastline169 km
37 km
Maritime claimsterritorial sea: 12 nm
contiguous zone: 24 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
territorial sea: 12 nm
exclusive economic zone: since 2011 the DRC has a Common Interest Zone agreement with Angola for the mutual development of off-shore resources
Climatetropical; rainy season (March to June); dry season (June to October); persistent high temperatures and humidity; particularly enervating climate astride the Equator
tropical; hot and humid in equatorial river basin; cooler and drier in southern highlands; cooler and wetter in eastern highlands; north of Equator - wet season (April to October), dry season (December to February); south of Equator - wet season (November to March), dry season (April to October)
Terraincoastal plain, southern basin, central plateau, northern basin
vast central basin is a low-lying plateau; mountains in east
Elevation extremesmean elevation: 430 m
elevation extremes: lowest point: Atlantic Ocean 0 m
highest point: Mount Berongou 903 m
mean elevation: 726 m
elevation extremes: lowest point: Atlantic Ocean 0 m
highest point: Pic Marguerite on Mont Ngaliema (Mount Stanley) 5,110 m
Natural resourcespetroleum, timber, potash, lead, zinc, uranium, copper, phosphates, gold, magnesium, natural gas, hydropower
cobalt, copper, niobium, tantalum, petroleum, industrial and gem diamonds, gold, silver, zinc, manganese, tin, uranium, coal, hydropower, timber
Land useagricultural land: 31.1%
arable land 1.6%; permanent crops 0.2%; permanent pasture 29.3%
forest: 65.6%
other: 3.3% (2011 est.)
agricultural land: 11.4%
arable land 3.1%; permanent crops 0.3%; permanent pasture 8%
forest: 67.9%
other: 20.7% (2011 est.)
Irrigated land20 sq km (2012)
110 sq km (2012)
Natural hazardsseasonal flooding
periodic droughts in south; Congo River floods (seasonal); active volcanoes in the east along the Great Rift Valley
volcanism: Nyiragongo (elev. 3,470 m), which erupted in 2002 and is experiencing ongoing activity, poses a major threat to the city of Goma, home to a quarter million people; the volcano produces unusually fast-moving lava, known to travel up to 100 km /hr; Nyiragongo has been deemed a Decade Volcano by the International Association of Volcanology and Chemistry of the Earth's Interior, worthy of study due to its explosive history and close proximity to human populations; its neighbor, Nyamuragira, which erupted in 2010, is Africa's most active volcano; Visoke is the only other historically active volcano
Environment - current issuesair pollution from vehicle emissions; water pollution from raw sewage; tap water is not potable; deforestation
poaching threatens wildlife populations; water pollution; deforestation; soil erosion; mining (diamonds, gold, coltan - a mineral used in creating capacitors for electronic devices) causing environmental damage
Environment - international agreementsparty to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Ozone Layer Protection, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified: Environmental Modification
Geography - noteabout 70% of the population lives in Brazzaville, Pointe-Noire, or along the railroad between them
second largest country in Africa (after Algeria) and largest country in Sub-Saharan Africa; straddles the equator; has narrow strip of land that controls the lower Congo River and is only outlet to South Atlantic Ocean; dense tropical rain forest in central river basin and eastern highlands

Demographics

Republic of the CongoDemocratic Republic of the Congo
Population4,852,412
note: estimates for this country explicitly take into account the effects of excess mortality due to AIDS; this can result in lower life expectancy, higher infant mortality, higher death rates, lower population growth rates, and changes in the distribution of population by age and sex than would otherwise be expected (July 2016 est.)
81,331,050
note: estimates for this country explicitly take into account the effects of excess mortality due to AIDS; this can result in lower life expectancy, higher infant mortality, higher death rates, lower population growth rates, and changes in the distribution of population by age and sex than would otherwise be expected (July 2016 est.)
Age structure0-14 years: 41.53% (male 1,016,677/female 998,331)
15-24 years: 17.26% (male 419,248/female 418,397)
25-54 years: 34% (male 831,091/female 818,853)
55-64 years: 4.18% (male 101,118/female 101,879)
65 years and over: 3.03% (male 64,519/female 82,299) (2016 est.)
0-14 years: 42.2% (male 17,300,707/female 17,024,082)
15-24 years: 21.44% (male 8,747,038/female 8,694,000)
25-54 years: 30.13% (male 12,227,971/female 12,273,304)
55-64 years: 3.58% (male 1,374,050/female 1,535,973)
65 years and over: 2.65% (male 910,456/female 1,243,469) (2016 est.)
Median agetotal: 19.7 years
male: 19.6 years
female: 19.9 years (2016 est.)
total: 18.4 years
male: 18.1 years
female: 18.6 years (2016 est.)
Population growth rate2.06% (2016 est.)
2.42% (2016 est.)
Birth rate35.1 births/1,000 population (2016 est.)
34.2 births/1,000 population (2016 est.)
Death rate9.7 deaths/1,000 population (2016 est.)
9.9 deaths/1,000 population (2016 est.)
Net migration rate-4.8 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2016 est.)
-0.2 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2016 est.)
Sex ratioat birth: 1.03 male(s)/female
0-14 years: 1.02 male(s)/female
15-24 years: 1 male(s)/female
25-54 years: 1.01 male(s)/female
55-64 years: 0.99 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.78 male(s)/female
total population: 1.01 male(s)/female (2016 est.)
at birth: 1.03 male(s)/female
0-14 years: 1.02 male(s)/female
15-24 years: 1.01 male(s)/female
25-54 years: 1 male(s)/female
55-64 years: 0.89 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.73 male(s)/female
total population: 1 male(s)/female (2016 est.)
Infant mortality ratetotal: 56.4 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 61.4 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 51.3 deaths/1,000 live births (2016 est.)
total: 69.8 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 73.4 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 66.2 deaths/1,000 live births (2016 est.)
Life expectancy at birthtotal population: 59.3 years
male: 58.1 years
female: 60.6 years (2016 est.)
total population: 57.3 years
male: 55.8 years
female: 58.9 years (2016 est.)
Total fertility rate4.63 children born/woman (2016 est.)
4.53 children born/woman (2016 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate2.75% (2014 est.)
0.85% (2015 est.)
Nationalitynoun: Congolese (singular and plural)
adjective: Congolese or Congo
noun: Congolese (singular and plural)
adjective: Congolese or Congo
Ethnic groupsKongo 48%, Sangha 20%, M'Bochi 12%, Teke 17%, Europeans and other 3%
over 200 African ethnic groups of which the majority are Bantu; the four largest tribes - Mongo, Luba, Kongo (all Bantu), and the Mangbetu-Azande (Hamitic) make up about 45% of the population
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS80,700 (2014 est.)
374,100 (2015 est.)
ReligionsRoman Catholic 33.1%, Awakening Churches/Christian Revival 22.3%, Protestant 19.9%, Salutiste 2.2%, Muslim 1.6%, Kimbanguiste 1.5%, other 8.1%, none 11.3% (2010 est.)
Roman Catholic 50%, Protestant 20%, Kimbanguist 10%, Muslim 10%, other (includes syncretic sects and indigenous beliefs) 10%
HIV/AIDS - deaths4,400 (2014 est.)
21,700 (2015 est.)
LanguagesFrench (official), Lingala and Monokutuba (lingua franca trade languages), many local languages and dialects (of which Kikongo is the most widespread)
French (official), Lingala (a lingua franca trade language), Kingwana (a dialect of Kiswahili or Swahili), Kikongo, Tshiluba
Literacydefinition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 79.3%
male: 86.4%
female: 72.9% (2015 est.)
definition: age 15 and over can read and write French, Lingala, Kingwana, or Tshiluba
total population: 63.8%
male: 78.1%
female: 50% (2015 est.)
Major infectious diseasesdegree of risk: very high
food or waterborne diseases: bacterial and protozoal diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever
vectorborne disease: malaria and dengue fever
animal contact disease: rabies
water contact disease: schistosomiasis (2016)
degree of risk: very high
food or waterborne diseases: bacterial and protozoal diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever
vectorborne diseases: malaria, dengue fever, and trypanosomiasis-gambiense (African sleeping sickness)
water contact disease: schistosomiasis
animal contact disease: rabies (2016)
School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education)total: 11 years
male: 11 years
female: 11 years (2012)
total: 9 years
male: 10 years
female: 8 years (2013)
Education expenditures6.2% of GDP (2010)
2.2% of GDP (2013)
Urbanizationurban population: 65.4% of total population (2015)
rate of urbanization: 3.22% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)
urban population: 42.5% of total population (2015)
rate of urbanization: 3.96% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)
Drinking water sourceimproved:
urban: 95.8% of population
rural: 40% of population
total: 76.5% of population
unimproved:
urban: 4.2% of population
rural: 60% of population
total: 23.5% of population (2015 est.)
improved:
urban: 81.1% of population
rural: 31.2% of population
total: 52.4% of population
unimproved:
urban: 18.9% of population
rural: 68.8% of population
total: 47.6% of population (2015 est.)
Sanitation facility accessimproved:
urban: 20% of population
rural: 5.6% of population
total: 15% of population
unimproved:
urban: 80% of population
rural: 94.4% of population
total: 85% of population (2015 est.)
improved:
urban: 28.5% of population
rural: 28.7% of population
total: 28.7% of population
unimproved:
urban: 71.5% of population
rural: 71.3% of population
total: 71.3% of population (2015 est.)
Major cities - populationBRAZZAVILLE (capital) 1.888 million; Pointe-Noire 969,000 (2015)
KINSHASA (capital) 11.587 million; Lubumbashi 2.015 million; Mbuji-Mayi 2.007 million; Kananga 1.169 million; Kisangani 1.04 million; Bukavu 832,000 (2015)
Maternal mortality rate442 deaths/100,000 live births (2015 est.)
693 deaths/100,000 live births (2015 est.)
Children under the age of 5 years underweight12.3% (2015)
23.4% (2014)
Health expenditures5.2% of GDP (2014)
4.3% of GDP (2014)
Physicians density0.11 physicians/1,000 population (2007)
9 physicians/1,000 population (2009)
Obesity - adult prevalence rate9.7% (2014)
3.7% (2014)
Child labor - children ages 5-14total number: 252,171
percentage: 25% (2005 est.)
total number: 8,284,395
percentage: 42% (2010 est.)
Mother's mean age at first birth19.8 years
note: median age at first birth among women 25-29 (2011/12 est.)
19.9 years
note: median age at first birth among women 25-29 (2013/14 est.)
Contraceptive prevalence rate30.1% (2014)
20.4% (2013)
Dependency ratiostotal dependency ratio: 86.2
youth dependency ratio: 79.4
elderly dependency ratio: 6.8
potential support ratio: 14.7 (2015 est.)
total dependency ratio: 95.9
youth dependency ratio: 90.1
elderly dependency ratio: 5.8
potential support ratio: 17.2 (2015 est.)

Government

Republic of the CongoDemocratic Republic of the Congo
Country name"conventional long form: Republic of the Congo
conventional short form: Congo (Brazzaville)
local long form: Republique du Congo
local short form: Congo
former: French Congo, Middle Congo, People's Republic of the Congo, Congo/Brazzaville
etymology: named for the Congo River, which makes up much of the country's eastern border; the river name derives from Kongo, a Bantu kingdom that occupied its mouth at the time of Portuguese discovery in the late 15th century and whose name stems from its people the Bakongo, meaning ""hunters""
"
"conventional long form: Democratic Republic of the Congo
conventional short form: DRC
local long form: Republique Democratique du Congo
local short form: RDC
former: Congo Free State, Belgian Congo, Congo/Leopoldville, Congo/Kinshasa, Zaire
abbreviation: DRC
etymology: named for the Congo River, most of which lies within the DRC; the river name derives from Kongo, a Bantu kingdom that occupied its mouth at the time of Portuguese discovery in the late 15th century and whose name stems from its people the Bakongo, meaning ""hunters""
"
Government typepresidential republic
semi-presidential republic
Capitalname: Brazzaville
geographic coordinates: 4 15 S, 15 17 E
time difference: UTC+1 (6 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
name: Kinshasa
geographic coordinates: 4 19 S, 15 18 E
time difference: UTC+1 (6 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
Administrative divisions12 departments (departments, singular - department); Bouenza, Brazzaville, Cuvette, Cuvette-Ouest, Kouilou, Lekoumou, Likouala, Niari, Plateaux, Pointe-Noire, Pool, Sangha
26 provinces (provinces, singular - province); Bas-Uele (Lower Uele), Equateur, Haut-Katanga (Upper Katanga), Haut-Lomami (Upper Lomami), Haut-Uele (Upper Uele), Ituri, Kasai, Kasai-Central, Kasai-Oriental (East Kasai), Kinshasa, Kongo Central, Kwango, Kwilu, Lomami, Lualaba, Mai-Ndombe, Maniema, Mongala, Nord-Kivu (North Kivu), Nord-Ubangi (North Ubangi), Sankuru, Sud-Kivu (South Kivu), Sud-Ubangi (South Ubangi), Tanganyika, Tshopo, Tshuapa
Independence15 August 1960 (from France)
30 June 1960 (from Belgium)
National holidayIndependence Day, 15 August (1960)
Independence Day, 30 June (1960)
Constitutionprevious 1992; latest approved by referendum 20 January 2002; amended 2015; note - the constitutional referendum approved in October 2015 changed the head of government from the president to the prime minister, eliminated the presidential age maximum, reduced the presidential term from 7 to 5 years and limited total presidential terms to 3 (2017)
several previous; latest adopted 13 May 2005, approved by referendum 18-19 December 2005, promulgated 18 February 2006; amended 2011 (2016)
Legal systemmixed legal system of French civil law and customary law
civil law system primarily based on Belgian law, but also customary, and tribal law
Suffrage18 years of age; universal
18 years of age; universal and compulsory
Executive branchchief of state: President Denis SASSOU-Nguesso (since 25 October 1997)
head of government: Prime Minister Clement MOUAMBA (since 23 April 2016); note - a constitutional referendum held in 2015 approved the change of the head of government from the president to the prime minister
cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the president
elections/appointments: president directly elected by absolute majority popular vote in 2 rounds if needed for a 5-year term (eligible for 2 additional terms); election last held on 20 March 2016 (next to be held in 2021)
election results: Denis SASSOU-Nguesso reelected president; percent of vote - Denis SASSOU-Nguesso (PCT) 60.4%, Guy Price Parfait KOLELAS (MCDDI) 15.1%, Jean-Marie MOKOKO (independent) 13.9%, Pascal Tsaty MABIALA (UPADS) 4.4%, other 6.2%
chief of state: President Joseph KABILA (since 17 January 2001)
head of government: Prime Minister Bruno TSHIBALA (since 7 April 2017); Deputy Prime Ministers Jose MAKILA, Leonard She OKITUNDU, Emmanuel RAMAZANI Shadary (since December 2016)
cabinet: Ministers of State appointed by the president
elections/appointments: president directly elected by simple majority vote for a 5-year term (eligible for a second term); election last held on 28 November 2011 (next originally scheduled for 27 November 2016 but expected by end of 2017 per agreement between the government and opposition); prime minister appointed by the president
election results: Joseph KABILA reelected president; percent of vote - Joseph KABILA (PPRD) 49%, Etienne TSHISEKEDI (UDPS) 32.3%, other 18.7%; note - election marred by serious voting irregularities
Legislative branchdescription: bicameral Parliament or Parlement consists of the Senate (72 seats; members indirectly elected by regional councils by simple majority vote to serve 6-year terms with one-half of membership renewed every three years) and the National Assembly (139 seats; members directly elected in single-seat constituencies by absolute majority popular vote in two rounds if needed; members serve 5-year terms)
elections: Senate - last held on 12 October 2014 for 36 of the expiry seats (next to be held in 2020); National Assembly - last held on 15 July and 5 August 2012 (next to be held on 16 and 30 July 2017)
election results: Senate - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - RMP 33, FDU 23, UPADS 2, other 7, independent 7; National Assembly - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - PCT 89, MCDDI 7, UPADS 7, RDPS 5, MAR 4, RC 3, MUST 2, UPDP 2, CPR 1, PRL 1, PUR 1, UFD 1, UR 1, independent 12, vacant 3
description: bicameral Parliament or Parlament consists of the Senate (108 seats; members indirectly elected by provincial assemblies by proportional representation vote; members serve 5-year terms) and the National Assembly (500 seats; 439 members directly elected in multi-seat constituencies by proportional representation vote and 61 directly elected in single-seat constituencies by simple majority vote; members serve 5-year terms)
elections: Senate - last held on 19 January 2007 (follow-on elections have been delayed); National Assembly - last held on 28 November 2011 (next originally scheduled for 27 November 2016, postponed until April 2018)
election results: Senate - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - PPRD 22, MLC 14, FR 7, RCD 7, PDC 6, CDC 3, MSR 3, PALU 2, independent 26, other 18; National Assembly - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - PPRD 62, UDPS 41, PPPD 29, MSR 27, MLC 22, PALU 19, UNC 17, ARC 16, AFDC 15, ECT 11, RRC 11, independent 16, other 214 (includes numerous political parties that won 10 or fewer seats and 2 constituencies where voting was halted); note - the November 2011 election was marred by violence including the destruction of ballots in two constituencies resulting in the closure of polling sites; election results were delayed three months, strongly contested, and continue to be unresolved
Judicial branchhighest court(s): Supreme Court or Cour Supreme (consists of NA judges); Constitutional Court (consists of 9 members); note - a High Court of Justice, outside the judicial authority, tries cases involving treason by the president of the republic
judge selection and term of office: Supreme Court judges elected by Parliament and serve until age 65; Constitutional Court members appointed by the president of the republic - 3 directly by the president and 6 nominated by Parliament; members appointed for renewable 9-year terms with one-third of the membership renewed every 3 years
subordinate courts: Court of Audit and Budgetary Discipline; courts of appeal; regional and district courts; employment tribunals; juvenile courts;
highest court(s): Court of Cassation or Cour de Cassation (consists of 26 justices and organized into legislative and judiciary sections); Constitutional Court (consists of 9 judges)
judge selection and term of office: Court of Cassation judges nominated by the Judicial Service Council, an independent body of public prosecutors and selected judges of the lower courts; judge tenure NA; Constitutional Court judges - 3 nominated by the president, 3 by the Judicial Service Council, and 3 by the legislature; judges appointed by the president to serve 9-year non-renewable terms with one-third of the membership renewed every 3 years
subordinate courts: State Security Court; Court of Appeals (organized into administrative and judiciary sections); Tribunal de Grande; magistrates' courts; customary courts
Political parties and leadersAction Movement for Renewal or MAR [Roland BOUITI-VIAUDO]
Citizen's Rally or RC
Congolese Labour Party or PCT [Denis SASSOU-NGUESSO]
Congolese Movement for Democracy and Integral Development or MCDDI [Guy Price Parfait KOLELAS]
Movement for Unity, Solidarity, and Work or MUST [Claudine MUNARI]
Pan-African Union for Social Development or UPADS [Pascal Tsaty MABIALA]
Party for the Unity of the Republic or PUR
Patriotic Union for Democracy and Progress or UPDP [Auguste-Celestin GONGARD NKOUA
Prospects and Realities Club or CPR
Rally for Democracy and Social Progress or RDPS [Bernard BATCHI]
Rally of the Presidential Majority or RMP
Republican and Liberal Party or PRL
Union for the Republic or UR
Union of Democratic Forces
Union for Democracy and Republic or UDR
United Democratic Forces or FDU [Sebastian EBAO]; many smaller parties
Christian Democrat Party or PDC [Jose ENDUNDO]
Congolese Rally for Democracy or RCD [Azarias RUBERWA]
Convention of Christian Democrats or CDC
Forces of Renewal or FR [Mbusa NYAMWISI]
Movement for the Liberation of the Congo or MLC [Jean-Pierre BEMBA]
People's Party for Reconstruction and Democracy or PPRD [Henri MOVA]
Social Movement for Renewal or MSR [Pierre LUMBI]
Unified Lumumbist Party or PALU [Antoine GIZENGA]
Union for the Congolese Nation or UNC [Vital KAMERHE]
Union for Democracy and Social Progress or UDPS [Felix TSHISEKEDI]
Political pressure groups and leadersCongolese Trade Union Congress or CSC
General Union of Congolese Pupils and Students or UGEEC
Revolutionary Union of Congolese Women or URFC
Union of Congolese Socialist Youth or UJSC
Allied Democratic Forces or ADF (anti-Ugandan government rebel groups]
Forces Arm?es de la R?publique D?mocratique du Congo (Army of the Democratic Republic of the Congo) or FARDC
Forces Democratiques de Liberation du Rwanda or FDLR (Rwandan militia group made up of some of the perpetrators of Rwanda's genocide in 1994)
Le Rassemblement (established in 2016 as a coalition of members from several political parties)
International organization participationACP, AfDB, AU, BDEAC, CEMAC, EITI (compliant country), FAO, FZ, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICCt, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO (correspondent), ITSO, ITU, ITUC (NGOs), MIGA, NAM, OIF, OPCW, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNITAR, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WFTU (NGOs), WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO
ACP, AfDB, AU, CEMAC, CEPGL, COMESA, EITI (compliant country), FAO, G-24, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC (NGOs), ICCt, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC (NGOs), MIGA, NAM, OIF, OPCW, PCA, SADC, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WFTU (NGOs), WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO
Diplomatic representation in the USchief of mission: Ambassador Serge MOMBOULI (since 31 July 2001)
chancery: 1720 16th Street NW, Washington, DC 20009
telephone: [1] (202) 726-5500
FAX: [1] (202) 726-1860
chief of mission: Ambassador Francois Nkuna BALUMUENE (since 23 September 2015)
chancery: 1726 M Street, NW, Suite 601, Washington, DC, 20036
telephone: [1] (202) 234-7690 through 7691
FAX: [1] (202) 234-2609
representative office: New York New York
Diplomatic representation from the USchief of mission: Ambassador (vacant); Charge d'Affaires Mary DASCHBACH (since January 2015)
embassy: 70-83 Section D, Maya-Maya Boulevard, Brazzaville
mailing address: B.P. 1015, Brazzaville
telephone: [242] 06 612-2000
chief of mission: Ambassador (vacant); Charge d'Affaires Robert WHITEHEAD (since January 2016)
embassy: 310 Avenue des Aviateurs, Kinshasa, Gombe
mailing address: Unit 2220, DPO AE 09828
telephone: [243] (081) 556-0151
FAX: [243] (081) 556-0175
Flag descriptiondivided diagonally from the lower hoist side by a yellow band; the upper triangle (hoist side) is green and the lower triangle is red; green symbolizes agriculture and forests, yellow the friendship and nobility of the people, red is unexplained but has been associated with the struggle for independence
note: uses the popular Pan-African colors of Ethiopia
sky blue field divided diagonally from the lower hoist corner to upper fly corner by a red stripe bordered by two narrow yellow stripes; a yellow, five-pointed star appears in the upper hoist corner; blue represents peace and hope, red the blood of the country's martyrs, and yellow the country's wealth and prosperity; the star symbolizes unity and the brilliant future for the country
National anthem"name: ""La Congolaise"" (The Congolese)
lyrics/music: Jacques TONDRA and Georges KIBANGHI/Jean ROYER and Joseph SPADILIERE
note: originally adopted 1959, restored 1991
"
"name: ""Debout Congolaise"" (Arise Congolese)
lyrics/music: Joseph LUTUMBA/Simon-Pierre BOKA di Mpasi Londi
note: adopted 1960; replaced when the country was known as Zaire; but readopted in 1997
"
International law organization participationhas not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; accepts ICCt jurisdiction
accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction with reservations; accepts ICCt jurisdiction
National symbol(s)lion, elephant; national colors: green, yellow, red
leopard; national colors: sky blue, red, yellow
Citizenshipcitizenship by birth: no
citizenship by descent only: at least one parent must be a citizen of the Republic of the Congo
dual citizenship recognized: no
residency requirement for naturalization: 10 years
citizenship by birth: no
citizenship by descent only: at least one parent must be a citizen of the Democratic Republic of the Congo
dual citizenship recognized: no
residency requirement for naturalization: 5 years

Economy

Republic of the CongoDemocratic Republic of the Congo
Economy - overviewThe economy is a mixture of subsistence farming and hunting, an industrial sector based largely on oil and support services, and government spending. Oil has supplanted forestry as the mainstay of the economy, providing a major share of government revenues and exports. Natural gas is increasingly being converted to electricity rather than being flared, greatly improving energy prospects. New mining projects, particularly iron ore, which entered production in late 2013, may add as much as $1 billion to annual government revenue.

Economic reform efforts have been undertaken with the support of international organizations, notably the World Bank and the IMF, including the recently concluded Article IV consultations. The current administration faces difficult economic challenges of stimulating recovery and reducing poverty. The recent drop in oil prices has constrained government spending; lower oil prices forced the government to cut more than $1 billion in planned spending. However, the government increased infrastructure spending for the September 2015 All-Africa Games and the March 2016 presidential election, which put further pressure on the budget. The fiscal deficit exceeded 18% of GDP in 2015. Substantial macroeconomic imbalances continued in 2016 following sustained low oil prices.
The economy of the Democratic Republic of the Congo - a nation endowed with vast natural resource wealth - continues to struggle.

Systemic corruption since independence in 1960, combined with countrywide instability and conflict that began in the early-90s, has dramatically reduced national output and government revenue and increased external debt. With the installation of a transitional government in 2003 after peace accords, economic conditions slowly began to improve as the transitional government reopened relations with international financial institutions and international donors, and President KABILA began implementing reforms.

Renewed activity in the mining sector, the source of most export income, boosted Kinshasa's fiscal position and GDP growth, but low commodity prices are leading to slower growth, rising inflation, and a growing fiscal deficit. An uncertain legal framework, corruption, and a lack of transparency in government policy are long-term problems for the large mining sector and for the economy as a whole.

Much economic activity still occurs in the informal sector and is not reflected in GDP data. The DRC signed a Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility with the IMF in 2009 and received $12 billion in multilateral and bilateral debt relief in 2010, but, at the end of 2012, the IMF suspended the last three payments under the loan facility - worth $240 million - because of concerns about the lack of transparency in mining contracts. In 2012, the DRC updated its business laws by adhering to OHADA, the Organization for the Harmonization of Business Law in Africa. The price of copper – the DRC’s primary export - plummeted in 2015 and remained at record lows during 2016, reducing government revenues, expenditures, and foreign exchange reserves.
GDP (purchasing power parity)$30.27 billion (2016 est.)
$29.75 billion (2015 est.)
$29.08 billion (2014 est.)
note: data are in 2016 dollars
$65.04 billion (2016 est.)
$63.51 billion (2015 est.)
$59.4 billion (2014 est.)
note: data are in 2016 dollars
GDP - real growth rate1.7% (2016 est.)
2.3% (2015 est.)
6.8% (2014 est.)
2.4% (2016 est.)
6.9% (2015 est.)
9.5% (2014 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP)$6,800 (2016 est.)
$6,800 (2015 est.)
$6,800 (2014 est.)
note: data are in 2016 dollars
$800 (2016 est.)
$800 (2015 est.)
$700 (2014 est.)
note: data are in 2016 dollars
GDP - composition by sectoragriculture: 4.9%
industry: 69.8%
services: 25.3% (2016 est.)
agriculture: 20.1%
industry: 31.7%
services: 48.1% (2016 est.)
Population below poverty line46.5% (2011 est.)
63% (2012 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage sharelowest 10%: 2.1%
highest 10%: 37.1% (2005)
lowest 10%: 2.3%
highest 10%: 34.7% (2006)
Inflation rate (consumer prices)4.2% (2016 est.)
2.6% (2015 est.)
1.6% (2016 est.)
1.2% (2015 est.)
Labor force1.807 million (2013 est.)
31.08 million (2016 est.)
Labor force - by occupationagriculture: 35.4%
industry: 20.6%
services: 42.2% (2005 est.)
agriculture: NA%
industry: NA%
services: NA%
Unemployment rate36% (2014 est.)
NA%
Budgetrevenues: $3.562 billion
expenditures: $4.233 billion (2016 est.)
revenues: $5.448 billion
expenditures: $5.837 billion (2016 est.)
Industriespetroleum extraction, cement, lumber, brewing, sugar, palm oil, soap, flour, cigarettes
mining (copper, cobalt, gold, diamonds, coltan, zinc, tin, tungsten), mineral processing, consumer products (textiles, plastics, footwear, cigarettes), metal products, processed foods and beverages, timber, cement, commercial ship repair
Industrial production growth rate3.5% (2016 est.)
1.2% (2016 est.)
Agriculture - productscassava (manioc, tapioca), sugar, rice, corn, peanuts, vegetables, coffee, cocoa; forest products
coffee, sugar, palm oil, rubber, tea, cotton, cocoa, quinine, cassava (manioc, tapioca), bananas, plantains, peanuts, root crops, corn, fruits; wood products
Exports$4.777 billion (2016 est.)
$5.231 billion (2015 est.)
$9.316 billion (2016 est.)
$10.35 billion (2015 est.)
Exports - commoditiespetroleum, lumber, plywood, sugar, cocoa, coffee, diamonds
diamonds, copper, gold, cobalt, wood products, crude oil, coffee
Exports - partnersChina 41.9%, Italy 16.8%, India 4.9%, US 4.9%, Portugal 4.2% (2015)
China 48%, Zambia 17.2%, South Korea 5.4%, Belgium 5.2% (2015)
Imports$3.447 billion (2016 est.)
$3.934 billion (2015 est.)
$10.2 billion (2016 est.)
$10.46 billion (2015 est.)
Imports - commoditiescapital equipment, construction materials, foodstuffs
foodstuffs, mining and other machinery, transport equipment, fuels
Imports - partnersChina 20.6%, France 14.4%, South Korea 10%, US 4.9%, UK 4.5%, Italy 4.2%, India 4.1% (2015)
China 22.2%, South Africa 16.1%, Zambia 8.3%, Belgium 7.5%, Zimbabwe 5.6%, India 5.1%, France 4.3% (2015)
Debt - external$4.817 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$4.324 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
$5.331 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$5.106 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
Exchange ratesCooperation Financiere en Afrique Centrale francs (XAF) per US dollar -
589.4 (2016 est.)
591.45 (2015 est.)
591.45 (2014 est.)
494.42 (2013 est.)
510.53 (2012 est.)
Congolese francs (CDF) per US dollar -
971.6 (2016 est.)
925.99 (2015 est.)
925.99 (2014 est.)
925.23 (2013 est.)
920.25 (2012 est.)
Fiscal yearcalendar year
calendar year
Public debt70% of GDP (2016 est.)
48% of GDP (2015 est.)
18.2% of GDP (2016 est.)
17.6% of GDP (2015 est.)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold$1.989 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$2.244 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
$774 million (31 December 2016 est.)
$1.216 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
Current Account Balance-$2.27 billion (2016 est.)
-$3.668 billion (2015 est.)
-$1.83 billion (2016 est.)
-$1.504 billion (2015 est.)
GDP (official exchange rate)$8.834 billion (2016 est.)
$39.82 billion (2016 est.)
Market value of publicly traded shares$NA
$NA
Central bank discount rate4.25% (31 December 2009)
4.75% (31 December 2008)
4% (31 December 2012)
20% (31 December 2011)
Commercial bank prime lending rate14% (31 December 2016 est.)
14.8% (31 December 2015 est.)
19.5% (31 December 2016 est.)
19.37% (31 December 2015 est.)
Stock of domestic credit$1.825 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$1.807 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
$3.701 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$3.381 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
Stock of narrow money$3.274 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$3.131 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
$1.212 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$1.213 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
Stock of broad money$4.875 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
$4.858 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
$5.018 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
$4.402 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
Taxes and other revenues40.3% of GDP (2016 est.)
13.7% of GDP (2016 est.)
Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-)-7.6% of GDP (2016 est.)
-1% of GDP (2016 est.)
GDP - composition, by end usehousehold consumption: 50%
government consumption: 10.5%
investment in fixed capital: 48.7%
investment in inventories: 0.2%
exports of goods and services: 44.5%
imports of goods and services: -53.9% (2016 est.)
household consumption: 73.6%
government consumption: 13.9%
investment in fixed capital: 21%
investment in inventories: 0.1%
exports of goods and services: 23.7%
imports of goods and services: -32.3% (2016 est.)
Gross national saving22.1% of GDP (2016 est.)
12.4% of GDP (2015 est.)
38.9% of GDP (2014 est.)
14.2% of GDP (2016 est.)
15.4% of GDP (2015 est.)
27.1% of GDP (2014 est.)

Energy

Republic of the CongoDemocratic Republic of the Congo
Electricity - production1.7 billion kWh (2014 est.)
8.7 billion kWh (2014 est.)
Electricity - consumption900 million kWh (2014 est.)
9.3 billion kWh (2014 est.)
Electricity - exports22 million kWh (2014 est.)
69 million kWh (2014 est.)
Electricity - imports18 million kWh (2014 est.)
1.1 billion kWh (2014 est.)
Oil - production269,000 bbl/day (2015 est.)
20,000 bbl/day (2015 est.)
Oil - imports0 bbl/day (2013 est.)
0 bbl/day (2013 est.)
Oil - exports252,300 bbl/day (2013 est.)
20,000 bbl/day (2013 est.)
Oil - proved reserves1.6 billion bbl (1 January 2016 est.)
180 million bbl (1 January 2016 est.)
Natural gas - proved reserves90.61 billion cu m (1 January 2016 es)
991.1 million cu m (1 January 2016 es)
Natural gas - production1.5 billion cu m (2014 est.)
8.495 million cu m (2011 est.)
Natural gas - consumption1.5 billion cu m (2014 est.)
8.495 million cu m (2011 est.)
Natural gas - exports39 million cu m (2012 est.)
0 cu m (2013 est.)
Natural gas - imports0 cu m (2013 est.)
0 cu m (2013 est.)
Electricity - installed generating capacity500,000 kW (2014 est.)
2.6 million kW (2014 est.)
Electricity - from fossil fuels12.2% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
1.4% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
Electricity - from hydroelectric plants87.8% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
98.6% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
Electricity - from nuclear fuels0% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
0% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
Electricity - from other renewable sources0% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
0% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
Refined petroleum products - production18,550 bbl/day (2013 est.)
0 bbl/day (2013 est.)
Refined petroleum products - consumption16,000 bbl/day (2014 est.)
24,000 bbl/day (2014 est.)
Refined petroleum products - exports5,426 bbl/day (2013 est.)
0 bbl/day (2013 est.)
Refined petroleum products - imports2,615 bbl/day (2013 est.)
22,250 bbl/day (2013 est.)
Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy6.5 million Mt (2013 est.)
1.4 million Mt (2013 est.)
Electricity accesspopulation without electricity: 2,600,000
electrification - total population: 42%
electrification - urban areas: 62%
electrification - rural areas: 5% (2013)
population without electricity: 61,400,000
electrification - total population: 9%
electrification - urban areas: 19%
electrification - rural areas: 2% (2013)

Telecommunications

Republic of the CongoDemocratic Republic of the Congo
Telephones - main lines in usetotal subscriptions: 17,000
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: less than 1 (July 2015 est.)
total subscriptions: 59,534
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 8 (July 2012 est.)
Telephones - mobile cellulartotal: 5.216 million
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 110 (July 2015 est.)
total: 37.753 million
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 48 (July 2015 est.)
Telephone systemgeneral assessment: primary network consists of microwave radio relay and coaxial cable with services barely adequate for government use; key exchanges are in Brazzaville, Pointe-Noire, and Loubomo; intercity lines frequently out of order
domestic: fixed-line infrastructure inadequate, providing less than 1 connection per 100 persons; in the absence of an adequate fixed-line infrastructure, mobile-cellular subscribership has surged to 110 per 100 persons
international: country code - 242; satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean) (2015)
general assessment: barely adequate wire and microwave radio relay service in and between urban areas; domestic satellite system with 14 earth stations; inadequate fixed-line infrastructure
domestic: state-owned operator providing less than 1 fixed-line connection per 100 persons; given the backdrop of a wholly inadequate fixed-line infrastructure, the use of mobile-cellular services has surged and mobile teledensity is over 45 per 100 persons
international: country code - 243; satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean) (2015)
Internet country code.cg
.cd
Internet userstotal: 362,000
percent of population: 7.6% (July 2015 est.)
total: 3.016 million
percent of population: 3.8% (July 2015 est.)
Broadcast media1 state-owned TV and 3 state-owned radio stations; several privately owned TV and radio stations; satellite TV service is available; rebroadcasts of several international broadcasters are available (2007)
state-owned TV broadcast station with near national coverage; more than a dozen privately owned TV stations - 2 with near national coverage; 2 state-owned radio stations are supplemented by more than 100 private radio stations; transmissions of at least 2 international broadcasters are available (2007)

Transportation

Republic of the CongoDemocratic Republic of the Congo
Railwaystotal: 510 km
narrow gauge: 510 km 1.067-m gauge (2014)
total: 4,007 km
narrow gauge: 3,882 km 1.067-m gauge (858 km electrified); 125 km 1.000-m gauge (2014)
Roadwaystotal: 17,000 km
paved: 1,212 km
unpaved: 15,788 km (2006)
total: 153,497 km
paved: 2,794 km
unpaved: 150,703 km (2004)
Waterways1,120 km (commercially navigable on Congo and Oubanqui Rivers above Brazzaville; there are many ferries across the river to Kinshasa; the Congo south of Brazzaville-Kinshasa to the coast is not navigable because of rapids, necessitating a rail connection to Pointe Noire; other rivers are used for local traffic only) (2011)
15,000 km (including the Congo, its tributaries, and unconnected lakes) (2011)
Pipelinesgas 232 km; liquid petroleum gas 4 km; oil 982 km (2013)
gas 62 km; oil 77 km; refined products 756 km (2013)
Ports and terminalsmajor seaport(s): Pointe-Noire
river port(s): Brazzaville (Congo); Impfondo (Oubangi); Ouesso (Sangha); Oyo (Alima)
oil terminal(s): Djeno
major seaport(s): Banana
river or lake port(s): Boma, Bumba, Kinshasa, Kisangani, Matadi, Mbandaka (Congo); Kindu (Lualaba); Bukavu, Goma (Lake Kivu); Kalemie (Lake Tanganyika)
Merchant marineregistered in other countries: 1 (Democratic Republic of the Congo 1) (2010)
total: 1
by type: petroleum tanker 1
foreign-owned: 1 (Republic of the Congo 1) (2010)
Airports27 (2013)
198 (2013)
Airports - with paved runwaystotal: 8
over 3,047 m: 2
2,438 to 3,047 m: 1
1,524 to 2,437 m: 5 (2013)
total: 26
over 3,047 m: 3
2,438 to 3,047 m: 3
1,524 to 2,437 m: 17
914 to 1,523 m: 2
under 914 m: 1 (2013)
Airports - with unpaved runwaystotal: 19
1,524 to 2,437 m: 8
914 to 1,523 m: 9
under 914 m: 2 (2013)
total: 172
1,524 to 2,437 m: 20
914 to 1,523 m: 87
under 914 m: 65 (2013)

Military

Republic of the CongoDemocratic Republic of the Congo
Military branchesCongolese Armed Forces (Forces Armees Congolaises, FAC): Army (Armee de Terre), Navy, Congolese Air Force (Armee de l'Air Congolaise); Gendarmerie; Special Presidential Security Guard (GSSP) (2013)
Armed Forces of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (Forces d'Armees de la Republique Democratique du Congo, FARDC): Army, National Navy (La Marine Nationale), Congolese Air Force (Force Aerienne Congolaise, FAC) (2011)
Military service age and obligation18 years of age for voluntary military service; women may serve in the Armed Forces (2012)
18-45 years of age for voluntary and compulsory military service (2012)
Military expenditures - percent of GDP4.97% of GDP (2014)
2.61% of GDP (2013)
1.39% of GDP (2015)
1.04% of GDP (2014)
1.25% of GDP (2013)
1.21% of GDP (2012)
1% of GDP (2011)

Transnational Issues

Republic of the CongoDemocratic Republic of the Congo
Disputes - internationalthe location of the boundary in the broad Congo River with the Democratic Republic of the Congo is undefined except in the Pool Malebo/Stanley Pool area
heads of the Great Lakes states and UN pledged in 2004 to abate tribal, rebel, and militia fighting in the region, including northeast Congo, where the UN Organization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUC), organized in 1999, maintains over 16,500 uniformed peacekeepers; members of Uganda's Lords Resistance Army forces continue to seek refuge in Congo's Garamba National Park as peace talks with the Uganda Government evolve; the location of the boundary in the broad Congo River with the Republic of the Congo is indefinite except in the Pool Malebo/Stanley Pool area; Uganda and DRC dispute Rukwanzi Island in Lake Albert and other areas on the Semliki River with hydrocarbon potential; boundary commission continues discussions over Congolese-administered triangle of land on the right bank of the Lunkinda River claimed by Zambia near the DRC village of Pweto; DRC accuses Angola of shifting monuments
Refugees and internally displaced personsrefugees (country of origin): 9,202 (Rwanda) (2016); 30,585 (Central African Republic); 12,280 (Democratic Republic of the Congo) (2017)
IDPs: 33,000 (multiple civil wars since 1992) (2016)
refugees (country of origin): 245,052 (Rwanda) (2016); 102,802 (Central African Republic); 79,495 (South Sudan); 39,919 (Burundi) (2017)
IDPs: 2.2 million (fighting between government forces and rebels since mid-1990s; most IDPs are in eastern provinces) (2016)
Trafficking in personscurrent situation: the Republic of the Congo is a source and destination country for children, men, and women, subjected to forced labor and sex trafficking; most trafficking victims are from Benin, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), and, to a lesser extent, other neighboring countries and are subjected to domestic servitude and market vending by West African and Congolese nationals; adults and children, the majority from the DRC, are also sex trafficked in Congo, mainly Brazzaville; internal trafficking victims, often from rural areas, are exploited as domestic servants or forced to work in quarries, bakeries, fishing, and agriculture
tier rating: Tier 2 Watch List - the Republic of the Congo does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so; the country drafted an action plan based on anti-trafficking legislation, which remains pending in the Supreme Court; the government made minimal anti-trafficking law enforcement efforts in 2014, failing to prosecute or convict suspected traffickers from cases dating back to 2010; serious allegations of official complicity continue to be reported; the government lacks a systematic means of identifying victims and relies on NGOs and international organizations to identify victims and NGOs and foster families to provide care to victims; the quality of care varied widely because the foster care system was allegedly undermined by inadequate security and official complicity (2015)
current situation: The Democratic Republic of the Congo is a source, destination, and possibly a transit country for men, women, and children subjected to forced labor and sex trafficking; the majority of this trafficking is internal, and much of it is perpetrated by armed groups and rogue government forces outside official control in the country's unstable eastern provinces; Congolese adults are subjected to forced labor, including debt bondage, in unlicensed mines, and women may be forced into prostitution; Congolese women and girls are subjected to forced marriages where they are vulnerable to domestic servitude or sex trafficking, while children are forced to work in agriculture, mining, mineral smuggling, vending, portering, and begging; Congolese women and children migrate to countries in Africa, the Middle East, and Europe where some are subjected to forced prostitution, domestic servitude, and forced labor in agriculture and diamond mining; indigenous and foreign armed groups, including the Lord’s Resistance Army, abduct and forcibly recruit Congolese adults and children to serve as laborers, porters, domestics, combatants, and sex slaves; some elements of the Congolese national army (FARDC) also forced adults to carry supplies, equipment, and looted goods, but no cases of the FARDC recruiting child soldiers were reported in 2014 – a significant change
tier rating: Tier 2 Watch List - The Democratic Republic of the Congo does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so; the government took significant steps to hold military and police officials complicit in human trafficking accountable with convictions for sex slavery and arrests of armed group commanders for the recruitment and use of child soldiers; the government appears to have ceased the recruitment of child soldiers through the implementation of a UN-backed action plan; little effort was made to address labor and sex trafficking crimes committed by persons other than officials, or to identify the victims, or to provide or refer the victims to care services; awareness of various forms of trafficking is limited among law enforcement personnel and training and resources are inadequate to conduct investigations (2015)

Source: CIA Factbook